Yesterday I resigned from the local chapter of a national organization for mystery writers and fans. I blogged about it yesterday, but I'm still steamed. I'm not mentioning any organizations or names, but since there are only two such major organizations that I'm aware of, it's kind of a no-brainer.

This organization is dominated by alleged "fans," but they rarely buy our books. They seem to think authors are selfish and venal for being interested in sales, and that we ought to do everything for free, out of the goodness of our hearts, for the sake of the organization. I'd go on ranting, but far from providing relief, it only serves to rachet up my blood pressure even more. If you want to learn more, please visit my blog at the link below - and by all means leave comments!

I've really burned my bridges - at a luncheon meeting at an Albany pub, I demanded that the treasurer give back the check I'd just written for next year's dues, dramatically tore it up, flung down $10 for my lunch, then stormed out of the room and slammed the door.

Normally I don't post negative comments about groups or individuals on my blog or elsewhere, but I feel OK about doing so now - most of these folks hate the Internet, so it's unlikely they'll be reading anything I write online.

My topic for tomorrow's blog: What do mystery fans really want? Right now I view them as vampires, but without the glamour.

Julie Lomoe's Musings Mysterioso

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I'm having a hard time following all the wrinkles here, but it certainly sounds like they pissed you off. When that happens it's always fun to storm out, leaving a little cloud of "what the fuck was that?" in your wake.
Well, good for you! Sometimes one just has to stand up for oneself. I've had a rather stormy relationship with MWA (don't mind using names) myself and quit them twice. I'm not a member now and have no plans to rejoin.
Hi Ingrid. The cat is out of the bag - this is the Upstate NY chapter of Sisters in Crime. A writer friend in the group outed me in a comment on my blog, and sent the links to some others, so it's no longer exactly a secret. Not with over 200 visitors per day to my blog!

I still belong to both MWA and SinC but I'm not sure they do me any good. Major problem is that they discriminate against self-published writers and those whose publishers don't make their "approved" lists. However, the NYC chapter of MWA throws a great holiday party, and I'm planning to go on December 2nd. Anyone else here planning to go?

Julie Lomoe's Musings Mysterioso
I dont see the rules regarding "self-printing" and "vanity presses" as a problem, major or minor.
MWA is for professional Mystery Writers, and what makes you a professional is that you are paid and published by a publisher who makes money selling books to readers, not by charging authors.
Well, in most professions, making money is what defines you as a professional, not who pays you. As for "charging authors", a truly self published book using say CreateSpace or LSI only involves only nominal up front costs (with CreateSpace it's the cost of printing and shipping one proof to you). self-publishing is probably a cheaper business to start than at least 95% of the businesses out there.

Now, that said, I do understand why organizations like MWA and others have some restrictions. I tend to think they are clinging to the past, though. As time goes by, the traditional pieces of the publishing model will continue to be very important and relevant, but they will no longer be the only game in town.
I couldn't have said it better myself, Edward. And I think the "new games in town" will be a lot more fun than the ones traditional publishers cling to.
My publisher makes money selling my books. It's true I paid some upfront costs, but these were extremely modest - I couldn't have done it that cheaply myself.

Re: MWA, you're wrong - they have different categories of members. "Active" members are those published by companies on their approved list, but they accept others as members as well.
I'm always wary of joining groups like these -- too often they give little back for the time investment. Look at it this way: now you have more time to write.
There's always the fun of writing a who-dun-it where the mystery fans are all killed off, one by one... ;)
This thought has occurred to me. Fans and readers are peculiar. Today I talked to a woman at my church who said she'd finally gotten around to reading my first mystery, MOOD SWING: THE BIPOLAR MURDERS. She said if she'd realized it was so good, she would have read it sooner. The following dialogue ensued:
Julie: Now you can read ELDERCIDE, my second one.
Jan: Oh, I plan to. I'm going to borrow it from someone soon.
Julie: You could also buy it.
Jan: Oh, no, I haven't bought a book in years (said with a tone of pride and self-satisfaction - and this from a woman who can easily afford it.)
LOL. Yes, indeed. And then one simmers with resentment for a while. You're not alone. I have best friends who get my books from the library and a daughter who hasn't read them.
I've got children as well who haven't read a thing I'v published. It must be a curse.


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