Happy Weekend, WG2E-Land!
RWA: To Join and/or Renew Your Membership…Or Not?
‘Tis the question I’ve sooo been hung-up on for a couple months now.
First, the background of why I’ve had to make this decision…
I’ve been a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America) for I believe 7 years now.
RWA has – without a doubt – been instrumental in my writing-for-publication career in the writing craft part of my journey. I’ve met terrific writers and learned tons from them about the writing process itself, many of whom I still communicate with every day about all-things writing-for-publication.
But…and here’s the big ‘ole but for me…
RWA is sooo not on their game where it comes to the business side of publishing.
In fact, they’re playing yesterday’s publishing game and refusing to even be in the same arena as the current publishing journey – The Indie Epub Route -hits the field Super Bowl-style.
So…back to decisions-decisions…
The first thing I had to ask myself was…:
What is it that I’m after right now in my writing-for-publication career? What is my primary goal?
The answer, unequivocally, is this:
Build my reader and fan base by getting my books out there in front of readers and treating ‘em to great books for great prices
In other words:
I believe readers and fans “vet” my books, not the traditional publishing industry old guard (agents and editors).
Why do I believe this?
Because I spent 10 years being treated, for the most part, horrible, by this same RWA-Approved Old Guard. (I share countless anecdotes of my own as well as many from NYT’s Bestselling Authors in my Amazon Bestselling, On-Writing book MUSE THERAPY.)
Ten years, being told by this same Old Guard, that my voice was wonderfully strong and my books very funny, but they simply wouldn’t sell because that kind of story and voice were “dead”.
Ten years, and damn near 5000 sales later (sales accumulated in less than a year) of those same books that supposedly there were no readers to be had.
Now then…there’s a bit of the background I had to first acknowledge before beginning my RWA: To Renew or Not Decision for 2012.
Next, I looked at the Dollars and Cents of this decision.
If my goal is to find and build my reader and fan base…is RWA helping me do that based on what I’m spending with them?
***Note: If my goal had been to continue improving my writing craft and hangin’ with superfab writers and authors, I may have renewed by RWA Membership. But I can do all that every day online…for free…or the cost of a writing craft online class or on-writing book for my Kindle.***
So…back to the decision’s dollars and cents…here’s what I spend per year on RWA (national dues plus state, local and special interests chapter dues and event fees):
RWA Annual National Dues = $85.00
Indiana RWA Annual Dues = $24.00
Kiss of Death Annual Dues = $35.00
Chick Lit Chapter Annual Dues = $25.00
ESPAN Annual Dues = $20.00
ScriptScene Chapter Annual Dues = $15.00
RWR Ads (two in 2010) = $300
RWR National and Local Conferences (average per year) = $3000 – $7000
***See WG2E Post I did on this outlining all the costs: http://thewritersguidetoepublishing.com/wg2es-real-numbers-conferences-vs-social-networking-bang-for-the-buck
RWA CD-Roms for National Conferences I Don’t Attend (these are CD’s of the Workshops so I can at least listen to the classes) = $100 per year
This means, I’m spending between $3600 – $7600 per year on an organization that doesn’t even recognize I’m published, plus doesn’t allow me to do signings at events where they welcome readers (and those events on their own are few and far between)!!!
That said, I can spend those same dollars for sponsorships on all the superfab Ereader-Centric Blogs we’ve talked about here on The WG2E and/or submit to be on these blogs for free and reach thousands of readers around the world every time and forever (because your scoop is on those blogs forever, not just on your “push” day).
I can also spend every day, like I do, getting to know my readers and fans and potential readers and fans on Facebook, Twitter, my website, WG2E, The Naked Hero, countless other industry and author blogs and grogs, Goodreads, G+, The Kindle Boards, The Nook Boards, etc….FOR FREE!!!
So it came down to this for me…
RWA Membership for 2012 = $3600 – $7600
…for no recognition as a published author thus no access to readers…other than other writers who are NOT your primary reading audience (more on that in another post)
No RWA Membership = No Money, No Time and No Frustration at Not Being Accepted
Frees up tons of Money and Time and Joy to Spend Hangin’ in places where my readers and fans hang – like RT (which I’ll also be posting tons more about in the near future)!!!
It’s Your Turn, WG2E-Land: Do your own analysis for your writing-for-publication journey based on your own goals and current place on your career ladder. Is RWA (and/or other writing organizations – like Mystery Writers of America (MWA) - who also tend to exclude Indie Epub Authors) a tool you can use for your journey? Let us know what you’re thinkin’ and the elements you’re using to make your decisions…
The Best of The WG2E Wishes — D. D. Scott