Romance Writers of America doesn't love e-books

rwa_banner_logo.gif Well, that’s not very nice! RWA may be into romance, but e-books—they have been declared wallflowers. According to the rules of the Rita/Golden Heart contest all submissions must “Be mass-produced by a non-Subsidy, non-Vanity Publisher in print book format.”

No romance for any of the above, and certainly no romance for e-books. Poor little things, rejected by the RWA itself. Dear Author pointed this out.

But we love you here at TeleRead, poor little romance e-books, no matter what the Romance Writers of America thinks.

9 Comments on Romance Writers of America doesn't love e-books

  1. People will just have to get a real novel to read then instead of the mass market gutter trash. I mean what does the population lose, a book that must conform to someones idea of a good romance novel, they are nearly all the same format, just different names and places. … So do we really lose , I don’t think so.

    Many apologies to those that enjoy reading romance novel, Sorry….

  2. Tony,
    Your ignorance, stupidity, and a-holeishness are astounding. I do take offense to your idiotic comment. I would try to educate you about the many ways in which romance novels are not “trash,” but you seem a hopeless cause.

    Hope you’re not this much of a jerk in real life.

  3. From the Editor: OK, we have both gotten it out of our systems. Now let’s move the conversation to a bit of a higher level.

  4. Just to make clear: There can be good books and bad books in any genre, romance included! Paul’s opinions are his own, although, like him and Dear Author, I’d certainly agree that RWA is making a mistake. Romance may well be the biggest genre right now, and we’ll hope that RWA wakes up about E.


  5. RWA is a huge organization consisting of published and unpublished authors, a national organization with a full-time staff and dozens of local chapters. Many of these local chapters are extremely supportive of ePublishers small publishers and their ePublished authors. It is true that the national organization seems intent on perpetuating the 1980s world of romance as it was but I feel certain this will change as the old guard ages and young new authors continue to enter.

    Still, RWA’s problems with the eBook industry go back a long way. EPIC, the Electronic Author Association, was originally a group of RWA members who tried to form a special interest chapter in RWA and were denied that right. (Since then, RWA has authorized an electronically published chapter).

    Thank you David for your comments. There are bad books in every genre, and genre fiction, overall, will rarely compare with Tolstoy, James Joyce or Proust. That said, many of us enjoy the escapism of a Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance or Mystery (or western although I don’t publish these) and I don’t think that’s anything to be ashamed of.

    Rob Preece

  6. Hi,
    First, I apologize for being nasty. I guess after so many years of reading romance novels, I just get tired of people claiming they’re all trash, they all have the same plot, they’re not “real” books, etc. Many intelligent people read (and write) romances and…really, the defending of it just gets tiresome. I apologize for bringing the conversation down.

    I read a lot of romances that are published in ebook format, some by publishers that do not now meet these RWA requirements. I have read some excellent books from these publishers, and they deserve a chance. It’s kind of like a slap in the face for RWA to take their dues (although I don’t know if they pay dues for PAN), but not allow them to enter the contests or win recognition for good work.

  7. “Be mass-produced by a non-Subsidy, non-Vanity Publisher in print book format.” Read mainstream commercial fiction, dont read must never have been sold as E.

    That kind of phrasing is designed to filter out vanity publishers and magazine published short stories as much as it’s aimed at ebooks.

  8. Daniel,
    You’re right–the language does appear designed to filter out vanity press. However, their decision to allow only bulk-produced book excludes non-subsidy/non-vanity publishers who work primarily in eBook format and who use POD printing to satisfy the paperback market. It’s this decision, not the decision to exclude non-vanity/non-subsidy that many members of RWA (and non-members) object to.

    Rob Preece

  9. POD printing isnt nesserily the oposite of mass produced it’s the total numbers of moved titles not the batch size that determine that a book becomes mass produced.

    The problem here is that nobody really want to admit to be a vanity/subsidy publisher so you need some form of objective criteria. By using volume you have the problem of free or magazine published where the numbers aremt comparable to those for paid content.

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