Shannon Stacey

I'll take RWA for a buck-fifty, Alex

I’m not even going to dive into Roadtrip being banned from the RITAs forever because it was an October e-release, or even that practically every EC book e-released after July is ineligible because they recognize an e-publisher but don’t accept e-books in the contest.

That’s pretty small potatoes in the WTF department today.

Apparently, Triskelion Publishing applied for RWA recognition. And they were…

wait for it


Shocking, isn’t it? Ellen has two good posts about it on her blog:

We will not give up

More on Triskelion

So the RWA decided against it because they didn’t feel the book in question was a romance, despite being authored by romance writers. Yes, well neither are the chick lit and women’s fiction novels they’re passing out RITAs for.

Then comes the single most brilliant bit of reasoning I’ve seen since the short kid argued he should be able to pee outside on a tree to save the environment from the toilet flushing. Let’s deny them because the royalties from the book were donated to charity.

Oh, the horror.

If I choose to send my forthcoming EC royalties to the Bald & Mutilated Cabbage Patch Doll Rescue League, that’s not the RWA’s business. If I tell EC to just make my checks out to the B&MCPDRL, that doesn’t change the fundamental fact that they paid a royalty on that book. Triskelion is a royalty-paying publisher, as required. Period.

I know very little about Triskelion. EC and Samhain will be keeping me very busy, along with knocking on NY’s door. But if they met the standards, they met the standards.

So, once again, this :wtf: moment is brought to you by the letters R, W and A.

10 comments to “I'll take RWA for a buck-fifty, Alex”

  1. Ellen Fisher
      · December 7th, 2005 at 7:32 pm · Link

    Well, check my third post (I’ve been a busy girl). Based on the more concrete info I got today, it appears RWA rejected them less because it was or wasn’t a romance and more because of the format (short story anthology, although Triskelion seems to feel it was more along the lines of a novel). But there is still that royalty issue as well. Honestly, I’m trying to keep my opinions out of it and report the facts, but I’m not sure I’m doing that so well. I think I’ll go back to posting about my baby eating dirt off the floor.:hide:

  2. Karen Steele
      · December 7th, 2005 at 7:59 pm · Link

    I’ve not joined RWA yet. At this point, the only reason I want to is to join Passionate Ink. But the more of this sort of thing that happens, the less intrest I have in joining the organization at all.
    The debacle over the awards ceremony in Rita left me with a real sour taste. This is the bitter wine that chases it.
    Thanks for the heads up!

  3. Shannon
      · December 7th, 2005 at 11:20 pm · Link

    A RITA-eligible publisher is defined as a royalty-paying publishing house that (1) is not a subsidy or vanity publisher (2) has been releasing books via national distribution for a minimum of one year, and (3) has sold a minimum of 1,500 hardcover or trade paperback copies or 5,000 copies in any other format, including print on demand, of a single romance novel or novella or collection of novellas in book form, in bona fide arms-length transactions, and continues to sell a minimum of 1,500 hardcover or trade paperback copies or 5,000 copies in any other format of a subsequent romance novel each year.

    Hmmm…the RITA rules actually spell out the length of a “novella” has 20,000-40,000, so that might be hard to fight. It sure does seem like they bend over backwards to keep us e-people out, though. :eyebrow:

  4. Shannon
      · December 7th, 2005 at 11:24 pm · Link

    I think Passionate Ink’s worth it, personally. Instead of paying $75 to RWA and $25 to Passionate Ink annually, I’m just going to pretend I pay $100 to PI per year. :thumb:

    (I think that’s how much they are, anyway. I’m bad with numbers. :doh: )

  5. nataliedamschroder
      · December 8th, 2005 at 11:47 am · Link

    Yes, well neither are the chick lit and women’s fiction novels they’re passing out RITAs for.

    That’s comparing apples and oranges. Once a publisher is recognized for achieving certain things (being in business for a year, for example, and the minimum sales), ALL authors and ALL books are recognized. You don’t have to be published in romance to join PAN, if your publisher publishes romance.

    As for the royalty thing, I’m always suspicious of third- and fourth-hand information. I read that book, and as enjoyable as it was, it was not a romance (core love story and satisfying ending). If they try to present the product as a whole instead of as an anthology, the argument breaks down even more.

    Without being part of the conversation (which we haven’t been) we’ll never know exactly what was said. But it seems quite possible that RWA said, “Your authors are not paid royalties for this book” and it got extrapolated in the retelling to “they won’t recognize it because the money is donated to charity.”

    Are the authors getting royalty statements and documentation that they are being donated to charity so they can declare them on their taxes (none of my business–rhetorical question). If not, it’s really Triskelion doing the donating.

    Also, e-books can be entered in the Rita. The rules say “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. ” As a judge, I appreciate that. I don’t want to have to haul around 400 pages of loose paper or even spiral-bound loose-leaf. And I understand that they want to avoid fraudulent entries. But it IS onerous to the author if the publisher refuses to provide copies, and that’s not fair.

  6. Shannon
      · December 8th, 2005 at 12:01 pm · Link

    Are the authors getting royalty statements and documentation that they are being donated to charity so they can declare them on their taxes (none of my business–rhetorical question). If not, it’s really Triskelion doing the donating.

    Very true. And since this came out I’ve heard a few things privately. I’m going to shut my mouth now and watch how this comes out.

    What’s unfortunate about the e-books in the RITA is that arcs have to come from the publisher themselves. Even if they had the equipment to do that, the cost and labor required considering how many authors/books we’re talking about, make that impossible. I’d have paid to have it bound myself in order to enter, but that’s not allowed. :oops:

    And when it comes out in print in March, it will bear the original copyright date, so that’s out, too. :shrug:

    I do realize that the RWA has some legitimate fears about altering the original book. Who wouldn’t want to go back and tinker after getting reviews and comments? And I understand that EC can’t do ARCs for the contest.

    It still pisses me off, though. :rofl:

  7. Cece
      · December 8th, 2005 at 8:20 pm · Link

    Shan totally off topic but there are contests out there that do take epublished books–like the Holt Medallion.

  8. Shannon
      · December 8th, 2005 at 9:23 pm · Link

    I’ll have to check that one out. I’m thinking of doing the…oh crap, what is it? The Desert Rose chapter’s? :doh:

    I’m an idiot. But anyway, they do bound galleys for ebooks, and I can do them myself. If I get off my procrastinating ass, of course.

  9. Renee
      · December 9th, 2005 at 2:01 pm · Link

    Just wanted to point out that RWA had their Rita standards long, long before epubbing became big. It’s a little unfair to point fingers about them trying to keep epubs down when accepting the time line facts.

    Also, one short story anthology isn’t a novel, setting aside the romance/non romance issue. If the publisher in question is derserving of status, shouldn’t they be able to say, “oh, this book isn’t accceptable proof,? Well, then, we have others…”

    But from what I gather, they can’t produce others. They had NY Bestsellers on a charity project, and no are using it to try to get a head. Thank you RWA for standards.

    Shannon, I am really sorry though, about the Rita thing. It seems totally unfair about the copyright of released ebooks then being the same when they come out in print, often leaving wonderfully talented authors out of the contest. That’s BS.

  10. Shannon
      · December 10th, 2005 at 12:16 am · Link

    I have no problem accepting the timeline facts. And, while I certainly don’t feel the RWA would shed any tears were the epubs to take a hike, I don’t believe there’s ill will with regard to the RITA. It upsets me that MY book is ineligible even though, as a I believe I said, I understand where both the RWA and EC is coming from.

    And that whole Triskelion thing just gets more interesting by the day. Unfortunately, what I’m hearing is neither able to be quoted nor verified, so I’m still mum. For now. :eyebrow:

    And it is a total bummer about the RITA. And there doesn’t seem to be a way to fix it. Each time I think Well, why don’t they…I end up thinking Yeah, but then…


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