What’s wrong with the SFWA

Above is a “Reblog” (just like a ReTweet) of Amy Raby’s post about ‘What’s wrong with the SFWA’. I once had a goal to join SFWA, but this has provided me the insight I needed to make a more informed decision, and now, having read her post, I can state that I won’t be joining the SFWA until they raise their level of service to that of the RWA.

Amy Raby

Many of you may be aware of the recent kerfuffle in the SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) re: gender issues. If you’re not familiar, here’s an article that will give you the gist:

Old Men Yelling at Clouds: SFWA Sexism

I am an SFWA member, and until this blew up on the internet, I was blissfully unaware of the issue. Why? Because I’ve been tossing my SFWA Bulletins into a pile, unread. The organization simply isn’t very relevant. It’s the most regressive and behind-the-times of all the writing organizations. I am also a member of the RWA, so I’m in a position to compare the two organizations. The RWA is superior in every way. Not just a little bit, but by orders of magnitude.

When I compare what each organization has done for my writing career, here’s what I come up with:

SFWA: Nothing

RWA: I owe…

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Author Spotlight – Sylvia Day

This is a new post that is different from my others, and I hope to do more like this down the road, but this is especially unique since the author I am featuring is a Romance author (and I tend to focus around Fantasy, if anything). Sylvia Day is what I would consider a very successful author and regardless of genre, there is something we could all learn from any author’s success and/or failures. Since my wife is a big fan of Sylvia Day, I have come to learn a lot about this author by proxy and since today (6/4/2013) marks the release of her newest book, Entwined With You, I thought it more than appropriate to speculate on the events that occurred.

Sylvia Day’s marketing plan for her newest book was impressive. This is the 3rd book (out of 5) in her Crossfire series. To develop hype for the release of her new novel, she released a “Snapshot” for each of her chapters once a week on her social networking sites, all the way up to the release date of her novel. The snapshot was simply just a picture that was a clue to give readers what that chapter was about. She received hundreds of comments per post from all the fans guessing at what the picture infers about the story. Leveraging her 63,000 Twitter followers and over 89,000 Facebook likes, this was an extraordinarily simple and successful marketing method.

In addition, my wife has informed me that Sylvia Day can finish writing a novel in just 3 months time. Must be nice to be a full time author, right? Well, let’s look at it from this angle. According to my wife, the two main characters, Eva and Gideon, were completely different in this book from the first two. Is this a side effect of the author spreading herself too thin by having too many projects going on at once? I’ll say this, if you are an author (published or not) it is definitely something to be aware of, as spreading yourself too thin degrades the quality of your work. If you are writing multiple novels at once, you might not be as engrossed in your characters as you would be if you focused on one novel at a time.

Watching the release of Entwined With You today (6/4/2013) confirmed that my wife is not alone in her opinion of the book. As evidenced by the NUMEROUS 1 Star reviews on Amazon, Sylvia’s characters and her story took a turn for the worse. Some say that this is because she turned what was originally designed to be a trilogy into a 5-book series. It’s interesting to see the backlash from readers on this when you consider Christopher Paolini and his Inheritance series. He did the same thing and stretched his story from 3 books into 4, but he did not receive the negative criticism that Sylvia Day received all over her Amazon reviews and her Facebook page. This is why planning and outlining your story is so important, and if you must deviate from your plan, ensure that it is handled with care.

UPDATE (6/7/2013): To be fair, I shouldn’t skew my review of the events that occured as her book reviews were not all negative. However, as an author that is learning from the events that transpired, the community backlash was powerful enough that she thought it needed to be addressed. Here are two posts from Sylvia Day’s Facebook. (By the way, in just 3 days since this original post, she gained 4,000 more Facebook likes, now over 93,000 fans). Let’s look at how she has handled this situation: