The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers
from The SFWA Bulletin #178, August-September 2008
The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers
Moving Pictures magazine ran an article in its December 2006 issue titled “Novelization is a Nasty Word.” Among the writers it interviewed was Max Allen Collins, a veteran of dozens of novels in his own worlds and a variety of franchises.
So I want to welcome the IAMTW to the list of writers organizations that I’ll be covering in Writers’ Bloc. Collins is the president of the organization, with co-founder Lee Goldberg as vice president. Although neither officer is associated with f&sf, not surprisingly the organization’s membership is heavily populated by SFWA members and other denizens of our writing community. Our new president, Russell Davis is a member. (He’s also a member and formerly on the board of the WWA, and is pictured in the June 2008 Roundup Magazine.) More to the immediate point, Jean Rabe, who will be taking over from me as Bulletin Business Manager as I transist to the role of SFWA Handbook editor, is not only a member but also the editor of Tied-In, the IAMTW newsletter. She kindly sent me an electronic bundle of them to get me up to speed.
Information about the purpose of and qualifications for the IAMTW can be found on their website.
Every major industry has an award for excellence in their field...not just books, movies, records, and TV shows. Awards are a demonstration that people take pride in their work and strive to constantly do better. Respect from ones peers is important...and, up until now, tie-in writers haven't even been able to enjoy that, despite our impressive sales. Our Scribe Awards will celebrate excellence in our craft and, at the same time, draw attention to tie-in writers among publishers, booksellers and readers.
Who Qualifies for Membership?
You do if you've written licensed fiction based on a TV show, motion picture, computer game, stage play, comic book (or strip), radio serial or other dramatic work as long as you were paid for it and it has been published (or is about to be). The membership committee will determine, on a case-by-case basis, what qualifies as "other dramatic work" (for instance, a series of books based on a toy or doll).
It doesn't matter whether you've written forty novels or one short story, whether it was published last week or thirty years ago, you qualify for membership as long as you were paid for your licensed work and it was published (or is about to be).
Fanfiction does not qualify.
Membership dues are $35 per year, payable to "I.A.M.T.W," and should be sent to PO Box 8212, Calabasas, CA 91372. Dues can also be electronically transferred using PayPal via the contact form at www.iamtw.org/join.html.
RWA’s Code of Ethics
The underlying issues that led to the creation of a code affect all writers groups. The RWA similarly found the necessity to put its expectations of its authors into fixed, written form in the Code of Ethics.
The Code was printed in the June 2008 RWR and can be found online in the public area of RWA’s website at www.rwanational.org/cs/code_of_ethics.
• RWA members strive for excellence and integrity in the profession of romance writing.
• RWA members strive to treat fellow members, RWA staff, and others with respect.
• RWA members observe and adhere to all of RWA's Bylaws, policies and other rules.
An RWA member shall be subject to disciplinary action if the actions of such member are determined, in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedures in the most current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, to constitute one or more of the following:
1. Intentionally making false or misleading oral or written statements about RWA where such statements are injurious to the organization, its reputation or its purposes.
2. A finding of liability against an RWA member by a court of competent jurisdiction or an administrative tribunal, or public admission by the member of unauthorized copying, whether verbatim or substantially similar, in whole or in part, of the written work(s) of others with an intention to claim such work(s) as the member's own.
3. Finding of liability against an RWA member by a court of competent jurisdiction or an administrative tribunal, or public admission by the member of infringement of copyrighted or trademarked material, including but not limited to books, other published material, manuscripts, graphics, illustrations, trademarks or logos.
4. Intentional copying of the written works of others (including but not limited to books, articles and/or manuscripts) with an intention to claim such work(s) as the member's own.
5. Unauthorized use of another member's intellectual property, including but not limited to such other member's name, logo, trademarks or service marks, and/or copyrighted information.
6. Intentional misrepresentation of RWA membership qualifications or credentials to RWA or to the public.
7. Repeatedly or intentionally supplying false or misleading information to RWA.
8. Unauthorized use of RWA property, including but not limited to RWA's name, logo, other trademarks or service marks, copyrighted information, and membership listings.
9. To the extent not otherwise addressed above, repeatedly or intentionally engaging in conduct injurious to RWA or its purposes.
In the May 2008 NINK, Sally Hawke reported a major initiative from OverDrive. I checked their press release for more details.
Borders has been making news in other, less favorable ways. In March it suspended its dividend and announced that it was looking for a buyer. The stock as of this writing is down by 50% over the last six months. Speculation immediately centered on Barnes & Noble as a buyer, even though that might create anti-trust issues. At the same time, however, Borders announced it was ending its failed joint online venture with Amazon.com and creating a new independent Border.com website for selling its books. Borders Rewards customers will be able to use their Borders Bucks on the new site.
Another brief summarized results from Bowker’s PubTrack Consumer, which uses a weekly online survey of 10,000 American adult readers about their buying habits. The following numbers are for new book genre purchases from January through September 2007:
More Publishing Numbers
Ninc held its first members conference this year. Panels looked at all aspects of writing and publishing. One featured some especially interesting numbers.
Daisy began by laying out some facts: there are currently an estimated 86,000 publishers in the United States, publishing more than 200,000 titles each year. In 2006, these publishers had a net revenue of $35 billion. By 2011, this is expected to rise to $41 billion. In 2006, 560 new titles made it onto PW’s weekly hardcover, paperback, and adult bestseller lists.
In 2004, Bookscan tracked 1.2 million book titles. Of these, 950,000 sold fewer than 99 copies. Two hundred thousand sold fewer than 1000 copies. The average book tracked sold fewer than 5000 copies.
Change can only happen through the combined efforts of everyone affected. Agents, publishing professionals, and writers are urged to utilize and contribute to the database maintained by RWA. Permission to forward this release is granted and strongly encouraged. For more information or questions regarding RWA’s list of Internet piracy sites, contact Carol Ritter, Professional Relations Manager, at (832) 717-5200 ext. 127.
On the more depressing side of the statistical ledger, American households’ spending on books is at a 20-year low. The average adult spends seven minutes a day reading vs. two hours a day watching television.
But the good news is more teens are reading. And consumers do want books, though not necessarily in book form. “The digital era has transformed the nature of reading,” Maryles concluded.
Carl Lennertz shared that Target is the fastest growing bookseller in the United States.
Susan Salzman Raab, in her “To Market” column in the March/April 2008 SCWBI Bulletin, reported on “two surveys conducted with publicists and online content providers about how online publicity is being used to promote books.” The surveys were taken from Publishing Trends, a newsletter about the book industry.
Markets Outside the Box
The Market Update in the June 2008 RWR gave the following change in what Dorechester Publishing is currently “actively acquiring:”
In the June-July 2008 issue of Tied-In, a squib mentioned the magazine Escape Velocity, published by Adventure Books in Seattle. It’s looking for original f&sf short stories an articles, poetry and other features. The magazine includes a media focus for nonfiction. Guidelines can be found at www.escapevelocitymagazine.com.
Too Good Not to Be Shared
Don’t write what you know. From Campbell Geeson’s “Along Publishers Row” column in the Winter 2008 Authors Guild Bulletin.
The similarities to the body of a businessman fished from the Oder River in 2000 were so remarkable that Bala, 35, was found guilty of planning and directing the killing. He suspected that the victim was having an affair with his estranged wife. Bala, the Associated Press reported, was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, Tied-In, P. O. Box 8212, Calabases, CA 91372, IAMTW.org
Novelists, Inc., NINK, P. O. Box 2037, Manhattan KS, 66505, www.ninc.com
Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers’ Report (RWR), 14615 Benfer Rd., Houston, TX 77069 [new address], 77379, www.rwanational.com
Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Bulletin, 8271 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, www.scbwi.org
Western Writers of America, Roundup Magazine, MSCO6, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM, 87131, www.westernwriters.org
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