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The Writers’ Union of Canada Votes to Admit Self-Published Authors | The Writers’ Union of Canada

See on Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

Robert Chazz Chute‘s insight:

I doubted this would move forward (and it still has to pass by a two-thirds  majority of the membership.) However, things are looking up for recognition of self-published work and indie authors. Their caveats seem reasonable to me.

This is particularly important since I was just listening to the Book Fight podcast (BookFightPod.com) in which one host revealed that universities are very much behind the times. He was told that publication online (where many more people might actually discover and read his work) would count for little or nothing to his credit. It’s still publish or perish, but they would prefer you hide your light under that cliched bushel of paper, thanks very much.

Largely, it seems academia still prefers publication in prestigious literary journals. To put that in perspective, a middling blog has a much larger subscriber base and readership than most any literary journal you could name. Chasing journals kind of sounds ridiculous. You could be using that time and energy building a readership, a mailing list and relevance.

As technology and reality drag neo-Luddites into the 21st century, it’s exciting to see TWUC leading the way and acknowledging that the publishing industry, and the profession of writer, has changed drastically.  (Not will change or is changing. Has changed.) By admitting indies, they expand their revenue, their power in numbers and maintain their relevance.

Good luck, TWUC! I’ll definitely consider joining.

See the press release for details at the link below.

See on www.writersunion.ca

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses

  1. It’s about time!

  2. […] The Writers’ Union of Canada Votes to Admit Self-Published Authors | The Writers’ Union … (chazzwrites.com) […]

  3. Jb says:

    I’m wondering, how do you feel about copyright issues, such as fair dealing in education? Do you have opinions about Access Copyright? As a future potential member of TWUC, you’ll be among colleagues who care deeply about these issues. Wondering where you, and potentially other indie and self published writers, are likely to stand on this issue, as an example. Thanks.

  4. Chazz says:

    Thanks for the question, JB. I would not presume to speak for other authors but I’ll answer for myself.

    You’re right that those concerns are very much on the minds of TWUC members, or at least these issues were much discussed at the TWUC conference I last attended.

    For the markets I’ve written for in the US, “fair use” rather than “fair dealing” (which specifies categories of use) was the editorial guideline we employed. I favor fair use for ease of common understanding and utility. It will come as a surprise to some writers that there’s a difference in law across borders. I’m especially glad parody and satire were added to Bill C-11. My understanding is the interpretation of the latest amendments has yet to be solidified by the test of case law.

    Access Copyright is a great organization. However, their policies do not apply to digital and online materials and so it doesn’t interest me personally. I have no designs on bookstores at the moment. My print copies are mostly for promotional purposes or for direct sale so I’m largely excluded under the current model.

    Some authors I spoke to at TWUC were very high on Digital Rights Management (though I don’t know TWUC’s current official stance on DRM and my interaction with TWUC took place a couple of years ago.) I am not for DRM because I think it punishes customers and experience shows that does not work. Lack of DRM can help authors (e.g. the famous case of Neil Gaiman’s increased success in Russia post-piracy) and DRM use can annoy customers and hurt sales.

    It’s been a long time since I looked at the stuff of your questions, so if I’m wrong, I expect the Union’s culture would educate me, sway me or vote me down.

    Once again, I must emphasize that I don’t know much about what’s going on at TWUC currently or if Indie authors’ concerns are congruent with members. Did TWUC take a poll to discover the level of interest coming from indie authors? I think TWUC is a good organization with noble goals. I met great people there and I mean no insult. However, are indie authors knocking on the door to be let in? Perhaps it’s too early to say. The temperature I took at the conference I attended in Toronto was unfriendly to the digital market and e-authors at that time. There’s also a subtext in the culture among the self-published that may preclude a massive influx of applications to join TWUC. It will be interesting to see how that process unfolds.

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