HWA Possibility

Two years later, Tom Kratman is still the most popular person on my website. Damn you, Colonel.

I had no small amount of glee after watching Kentucky lose to Robert Morris in the opening round of the NIT. Last year Kentucky fans were insufferable after rolling through the NCAA tournament. I guess this year was karma and all that, because I see a lot of people moping around and being miserable and insufferable… huh. Maybe it’s just Kentucky?

Yes, Ball State did not go to the NCAA tournament this year. Big shock, right? Somehow we went from being a basketball school to a football school. Not sure how/when/why that happened. I mean, it’s located in the heart of Indiana, where basketball reigns supreme. Ah well.

Heh… sorry. I just read that sentence again. Kentucky loses to Robert Morris.

Whoever Robert Morris was, I bet his ghost is very happy.

Okay, sorry.

Still haven’t heard anything back about The Tree of Death and Life yet. Haven’t really written anything this week. My joints have been killing me and I don’t have the energy to fight through that much pain. I don’t have plans this weekend, so I may get some actual stuff done then.

It’s weird: about two months after I wrote something about the website of the Horror Writers Association, I received an email last night about joining the HWA. Now, I have some sales in horror (four as of now, though calling The Nightwalker horror is a bit of a stretch. Wake and The Cold were definitely horror, and Crouching Seal, Sleeping Dragon does (sort of) qualify), but their requirements actually exclude me, because only one of these sales paid professional rates. They have varying levels of membership, though, and I’m a little interested.


Last year, when the whole Amazon kerfuffle started, the Science Fiction Writers Association yanked all of their members titles from Amazon. It was brief, to be sure, but they refused to allow Amazon to sell their members titles. Now, an organization that has the power to prevent me from making money scares me. While the HWA and SFWA are designed to protect the writer from being exploited by publishing houses (and shady agents), Amazon is primarily a distributor. This move by the SFWA hurt a lot of my friends, some of whom have yet top recover fully.

One of the reasons I’m not a huge fan of unions is because of the loss of power one must give up to join an organization. You are no longer in control of the decision-making process. Oh sure, you can “vote” on things, but all it takes (as proven by the current and previous congresses) is one bloc of voters determined to get their way to throw everything for a loop. And if I’m not in control of the stories I write and the books I’ve had published, and an organization has the power to pull my books and prevent me from making any money, then who am I being protected from?

Look, being a writer is a tough job. There’s not a lot of money to be had in it initially. You need to have a lot of fans, work your butt off promoting yourself, and have some books out there. The best way to ensure this happens is to constantly have books for sale. Now, if people can’t buy your books, then you don’t make any money. It’s pretty damned simple, really.

And as a reader, I like to be able to buy my favorite author’s books, whenever I want. As a writer, I really don’t like hearing about how someone went to buy my book but were unable to.

That means I lost money. And that annoys me.

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