Selah March

July 28, 2007

I can has a cookie??

Filed under: Uncategorized — Selah March @ 1:38 pm
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Somebody on the RWA Board took the time to do a little research on how epublishing works and as a result, the Board has revised its definitions. Because no matter how many folks SAY the RWA has the power to redefine the terms “vanity publisher” and “subsidy publisher” and the word “primarily”….honest and truly, people, not so much.

From the RWA National Offices:

“At the request of members, the Board has re-visited the definitions of ‘Subsidy Publisher’ and ‘Vanity Publisher.’ After considering the advice of legal and industry professionals, along with suggestions by our Publisher Recognition Task Force, the board met in a telephonic board meeting on July 25th and redefined the terms ‘Subsidy Publisher’ and ‘Vanity Publisher’ as follows:

‘Subsidy Publisher’ means any publisher that publishes books in which the author participates in the costs of production in any manner, including publisher assessment of a fee or other costs for editing and/or distribution. This definition includes publishers who withhold or seek full or partial payment or reimbursement of publication or distribution costs before paying royalties, including payment of paper, printing, binding, production, sales or marketing costs.

‘Vanity Publisher’ means any publisher whose authors exclusively promote and/or sell their own books and publishers whose business model and methods of publishing and distribution are primarily directed toward sales to the author, his/her relatives and/or associates.

RWA’s mission is to promote the professional interests of career-focused romance authors through networking and advocacy. Advocacy is one of the main reasons RWA exists, and since advocacy is included in RWA’s core purpose, mandated by the Bylaws, the Board cannot simply decide to stop advocating for the fair treatment of RWA’s members.

Though we know some RWA members disagree, when determining whether a publisher is a Vanity Publisher, RWA believes it is important to look at distribution of books. When a publisher does not pay an advance and does not become involved with marketing and distribution, it is, in reality, acting as nothing more than a consignment dealer for the book. Providing this kind of service requires little or nothing of the publisher, and the responsibility to market the product and drive traffic to single distribution point falls upon the author. There is nothing two-sided about this kind of arrangement, no give and take where both sides involved incur risk and both stand to gain. In this situation the author incurs all of the financial risk in attempting to market a product.

On the other hand, if a publisher doesn’t pay an advance, but is investing time, energy, and money to provide alternate means of distribution, the publisher is at least somewhat invested in the product. This investment moves this relationship away from a consignment arrangement and closer to a two sided publishing agreement where the author and publisher are crucial to one another. Some of the methods of national distribution that benefit an author are: Advertising in national trade or consumer magazines, wholesaler agreements, Amazon.com-type internet bookstore agreements, or national chain bookstore agreements to carry a publisher’s titles. Also included are exhibiting at national and/or regional tradeshows and book fairs as well as advertising to readers.

Right now, publishing is changing daily. Companies are rising and falling with alarming speed, but it is the writers who are being hurt when a company goes under or fails to live up to promises. There are, of course, many stable and viable publishing companies who have become established in the past few years, but even with those companies RWA must continue to advocate for the fair and ethical treatment of its authors, as it has always done with long established publishers. RWA welcomes the addition of strong, viable publishers because any increase in reliable, reputable avenues of publishing is good for writers in general.

There will never come a time, however, when a writer can afford to assume any contract is good. It will always be the author’s responsibility to read all the clauses, question the ones he/she doesn’t understand, find out what the industry standard is, and only then, with full knowledge, make the decision to sign or not to sign. The hard truth is that a Vanity Publisher or Subsidy Publisher is not, in general, as favorable to the writer as an advance-paying non-Vanity Publisher or non-Subsidy Publisher. RWA is not here to determine who should sign or not sign any specific contract. That decision remains solely with the author. But in its role as advocate for its members, RWA must take a stand.”

***

So we’re all legitimately published again. I feel so much better now. */sarcasm*

SelahMarch.com – Romance of Dubious Virtue

4 Comments »

  1. RWA’s mission is to promote the professional interests of career-focused romance authors through networking and advocacy.

    You know, if you shot RWA into space, the gaseous clouds it emits from its hindquarters would be strong enough to propel it all the way to Mars.

    Comment by Lynn Viehl — July 28, 2007 @ 9:57 pm | Reply

  2. No doubt they’ve alerted the proper authorities regarding this phenomenon and how it might be used to solve the energy crisis. It’s the patriotic thing to do, after all.

    Oh dear, that was more sarcasm, wasn’t it? I’m clearly a lost cause.

    Comment by Selah March — July 29, 2007 @ 12:34 pm | Reply

  3. No doubt they’ve alerted the proper authorities regarding this phenomenon and how it might be used to solve the energy crisis.

    Not yet. The board has to define what an energy crisis is first.

    Comment by Lynn Viehl — July 29, 2007 @ 1:11 pm | Reply

  4. “You know, if you shot RWA into space, the gaseous clouds it emits from its hindquarters would be strong enough to propel it all the way to Mars.”

    Bwahahahahahahahaaaaaa OK Shame on me for laughing but that there was funny. And then I had to look up the propellant capacity per cubic foot, compensating for the vacuum of space, assuming ignition is a given and decided that it could be done just based on the vanity press emitions alone.

    FWIW I also consider Vanity Press books “real” and am forever grateful such things exist to put the odd, interesting and strange writings on line for me to find. You should see my collection.

    Comment by FerfeLaBat — July 29, 2007 @ 4:17 pm | Reply


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