I guess I'm not really surprised to see this, but it is a hard thing for those authors who are with these publishers. While it doesn't mean that much to new writers (having RWA status, that is) it does impart important information to those seeking to get published:

1) That the publisher is not selling 5,000 copies of ANY of the books in their catalogue over the course of a year; and/or

2) That the publisher does not regularly have national distribution of their titles; and/or

3) Asks an author to PAY to get their book published.

Since any of these are negative things to authors who want to make a career of romance writing, it's something to consider before pursuing these publishers.

That said:

Notice from Allison Kelley, RWA Executive Director re: publishers

***********Permission to forward granted***********

In response to policy changes adopted during the March 2005 board meeting,letters were sent to each publisher who qualified for RWA recognition based on proof of sales of a single work of fiction, requesting proof of ongoing sales of romance fiction in the quantities required by RWA. Publishers were asked to respond by May 31, however, two publishers asked for more time. The deadline to respond to RWA's request was therefore extended until June 30,
2005. As of this date, the following publishers are being dropped from RWA's list of recognized publishers, as they either failed to respond or they have responded they no longer meet RWA's requirements for recognition (see 7.2.1 below):

Genesis Press

Hawk Publishing

High Country

ImaJinn Books

Medallion Press

Rainbow Books

SANDS Publishing

Five Star Publishing was removed from RWA's list of recognized publishers, pending review of reported contract changes that require authors to participate in the costs of production and distribution. RWA is in dialogue with this publisher.

PAN status will not be revoked for authors whose contracts were dated during a time when such publishers met RWA-recognition requirements.

The staff continues its efforts to reach publishers who have not responded to requests for additional proof of qualification.

For your convenience, the changes to policy are provided below:

MOTION: Policy Definition of Subsidy and Vanity Publisher

Potter moved, and Kerstan seconded, that the Policy and Procedure Manual should be amended as follows:

1.35. "Subsidy Publisher" or "Vanity Publisher" means any publisher that publishes books in which the author participates in the costs of production or distribution in any manner, including publisher assessment of a fee or other costs for editing and/or distribution. This definition includes publishers who withhold publication or distribution costs before paying
royalties (net proceeds) and publishers whose authors exclusively promote and/or sell their own books.

7.2.1. To be an "RWA-Recognized Publisher," a publisher must be a royalty-paying publishing house that (1) does not offer is not a subsidy or vanity publisher contracts to RWA members, (2) has been releasing books on a regular basis via national distribution for a minimum of one year, and (3) has sold a minimum of 1,500 hardcover or trade paperback copies or 5,000 copies in any other format, including print on demand, of a single romance novel or novella or collection of novellas in book form, in bona fide
arms-length transactions, and continues to sell a minimum of 1,500 hardcover or trade paperback copies or 5,000 copies in any other format of a subsequent romance novel each year.

7.2.5. Revoking recognition. Recognition shall be revoked if Publisher fails to meet one of the standards of recognition. Complaint must be made to the Board by the Executive Director or Member. Allegations will be presented in writing to the publisher, which will then have 30 days to respond to the allegations. The Board will make a final decision as to whether the publisher has failed to meet one or more RWA Publisher Recognition standards. If the Board finds that one or more of these standards have not been met, Publisher recognition shall be revoked.

The main motion was unanimously adopted as amended on a roll call vote.