Like everybody else, I recently got a couple of emails from Red Room requesting money. I don't have a problem with that. I know that venture capital is harder to come by these days and websites have got to pay their staff somehow. So I will probably give them something, as a token of my appreciation for their hosting this lively and articulate community.
But one of the two emails I received, from Huntington Sharp, confused me. "I'm writing to you because you're one of our self-published authors," it began. It then went on to request thirty dollars a month from me to help me promote my self-published book.
I quickly logged onto my Red Room Home Page to see if I had self-published a book while I was dreaming during the night and put it onto the Red Room site to promote. Nope, couldn't find a thing. All I had under my "Longer Works" was a Spanish translation published in Barcelona many years ago, and a Writer's Digest Anthology that I had been included in. I put these antiquarian tomes on the site not to promote them, but just to give Red Room readers an idea of who I am and what I've been up to during my writing career. Neither was self-published.
Well, I thought, maybe Red Room got the idea that I have a self-published book lurking about because I had once confusedly clicked on the tab "Become a Red Room Author" and filled out a few things on that page, thinking I was filling out my bio. Maybe the Red Room Computerized Filing System then put me in the "Self-Published" category, since I could tell they turned me down as a bonafide Author because when I clicked on the tab again I was returned to my home page with its photo of my own smiling, un-Authorized, face.
Of course they turned me down. Though I have published scads of words over the years in various formats, so far none of them have made it into an actual two to three hundred page book, Authored by me, self-published or otherwise. But somehow Red Room has managed to turn me into a self-published Author and offered to help me promote my imaginary book for thirty bucks a month! Cool!
So here's my question for you, my much-appreciated Red Room: If I pay you the thirty bucks a month for Premium Membership, will you also write the book for me?