I mentioned the RITA kerfuffle briefly last week. There’s been some discussion on the rwa-org listserv (ha ha, “some” discussion) about it, and one of the things that has come up is a not-quite verified comment that “mass produced” means “listed in the Ingram’s catalog as returnable to the publisher.”
To which I have to say. . . wha?
Let’s see if I got this one right. RWA’s goal is to advocate for authors and to advance romance publishing. Got it–fine, I understand that. Good. Publishing is in turmoil. I won’t say “in crisis” although surely it is a crisis for the editors who were fired, the imprints that were closed, and the authors who were abandoned in the dust-ups that are still ongoing.
I understand this might not be the actual criterion used by RWA for defining “mass-produced” since I did not see an official proclamation. I also understand that it probably was not chosen with great forethought–just that when push came to shove, someone had to come up with a definition and that was it. But if you’re going to advocate for authors, can you not use as a criterion of minimum professionalism something that people believe is killing the publishing industry?