Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.

Hazel Rochman


This week’s recap looks at the Spotlight on Carina Press from the Romance Writers of America convention in New York City.

Editorial Director Angela James presented this spotlight, along with personnel from the marketing, publicity and the Harlequin Author Network.

Carina Press is the digital-first imprint of Harlequin Books. In addition to being published digitally, select Carina Press titles are also released in print and audio versions. Carina celebrated its fifth anniversary in June 2015.

Carina uses a variety of channels to market its titles, from social media and the Carina website, as well as online advertising and other specialty campaigns. Carina also has resources to help authors promote their own books. Carina publicists works with traditional and online media, including bloggers and online influencers.

The Harlequin Author Network is an online portal for Carina and Harlequin Authors. They can check publication schedule, review book covers or publication schedules, track sales and know when foreign editions are coming out. HAN also offers marketing tools and training for authors and keeps authors up-to-date on what’s going on behind the scenes at Harlequin and what is coming up.

Kerri Buckley, senior editor of Carina Press also spoke at this Spotlight. She talked a little about the publishing process. Every manuscript goes through a minimum of two rounds of revisions and four rounds of proofreading. Authors have access to everyone in the company.

Carina publishes a variety of fiction, including New Adult, contemporary and historical romance, mystery and suspense, science fiction and fantasy romance, paranormal romance and erotic romance. They do not publish inspirational or young adult romance. Some of the best-sellers for them right now is sexy, urban, contemporary romance. They are not looking for small-town contemporary romance. They are very interested in sexy, paranormal romance – but no psychics, ghosts, angels or mermaids. Demons, shifters or vampires are okay. Paranormal needs a strong hook to succeed. They would also like to see an erotic science fiction romance (with aliens!). Romantic suspense sells well for them – stories can be either heavy on suspense or heavy on romance. The editors would love to see erotic romance over 75,000 words and more male-male romance.

Carina is happy to work with hybrid authors (those who publish both traditionally and self-publishing.) They want to know what you’re doing as an indie author and collaborate with you on career-building and schedule titles so as not to conflict. They will put a blurb for your indie books in the back of your Carina books.

Carina does not pay an advance. They pay a royalty rate of 40 percent (50 percent for titles sold through the Carina Press website or the Harlequin website.) Their time to market is approximately six to 12 months. They pay royalties quarterly. Carina is open to both agented and unagented submissions. They prefer complete manuscripts, but will also consider queries and proposals.  For more information, go here. 


Books to Go Now is a small press based in the Pacific Northwest. The company publishes both digital and paper editions of most titles, and focuses on romance, though they also publish Mystery and Suspense and New Adult. New Adult stories should be told in first person. In romance, the editors are particularly interested in contemporary, paranormal, erotica and erotic romance, steampunk, time travel and BDSM. They prefer work between 10,000 and 30,000 words. They promise a reply within six weeks. Get all the details here.


The Austin Chronicle is holding its Annual Short Story Contest. The contest is open to all writers, whether you are a Texan or not. Submit your short story of no more than 2,500 words by the deadline of November 11, 2015. Prizes totaling $1500 will be awarded to the top five stories. Read all the guidelines and check out some of the past contest winners here.


Patchwork Hearts combines quilting lore and romance for a rich, emotional love story set in a turbulent time in our nation’s history — just after the Civil War. Check out this title by my altar ego, Cynthia Sterling.



As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. Repost, reprint, retweet, etc. Please give me credit as the source of the information and include a link to this blog. For more about me, visit my websites here and here, or check me out on Facebook


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