SFWA Opening to Small Press and Indie Writers

The vote is in and by a very nice margin — six to one — SFWA members have voted to put in place rules that’ll allow writers who publish through small presses that didn’t make the old “qualifying market” requirement, or who publish indie, to qualify for either Associate or Active membership, based on sales levels (in dollars, not units sold) within one year.

Specific details will be posted at sfwa.org by the first of March, but the basic standards are $3,000 for novel, or a total of 10,000 words of short fiction paid at 6 cents a word for Active membership. A single story of at least 1,000 words paid at 6 cents a word will be required for Associate membership. Affiliate, Estate, and Institutional membership requirements remain unchanged.

That’s great news. It shows that SFWA is recognizing that publishing is changing, and is taking action to catch up with the changes. Props to the members who voted in favor of this reform.

According to SFWA Vice President Cat Rambo, “I’m very excited to see SFWA moving forward and adapting itself to the changing face of modern publishing. SFWA will be much richer for the influx of knowledge and experience that the new members who have focused on independent and small-press publishing will bring with them.”

I’m pretty sure I’ll qualify for active membership this year under the new rules, but I’m considering whether I’ll join. I have people I can ask for contract help (that’s the sort of thing you hire a lawyer for anyway), and I have good medical insurance. It’s also true that an influx of small press, hybrid and indie-pubbing writers will make SFWA a more valuable resource for info and advice, especially for someone like me who has no interest whatsoever in getting a novel contract from a big New York publisher, but I already know a lot of people who can give me all the advice I’m ever likely to need in that area as well. I don’t like some of the things SFWA has said or done in the last few years, but joining to add my voice to the majority of SFWAns who are not racist, sexist, homophobic dipshits ((tm) John Scalzi) could help drown out the loud minority who are.

I have to decide whether that’s worth $90/year. It might be; we’ll see.

Thanks to Passive Guy for the link.