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This is a very preliminary, bare bones, figure-it-out-as-we-go-along FAQ. We will develop it frequently as we respond to your frequent questions! So, where possible, ask me questions frequently, so we can refine this FAQ, contact details here: http://redlemona.de/contact
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What is the Red Lemonade community?
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...
 
How do I upload a manuscript?
This part of Red Lemonade is still in beta while we refine the process.  If you don't have permission yet, you can request an invite here.
 
If you already have permission, and are having trouble getting the manuscript to upload the way you like, I'm working on a step-by-step that will hopefully help. I'll add the link here when it's complete [placeholder-link]


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.
 
If I post a story on Red Lemonade, does that mean it is now "previously published" as literary journals or publishers would define it?
The value a literary journal or publisher adds to a work is not the act of making it available, it is the act of selecting it. The act of making something available was meaningful when there was A. a cost to it, and B. it was scarce. There is now no cost, and text is vastly abundant.
It is sadly true though that some publishers do not grasp this yet. At least, it's a process. On behalf of red Lemonade's members and those communities in the future that are operating on Cursor's platform, I will evangelize on this topic until no writer has to worry about this. I want to avoid closing texts off from oxygen of the general world, but if it starts to prove really difficult for writers with good lit journals, we'll come up with something. I have decided to begin with a default position of being open, though, so we can prove to the world that the workshopping of your text, and the connection-making with your writing and reading peers will enhance the audience for what stories you might publish elsewhere, not detract from the audience.
Of course, a writer should always be able to unpublish the work for any reason so that facility will always be in place...
 
What will stop someone from stealing my story or my ideas?
Nothing can stop anyone from stealing your ideas. Ideas aren't covered by copyright law. More importantly, there a billions of ways to tell a story about 24 hours in the life of a man in Dublin in 1904. Only one of them is Ulysses. The power is in how exactly you express your idea. And that is what is covered by copyright law.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright Our long experience in publishing has shown us that it is extremely rare for writers of fiction and highly personal nonfiction to steal others' work—the impulse to write is from a desire to communicate something you personally know, and stealing from someone else doesn't give that satisfaction. So making your work available on this site is extremely unlikely to result in theft, just as publishing it in print very rarely led to theft either.
 
But if they can read it for free, that means they'll never buy it, surely?
Well, our answers to the previous two questions hint at how we'd answer this. We believe that if a reader is so moved by your writing they'd spent fifteen hours on this site reading, the odds are pretty good they'll buy it if/when it comes out in print. In fact, I'd say they'll not only buy, they'll be telling their friends, begging to meet you, and doing all sorts of things with way more than the price of a trade paperback. Remember, the big thing you ask for, as a writer, is not the reader's money but their time, and not garbage time either, but serious, solitary, attention, giving over fifteen hours of the inside of his/her head to your voice. So that the reader-writer relationship is not a narrow producer-consumer one, like buying a T-shirt. Sure, if someone gives you a T-shirt you're not likely to also buy it. Though, in fact, your favorite band's T-shirt? You might in fact buy two more, for your friends, you're so psyched your favorite band gave you one.
 
All of which is to say, we thinking posting the full text of your work here increases your audience, increases your chance of publication in other formats, and increases the number of books you'll sell in those formats. Moreover, given that we paid for the printing of the books we're publishing, we put our money where our mouth is on this—we have far more money at risk than Lynne Tillman, Vanessa Veselka, and Kio Stark, for we'd lose about $6 for each lost sale, whereas the author would lose $1.50 or so for each lost sale.
 

 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? 
We think it's pretty unlikely. Massively unlikely. In our terms of use, we do explicitly eschew getting involved in adjudicating those claims should they arise, since only a federal court can. However, while this has produced a fair amount of dispute in the world of theatre, dance and film, in books it's quite settled that editorial intervention doesn't give rise to copyright ownership, otherwise every MFA student and copyeditor and acquisitions and development editor would be suing everyone.

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 :-)