Thursday, April 2, 2009
RWA, MWA, LIM, EPIC, NY - What These Initials Mean To Me
I seriously wrote fiction after a presentation by Chicago-North RWA at our local library in which the members told everyone how they got their start. Listening to them made me realize that authors are real people. If I tried hard enough, maybe I could be like them and get published.
I joined the chapter, made some wonderful friends, and learned a lot about writing from critiques and conversations. I served as secretary, manuscript chairperson, president, then chapter advisor.
Chicago-North RWA is one big reason I finally got my first publishing contract in 2006. So, Romance Writers of America, RWA, does mean a lot to me - yet, again, it's a source of disappointment. Not my local chapter, but the national organization which goes out of its way to protect NY publishers and snubs many small presses who valiantly struggle to make a decent livelihood and support their authors.
MWA - When I first started writing, the first conference I attended was Of Dark and Stormy Night held by MWA, Mystery Writers of America. There I learned that mystery authors were a different breed than romance authors, yet just as viable. Then I went to LIM, Love Is Murder, another great mystery conference, where I met Janice Strand, my Senior Editor at Hard Shell Word Factory. That meeting resulted in a contract for Two Wrongs and later for Girl of My Dreams .
MWMWA, the Midwest Chapter of MWA is very dynamic, with wonderful and sharing members. I'm glad to serve as Library Liaison for them, gathering up photos and info into a bulletin and e-mailing it quarterly to the libraries. Still, I'm disappointed in the national MWA organization, which leans toward elitism instead of accepting all published authors as equal.
EPIC - Electronically Published Internet Connection - I can't say enough good things about this organization which recognizes all authors published electronically. No discrimination there, just acceptance into the fold.
NY - New York - What can I say. On the one hand, I'd love to get a book published with a NY publisher, get a great advance and better distribution. On the other hand, I like being with an independent publisher and getting more say in my finished product.
One thing I've noticed. If you're also an author, you may have noticed this as well. Readers don't ask what publishing house you're with. They just want to know how to get your books. So, make it as easy as possible for them to find out. One way is by including buy links when you mention your books, as I did above.
What other ways do you use to get your books known? What's your take on writing organizations? Please share.