Friday, June 19, 2009

Diane Pershing Responds to Dierdre Knight

And I have only one comment to make...

To read Ms. Pershing's response to Ms. Knight, click here.


Kenny Celican said...

A few things that came to mind while reading:

- How many of the 10K members are exclusively or primarily electronic, how many are exclusively or primarily print, and how many are genuine hybrids? If it really is a minority issue, Ms. Pershing's position may be the right one, even if she seems to cop an attitude about it.

- The one 'electronic publishing' thing RWA was willing to spring for was a lawyer talking about intellectual property rights. Not a good sign.

- While I see the problem posited by Ms. Knight, I don't see a solution that the RWA president might be able to implement without seeming biased toward a particular label. Maybe someone should suggest that rather than 'pays advances of at least $X per book', they should modify it to read 'pays royalties of at least $X per book'? That would keep the big print publishers in the game, let the legitimate electronic publishers in the door, and would actually jerk the chain up short on print publishers that offer an 'advance' of $X that is then eaten up by fees and returns.

Dana Marie Bell said...

I'm not sure if you read the comments to Ms. Pershing's letter, but several people have espoused similar solutions. For example, this comprehensive list was posted by Arwen (aka Marilu Mann):

1. Examination and contrast of digital publishing contracts vs print contracts

2. Education on how to determine a publisher who is on the up-and-up (digital and print)

3. Admitting that published is published (I’ll stand on the no-vanity press statement though)

4. Admitting that the digital publishing model is not the print
publishing model and really laying out how those are different

5. Stop changing the rules every blessed year. Either allow digital published authors to enter the GH or the Ritas but don’t leave us out in the cold

7. Allow digital publishers at National in the same way as they do print publishers

8. Have a digital publishing track for workshops at the national conference

Harlequin is a major NY publisher of print romances. It is now putting out the majority of its books in print AND in e, but its authors have no idea what their digital rights are or what the standard royalty rate for e-published books are. Until they are educated as to what the differences between print and e are they will continue to feel the almighty shaft.

We aren't asking for RWA to ditch the print model of publishing. What we're asking for is a)education for its members re: digital publishing, b) recognition of e-publishing's business model as a viable, PROFESSIONAL business model, c) recognition that those of us who are primarily e-published ARE career-minded authors.

I don't think it's too much to ask.

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