Apparently I'm not an author.
At least that's what Goodreads believes, even after several attempts to claim an author profile that was created because they credited the book I wrote to David Revoy, the cover artist.
It all started when I noticed that the book I wrote (The Mediocre Programmer) was on Goodreads, but with the author as David Revoy. Poor David has enough problems on his plate without having to take credit for something I wrote, so I tried to change it. Goodreads did change it and created an author profile named Craig Maloney. They also have a way for folks on the site to claim that "I'm the author" so I decided to try to claim that author profile.
Ever watch a Terry Gilliam film? Yeah, that's how I feel right now. For whatever reason I'm unable to say that I'm the author connected to this book.
I first tried filling out their form as simply and as plainly as I could. That didn't work, I mean, having an email address that doesn't match the distribution site? That's like being married and not taking your husband's name. What sort of couple would ever dare to do such a thing? I'll ask Craig Baker, but he's not returning my email.
I wrote a second note in which I elaborated that, no, of all the Craig Maloneys in all the world that I was the only one thus far that has written a book about being a mediocre programmer. I figured that might narrow the field a bit; after all, the X-Factor Craig Maloney has yet to write his memoirs and I'm not sure he's dabbled in computer programming. I figured that would be enough to satiate the need for proof for whomever was handling these profiles at Goodreads. I sent it off and within a half-hour was rejected.
OK, now it's starting to feel like it's personal.
I mean, I know that I'm not published on any of the big sites, and that I do all of my promotion via word of mouth and presentations to local users groups, but up until a day ago this profile didn't exist. It's not like there's a long queue of folks claiming to be me. Heck, some mornings I'm not even sure I'm in the queue to want to be me. But this is just low. I mean, the writing style should at least give some clue if you want to get all forensic about it?
Perhaps the editor was too good in removing my signature bad grammar and one sentence paragraphs. Curse you, mother, and your wise English Teacher ways!
I tried again. Fortunately I saved the text of my note (they don't send you a copy when you submit it) so I could make another attempt. I created a page called Dear Goodreads in which I, on the site which the book was published, made the call for them to instate me as the rightful author of that profile page. I figured this would remove all doubt and open the keys to a profile that two days ago hadn't even existed and was only connected to one book.
You needn't guess how this turned out.
And now it sits, a profile that at the beginning of this month had not existed with a name strangely akin to my very own, with no-one to pilot it, attached to one book that somehow also bears a moniker like unto myself. It stands ready to accept the warm embrace of someone who has a literary agent and books upon the shelves of booksellers and yet scorns the reason for its existence. Perhaps I shall write another book and it too can be attached to this profile and I will gaze upon it and wonder if maybe this time I can convince someone that I am indeed who I say I am and that I'm capable of making words that others might read.
That day is not today.
If you ever wanted to know how regressive the publishing industry is in only believing that books are published by authors with agents and sold via sites they can monetize I can only offer this evidence. Perhaps I can create a special Goodreads edition of this book where I'll label the author "Performative Craig Maloney Impostor" and then they can attribute it to Mr. Impostor or some such nonsense. For now I'm rather done with the exercise.
If any other Craig Maloney wants to make an attempt at this profile they're welcome to it. Maybe if we pool our resources together we can create the most prodigious writer of God-knows-what and then historians will wonder if we were one person or many people. Perhaps they'll start attributing our stuff to Francis Bacon. No, that's nonsense. He likely got his programming start on a Commodore 64.