Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Oh look, a new word. By the time I get done, I'll have my very own personal glossary.

First things first, though. I want to say how much I enjoyed meeting the people I met. This year was so very much different than my first conference in Reno that I'm really sort of blown away. I didn't realize how many people I knew and how many connections I'd made until I started running out of time to talk to everyone I wanted to talk with.

If I missed you or walked by you (Hi Jacqueline!) I am so sorry. It wasn't my intent. After about Friday morning, I suffered tunnel vision and started missing my own roommates and was telling people to grab my hair to get my attention. I am making a list for next year and sticking to it.

On to the opinionating.

I am a chapter president. I did my duty at National, attended the AGM, and was impressed. Not by the decisions handed down by our current Board -- far from -- but by the eloquence with which my fellow members made their points and the spirit with which they argued. Seriously, ladies, there are some of you who blew my socks off, and I'm grateful for everything you said.

On the subject of publisher eligibility: I honestly don't think the Board and its legal advisor(s) seriously thought through the wording of what they intended to say. I'm not much in to conspiracy theory, so I don't believe that this was a move specifically geared at getting rid of e-publishers, particularly not when the RWA has essentially opened the door to any publisher that can meet their criteria. I think it was a move against publishers in general.

Because, let's face it, while most of the large houses may not have issues meeting the advance clause or the sales and distribution requirements, there are small print publishers that can not. There may be some "big boys" that can't. And I don't think that the RWA Board really thought through a sweeping change of eligibility requirements like this that cuts the legs out from under so many.

It's an unfortunate mistake. I've heard several e-publishers say that it's not going to change the way they publish their books, distribute them or do business, which is fantastic. I don't believe that it should. I would bet, however, that when RWA next puts out a call for sponsors for National or any other endeavor, that they're going to hear a significant silence on the part of the people they just eliminated.

One more thing: The dictionary defines primary as: 1. first or highest in rank or importance; chief; principal. Note how that does not mean 'sole' or 'exclusive'. If we're changing dictionary definitions of words not exclusively pertaining to the romance industry, I think it takes more than the decision of the board to do so. Just a hunch.

More opinionating on other issues another day.


beverley said...

That was some meeting. If it didn't have an end time it would have gone for hours. I've never seen so many women so peeved. I think RWA will rethink this and come up with something new, more balanced. At least I hope.

It was so nice meeting you Sara. I'll see you in SF in 2007!

Lynne Simpson said...

Glad you had a good time, Sara!

I'm hoping they'll put the changes on hold pending a more in-depth review of the state of the marketplace. That would be the most desirable outcome, IMO.

Jacqueline Barbour said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sara. As you know, I'm in total agreement. Seems like a lot of people in the community are, as well.

Let's hope they come to their senses and remove the offending clause. The policy would be actually be fine without it.