Special calls for submissions:
Carina Press is Harlequin’s digital-first adult fiction single title imprint, publishing first in digital, with releases in audio and print as well.
Our mission is to connect readers with authors who write the stories they want to read. Though Harlequin is mainly known as a romance publisher, Carina Press publishes adult fiction genres other than romance and features books from talented authors in all genres of romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, mystery, and more.
If the book of your heart fits into a niche that has very little shelf space in a traditional bookstore, Carina Press is eager to read and potentially publish your story.
Want to find out more about Carina Press staff, editors and authors? See this page for links to staff on social media. Visit this page for information on the editors, what they’re looking for and links to them on social media.
WHAT WE’RE SEEKING…
Carina Press will consider most genres of adult commercial fiction (we do not publish inspirational, women’s fiction, family sagas or literary fiction). If your manuscript is 15,000 words or longer and is a genre adult fiction story (that is not inspirational fiction, women’s fiction, family saga or literary fiction) we will consider it! We will not look at manuscripts under 15,000 words, nor will we consider YA, children’s books or any non-fiction, including poetry and memoirs.
We publish a majority of romance but are also very interested in and publish science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thrillers, and niches such as steampunk, male/male, time travel, westerns, futuristics and unusual historicals. If you have something new and fresh in a genre we acquire, we would be happy to read your story!
Important note: We do not require non-romance genre fiction books to have romantic elements. We read, acquire and publish non-romance with no romantic elements as well! If you have a mystery, thriller, science fiction or fantasy that has no romantic elements, we want to see it.
Your passion, quality of writing and voice is what will make your manuscript stand out and be considered for publication.
We are not acquiring young adult novels, inspirational fiction, women’s fiction, family sagas or literary fiction. Your book should fit into a genre fiction category. Additionally, Carina Press is not acquiring non-fiction or poetry of any kind.
- Erotic Romance
- Science Fiction and Fantasy
- New Adult
- Interactive Fiction with Multiple/Alternate Endings
- Previously Released Material
- How to Submit
We are seeking submissions in all subgenres of romance with all all levels of sensuality. We welcome everything from the very sweet to the incredibly erotic, featuring couples (or multiples) from all walks of life and sexual orientation, including same-sex romances. Romances should focus on the development of the relationship, as well as external and internal conflict; the heat level should be appropriate to the book and enhance the story, and the primary relationship in the book should offer a happily ever after (HEA) or happily for now in an emotionally satisfying manner.
Subgenres of romance we are seeking include, but are not limited to, historical, romantic suspense, romantic comedy, futuristic, contemporary, western, Egyptian, Roman, paranormal, erotic romance and fantasy.
Romantic suspense authors should also look at our mystery guidelines below
Miniseries have proven to be very popular with readers and Carina Press is looking for interesting twists on established, popular romance themes and tropes (marriage of convenience, cowboys, friends to lovers, billionaires, vampires, secret babies and more). We are interested in seeing your fresh interpretation on these tropes and themes. The only limit is your imagination!
Please also see the science fiction and fantasy guidelines.
Carina Press continues to acquire submissions in the erotic romance genre. While we are acquiring all works of 15,000 words and up, we are particularly interested in novel-length stories (70,000 words or more) with series potential. The language in these books should be frank and explicit, with the sensuality and sexuality of the story being an integral part of the plot and themes. Sexual tension and explosive chemistry between the protagonists is key in building the intensity of the story and sexiness of the erotic romance. Additionally, erotic romances should have a happily ever after or happily for now in the romance between two or more characters. For those books that don’t focus on the romance or contain a happily ever after, please see our erotica guidelines below.
Erotica, differing from erotic romance in not promising a happily ever after within the story line, will also be considered. The story must still contain good character and plot development, and the sexual content must be integral to the development of the story. No Penthouse Letters, please! No incest, explicit sexual scenes with minors or bestiality.
Carina Press is now accepting submissions in the New Adult genre. We are looking for submissions with a strong story and fully developed, very definable protagonists, 18 and above, (or at an age eligible to enter college), in their early to mid-20s. While at least one protagonist should fall in this age range, it is possible the other protagonist may fall in their upper 20s.
Story elements should be targeted to an adult, not teen audience, and should contain adult contemporary themes, frank, modern language, high relationship drama and intense conflict. Characters actions, dress and dialogue should all be age-appropriate. Think of the relationship drama of the college years and run with that!
Other elements that work in this genre (but are not required to be considered for publication) include increased sensuality, love triangles, protagonists with traumatic events in their background, and protagonists who have celebrity status–actors, musicians, athletes, etc. (Please do not use real celebrities).
Stories can be stand alone or part of a series. For those that are part of a series, please also submit a series overview–a brief, one-page outline of future books or plot elements.
As we are seeking romances, these stories should contain a happily ever after or happily for now. If the relationship takes place over the course of several books and the HEA will occur in a later book, please submit a series overview as stated above.
We’re looking for manuscripts of 50,000 words and up and though we are particularly interested in the contemporary genre, we will also consider books in other sub genres as well (such as paranormal, post apocalyptic, dystopian, etc)
Check out these two blog posts for more information on New Adult:
Science fiction and fantasy
Carina Press is extremely interested in acquiring manuscripts in these genres. Science fiction and fantasy submissions are not required to have any romantic elements to be considered for publication. Under these genres, we are also very interested in space opera, cyberpunk and other similar subgenres.
We are open to the full range of mysteries, from soft to hard including cozies, procedurals, historical mysteries, and contemporary PIs. We are especially interested in seeing mysteries in the 70,000 to 100,000 word range. A selection of our mysteries, thrillers and romantic suspense titles go to print via Harlequin’s Direct to Consumer Reader Service Suspense program and are also made available for sale in print on Harlequin’s main website.
Thrill us with your edge-of-the-seat suspense story. We are open to all types and very eager to find psychological, legal, medical, and political thrillers. Please note that your thriller should have good pacing from start to finish. There’s not much room for dull pacing in a thriller!
Interactive Fiction with Multiple/Alternate Endings
Do you have a 21st century way of telling a story that allows the reader to interact with the book and choose their own path through the story, with multiple endings available?
Previously released material
Carina Press will also consider books that have been previously released, but for which the author has either retained digital rights or had rights revert to them. To submit previously published material, please follow the below guidelines and submit it to Angela James at: email@example.com. If your books are not available for submission digitally due to publication pre-digital age, please send a detailed query letter to Angela in lieu of manuscript/synopsis.
HOW TO SUBMIT
Please submit queries for only completed, fully polished manuscripts. In the subject line of your query, please type your manuscript name, your name, and genre of the manuscript. Queries must include the following and will not be reviewed if any piece is missing:
- Brief, introductory query letter listing genre, word count and a short description of the book, as well as any pertinent information about the author, including both legal name and pen name and any writing credits.
- Full mailing address included in query letter. This is a new requirement due to a change in Harlequin’s manuscript tracking system.
- The full manuscript saved as an RTF file and attached, with file name TITLE_MANUSCRIPT where you substitute your book’s title in place of TITLE.
- The full manuscript must be under 4 MB in size. We’re unable to send files larger than this to our editors due to restrictions in our email system. If your manuscript is over 4 MB, please remove extra images, delete extraneous styles or font use that may increase file size
- 2-5 page synopsis of book that details character development, plot, and conflict/story resolution. Attach as an RTF file with file name TITLE_SYNOPSIS where you substitute your book’s title in place of TITLE.
- Please be sure to put the following information on the first page of all files: manuscript name, author pen name/legal name, email address, phone number, genre, and word count. If you don’t include your phone number, it makes it impossible for us to make The Call!
Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All submissions will receive an auto-response acknowledging receipt of submission. If you don’t receive an auto-response, please send a follow-up email, with no attachments, asking for verification of receipt. Please allow 12-16 weeks for an editorial response to your submission. If a response has not been received after 16 weeks, please follow-up with the email@example.com email address. In the subject line of your query, please type your manuscript name, your name, and genre of the manuscript. (Example: Book X by Jane Doe, Steampunk). In the body of the email, please let us know the date it was submitted. It is also helpful if you email from the same email address your submission was sent from.
In addition to the FAQs below, we have compiled a list of blog posts we’ve written over the past three years that may be helpful to you in the submission process.
- As Carina Press is an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Ltd, how is it different from the other imprints?
- What are the advantages of digital publishing?
- Why should I choose Carina Press?
- What are your digital royalties?
- How should I format my book?
- My genre isn’t listed in the submission guidelines, does that mean you won’t consider it?
- Will you consider my book young adult simply because my characters are young?
- Do you publish books set in places outside the US and Canada?
- Does my book have to have romantic elements or a specific heat level to be published by Carina Press?
- Do you accept unagented submissions?
- Do you accept simultaneous submissions?
- Can I submit to Carina Press if Harlequin has rejected me?
- Can I submit multiple manuscripts at one time?
- Will Carina Press publish my book into print?
- Do you pay advances?
- Can I create my own cover art?
- Who should I address my submission to?
- My book is in first person, is that okay?
- Will my manuscript be edited and copy edited?
- Will I be charged to publish my book with Carina Press?
- Do I have to live in North America to be published by Carina Press?
- Why did you select the name Carina Press?
As Carina Press is an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Ltd, how is it different from the other imprints?
At the very basic level, Harlequin is a traditional print publisher with a robust digital-offering, while Carina Press is a digital-first imprint of Harlequin, with a mandate to publish original fiction in digital format first, print maybe.
- The Carina Press contract does not include an advance and authors are compensated with a higher digital royalty instead.
- Carina Press digital titles do not use DRM (digital rights management)
- Carina Press titles go to publication in digital format first, with possibility of print at a later date.
- Carina Press digital titles are sold direct to consumers through the Carina Press website and through 3rd party distribution with retailers such as Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Amazon.
What are the advantages of digital publishing?
Our distribution model is strictly digital, which means we’re not limited by print bookstore shelf space — this gives us greater flexibility in the type of editorial we can accept from authors, and offer to readers.
We’re also able to quickly get new books to market — if a genre is new and developing, we want to be there with books readers are eager to read.
Why should I choose Carina Press?
We view Carina Press as a joint effort between publisher and author–we combine our editorial and marketing expertise with your passion for your story to make sure it gets into the hands of readers who will love it. Our editors are all experienced fiction editors–all come from a background of fiction editing and are tremendously talented, working with the author to polish their work until it shines.
The marketing department provides professional cover art, marketing support, conference materials and more to both promote individual authors as well as help authors promote themselves.
Behind the scenes, our production and retail teams work to produce a superior product and then coordinate with our 3rd party retail partners to get your title in front of readers with the most optimal placements.
Together, we bring an enthusiastic team dedicated to the success of every author and title we publish, from the moment your book is acquired to long after it’s been published.
What are your digital royalties?
Carina Press pays 40% of net digital receipts to books sold on 3rd party retail sites and 50% of net digital receipts to books sold directly on the Carina Press website. Our contract also lays out royalties for the other rights, such as audio, print and foreign translation.
How should I format my book?
We don’t have formal formatting requirements. We only ask that you double space and use a legible, plain black font. Please see our Submission Guidelines for full details on how to send your manuscript once completed.
My genre isn’t listed in the submission guidelines, does that mean you won’t consider it?
We are not acquiring young adult, inspirational fiction, women’s fiction, family sagas or literary fiction. If your book is a commercial fiction manuscript, but not one of those genres, we’ll take a look at it.
Will you consider my book young adult simply because my characters are young?
No. Age of characters alone will not make your book a young adult. We recognize in some genres, for instance fantasy, young protagonists may be featured in an adult-themed novel. In deciding whether you’re able to pitch your novel to us as adult fiction, please take into consideration both your targeted audience and the themes of your story. Additionally, we are now accepting New Adult, and it may be that your book may fit within those parameters.
Do you publish books set in places outside the US and Canada?
Absolutely. We’ve published books set all over the world, from Austria to Egypt to England. We don’t limit submissions based on where the book is set.
Does my book have to have romantic elements or a specific heat level to be published by Carina Press?
We do not require manuscripts that are submitted have romantic elements or any romance at all. We’ll continue to publish non-romance in a variety of genres. In addition, we do not have any sexuality or heat level restrictions or expectations. We publish a variety of books across heat levels, from sweet to erotic. In fact, erotic romance or erotica comprises only approximately 15% of what we publish.
Do you accept unagented submissions?
Do you accept simultaneous submissions?
Yes. However, you cannot submit to Carina Press and any other subsidiary of Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. simultaneously (ie. Harlequin, Silhouette, MIRA, Luna, etc.) But you are welcome to submit a manuscript to us that is also under consideration at other publishers. We only ask that you let us know immediately if it’s contracted elsewhere, so we can let our editors know it’s no longer available.
Can I submit to Carina Press if Harlequin has rejected me?
Yes, you may submit a manuscript that has been rejected by any publisher, including Harlequin. There may be very good reasons why your manuscript will not fit into traditional print publisher’s program, but we have a great deal more flexibility and opportunities at Carina Press.
Can I submit multiple manuscripts at one time?
Yes. You can submit more than one submission to Carina Press. However, please do not send more than one book at a time in a series. (ie. don’t send books one and two in a trilogy or series, send just book one and wait for a response.) For multiple submissions, please send a separate email containing all of the necessary parts for each separate story.
Will Carina Press publish my book in print?
Though our main focus is and will continue to be digital publishing, we are utilizing some print rights and continue to look for further opportunities in the future. Our books go into print through a variety of channels including Harlequin’s subscription program, other Harlequin imprints, Carina Press trade and Carina Press mass market.
Do you pay advances?
No. Our author contract is strictly royalty based.
Can I create my own cover art?
As part of the Carina Press process, we take on the cover art for you. Every author provides us with as much info on their title as possible, and we work with a consistent group of artists to create covers that have a distinct Carina Press look and feel, while reflecting the genre and tone of the book. All covers are reviewed by our marketing team and the book’s editor before being sent to the author for their thoughts. Our goal is to create a cover that you’ll be proud to promote and that will attract great sales for your book.
We ask that authors not send us prospective covers with their submissions, as we are unable to use author-produced covers.
Who should I address my submission to?
Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and can be addressed to Angela James or Dear Editor. Your query does not need to be personally addressed, as there’s a team of freelance editors who read submissions. If you’d like to see which editors are specifically seeking certain genres, you can visit the editor bio section on our Facebook Pageand you are welcome to direct a submission to one of these editors. Additionally, our editors put out specific calls for submissions on occasion, via both their Twitter accounts and the Carina Press blog.
My book is in first person, is that okay?
Will my manuscript be edited and copy edited?
Yes. Carina Press goes through the same rigorous acquisition and editorial development processes as traditional print publishers, and sometimes more, as we utilize freelance editors whose sole job it is to edit your book.
Will I be charged to publish my book with Carina Press?
No. Carina Press is not a vanity publisher and the author is not asked to pay for publication, editing, cover art or other services.
Do I have to live in North America to be published by Carina Press?
No. Carina Press authors live worldwide.
Why did you select the name Carina Press?
Carina is a constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for the keel of a ship, and it was formerly part of the larger constellation of Argo Navis which represents the Argo, the ship from Greek mythology that carried heroes Jason and the Argonauts on their successful voyage to capture the Golden Fleece.
We’re suckers for a great story, and Greek mythology is full of fantastic stories — when we came upon Carina, the sailing imagery really appealed to us (we even included sails in our logo). We’re sailing in a new, exciting direction into uncharted waters.