One of the hot topics this week on romance blogs and groups is whether or not RWA (Romance Writers of America) membership is worth the yearly dues.  Interesting for me because I’ve been debating that same thing, especially now that RWA announced they’re thinking of raising the price for members.  Truthfully, I was considering just letting my membership lapse when it comes time to write that check next year and now, if they do decide to raise the yearly dues, I have to say I probably will do just that. 

Still, there are a lot of benefits to being an RWA member, but the only one I seem to get anything out of with any regularity is RWR, their monthly magazine.  I’m fully aware that I could get more bang for my buck if I would take advantage of all that they offer with their on-line site.  And it would certainly help if I joined a local chapter…but the nearest one to me is about three hours away and that’s not even in North Carolina, it’s in Tennessee.  There are two chapters in NC, but they’re both on the other side of the state, one in Charlotte and one in Raleigh, and both are even farther away than the one in Tennessee.

And I have to wonder why there isn’t a local chapter in Asheville?  Do all the romance writers in NC really live over in the eastern part of the state?  Probably not, but apparently all the ones interested in joining a local chapter don’t mind the drive.  I do so this morning I went on the RWA site and looked at what it takes to start a local chapter.  Even came up with a name for it, Blue Ridge Romance Writers, and RWA has all the information you need to start a local chapter, but the big question is; do I really have the time?  Not to mention, would it benefit me to get involved in something which has the potential to be very time-consuming and energy-draining?

I think it probably would, but I need to do more research and find some way of figuring out if there would be enough interest in a chapter for the authors who live in the western part of the state like I do.  I do know it would be a lot of work and until I get the edits done on Storm Shadows, I’m not willing to shift my focus to something else.  Once that’s done, I plan on going back on the RWA site and check out just what and how I would go about doing it, because given all the members who commented that they get more out of their local chapter than the national chapter, I think it might be a good idea.

On another note, I received an email the other day, The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter, from Author Marketing Experts.  I don’t remember signing up for this one, but I have to say, I’m glad I did.  As well as putting out a great newsletter, they have a blog and a site run by Penny C. Sansevieri, which is just chock-full of information on how to market your books.  You can sign up for the newsletter on Ms. Sansevieri’s site.  Check it out, I think you’ll be glad you did!