So now it’s the Science Fiction Writers of America that’s trying to decide if they should allow indie/self-published authors who are earning a decent amount with their books into their hallowed club. And they’ve been taking months to decide. Hm? Science Fiction, huh? Big call for those books? Wait. What? No? Really? But they’re very popular as ebooks, many of which are self-published. And if I remember correctly (I am getting old and feeble in the brain), it was the Science Fiction/Fantasy writers who embraced the new electronic technology when it was first used for publishing.
Let me think now. What other genre is popular in self-publishing and eBooks? Oh, yeah, that’s right—romance. Excuse me; that’s Romance—with a capital “R”.
RWA (Romance Writers of America) allows anyone actively pursuing a career in writing romance to be a member. However, there is a special group within RWA for published authors after they’ve reached a certain amount in earnings. Self-published authors may join after they’ve reached a specific amount for a novel or novella. I’m not totally enamored of RWA and how it functions as a writer’s organization (see one of my earlier posts: “USS RWA”). However, it is moving faster than other writers’ groups to recognize the change in publishing. That’s not to say it’s moving fast – just faster than the snails beside it.
It just seems that the “old boys club” (usually old white men with big bucks) is having a very hard time with all these changes. If you look at the authors who write pieces in favor of traditional publishing in the Amazon/Hachette dispute, they’re mostly multi-published millionaire men. We read a lot about publishing (editors, publishing houses, agents) being the gate-keeper of literature. If the Big 5 traditional publishing houses continue to give a platform to people like Snooki, don’t tell me they’re “gate-keeping” and making sure the reader gets the best of publishing. They’re making sure they get sales—not good literature. But I digress.
There may be another gender problem. Let’s look at WHO buys books. Women buy most of the books sold and they read cross-genres and cross genders. Men buy less books and usually only male writers.
These blogs have interesting information about buying habits. The first one is from 2009 and the second website is more recent:
Men don’t read women authors: http://www.xojane.com/issues/on-guys-who-dont-read-books-by-women
It seems that the people (mostly men) who control publishing and some writer organizations want to keep the status quo when the status has been changing at a fast pace and may be wearing a lovely shade of lipstick.