Frustrating Self-Published Author Discrimination
I wanted to vent, and this community is really a great tool for that (let me apologize in advance if I appear to be whining). Okay, so my first book was self-published. Sure, I could have shopped the manuscript around, but I was on a self-imposed (before December of 2008) timetable for this first book. Well, I must say that I am excited that the book is out; I really poured a lot of energy, time, and emotions into this book. As part of my marketing strategy, I wanted to make sure that I covered most of the appropriate social networks (most of which I was already a part of). However, I picked out some new ones (i.e. Gather, Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, etc.). For example, I am glad that I went to Gather... I ran across a link to this great community as a result! Back to my frustration (LOL), I signed up at a community called RedRoom. The community seemed nice. As the book grew very close to being printed, I received my ISBN (etc.) and hence decided to apply for the Red Room Author status. The site DID NOT identify requirements, but it just asked me about my writings, etc. I noted my book and publisher, and I felt that the status update was a shoe-in! Boy was I wrong!

Here is the response that I received via email:


Dear Dwayne,

Thank you so much for being a part of our community and taking the time to submit your application. Unfortunately, I am unable to grant your request at this time.


As we are still in Beta, we have only introduced two user categories, Member and Author, but we have many more planned, including Self Published Author, which would be perfect for you to showcase your writing. Until then, I encourage you to use your Member Page to upload and promote your published works, create blog entries, showcase your comments on Author Pages, and share photos, video, and audio. We'll be rolling out new member features regularly, and we want you to feel at home in the Red Room, so if you have any suggestions as to how we can improve, we always want to hear from you at


Whether you're an author or member, you're helping build something exciting in the Red Room, and we truly appreciate your interest and participation.

I thought that I would fit the author category, but I guess not. What are your thoughts? I immediately responded to illustrate my frustrations, an I recommended that the community outline the requirements of the author category, but I feel a bit under-appreciated. Normally, I do not cry about these types of issues, but I certainly do not think that my work is minimized in any way simply because I went the self-publishing route (I think that the self-publishing and print-on-demand options are great for the aspiring and even seasoned author!

What say you? :-)

Michele   Michele wrote
on 10/28/2008 8:29:26 AM
Sounds like utter snobbery to me- - can't imagine from where they would snatch the distinction! Has your booked turned a profit yet? Are they looking at amateur vs professional? If so, here's a conundrum: I only have 23 poems in my collection. One of them has been published 3 times and I haven't received a penny. I just won 3 separate awards, the reward being included in an anthology. Am I an 'author' ?? Hmmm. Clearly, I wrote them, therefore I am! Therein lies my satisfaction, plus the positive feedback I've received from this site and, though I wouldn't be upset if I had a few poems published, one at a time, let's say, in a magazine? Hang in there, and keep writing!

DwayneKilbourne   DwayneKilbourne wrote
on 10/28/2008 4:15:46 AM
I agree about many of your points! With the way publishing is, basically anyone with a little bit of money and some time could publish almost anything that he or she wishes! That can be good any bad... it reminds me about the good old beginning stages of the popularization of the World Wide Web! Anyone could slap a website up, but eventually the environment weeds out the cream of the crop from the rest! I just wish that the site would either hurry up and create that other author category (not that it takes too long to accomplish that) or at least outline its author status requirements to avoid avid members who are self-published authors to be let down with disappointment! Well, at least I have author status on some other sites! Thank you for the comment! Dwayne

StarPoet   StarPoet wrote
on 10/28/2008 4:06:02 AM
Heya Dwayne I think that a lot of outlets and publishing organizations do not consider self publishers legitimate, so they tend to look down on them. They feel that an author is truly legit if he/she goes through a publishing house. This Redroom could be like that.(I am not sure ???) But at the same time they are looking at self pubs to see if there is a really, really good author that is selling well, so they can then snatch him/her up before someone else does. In this case you have to prove yourself before you get noticed. Sucks...but I see their point.

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writing DwayneKilbourne (writing and publishing specific) (general blog about business and technology)

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