maples_img_0018-2Back on November 16, 2016 I had an email from David O’Brien, the founder of call their site, “The platform that connects writers, agents and publishers to find manuscripts, manage submissions and get books published.”

I imagine anyone who has uploaded work unto their site got the same email. Here’s what it said:

“We have a lot of major publishers and media companies looking at doing business with us. Every one of them has asked us, “What do your writers say about the service?” Well, I am writing to ask you to put together some honest writer quotes for a presentation I am making.

Here are the categories in my presentation under which I will need a quote. Please feel free to fill in one or more of the categories with your personal quotes (not someone else’s). Just type your quote into the space provided below and reply back to me. Be creative and succinct. I will be grateful.

INSPIRE (How inspires  you)

ENGAGE  (Your experience working the platform, i.e., easy, hard, comprehensive, etc.)

LIBERATE  (Frees you up to be yourself )

EMPOWER  (How it makes you feel more like a professional writer)

LOVE  (Why you love using )

I would also like to hear your thoughts on the new layout. Please note we are not done polishing it, but would still love to hear from you.

Thanks again for being a part of the family.


David O’Brien


I have four of my novels uploaded to this site.

Initially, my understanding was agents and publishers would log on and be able to quickly see if anything caught their interest. Evidently, none of my novels did. I’ve had no action whatsoever.

After I received this email I checked my work on the site again and I see that have found “matches” – a publisher or agent who is looking for a novel similar to mine.

Well, that’s encouraging.

A quick check and it becomes apparent this is not quite the case. Take for example, my novel Loving the Terrorist – a contemporary romance with subplot that addresses an important environmental issue (eco-fi).

Fifteen matches yield the following:

– 2 sites where “the page does not exist”, ebooks2go, Library Tales

– 2 sites that are without a doubt pay for play – called hybrid but are nothing more than vanity press. BookLogix and Lift Bridge Publishing

– 2 sites that are duplicated equaling four sites. Grand Central/Forever Yours and SkyhorseX2 – and by the way, Skyhorse is not accepting romantic fiction.

– which also goes for Lamar University Press – not accepting genre fiction

– Bound , is a company that claims “we deliver stories in an easy-to-engage format that combines prose fiction, stunning visuals, and dramatic audio.” Huh?

Sixty percent actually don’t match, don’t even exist or want me to pay to publish my book. Of the others, they’re accepting “adult romantic fiction”, not specifically my novel.

I sent these findings to David because he said said he’d love to hear from me and it would be rude not to respond to someone who considers me “part of the family”.

Just for the hell of it I hit the submit button on five “matches” that seemed legitimate. According to the tracking window of the site my work has been declined by one agent. Only one publisher has sent me an email to acknowledge that they received my submission.

So there you have it – no inspiration, no liberation, no empowerment, no love – and I might add, no respect.

Did I say no response? But then isn’t that just like family.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs


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