It starts with you, here, reading this FAQ. You might sooner or later decide it’s not for you, but now you’re here it’s you, and it is for you. It is for all the folks who’ve signed up or read or lurked or commented. Community in the end, is always self-selecting. We're seeding it by inviting in alpha and beta users (tech speak for gracious guinea pigs) who had expressed interest in what we were up to, and by picking three books which had a certain cultural commonality. The gravitational pull of that attracts folks like you and then you and your fellow community members shape the community by your participation.
So who is in charge, then?
Ultimately you are, because you have the tool of Voice—you can speak up about how things are being run, and the tool of Exit—you can walk away from us idiots :-) But in a day-to-day basis, there is a Publisher, Richard Nash. Me! I used to run Soft Skull Press and I’ve thought a lot about how independent publishers were already communities, we just didn’t describe them as such. So I’ve done a lot of research and chatting with folks about how they do things and devised structures and codes that I hope will make this community function as fabulously as possible for you, its members. Like any little micro-society, we try to balance the desire to maximize happiness for the most people with the need to be open and respectful of dissent.
Are there guidelines for commenting?
Why yes! And I’ve stolen them, for the moment from http://literaryrejectionsondisplay.blogspot.com/
RULES OF THE GAME
1) No name calling.
2) Use your civilized words, your literary words, your feisty argumentative words, your clever words.
3) Do not use your crass, insulting or rude words.
4) Be nice to one another. The world is already overpopulated with asses.
The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The Other Golden Rule: Tough love. We’re making culture here, love and war. We do understand you may truly hate a piece of writing. If you have to hate on it—that’s what Twitter is for. Or your blog. But the commenting and annotations here are to be constructive...
Will manuscripts be officially "rejected" by Red Lemonade, a la traditional publishing? Or is it more like you get tapped on the shoulder if Red Lemonade wants to publish you, and otherwise there's no formal response, just community feedback, so that writers can use the site almost as they would a writing group, irrespective of whether or not they acquire a book deal with Red Lemonade?
You answered you own question :-) [Hat-tip to Gina Frangello, who actually asked and answered this question.]
And to that end, how will RL as a community deal with the intense time commitment necessary to read and discuss loads of manuscripts.
I don't know. We'll need a lot of people and we'll try to find ways to make it easy. Though in the end, you can only make it so easy. We'll find ways to make it rewarding. With the help of the community. I want folks to tell me "You know what would make me feel good about spending time on this? If you did: xxxxxx" And we'll try xxxxxx! In general, I don't think we're building the Answer. We're building a machine to help ask the right questions and give useful answers. If we can do that consistently on an ongoing basis, we'll be a kind of Answer.
What happens when a user gives feedback, which an author accepts, but the user then claims "ownership" of those accepted changes and wants ".001 %" of the net proceeds as a royalty?
Can I use a pseudonym?
Yes, though we prefer not. The principle we're following here is for usernames that you'd use on your book's title page. An affectation perhaps, but one that we think bespeaks something important about the discipline and seriousness of purpose behind the years spent writing a book, and the many hours of singular attention offered up reading a book. So if you need some kind of space between the real you and the you on this site, we understand, but the you on this site should have a good nom de plume, rather than an Internety bunch of lowercase letters :-)