From Angie James’ blog, and from multiple forwards to me, the official statement from Samhain:
Yes, Samhain will lose recognition after conference. It doesn’t change
anything for our business or with the deal with Kensington, nor our IPS
print program. We’ll still pay royalties on time and do business as usual
For us, it means we can’t do publisher type things at nationals next year.
Perhaps someday things will change and we’ll be back at RWA, doing editor
appointments and so forth, but until that time, we continue on as always.
RWA is an organization for authors to network and learn from one another. As
the guidelines have been set up, removing our recognition doesn’t take away
your ability to utilize it as such and the benefits of RWA remain for those
authors who wish to enjoy them.
Of course it’s disappointing to us that RWA is unable to accommodate small
presses at this time, but it’s understandable that they must do what they
believe is best for the authors and the organization.
However, it’s my belief that the allure of epublishing is our ability to
sign a wide variety of books and genres without a huge monetary risk.
Offering even 1000 dollars advance would remove our ability to do that. Our
gain from being approved is not as significant as our gain from being free
to take on books because we love them, not because they’ll earn out their
advance. Once we enter into the world of larger dollar amount advances, we
become a publisher who can’t take the publishing risks that we do now, never
knowing what will hit and what will not so much.
I know it’s important to some authors that their publisher be recognized and
that there will be some who are disappointed by the way things have gone and
choose to seek publication elsewhere, and that saddens me because at the
heart of things, I think we’re a pretty damn good publisher. We’ll move
forward from here just as we would have had we been able to keep
“recognition”. Nothing changes. Samhain will remain the same publisher next
week, when the policy goes into effect and we’re no longer “recognized” as
we are this week.
Permission to forward granted
Angela James, Executive Editor
I went to the RWA Online chapter hoe-down (thanks for the invitation Mel!) tonight and heard all about this decision from several very upset and hurt e-published authors who feel like their legitimacy as authors in this organization has been stripped away. They are of the opinion that the real reason was to shut out erotica, because the RWA doesn’t like it. I don’t think that’s the actual reason, but they were feeling the slap from both a business and a genre perspective.
However, other folks could see what RWA was trying to do – if your advance is less than 1k, are you a “professional author” or are you a hobbyist? If the RWA is positioning itself to be a professional writer’s organization, is excluding based on a minimum balance of advance necessarily the right step? Or has RWA done itself some damage with the ‘you were in but now you’re not’ policy change?
More importantly, as a writer, does this policy affect your decision of who you’d like to publish with? And if you’re an ePub, does this policy change stand in your way? Or, like Samhain, is it business as usual?