Put down yer flame throwers, troops. This is not the (Harvard PhD Sociologist and Queen’s College-CUNY Professor of Sociology) droid you’re looking for.
To further clarify my point from RWA Takes My Money
Then Asks If I Deserve To Exist, my beef is with RWA’s 2014 workshop schedule, which I feel has an ugly bias against traditional publishing. With only two workshops specifically targeted to trad pub topics (I don’t count the publisher spotlights) let’s review the titles of those workshops:
“What good is an agent?” (Holy creepers, Batman, that’s rude.)
And: “Can a case still still be made for traditional publishers and agents?” (Geez, Batman, now publishers are cast in a negative light, and agents get dissed a second time.)
I took exception to the negative titles, and to the fact that the publisher topic will feature sociologist Dr. Dana Beth Weinberg.
I think it’s inappropriate for a non-industry voice to be the only speaker on a topic that has only one narrow window of coverage at a conference where all the major sponsors are publishers and where a substantial number of the published attendees write for traditional publishers.
But let me be clear: this is not a personal slap at Dr. Weinberg or her presentation, about which I do know quite a bit, actually.
Earlier this year Dr. Weinberg took on the daunting task of vetting indie author Hugh Howey’s popular statistics on self-publishing. Her conclusions were not overwhelmingly supportive of Howey’s conclusions, a fact that earned her a whole bunch of flaming spitballs from his followers.
I expect she’ll present the core of that same report at RWA, and it will be fair to publishers as well as to agents. I also suspect that she’ll get grilled by self-published authors in the room. In my experience, that won’t be pretty.
I don’t want anyone in the trad pub posse going in there with crazy flaming spitballs ready to heave at her. She’ll have enough trouble, as it is.
So once again, let me be perfectly, Nixonianly clear:
RWA needs to get its act together.
But Dr. Weinberg is not the scapegoat for RWA’s poor judgment.