Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Publisher Showcase: Carina Press

Carina Press, Harlequin’s digital-first imprint, welcomes a wide-range of adult genres with open arms. This means niche stories as well: Carina is actively seeking science fiction romance of all heat levels. They will also consider romantic SF and even SF with very little romance.

What exactly constitutes a “digital-first” publisher? It means that “the contract and distribution channels are very different.” There’s no advance, but there’s no Digital Rights Management (DRM), either. A lack of DRM translates to a consumer friendly e-reading experience.

As is the case with many digital publishers, authors “…are compensated with a higher royalty.” Additionally, “Carina Press titles will be sold direct to consumers through the Carina Press website, and we’ll be securing 3rd party distribution with retailers such as Books On Board, Fictionwise and Amazon.” While this means there is no guarantee of series distribution, the potential payoff for promotion savvy authors could be potentially higher than going with a traditional publishing model.

In a word: progressive.

Another factor distinguishing Carina Press is that its staff is actively involved in social networking, which makes it a very transparent publisher in the sense that authors and readers can obtain progress updates and learn about new releases by reading its blog or following it on Twitter or Facebook. Carina Press is invested in reaching out to readers, and this sentiment is underscored by the fact that Executive Editor Angela James and her editorial staff are fans of science fiction & fantasy stories. They’re not just editors—they’re also customers.

What makes Carina Press different?

*As stated in the FAQ section, Carina Press views the publishing of its books as a “joint effort” between your art and Carina’s marketing and editorial expertise.

*Carina can adapt to new book trends faster (a definite advantage for niche subgenres like SFR).

*Carina’s flexibility means it’s “not limited by print bookstore shelf space.”

*Carina authors will have more control of their brands, and can expect the publisher to “provide new authors with the tools to get started self-promoting in the digital space.”

*Longevity of sales.

See the Carina Press FAQ for more detailed information.

What kind of stories will Carina Press consider?

According to the submission guidelines,

Carina Press will consider shorter length stories between 15,000 to 50,000 words, genre novels between 50,000 to 100,000 words and longer and complex narratives of over 100,000 words. We expect to publish a majority of romance and erotic romance but are also very interested in women’s fiction, science fiction, fantasy, futuristic, mystery, thrillers, horror, and niches.

As far as editing, “Carina Press goes through the same rigorous acquisition and editorial development processes as traditional print publishers.”

Here is a complete list of genres Carina will consider:

• Romance
• Science Fiction, Fantasy, Futuristic
• Erotica
• Mystery
• Thrillers
• Horror
• Family Saga
• Women’s Fiction
• Interactive Fiction with Multiple/Alternate Endings
• Previously Released Material

Plus, Carina Press considers simultaneous submissions.

Stay tuned, because next we’re featuring an exclusive interview with Carina Press editor Deborah Nemeth!


  1. Carina seems to be on the cutting edge of epublishing. I await your interview with Deborah for more inside info.
    Thanks Heather.

  2. PS The DRM aspect at Carina is a biggie for authors. This means our ebooks can't be shared or passed around without a buy. There is so much going on with ebook pirating these days it is just plain sad. So many pirating sites have popped up lately. These bad guy sites can go and buy one copy of your ebook and make hundreds of copies to sell or give away for free and you as the author got nothing.

    Carina Press's DRM is a great thing believe me!

  3. Okay, my bad-- I think I misunderstood DRM. I went to Carina and re-read about it. I was confusing issues. Just disregard my above post.

    It seems even DRM doesn't and can't stop the pirating of our ebooks (A subject we need to explore more at a later time. But not today!)

    My apologies to Carina and to Heather.

  4. Wonderful and very thorough post on Carina Press, Heather. Thanks so much.

    I'm very excited about the debut of Carina Press and the options it provides to writers in terms of the variety of what it accepts.

    But it's exciting for readers, too. I already have two of its early releases on my MBA (Must Be Acquired) list and I'm sure I'll be adding more.

    Looking forward to the interview with Deborah Nemeth.

  5. As a reader I LOVE the lack of DRM! That means I can move my books between my computer and my readers, something DRM stops dead. I also love that Carina is so forward thinking. I've noticed the Harlequin, prior to this, does see its readers as their customers. They give readers a chance to advance buy books from their website, which I think is very cool. They recognize that readers who prefer digital aren't likely to buy print and have a purchasing model for both, instead of trying to force readers to buy print. Bravo and a hearty good luck to Carina and the authors!

  6. The IN ENEMY HANDS cover art is gorgeous! Why won't Harlequin do that for SUREBLOOD by Susan Grant? Oh, right, I know. Nevermind. (((sigh))) Seriously though, I think it's wonderful to have Carina on board. I wish I could query them, but my SFR is Young Adult. I'll send my next story, a regular adult SFR novella, to them when it's done though.

  7. Kaz's cover is amazing! Really looking forward to the release!

  8. Hi, I am Lilly Cain, author of Alien Revealed. Loved seeing my cover on here, thanks! :)

    I just wanted to chime in and tell you all how much I have enjoyed working with Carina Press. They have been highly professional with a great editing team, the covers are fantastic, and their efforts at helping authors in their social networking efforts as well as their own marketing work is all top notch.

    As a reader as well as an author I love the line up of the first few weeks of Carina's launch - I can't wait to get my hands on some of these books!

    If anyone has any questions regarding Carina I will be glad to share my experience, as it has been extremely positive. Feel free to contact me.


  9. Thanks for the comments on my cover, Kimber and Pauline. As I think I said before, knowing cover art fail, I was a bit leery of how my characters would translate to the cover, as both of them are non-white. No problemo-s. Not even a murmur from anyone at Carina. Ah, bliss! :)

  10. Thanks for highlighting Carina, Heather! I'm so sorry I wasn't around to be involved, but I was actually in Toronto with the team, planning more evil deeds and scheming about things that include how to expand our SF/F catalog!


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