Richard Nash needs no introduction but if he does you can do no better than to tune into the talk he gave at the 2010 BookNet Technology Forum. Nash has been re-imagining the business of publishing for some time and, in fact, left his post at Soft Skull to begin building that re-imagining:
“I’m now developing a start-up called Cursor, a portfolio of editorially-driven publishing communities, the first of which will be called Red Lemonade.”
One of the things I discovered when I was checking out Richard Nash’s Red Lemonade project that has just been released in beta this week is that Red Lemonade is huge in Ireland, or so Wikipedia tells me. I suppose if I were a more well travelled individual I would have known this already but I didn’t. However, it is part of Nash’s uniqueness that he knows about the Irish drink and is surely thinking that his Red Lemonade could easily become the most popular mixer for writers and readers.
Red Lemonade is all about connecting readers and writers and has that social community goodness baked right in. Writers can “publish” their work and share it, and readers can discover the work, comment on it and watch it progress all under one URL. There are no walled gardens here.
Does this on its own reinvent publishing? Well, not really since there are other projects like it that are out there already. But the secret ingredient of Red Lemonade may be Richard Nash himself. He is a vocal advocate of the intimacy of this relationship between writers and readers and he knows good writing. And he is a reader who knows the value of being able to read a whole book, not just an excerpt and be able to comment on it.
There are other things in store for Red Lemonade and indeed for Cursor. One teaser is the Write Now tab which is writ large in the navigation of the site. For now you have to email Richard to get added to the list of those who can upload manuscripts—otherwise, as noted in the beta language of our day, the servers may crash—but the plan is to open that up to everyone. With the launch of Red Lemonade we begin to see the promise of this editorially-driven publishing community.