Friday, April 20, 2012

What It Means To Be PAN

Today, I received some wonderful news. I qualified to enter the PAN (Published Authors Network) area of the Romance Writers of America. I had to meet a criteria to do so and for some, they qualify even before the book is released by having an advance (I didn't get one) and others have to wait until book two or three. It actually took me a little under six months with my first book. I probably qualified last month and just didn't think to check.  Not bad.

A few years ago, I asked my writers group's loop what is so important about being in PAN a couple times and received not one answer. After becoming published, I realized the answer is vast and can be vague at times and maybe that's why most authors can't answer.

Here is a list (surprised?) of why I think it's important.

1) RESPECT - amazing how many people (published/unpublished) think you haven't really "made it" until you qualify for PAN. Crazy but true.

2) PAN LOOP - I've heard the info is awesome on that loop in regards to what to ask your agent or editor, providing promo suggestions, and general "business" info that all published authors need to know.

3) LIBRARIANS DAY - this is held at the National conference and you must be PAN to attend (unlike the Literacy Signing). Librarians ROCK! They mold young minds and provide mental food to adults. They recommend books to read and can help an author's career. Plus there are few other workshops at the conference only for PAN members.

4) PASIC chapter - this is the only RWA chapter that you're required to be a PAN author before joining. I've heard good things about it, especially their conference.

5) RESPECT - yes. I said it twice. Some people do get tied up in labels and it's the main reason I will apply for PAN and thumb my nose at those who 'diss' me. Well, that and the Librarian Day function.