Monday morning and I can’t think of a damn thing to say. Actually I’m pretty buried, and need one of those Unplugged graphics Alison has.
But absolutely go check out what Angie has to say today. Excellent post with somewhat frightening ramifications.
I’ve also been following an interesting conversation on one of the RWA loops about one more way some EC books are being excluded from some RWA benefits. (Not really in a big conspiracy theory way, but in a “we haven’t figured out how to handle this” way.)
EC book are released electronically, and then—assuming the word count is high enough—they go to print about 6 months later. Well, you have to send a print book to be eligible for the RITA contest. So if your book is e-released in August, that book can’t be entered because you won’t have a print copy until at least the next February. And they won’t accept a professionally bound and printed copy. It has to be the actual print release. I really think they should find a way to fix that. (And no, I don’t believe the proper way to fix it is to have a Best E-book category.)
Other than that I just have a lot of stuff to catch up on, and I’ll be running myself ragged today. I even tried giving the items on my to-do list priority numbers—a trick I read somewhere at some point—but all but 2 or 3 are Priority 1. Code red! Code red!
Thanks for the link to Angie’s article. Scary stuff happening with censorship these days. And all of it seems to shake the wrong end of the dog, IMO. Psst. Can we say, Parental Supervision?
And just so I’m not a total kiss up. Being unsure of the actual wording of the RITA eligibility requirements, but supposing that it actually states only printed books are eligible. Why does the contest need to be fixed? Why can’t the books be entered for the following year?
This may all be moot in a few years anyway. If the market continues to alter (as I believe it will), more and more publishers will turn to e-publishing for the majority of their pulp fiction. (and just wait until the environmental movement jumps off their puppy humping kick and back onto their ‘save the trees’ bandwagon. That will really raise awareness.)
I think these 3 rules from the listing at rwanational.org help explain the problem. (And I’m not trying to say these rules are “wrong” or deliberately exclusionary, just that there’s an issue here.)
—Be a work of original fictional narrative prose that is offered for sale to the general public through print media, audio, or electronic means. The author must not participate financially in the production or distribution of the work.
Okay. That’s pretty broad and works for everybody.
—Have an original copyright date (printed on the copyright page) in the year prior to the current contest year.
Okay. So the 2005 RITA books have 2004 copyrights. Check.
—Electronic and audio books may be entered in the RITA contest. Such books must be presented in English, in print book format produced by the publisher, complete with copyright page, in perfect or case binding, and printed on both sides of the page.
Ruh-ro. If your e-book is released from EC at the end of 2004, you won’t have a print book format produced by the publisher until 2005. You won’t be able to meet the deadline. (November, 2004, maybe?) So you get your print copy in say…February of 2005. You can’t enter it in the 2006 RITA contest because it has a 2004 copyright.
If they would accept a professional, bound, printed from PDF copy, all would be well. But I gather there’s some fear that the author will revise the copy (perhaps based on reviews, etc?) before submitting it. They want to make sure the copy judged is the copy published.
Tis a puzzle, no?