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Selective pisstivity...

...99.9% of the authors whining on DA, SBTB, and Twitter has it.

I've been thinking about this for a few days, and the more posts I see, the more annoyed I get.

This whole Harlequin getting into the vanity pub biz and RWA removing HQN's eligibility, and the authors who write for HQN whimpering and whining is bullshit. Yeah, and the authors who say they're so proud of how RWA took a stand against evil? You're fucktards too.

Where was all this wailing and gnashing of teeth and pulling out of hair and writing long blog posts protesting when RWA refused to allow GLBT authors to be recognized? When RWA pointed out that even if they did make GLBT books eligible for RITAs, they wouldn't be able to find anyone in their membership willing to read and judge them?

WTF with the double standard here? Why is it unfair that an author is 'being punished' by RWA for a decision their publisher made, when other authors who also write perfectly legitimate books can't get recognized either? Sucks to be part of the out crowd, dosn't it? But it was never a problem and it was never unfair until it happened to a large section of bestselling authors, rather than a small niche of relative unknowns.



( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 22nd, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
Hear hear. And why was there no wailing and gnashing of teeth over Harper Collins and Random House having their parts in self publishing enterprises and why haven't they been BANNED from the Romance Police too?

As you say, it's nice to be able to pick and choose what to rail against ain't it? Pick your prejudice week!
Nov. 22nd, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
because HQN were dumb enough to put their name on their vanity press, thus enabling authors who self-pubbed the opportunity to say they're pubbed by "HQN". which would put self-pubbed authors on the same footing as the regular HQN pubbed authors AND THAT WILL NEVER DO!!!!!!!
Nov. 22nd, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
Leaving aside any of the rest of it, authors aren't being punished by RWA for Harlequin's decision. The RWA eligibility is about whether or not a publisher can have free space at the conference, can have a publisher spotlight at the conference, and can host editor meetings at the conference. Author status isn't affected by publishers, but is solely based on sales.
Nov. 22nd, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
have also seen posts of HQN pubbed authors saying they would not be able to participate in book signings, etc as well?
Nov. 22nd, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
The literacy signing (a charity event) at the conference may or may not be based on publisher eligibility, I'm not sure. The RITA award is based on publisher eligibility, so maybe they're upset about that.

When you said "being recognized", I assumed you meant PAN-status for the authors, which is what makes someone a 'legitimate, career-focused author' by RWA terms -- and for that, authors aren't being punished for what Harlequin did, because it's based on their individual sales and not the publisher's status.
Nov. 22nd, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
was going with what seems to be most author's definition of 'being recognized', as in 'publicly' via 'the giving of awards that can then be bragged about on future book covers' :P

Nov. 22nd, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
Ah, sorry. I don't think of the RITAs as being something most readers ever hear about, so it didn't even occur to me as a reason to be upset.
Nov. 22nd, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
The averge reader, myself included, couldn't care less about things like RITAs. It doesn't affect my book-buying decisions in the slightest. Am beyond annoyed that they won't take GLBT submissions, so purposely boycott them.
Nov. 22nd, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
Yes, they are "punished" - as now no Harlequin author can enter the Ritas.

Books entered in the 2010 RITA Contest must:


• Be published by a non-Subsidy/non-Vanity Publisher.

Doesn't affect me of course as the RWA are homophobic also, but rather unfair to the writers of HQ books, I think. It's rather like the dancers of Strictly Ballroom/Dancing being punished for the professional dancer's choreography.
Nov. 22nd, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
You're so hot when you're pissed off.

Nov. 22nd, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
Nov. 22nd, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
You had me at fucktard
I thought I was the only person (beside my friends who got it from me) who still said that at any given time :)

I'm sorry to just blast outta no where, and I am not a writer, or publisher so I don't understand any of the acronyms. I ran across your twitter from a twitter and when I went to ask for an acceptance I saw that you are done with random followings (understandable). and it said talk to me and I will add you. So I am talking to you the only way I know how... I don't think I can talk to you through twitter if you are locked. But I am twit-illiterate, so I may be mistaken.

So if you are wondering who AugustaAnn is in your request file on twitter, that is me :)

I am going to bookmark your blog...I like your way with words.

Nov. 22nd, 2009 11:20 pm (UTC)
Re: You had me at fucktard
more locked to keep the bimbots and marketers away. I mean...really, how many videos of Britney getting fucked can one person watch??

I followed you back :)
Nov. 23rd, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
The reading public at large won't give a shit about this whole thing. Double standards are a way of life it seems, :( Not only RWA, but the Sci Fi and Mystery Writers of America think the HQN self publishing to be shady.
Nov. 23rd, 2009 02:13 am (UTC)
because we all know the real problem here is that HQN put their name on their vanity press, unlike all the other pubs...who also own vanity presses but are smart enough to bury them under smoke and mirrors
Nov. 23rd, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
but now they took their name off, or so they will. What does that mean? I am angry because what if they have a rejection quota to make to see if authors they rejected will use their vanity press? So shady...
Nov. 23rd, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
meh. am more annoyed at the authors who were focused on the dilution of their exclusive kiddie pool, and on the people who got mad at RWA booting them from Nats and the RITAS. same people couldn't be arsed to voice objection when glbt authors were dealt the same treatment. fuckers.
Nov. 23rd, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
I must have missed something. When were GLBT authors dealt the same treatment? In 2006, I qualified for PAN (Published Authors Network) based on the sale of my gay vamp story, The Cost of Eternity. I could have entered it in the RITAs in 2007 but I didn't. Without an erotic category, I wouldn't expect it to get fair treatment. Especially because it was a short novel. Nothing in the rules say GLBT can't enter the RITAs. Authors of GLBT romances have their own RWA chapter, Rainbow Writers of America.

So maybe I'm missing something. I've been tied up teaching an online class this week. I've probably missed a lot of stuff... Tired...
Nov. 23rd, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
you absolutely cannot enter any of your stories that I'm aware of from EC into consideration for RITAs...unless EC changed its business practices and is sending you advances >$1000 now.

we had this convo last year. there are currently no judges (and remember, judges are just other RWA members) who are willing to read m/m for consideration. thus far, they all said they're so turned off by it to be able to judge it fairly, so they give it a pass. if the judge doesn't score the book, it can't advance in the judging.

the reason there's a GLBT chapter is because they wouldn't have been recognized any other way, so to allow glbt authors to play alongside the het authors...if not in the same sandbox...the glbt authors got together and created their own chapter. sort of an 'if you won't recognize us, we'll recognize ourselves' type of thing.

tell you what...prove me wrong and submit one of your books and tell me how far you get. or challenge any m/m author to submit their book for consideration and see what happens.

ETA: scratch that. go back as far as you wanna and find me ONE m/m romance that has been nominated in any category for the RITAs. just one. will donate $200 to the charity of your choice benefitting glbt people if you can find one. feel free to enlist other people to do the hunting for you if you haven't the time.

Edited at 2009-11-23 03:45 am (UTC)
Nov. 23rd, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
Okay, yes, ebooks got screwed for a while because of the "print run" clause in the RITAs. Somebody stuck a minimum number of books in print in the rules somewhere in 2008, I think, and screwed all the legit epubs because they don't do print runs. Not because of the $1k minimum advance.

This year, they changed it so now the legit non-eligible pubs such as EC and Samhain, have a three week delay to enter. Which I called bullshit on then and still do. However, it's a place to start.

The reason I won't enter a gay romance into the RITAs is a lack of an erotic category. If I wrote non-erotic gay, I might try it. As it is now, you have people who won't read a straight erotic book, or mark a menage as 'not a romance' because they don't believe 'infidelity' even with permission belongs in a romance. It's all bullshit but the only way around it is to have erotic categories or an opt out--or in--for the judges regarding erotic stories.

For the most part, this has nothing to do with GLBT romances. More with the narrow-minded attitudes toward sex in general. I find authors willing to read erotic are usually willing to read GLBT. An erotic category would solve the prejudice against a lot of genres.
Nov. 23rd, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC)
1.) The reason the RWA - of which I'm not a member, btw - hasn't gone after Random House, etc., in the same manner is because Random House hasn't plastered their name all over the Authonomy/CreateSpace venture and promised authors who pub with it that they'll be "Random House" authors. Nor are they inviting rejected authors - in the actual rejection letters - to sub to their vanity press, thereby monetizing their slushpile.

2.) The RWA never made GLBT fiction ineligible for the RITAS. In fact, my crit partner, who IS a published member of RWA, judged two lesbian romances this year in the RITA. There is no provision in the RITA rules that outlaws GLBT fiction and, in fact, I'd be surprised if there weren't multiple GLBT entries or entries that include GLBT content in the coming years simply because lines like Aphrodisia and Berkley Heat are including m/m and a little f/f interaction in a few of their erotica/erotic romance titles. Harlequin Spice is, as well, but it remains to be seen if they will be eligible for next year's contest.

3.) The reason you can't find m/m romances that make the short list is because people aren't entering them in great enough numbers - or haven't been. Also, the RITAS remain a popularity contest to a great degree. As a sub genre, GLBT is still fairly new. Ten years ago, when paranormals were just breaking out, there weren't many nominated either, and there was LOTS of prejudice against them, too. A different kind of prejudice? Yes. And are those judging members who refuse to recognize GLBT romance big ol' asshats? Of course. That doesn't change the fact that GLBT fiction can be entered, and will eventually gain traction. If there were an erotic category, it would happen more quickly. There are many erotic authors who don't want an erotic category because they don't want to be ghettoized. I can see where they're coming from, too.

4.) Whatever you may think of the above, it still remains a fact that vanity publishing is not the same thing as self-publishing, and this new scheme of Harlequin's is predatory and unethical at best. The RWA would be remiss to not take a stand against it. Harlequin's "Horizons" scheme has the potential to hurt authors and, by doing so, hurt readers as well. Does the RWA need to pull its head out of its ass on other issues? Yeah, there's a reason I'm not a member. But they were right on this one. In addition, the incoming board has set up new committees to investigate publisher eligibility and ways to make the various contests more friendly to romance that's written "outside the box," so to speak.

It's a start.

Edited at 2009-11-23 02:05 pm (UTC)
Nov. 23rd, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, there are some definite prudes judging. As others pointed out, even m/f/m menages and such get thrown out as not romance, so there's definite room for improvement in RWA's judging standards as a whole.

Why does slash have to be erotic? Why can't those stories be judged with historicals, if that's the genre they're written in?

I absolutely agree that HQN is shady. But I also think the main problem with HH is that HQN put their name on it, and HQN authors didn't want self-pubbed authors to put themselves equal to the ones who got pubbed the hard way (assuming self-pub is easy, if you've got the money) by saying they're pubbed by Harlequin, without qualifying which arm of Harlequin they're referring to. If the HQN name hadn't been on that vanity press, all this outcry would never have happened.
Nov. 23rd, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
Slash doesn't have to be erotic. All slash SHOULDN'T be categorized as erotic. But if there WERE an erotic category, then erotic m/m or f/f - of which there was more published as romance than non-erotic this year - would get judges automatically more open-minded because they'd already opted in to judge erotic. So that's where the natural break-out of GLBT fiction in the RITA contest would occur, if an erotic category existed.

As to the HarHo situation... imagine, if you will, the very worst fanfiction you've ever read. The really horrible, non-beta'd, Mary-Sue-ified, grammatically septic, misspelled unreadable crap.

Now imagine that the author changes the names of the characters to something "original," writes a check for $600 and sends it off to HarHo. She thereby purchases the right to call herself a Harlequin author alongside someone like me, for example, who's worked ten years on her craft and has finally broken through and signed a contract with one of Harlequin's non-vanity imprints.

In the eyes of many who don't - or don't want to - know better, we are equals. In the eyes of many, our BOOKS are equal. They're both pubbed by Harl, right? And if HER book is crap, then MINE probably is, too.

I don't write for Harl, and probably never will, but I get where the authors are coming from. They've fucked their own brand to hell and back with this bullshit, and their authors with it.

As to whether it would've happened if they hadn't lent their name to the imprint - the point is, they DID. And the website is full of that "Be a Harlequin author!" crap.

Also, there are good reasons to self-pub. Many projects fit the self-pub model. Vanity press publishing is an entirely different ball of wax. It makes its money on selling book packaging to authors, not on selling books, and uses deceptive language to convince writers otherwise.
Nov. 23rd, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
I've read recycled fanfic that was epubbed, and it annoyed the snot out of me. It happens.

I guess I'm a firm believer in natural selection. If someone is dumb enough to pay me a minimum of $600 to print their book, then give me 50% of the net...well, I'd take it. Nothing wrong with a little capitalism.

Now if HQN does something illegal, they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. And if people think they're using deceptive business practices, then they should contact the DA in whatever state HQN is based in and have it looked into.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )


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