The Quill & Quire reports (at the link) that TWUC will vote in June whether they should allow self-published authors into the treehouse. I’ve attended one of these meetings and, based on what I saw, I doubt the old guard will go for it. Many traditionally published authors take great pride in being plucked from the slush pile or being among the chosen. Getting picked is an accomplishment and a testament to their patience. (I won’t say hard work because every self-published author I know works just as hard or harder. We’re all working hard and wearing all the hats is an accomplishment, too, so no whining.)
In the meeting I attended a few years ago, there was great resistance to…how shall I put this nicely? The future. (Arguments that an ebook isn’t a "real" book make me sleepy.) However, that was a few years ago and more traditionally published authors are going hybrid or opting for self-publishing exclusively. Maybe the membership of The Writers’ Union of Canada will vote to include the self-published. It would be in their interest to do so.
One thing the leadership recognized when I spoke to a leader or two was this: Some may not want to bend to history’s turns, but it’s math that makes the better choice. Accept self-published authors into your union and you have a much bigger union with more money and therefore more clout, more services and worth.
If hubris and appeals to emotion and tradition carry the day, self-published authors won’t be welcomed into the union in June. If it’s a smart business decision, we’ll be welcomed in the club and TWUC will be more relevant to what’s happening in the industry. (Hint: But that’s not the way to bet.)
If TWUC doesn’t let self-published authors in, one of these days some firebrand will get the notion into his or her head that they could organize a union of writers who only accept the self-published. That would be a much bigger and more powerful union that could offer some peachy benefits (e.g. insurance breaks, perks, discounts and exposure and making TWUC irrelevant.) Hm. That’s a whole quesadilla of thought to chew on, isn’t it?
(Thanks to my friend Kim for the tip! Next time you’re here, the first round is on me. Bring the family for trampolining and barbeque.~ Chazz)
See on www.quillandquire.com