I like RWA. I don’t see them as the window to becoming Nora Roberts and I don’t think you have to be apart of it to write the next best selling novel. It has its pros and cons, and each writer needs to look at it and decide if it is worth their money to join, go to the chapter meetings, and attend nationals. It is a big cost (I think), not to some of course – and yay them – but to many people, it is.
To me the cost of joining RWA, what is does for the writer or brings to the genre, isn’t the point or my issue with the new policy. Nowhere does RWA state “No bloggers allowed” or even “no fans“, they are saying “pony up.” I fall into the camp of “fans” who don’t need to go, unless they fall into the “I want to be a writer when I grow up” camp. Many a fan does grow up, so sure it makes sense they should pay to play, but going just to go, hang at the bar and go to the author signings (where you pay for the books and all the money goes to charity), seems like a cool thing to do if you are a fan and live in the area.
Other than that, events are mostly invite only and the rest you pay to play, “crashing” events even if you say “Nora Roberts said it was ok,” is not something I would do or suggest. It was a concern of mine last year when we went that the view some readers took away was, “OMG that is so cool, I wanna go play too!” And when I voiced that, along with the thought presenting it in a “fans should go way” would put RWA in a position to not ‘give’ alloted press passes to bloggers, I believe I was told “Why shouldn’t fans go?”
The reason, IMHO, is because it isn’t for ‘fans’ and nationals isn’t a ‘convention’ but a ‘conference’. So saying that, why do I care “internet media is being excluded”, especially when I hadn’t planned to attend? It seems from the comments in this post the thought is ‘hey chick I pay, you should pay‘.
To which I say, no, not in all cases.
There are many different reasons for going to nationals. If you are a writer, going for your job, it makes sense to have fees. If you are a publisher, going for your company, it makes sense to have fees – like the authors you are getting something for your craft, your company, your job out of attending. As well as it makes sense that if you give back in the form of your time, you get a discount or comp (depending on WHAT you are doing). If you are a fan, going to stargaze, you should pay.
I am sure some of you are thinking this just comes down to me thinking everything is about me. Oddly it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying I don’t think everything is about me, but that would be a different issue. WHAT? Like you don’t have issues. Shut up.
My point goes with Stephanie Feagan, a member of the RWA Board who responded with her personal opinion at DearAuthor.com regarding the quoted email sent to internet media who received press passes last year:
…What is it, specifically, that RWA gets in return for handing out press pass comps? Hopefully some national media coverage that will get the word out about romance and the authors – hopefully in a positive light.
If there are 13 comp press passes and the point is ‘national media coverage ‘, how is the answer to exclude ALL internet media? Tina, an editor at Blogburst, recently posted, “Bloggers and Journalists form an uneasy alliance“:
A new survey of US journalists found that nearly 70% check a blog list on a regular basis and the majority of journalists surveyed said blogs were having a significant impact on news reporting in all areas tested except news quality.
The quality part is another post for another day, but did anyone see the report on Cassie Edwards? It is possible you caught it at CNN, New York Times, Newsweek, or that little used source The Associated Press. In case you missed it, the story (or witch hunt as authors who I can only guess don’t like ‘national media coverage’) was discovered by a BLOG. You probably haven’t heard of it, being just a blog and all, but The Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books would be the chicks who got the word out that lead to “national media coverage”. Oh and they were at Nationals last year. Were they one of the 13? I have no clue and haven’t asked. But if that is the purpose of having those passes, excluding ALL internet media might be a BAD IDEA.
Go Google “RWA National Conference”, go ahead, I will wait. Here have a link. Isn’t it nice to see all that “national media coverage”? Makes total sense to not have internet media there to muck up the place. Oh I know, we should have spelled out RWA… let’s try that… Are you tired from all the national news coverage reading yet?
Hmmmm let’s try another way… searching Publisher’s Weekly, the top return is regarding a conference from 2003: Sweet Savage Bookselling: Opening Day at the Romance Writers Conference. Most recent coverage would be Barbara Vey, who will be in San Fran. Nice blog, all positive, author heavy (as positive, nice blogs are) and a very, very nice person running it but how can it be argued The Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books is a bad way for nonromance readers to get a view into romanceland because they won’t get ‘we are more than snark and naughty words’ but it is fine to present the view of women MUST give ‘only praise to be supportive,’ are only here for teh sex, “oh look at that cover hunk” and “do my thighs look fat” is a good way to present romance to the nonreader?
That is just a small part of my point though but I hate long ass posts so shall continue this in part II. No really there is a part II, I know. Try to contain your excitement.