Thursday, June 2, 2011

MWA to recognize/accept Ebook authors/publishers

Hey all -

Today the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) announced that they have established critera to make ebook and print on demand authors eligible for membership.  It appears they have stopped short of announcing that ebooks are eligible for the Edgar Awards, but I assume that will be just around the corner.  The critera, after a quick scan, pretty much looks like the same they have for printed books.

The publishing business is experiencing massive changes and if MWA is to remain relevant, we have to change, too.  That’s why we’ve revised our Approved Publisher criteria to make books published solely in e-book format or using print-on-demand eligible under certain conditions for MWA membership (and, perhaps later, for Edgar eligibility as well).  Self-published books, whether they are published in print or as e-books, still do not qualify for MWA active membership.

In crafting the criteria below, we had to strike a balance between including books published using those new technologies while also  maintaining our high professional standards and our commitment to protecting our members (and writers in general) from the less-than-reputable publishers who seek to take advantage of them.
Some folks may not agree with MWA's policies.  Self-published books don't qualify.  That may change in the future.  Who knows.  I think what is admirable here are two things - first, MWA wants to protect the integrity of their organization and their awards.  They are keeping shady publishers out of the mix.  Second, they are adapting to the times.  I think in the book world, we are occasionally slow to adopt new technologies... *big grin*  But here is MWA - I know they considered the subject carefully and thoroughly - and did the right thing.  I truly hope that eligiblity for the Edgar Award is announced in the very near future.

I believe Malice Domestic already considers ebooks for the Agatha Award.  Do you all know if the other mystery awards are accepting ebooks now?

1 comment:

Beth Groundwater said...

It's important to separate the issue of predatory publishers taking money from naive, new writers from that of format (ebook, paperback, audio, etc.). In their role of advocating for writers, MWA is taking a step in the right direction here.