Authors, Ramblings

In Which I’m About To Piss Some People Off…

Yes, here it comes, more crap, but I’m not an author, I’m a reader, dammit, and I think if anyone has the right to weigh in on this one, it’s those of us who support this genre with not only our love and commitment but our hard earned dollars as well, so here I go…

I woke up this morning to the one thing I’ve been waiting for since I came home from Albuquerque in October: news about the upcoming registration for GayRomLit 2013 in Atlanta. This is the one and only author/fan event I’ve ever attended, ever, as in, in all the history of my reading. I mean it literally; I’ve never even been to a book signing… Okay, you get it. And while I’d love to be able to paint the picture that I scrimp and save my spare change for it all year long to up the “poor pitiful me” quotient, it’d be a lie, so I won’t go there. Where I will go, however, is here:

We’ve also taken the list of must-have authors (bolding mine) that you the readers have given us and are doing our best to pre-register them before the general author registration begins.

Now, I missed a memorandum here, folks, because I don’t remember participating in a poll in which I was able to weigh in on my “must-haves”. And I’m going to be perfectly honest, some of my “must-have” authors have never even attended a GRL event, so to say that these elite few writers have been selected for me from a random sampling of readers pretty much pisses me off in ways I can’t even begin to describe, and quite frankly, it smacks of the same cliquish attitudes that kept people like me from sitting at the cool kids’ table in high school. What this seems to boil down to, from where I’m sitting, is a popularity contest, and a questionable one at that, in which some pretty amazing toes, and maybe a few feelings, just got publicly trampled on, and I’m almost certain I’m fairly angry about that.

So, I remain puzzled on why a select few authors deserve preferential treatment. When registration opens, you either sign up for the event, or you don’t. I read/review somewhere close to three-hundred books a year, many, if not most, of them bought with my own money. Where’s my preferential treatment, as a reader, huh? The answer is that I don’t deserve any, so why does anyone else? I can understand if an author is on the financial fence or is unable to commit early for whatever reason, I do, but that doesn’t mean I believe registration should be withheld from other writers in the meantime. I hope that’s not going to be the case. I also don’t understand the “author cap” that’s being placed on the event. Readers are coming to meet and greet the authors, after all, so why exclude anyone who has a reason and the means to attend? My feelings on the matter are: the more the merrier!

And now I wait. Before I even consider registering for Atlanta, I will wait to see whom these chosen ones are. If it’s being determined by sales, I remain skeptical. If it’s being determined by how prolific the author, I remain doubly so, because we all know quantity and quality are mutually exclusive propositions, in many cases, and I have news for you GRL organizers—I have a “must-have” author on my list who’s written one, count it, one book to date that I can guarantee was far more brilliant and original than the half dozen books some writers spew out in a year’s time.

I’ll finish with this thought: to see any author excluded from GayRomLit on the basis of his or her popularity would be, to me, the height of irony in a genre, and for an event, that prides itself on inclusivity, wouldn’t it?

And that’s my two cents on the subject.