A two-week voting period ended on September 30th, asking members to vote on the following questions:
- Should self-published works qualify for FWG membership?
- If so, what criteria be established?
- Should unpaid works still qualify for membership?
- Should we establish a minimum pay rate of ½¢ per word?
So as not to bury the lead:
Self-published works will qualify for FWG membership.
90 FWG members voted—not quite half the current membership, but that’s a pretty good virtual turnout. Here’s a breakdown of the votes.
Question 1: Right now, self-published work doesn’t qualify for FWG membership. Should that change?
- 87.8% voted YES
- 12.2% voted NO
Obviously, YES won overwhelmingly.
Question 2: If you voted YES, how should works that meet the already-established content criteria be qualified for membership?
- 11.1% voted that works should net $200 earnings in a 12-month period
- 11.1% voted that works should sell at least 50 copies in a 12-month period
- 64.2% voted that either of the above should qualify
- 13.6% voted “Other”
“Other” ideas included different values for the above, entirely different criteria such as receiving a minimum number of reviews, or no required threshhold other then the work simply being available for download or purchase.
Question 3: Right now, works published for free can qualify for FWG membership. Should this be removed from qualifications, so membership requires at least one paid story sale or qualifying self-published novel?
- 51.1% voted NO.
- 26.7% voted YES, but only if the self-publishing qualification passes.
- 22.2% voted YES (unconditionally).
This was probably not a well-constructed question, in that it would have been possible for the two YES votes combined to be a majority but NO to still be a plurality; it would have been a better signal to split it into one definitive YES/NO and a second “If you voted YES, should it be only if the self-publishing qualification passes,” or similar wording. As it turns out, NO won a slim majority of votes.
Question 4: Right now, the membership criteria for paid story sales does not specify a minimum pay rate. Should we explicitly require a minimum of ½¢ per word?
- 66.7% voted NO
- 33.3% voted YES
- The self-publishing qualification passed, with the either/or criteria of number of copies sold or $200 or more earned.
- No other changes to qualifications passed.
The new rules go into effect October 1, 2018 (i.e., immediately). The membership qualification page will be updated within the month, including some guidelines on what information we’d like to see as qualification proof.