RWA has announced changes to the RITA that will allow E-published authors to submit their work. From the July 2009 RWA Hot Sheet:
"Beginning with the 2010 RITA Contest year, books published by any non-Vanity/non-Subsidy publisher may be entered in the RITA....Beginning with the 2010 RITA Contest, entries must have an original copyright date of the year preceding the contest year. However, during the 2010 transitional contest year only, those books with BOTH a 2008 original copyright date AND a 2009 North American printing date OR a 2009 first printing date may be entered so that members who had waited to enter in this contest year are not penalized by the change in policy."
This means that even if you don't get that $1000 advance, or advance-plus-royalties, you are eligible if you your book meets the word count. For further information and the full report, visit RWA's website.