I’ll Be Back To Do A Chapter

How did I become this family’s cover maker?  Between doing covers for two of the guys (I still need to proofread for one of them, but that will happen tonight), trying to write and the high holy holiday, I was beat and only woke up now. So I’m a zombie in search of caffeine and yogurt.

However, I think you need to head over to MGC, before I come back and write a chapter of Rogue Magic:

F%$K me, SFWA, One More Time

Nothing like supporting the pimp and dissing the girls.

What? I give you pleasure, you give me money. What does that make me? 

Only… I don’t have a middleman over my head taking most of my money. I’m a free girl. 

I’ve blogged before at length about the whole Hachette-Amazon thing, here, and here, and here. It’s business, folks, nothing personal. Amazon is in the process of renegotiating, which comes after Hachette settled over a price-fixing dispute. If you’ve been living under a rock, this comes as a surprise to you. Otherwise, it’s everywhere.

And now, SFWA has come out in support of Hachette. “Author Don Sakers has posted an essay to his blog complaining that the SFWA has endorsed Douglas Preston’s letter. Sakers, an independent author who makes most of his sales through Amazon, is annoyed that SFWA’s leadership did not make any attempt to consult or discuss the matter with its members before acting, and points out that this comes only a week after SFWA asked its members to comment on a proposal for allowing self-published authors to join.” Chris Meadows does a good job reporting on industry news over at Teleread, and covers this one.

So here we have an organization that still claims it supports authors and helps them get the best deal, but now they are in bed with one of the biggest publishing businesses. Their cover story is getting thinner than a streetwalker’s top.

The always articulate Cedar Sanderson has had it, and I confess, if I were still in SFWA this would be when I walked out. And kept walking.  A long, long way off.

They might be in a panic, but do they own mirrors?  Or are they like the vampires of time past incapable of seeing their reflections as they betray those who trust them and behave in ever more despicable ways?

Don’t answer that.  Go read Cedar’s post.  And remember, in my circle of friends, Cedar is the NICE one.

Go read.

63 thoughts on “I’ll Be Back To Do A Chapter

  1. SFWA is considering permitting indie authors to join their ranks, and still haven’t answered the one question a lot of us keep asking. “What’s in it for us?”

    Somehow, I suspect an answer of “You’ll get to be in SFWA” will carry a lot of weight.

    1. I have an even bigger problem. They have formed a committee. They have studied. They’ve come to counter those of us who have criticized their lack of recognition for indies by saying they are working on a way to allow them in. NOW they want to know what the membership says? How much longer will that delay matters? They have already dragged their feet on the issue for years.

      1. True. I just don’t expect anything but a glacial pace from any bureaucratic body like that, and they’ve definitely become a bureaucracy. Once they actually do what they’re going to do though, I’ll actually be surprised if there is a flood of indie members.

        They’re not really offering anything for indies except a voice on the Nebulas (which I personally don’t care about) and the status (which, again, I personally don’t care about).

        I’ve been looking at what the other SFWA-like genre writer organizations offer, and SFWA looks more and more like a bad deal. I told Cedar I’d be doing a blog post over at my blog on that when I was finished looking into it and writing everything up. Should be interesting.

    2. An organization providing resources for professional development, contacts and advocacy. An opportunity to find advice from luminaries in the field such as Jerry Pournelle, Neail Gaiman, C.J. Cherryh…

      Oh. Yeah. Not so much.

      Guess I’ll spend my $90 bucks a year on booze, instead. (Not that I currently qualify for membership, so nobody over there is gonna miss me. 😀 )

      1. It’s funny, but many of the organizations offer that as a key feature.

        But SFWA offers you access to a message board. I mean, that’s totally the same thing, right?

        1. Yep, I can message Scalzi and tell him to… ah he’ll just delete it without bothering to reply.

        2. Totally.


          I’ve found a tremendous amount of information in places like this, MGC, The Business Rusch, Writing Excuses, etc. The opportunity exists for a professional organization to collate the good stuff their members are doing and make great things happen.

          Or they could freak out about chain mail.

          1. I’ll share the blog post I’m working on here at on Cedar’s post when I’m finished with it. There’s a LOT SFWA is dropping the ball on.

            Since the subject seems relevant right now, I’m putting it together now and may have it up tonight or tomorrow morning.

                1. Many thanks.

                  I wonder if any of those other organizations have jumped off into any silly social crusades and undermined their credibility?

                  At the moment, regardless of what SFWA offered or what the rules of participation were, I’d probably decline. The vocal portion has colored the organization, and they’ll need to clean the slate a bit before I’d be at all interested.

                  1. So far, I haven’t heard anything. FWIW, I’ve heard NOTHING but good stuff from RWA members, including non-liberal members, so there’s that.

                    No clue about any of the others though.

                    1. They don’t seem to be persisting though. And having belonged to both organizations they are WAY lower drama and at least TRY to confront the big publishers.

                    2. Everyone makes mistakes, and it looks like RWA and MWA made one there. The fact that they’re not trying to double down on it says there’s hope.

                      Good to know about the lower drama thing. That and confronting publishers. That’s kind of what I’d want from a writers organization, you know?

  2. Wait, wait, I thought _I_ was the nice one? *pause* Okay, look, I just wanted to see how it sounded. I know, I know, my odds of getting struck by lightning just increased exponentially…

        1. Although, when she starts turning green, we get to worrying. [Very Big Grin]

            1. This seems an appropriately red, white and blue illustration:

              Or, y’know, just [SEARCHENGINE] John Byrne She-Hulk

      1. Excuse please, only been hanging here for a couple of years now. Was there a time in that period when you weren’t riled up? Guess I must have blinked and missed it.

        1. No. I’ve pretty much been upset since 2001 and VERY upset since 12 and the poll watching fiasco. (I thought I could do it. I didn’t realize the level of fraud.) It’s probably going to shorten my life.

    1. Giggle, giggle. Snicker, snicker, GUFFAW! *gasps for air, wipes eyes* OK, sorry, I just couldn’t keep a straight face anymore.

      On the other paw, I’ve noticed people giving me a wider and wider berth every time we have a thunderstorm.

    2. I’m suspecting Anita is the nicest one of this bunch… Except, I also harbor this well-honed suspicion that you have to watch out for the quiet ones…

      1. TXRed, you’re cheating. You know you’re cheating. Plus you’re looking rather suspicious talking about kettles, Ms. Pot.

        Hmm, I’m going to have to get Anita to get an account so she can comment on here. As to watching out for the quiet ones…let’s just say TXRed bought her a book of poisons for “research” that was very well received.

        I’m having this image of Sarah as She Hulk. Strange, this isn’t taking much imagination. *in Sarah accent* “You will not like me when I’m angry…”

        1. Of Course I’m cheating! How do you expect me to survive as an indie author (and teacher) without cheating, conniving, skulking, sneaking, and lurking in dark corners while taking notes?

          1. How do I expect you to survive? Well…there are several small piloting jobs available in Mexico, so I hear. I’m also certain with a little bit of training you could learn to drive an Mi-35, with job openings created daily in the Ukraine and Greater Mesopotamia. Or there’s a small outfit that just merged with Triple Canopy…wait, wait, put the knife down. 😛

        1. We know you are *pats pohj on the head, soothingly* you’re just not local.

          1. 🙂 But I am a craftperson. That works long distance too.

            Okay, maybe better if somebody gathers something like nail clippings or hair and mails them to me… *frowns in thought*

  3. I don’t know about articulate. I’m working on the nice… this was my rare attempt at ‘snark’ and likely I’ll go back to citing works and being dry as dust with the next one 😉

  4. Let’s insert the word “Jew” in some choice quotes and then ask why a Jew would join a literary arm of the American Nazi Party:

    Hugo and Nebula Award nominee Saladin Ahmed: “The law is made by rich, selfish, shitty people – mostly (Jewish) white, mostly men – with cockroaches for hearts. Fuck their ‘rule of law.'”

    SFF author and president of the SFWA Steven Gould: “Hard as it to believe, somewhere right now, a (Jew) white, straight male is explaining to a woman or POC what they =really= meant.”

    WisCon organizer K. Tempest Bradford talking about a WisCon segregated event: “I do remember the No (Jews) White People hour, hehe”

    SFF blogger and reviewer Natalie Luhrs: “I fucking hate those DirectTV ads with women and children on wires looking for reassurance from (Jews) white men.”

    SFF editor and Publisher’s Weekly review editor Rose Fox: “I’d say most (Jews) white men should come with TWs (trigger warnings) for unthinking privileged arrogance, but that’s like saying books need TWs for ‘contains words’.”

    Nebula and Hugo nominated author Aliette de Bodard: “SFF is, alas, dominated by (Jews) white westerners,”

    Hugo-winning and Nebula-nominated SFF author Mary Robinette Kowal: “At @SFWA’s #NebulaAwards, only one award went to a (Jew) white male and that wasn’t one of the ones voted on by the membership. #diversityinSFF”

    SFWA member and Nebula nominee Kate Elliott: “Same is true of books. I’m increasingly less likely to pick up a book if it is another (Jew) straight white dude story.”

    Consulting editor Teresa Nielsen Hayden at Tor Books, the largest publisher of SFF in English: “Didn’t need the user icon to know you’re (a Jew) white and male.”

    1. Problem is, a lot of those folks are antisemitic already, over on the prog side, because reasons. And dhimmitude. And the one percent. And good old self-hatred.

  5. I would say “Curse your sudden, yet inevitable betrayal, SFWA” but it’s not really a betrayal when you can see it coming a mile off. But doing this in the midst of debating letting indie authors into the group is pretty amazing, even by SFWA’s recent standards. The just told us all where they stand on the issue.

    1. Well Mr. Chupik You seem to have one definite point. SFWA does seem to be a dinosaur :-). Independent writers of SF aren’t writers? I beg to differ. I suspect Hugh Howey’s Wool has sold more books and is better known than the last 5 years of Nebula winners combined. Heck I’ve seen paper copies of Wool on the MBTA commuter trains to and from work every day. And the number of iPads, Kindle’s and Nooks is astounding (30%+ are reading from one of a phone, a kindle, a nook or an ipad. So looks like SFWA is just another outmoded ineffectual union waiting for a meteor or comet to come along and finish them off. I suspect electronic publishing is that catyclysm.

    2. I don’t know. I think it is betrayal, even if you can see it from a mile off. “Sudden” is off the table, but it still scans if you just say “Curse your inevitable betrayal.”

  6. Wait, now that the indies might be making a move where they’re taking to the field in larger and larger numbers, SFWA is concerned. Bugger em. I want the money, not the damn Hugo that means squat these days.

    1. SFWA does the Nebulas, which mean squat squared. You can still get on the Hugo ballot without them – if you’re like Larry Correia, and don’t mind the 130-decibel screeches of manufactured outrage from the progs.

      1. “Larry Correia … don’t mind the 130-decibel screeches of manufactured outrage from the progs”?

        I believe that is music to his ears.

        1. Or, as John Ringo once put it: “To drive sales before me, capture the market and hear the lamentations of the critics.” Should be the official motto of Baen.

    2. And they want $90/year for the privilege of an ‘Active’ membership.

      Yeah. ‘Bugger em’ is about the right sentiment, I think.

      1. Dang right — hold out for $150 a year, settle for $120. If they aren’t willing to pay you $10 a month they don’t really want your membership.

        1. er RES, I believe that rule doesn’t mean what you think it means.
          As in: wait, you want to abuse, demean, and revile me and then make me pay you money for the privilege? That business model only works in the sex trade.
          But then again, I guess they are proposing to take your money in exchange for screwing you, so maybe it is a fair comparison after all.

  7. You got to be the family cover maker by making one very basic error. You demonstrated an ability to do a very competent job. I have looked at most of your recent covers and IMNSHO you do an extremely nice job, attractive artwork, and text that draws one in rather than putting the viewer off.
    As the saying goes: what is the reward for doing good work? More work!

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