I'm shocked and saddened by the recent Romance Writers of America board decisions. The way their new publisher standards are written, it seemed that Ellora's Cave would be viewed as a "subsidy publisher" because the company does not pay authors an advance. EC also sells most of their publications from its own website, although there are also sales through other venues.
Today it seems like they are backpedaling and saying that EC does not fall into the "subsidy publisher" definition. But with something this important, shouldn't this issue have been researched and investigated before the language was written? Whatever the board's intent, the written information certainly seemed like it was lumping EVERY electronic publisher into a "subsidy publisher" status. I have been working as a legal editor for years, interpreting statutes and cases, and I certainly read it that way.
I cannot even imagine how it must have felt to be Raelene yesterday, attending the RWA convention and hearing this.
I think most of us have a perception that electronic publishing "gets no respect" from many in RWA. So I'll just say this. In ten years, we'll all be laughing at that old-fashioned attitude. E-publishing is the wave of the future. It's starting a little more slowly than some of us hoped ( I know that some big authors like Stephen King have tried it and been disappointed). But I truly believe that in ten years, most of us will be using ebook readers for at least half our reading.