Posts Tagged ‘RITAs’

RITA eligibility, part II

Monday, January 26th, 2009

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.

And one of the major issues–one that I have seen listed far and wide from industry professionals on nearly every side of the fence–is the somewhat byzantine system of returns.

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?

Courtney Milan writes historical romance novels like the ones you see to the right. She still remembers bits and pieces from her old lives, where she was (variously) a scientist and a lawyer.

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