to Connect Writers, Agents, and Publishers; Beta Testers Sought logoOne of the nice perks of being an editor is getting to meet all sorts of writers, from novices to published authors. Last week, I had the opportunity to meet Jessica Katz. Jessica has been writing for her own enjoyment for many years, but she hopes to see her name in print soon. While talking with Jessica, she mentioned a new online platform,, which should launch in early 2015. I was intrigued when Jessica spoke of the features this site will offer, so I invited Jessica to publish her thoughts about on the Wordhelper blog. My thanks to Jessica for this guest post. ~Michelle Hutchinson

In the world of traditional publishing, a writer typically submits his/her manuscript (or a sample or synopsis of it) and a query letter to a literary agent or publisher. It’s not unusual to have to do that several times, finding publishers and agents who are specifically interested in your genre. However, a new online service,, which expects to begin beta testing in early 2015, hopes to change that paradigm.

In a recent webinar, David O’Brien, the Community Liaison and Founder of, said the site will allow authors, agents, and publishers to find each other. Writers will build their profiles on the online platform and indicate the genre, sub-genre, and key words for their submissions. Then the system will match them with criteria established by agents and publishers who will also use the site.

The platform will have many useful attributes. For example, when completing your profile on, you will have the opportunity to list your achievements, a factor that is critically important if you are writing a nonfiction book, since agents and publishers will want to know that you’re an authority in your field. In addition, you control when agents and publishers can view your manuscript or query letter. That means you can edit your writing several times before allowing anyone to read it.

For a short time, probably until the end of December, writers can sign up to be beta testers for Doing so now will allow you to use the site for free. Monica Landers, CEO of, says there are no plans to ever charge the beta testers, but since companies grow and change over time, she can’t promise that will be free forever. However, it is the company’s intention to honor the group that helps launch the product. The site will be free to beta testers for a reason; features will be rolled out over time, and as with any new product, there will be some bugs at the beginning. In correspondence with me, Monica wrote, “ wants people who will help the company see what’s not working (and not get too mad.) We’re going to do everything we can to make it a perfect experiment.”

Writers who don’t sign up to be beta testers will pay a one-time $99 set-up fee and then $5.99/month thereafter for an unlimited number of projects (i.e., manuscripts/submissions) once the full platform goes live.

To become a beta tester, simply go to and enter the requested information.

To listen to the webinar, go to

Thanks again, Jessica. Have a question? Just click on “Leave a comment” below. Jessica promises to check this blog post regularly and respond with what she knows or get the answers for you.

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