19 August 2007


It seems there's been some confusion of late about what EPIC is and what it isn't. To that end, I'm about to restate it. I give blanket permission to repost this, as long as it goes intact.

EPIC (The Electronically Published Internet Connection) is a professional organization consisting of e-published and print-published authors and publishing industry professionals. We're a worldwide organization, currently in its 10th year (2007), which more than 650 members in upwards of 9 countries and in nearly every genre of fiction and non-fiction.

EPIC's goals are:

Educating people on indie/e-publishing as a viable and growing publishing industry concern. We have several programs that pursue the realization of this goal, including (but not limited to) articles and trifolds on the subject, member-convention panels and our own yearly convention (EPICon), which is open to both EPIC members and non-members. We also have the model contract and red flags, available to everyone, member or not.

Educating people on reading e-books. The fact is that anyone who frequents a computer has, knowingly or not, read e-books. The only trick is educating them in what e-books are and in breaking down old biases. Again, we have several programs that help us realize this goal, including articles, free CDs, convention presence, e-Fiestas and one-on-one interaction.

To be a support, networking and information network for authors and industry professionals. The main conduit for this is our members-only materials and EPIC lists.

To celebrate excellence in e-publishing. To that end, we run the EPPIE and ARIANA/QUASAR awards yearly (for e-books and e-book covers). These awards are open to all e-books published for sale during the eligible period (Oct 1, 200X through Sept 30, 200Y), whether they are self-published, subsidy/vanity-published, published in indie/e or published in NY. We even welcome reprints (whether reprints of print books or of e-books), as long as an earlier version of the material was not entered in the contest before. They're the longest-standing (9 years) and most inclusive (23 categories in the EPPIE and 15 in the ARIANA/QUASAR) e-book awards in existence.

To further celebrate excellence, EPIC actively promotes the winners of both the EPPIE and the Dream Realm award (the second oldest e-book award) in our information packets and CDs.

To encourage people outside EPIC working toward the same goals we are. In pursuit of this, we offer our FRIEND OF E-PUBLISHING award yearly to someone working tirelessly to advance the industry. Former winners of this award include: Steve and Scott Pendergrast (the owners of Fictionwise), Nick Bogaty (the head of IDPF...the International Digital Publishing Forum), Michael Hart (the originator of Project Gutenberg), Louise Snead (publisher of Affaire de Couer Magazine), Piers Anthony (for his advocacy and his hipiers site) and Katheryn Falk (publisher of Romantic Times Magazine)...among others.

To promote literacy, as all professional publishing industry groups do. To this end, we run the New Voices Contest for middle school and high school students. The students pay not one thin dime to enter the contest, but they compete for prizes that are 100% funded by EPIC and member/industry donations.

That's what EPIC IS. Now, what is EPIC NOT?

EPIC is not RWA, SFWA or any other WA out there. We're inclusive, not exclusive.

EPIC is for contracted and published authors and industry professionals. EPIC is not for unpublished authors. Though we offer information and support, we are not in the business of teaching you how to write. We're in the business of teaching you how to self-edit/hone your craft and how to publish, promote and build a career.

EPIC is not a policing authority for publishers. Yes, we do have a committee looking into a code of ethics that publishers can choose to sign, much as agents agree to the AAR...or not. The publishers listed on the EPIC site are publishers that have one or more members within EPIC. We don't investigate them, vett them or otherwise "approve/recognize" publishers. If the publisher is listed there, it means their representatives are members, and that's a member benefit. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Nor will EPIC "punish" publishers or play referee between authors and a publisher. We will not post a "wall of shame." If you have valid complaints on a publisher, Hipiers list and P&E already exist, for this purpose. While the members of EPIC are more than happy to share their resources, even to information when dealing with an unethical publisher and/or how to choose a publisher, EPIC is not a professional mediator.

EPIC is inclusive; that means that EPIC does not show a bias, based on genre you write, color of your skin, religion, national origin, politics...

No, the E in EPIC does not stand for "erotic." As previously stated, it stands for "electronically." I have no clue who started such a ridiculous rumor about EPIC, but let's set the record straight. EPIC includes straight-genre authors, romance authors, children's and YA authors, non-fiction authors, poets...and yes, authors of sensual and erotic fiction. It also includes publishers of all of the above. I repeat, EPIC is inclusive.

Not even our contests are all erotic. The EPPIE, for example, has a sum total of 5 erotic categories in a total of 23. Is that unreasonable? Considering how prevalent erotic e-publishing is (with even NY jumping on the bandwagon)...no, it's not unreasonable.

Hopefully, this will clear up any confusion over what EPIC is and is not.

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