I hadn't planned on having on ongoing blog about the politics of romance - but the debate [and now it is a debate] rages on at the ESPAN blog with the rebuttal from RWA President Diane Pershing.
My take on the blog post is that the RWA isn’t going to change anything, because change would mean going against the RWA policies and the RWA can’t go against it’s own policies and changing the policies won’t serve the remaining membership. I say remaining, because I believe that ultimately the only people left in RWA will be the people who agree with the party line – in essence, the people who wrote the policies.
In response to this, a movement has sprung up by RWA members who are determined to effect change from within. I applaud their efforts to mold the organization, into which they've invested so much time, effort and money, into the organization that they want it to be. Why am I not involved in this romance revolution? Well, as one fellow writer put it in an e-mail to another loop, [and I paraphrase] I didn't join RWA to change it. I joined RWA to benefit from what already existed. What already existed was of no benefit to me, so I'm moving on.
Again, I have nothing but respect for those who are digging in, setting up camp and plunging into the battle to make RWA a truly inclusive organization that will embrace the modern writer [who will increasingly be an epublished writer since so many traditional publishers are foraying into the world of electronic publishing.] Now with the Kindle and the Sony eReader available, authors who never dreamed of seeing their work in digital format will become epublished - whether they like it or not. While RWA maintains that epublished authors are in the minority and therefore beneath its notice, the reality is that within a short time the author who is strictly print published, whose books are not available anywhere in electronic format of any kind, will be the minority. These days, once you sell, there's a better than average chance that somewhere along the line your work will be available electronically. To not deal with that change is to fall to extinction.
I look forward to seeing continuing posts on the ESPAN blog from Angela James of Samhain Publishing and Raelene Gorlinski of Ellora's Cave. And I look forward to seeing the transformation of the RWA. Good luck to those who have charged into battle.