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Location: Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States

Published by: Hard Shell Word Factory ( and Awe-Struck E-Books (

Friday, July 15, 2005

Just Let Me Write the Sweet Stuff!

There is a heated discussion on some blogs -- here and elsewhere -- about Romance and Erotica. There are strong feelings about how hot is hot, and if lines should be drawn so far as Romance Writers of America is concerned, and a lot of other issues that range from important to trivial.

I was a very early member of RWA -- my membership number was 1969, almost a charter member. And I credit RWA with putting me on the path to getting my first book published back in 1983. I started for the door in November of 1999, when RWA summarily revoked membership in the Published Authors Network to those authors who were published only in electronic format. You see, I am Member # 2 of the Electronically Published Internet Connection, the Voice of Electronic Publishing, and incidentally -- current President.

There's a ton of misinformation out there. Electronically published authors did not "try to take over" RWA. A handful of our members ran for Board positions, and some of them were elected. That does not amount to anything near to "taking over."

The knock on e-only published authors was that "they hadn't paid their dues." And how could the upstart publishers produce books as good as those coming out of NYC?

Well, let's look at what has happened since 1997, when Kate Douglas did her workshop at RWA National. We've gone from three e-publishers to a wide range, a lot -- too many to keep up with. Those manuscripts that experimentally combined genres, that pushed the envelope, are to be found all over the place--instead on the bottom of the desk drawer, or on the hard drive of the computer that was obsolete years ago.

What really makes me mad is the myth that ebooks "make $25-$50 and that's it." Uh-uh. For one thing, they aren't pulled off the shelves after 25 days or three months, as the bulk of romances are. My book ONCE AGAIN A PRINCESS, was released in 1998 and is still available. I haven't made a ton of money on it, but I never expected to make a cent on that book because it broke all the NYC rules I could manage to break in one book.

That book didn't have a marketing department telling the editor not to buy it. It didn't have an editor telling me to change the setting, change the hero to another profession, do this, do that -- write what will sell, not what must be said.

No one in RWA should ever think I have my sights on being published again by a NYC publisher! I'd have to be given a much better contract than I have ever seen to go back and jump through hoops for print publication again.

For me it is not about the money. It's about the artistic freedom, the ability to tell the story that must be told. It's about electronic books being available now and for a long time to come, not falling apart, not having to be magnified, not taking up space in a landfill.

By 2020, 90% of all instructional books will be electronic. I haven't seen any figures for recreational reading, but I'd bet it will be in that range.


Blogger Penelope Marzec said...

I wish RWA would stop making up "rules." :^(

9:18 AM  

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