E-Reads: RWA Restate Their Postition on Self-Publishing Ahead of Summer Conference

Richard Curtis reports over on E-Reads that the Romance Writers of America (RWA) have upheld their stance on publishers and author solutions services offering paid services to self-publishing authors following a recently convened board meeting. The RWA hold their annual conference this summer and the association felt it necessary to form a special task force to address issues raised late last year by two large US publishers who signed partnership agreements with Author Solutions Inc and launched imprints offering self-publishing services to authors. That task force reported back to the board and the RWA have re-affirmed their position on not allocating conference time or space to publishers who openly promote self-publishing or vanity publishing programs to authors.

Michelle Monkou, president of the RWA, said in a memo to the association:

“RWA will extend invitations to a wide pool of publishers. Invitees may only represent their non-subsidy/non-vanity publishing programs (imprints, divisions, or lines) at RWA’s conference. Space for spotlights, workshops, and booksignings will be allocated to lines, imprints, or divisions that best meet the requirements for ‘Qualifying Markets’. This new process of evaluation will likely increase opportunities for small presses and e-presses that previously have been excluded.

The potentially broader array of publishing companies present at RWA’s national conference in no way signals a change in our mission or core values. RWA has no intent to tell publishers how to conduct their business, but as a professional writers’ association, RWA stands firmly against any attempts to directly solicit RWA members to pursue vanity/subsidy publishing or other author-financed forms of publication. Members can be assured that publishers and agents allowed to participate at our national conference will have met this criterion.”
The suggestion from the first paragraph is that publishers operating self-publishing services or imprints may attend the RWA’s national conference provided they only ‘represent their non-subsidy/non-vanity publishing programs (imprints, divisions, or lines).’

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