The Case for Joining The Authors Guild, Or Why I Joined
But blogging can go only so far in righting this wrong.
The need will remain for advocacy groups for writers regardless of the changing publishing scene—or maybe because of it.
So I would challenge Nate Hoffelder’s recent headline in The Digital Reader: The Authors Guild Now Recruiting Writers Before They Know Better Than to Join The Authors Guild.
“Emerging writers” can now join for the Authors Guild for $100 a year, under a new arrangement. Here’s the form. The cost is $25 less than the $125 for full and associate members, and you don’t have to earned such-and-such an amount for your work.
David goes on to list some of the benefits of membership like legal services, but since I already covered that in Wednesday’s post, and since the same info is listed on The Authors Guild’s website I will not repeat it here.
Instead I will discuss why I joined The Authors Guild.
Yes, I, one of TAG’s most vocal opponents, am now a member.
I am a member even though I disagree with TAG’s silence on Author Solutions, its backward position on Google Books, its hostility towards one of authors' biggest business partners, its position on the DMCA, and its apparent willingness to be the mouthpiece for the legacy publishing industry.
In fact, aside from The Authors Guild’s recent recent education efforts, I can’t recall one position TAG has taken which I could get behind.
Which is exactly why I am joining The Authors Guild.
Love it or hate it, The Authors Guild is still seen by many as a group which represents all authors. Anyone who looks at the membership count knows that simply isn’t true and hasn’t been true for a long long time(*), but that doesn’t change the fact that when TAG speaks it gets a lot of press attention.
I am most emphatically pro-author, and I don’t think TAG is serving the interests of authors.
I want to change that, and since I can’t reform the group from the outside I have joined and will start looking for ways to reform it from within.
Who’s with me?
A full voting membership costs $125 a year and is open to any writer who has earned $5,000 from their work over the previous 18 months.
That is a ridiculously low requirement which many indie authors already meet, so what say we all join The Authors Guild and start agitating for the group to change its positions.
Got a good reason why we shouldn’t?
P.S. The Authors Guild currently claims "almost 9,000 members", while in 2008 the membership count was described as "more than 8,000 writers"(Wayback Machine). this tells us that the tens of thousands of indie authors are not joining TAG.
image by freddie boy