Monday, June 4, 2012

How is RWA going to take Indies seriously?

Something I recently discovered that really pissed me off. And part of it has to do with a lot of complaining that goes about RWA's lack of recognition of Indie published authors.
I’ve been a member of RWA for 17yrs. I've seen a lot of changes, some good, some not so much. What has happened recently is the influx of the number of Indies has definitely taken them by surprise. To say they don't know how to handle it, is putting it mildly. They sent out their survey on the subject a couple of years ago. Not sure what the response was, but whatever it was, there were no changes made and Indies remained in the corner largely ignored. When there were a number of Indies who tried to form a chapter under their umbrella, it was turned down. On the brighter side of that, individual chapters are allowed to fully recognize Indies. It's just not at the National level. Most chapters do recognize their Indie members as published. RWA National has fully embraced that concept.
Like so many other indie authors, I would like nothing better than to see RWA recognize Indies in some way as published. But-this is where I get pissed. So, if it is so important for Indies to be recognized for our hard work, our professionalism and quality of writing, did only a small fraction of the 10,000 members of RWA respond to a new survey sent out a couple of months ago on Indie published members. Out of 10,000 members a very tiny fraction responded. When I say tiny, I mean it was less then a small handful. If it wasn't such a serious matter, it would be laughable at how many responded. It was embarrassing on the part of Indies who jump up and down over being the redheaded step-child of the organization .
Now tell me, how serious are they supposed to take us if only that small number responds out of so many authors? Right now RWA probably has more Indie authors then Legacy published, but I’m only guessing, and they can’t tell, because no one responded to such an important issue. Or I should say it’s supposed to be important to us, which makes me wonder.   
I can raise my hand and say I filled out the survey that took me less than five minutes of my valuable time, because as a voting member of the RWA, I want to be counted. Especially after 17yrs of paying dues to National, three land chapters, four on-line chapters and several conferences. If I can spend time responding and liking on Facebook, I certainly can fill out a form on this important issue.
Now RWA members have the new bylaws to review. Before anyone complains about lack of recognition, I suggest studying them, and if you’re going to National make a point of attending the General Board meeting to address the issue of Indies. Otherwise, you do not have the right to gripe about anything, especially anything concerning RWA and Independently published members. 

1 comment:

  1. Hand raised. I filled it out. And I will be voting too. If you don't vote you don't get to gripe.