Friday, October 9, 2015

MEMBERSHIP CHANGES AT THE ROMANTIC NOVELISTS’ ASSOCIATION

RNA membership secretary, Alison May, has popped along today to give us the exciting news about membership changes. Welcome, Alison.

Responding to change is one of the hardest things for any organisation to do – organisations have principles and values that they want to uphold, but at the same time nobody wants to get left behind while the world cheerily moves on around them. The Romantic Novelists’ Association is an organisation that exists for two reasons - to ‘raise the prestige of romantic authorship’ and ‘to encourage and foster the writing of romantic works'.

For years the RNA has worked towards these goals by celebrating and promoting the best in romantic fiction through events like the RoNA awards, and by supporting writers’ development through the New Writers’ Scheme for new and unpublished authors, and by providing development and networking opportunities for romance writers across the country through our meetings, conferences and local chapters. And for years it was felt relatively easy to identify what made a professional romance author – traditional publishing was the goal for new writers and the defining characteristic of our full members.

But over the last five to ten years the publishing industry has changed. The rise of ebooks and print-on-demand services has made self-publishing a commercially viable option in a way that, for the majority of authors, it simply hasn’t been before. At the same time, many publishers have struggled to adapt to a changing market place as high street booksellers have declined and the internet has become the default option for many book buyers. Increasing numbers of entrepreneurial authors have seen these changes as an opportunity and, by self-publishing, found a route to get their books directly to readers.

So I’m delighted that as of this September the RNA has recognised the professionalism of successful self-publishers and established a new category of membership – Independent Author Membership – as a route to full membership of the association. The first Independent Author Members are already signed up and we’re looking forward to seeing them contribute to the association.

If you’re a self-published author of romantic fiction you can find the full criteria for Independent Author Membership on our website: and I really hope you will consider joining the RNA. It’s one of the friendliest, most supportive, but also most professional and inspiring, organisations I’ve ever been a part of, and we look forward to welcoming more self-published writers to our ranks.

Alison writes as Alison May. Her romantic comedies are published by Choc Lit, and her most recent novel, Midsummer Dreams is out now in ebook.
She is also a creative writing tutor and Membership Secretary for the Romantic Novelists’ Association. You can find out more about Alison at www.alison-may.co.uk or by following her on twitter @MsAlisonMay


Thank you, Alison. We look forward to welcoming our new members and meeting them at chapter events, parties and the Summer Conference.




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6 comments:

Sheryl Browne said...

I would agree with that, Alison. I've been struggling with a few things and the support from members at the RNA conference this year was amazing. I am so glad that a wider writing community will have the chance to be part of this wonderful organisation. Thanks for sharing! :) xx

Laura E. James said...

Excellent post, Alison.

JB JOHNSTON said...

Interesting post. What are the rules with regards to book bloggers becoming Associate members. I have been interested in joining for a long time. As someone who is constantly promoting authors from reviews to organising book tours for them, I'd love to be a member of such a respected organisation. x

cathy mansell said...

Brilliant news Alison. Many RNA members will be happy to note these long awaited changes.
Well done RNA. A wonderful organisation.

Great blog post.

Margaret Kaine said...


Excellent news Alison. Well done the RNA for its inclusion of so many courageous new writers. Publishing has indeed changed in recent years. A wonderfully supportive and friendly association.

alison-may said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments. I'm really pleased to see the comments on the support and friendliness of the RNA.

JB asked specifically about Associate Membership - Associate Membership of the RNA is open to journalists, publishers, agents, book reviewers or anyone else who has a professional interest in romantic fiction and/or romance publishing. Our Associate Members are a vital part of the association and bring a different set of strengths and knowledge to the RNA. You can apply to join as an Associate Member by downloading the form from our website: http://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org/join/full_and_associate_membership