What We Want—Erotic Romance

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August brings the heat, and we want you to bring it too!

We’re actively seeking to acquire novel-length erotic romance and what better examples than works by our superstar authors Lynda Aicher and Jeffe Kennedy! Lynda’s new Game Play series will feature h-o-t hockey player romances and Jeffe has just released her new erotic romance/BDSM series, Falling Under. We’re also excited for Emily Ryan-Davis‘s new San Sebastian Sinners series which tangles with ménage…coming in 2015!

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Our editors’ complete wish lists for what they want to acquire RIGHT NOW is available here, but below are more specific requests in the erotic romance genre. Give us your passionate/kinky stories where sexy-times happen in the most daring of places! We know BDSM and club erotic romances are still hot, but we want to see where else you can take us!

Angela James, Editorial Director, is looking to acquire a dark erotic thriller that pushes the edges of exploring forced seduction, fantasy and eroticism

Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, is looking for super-sexy erotic contemporary romances, esp. military or first responders. Series potential is a bonus. LGBTQ/PoC welcome—actively seeking diverse submissions! She’s also looking to acquire envelope-pushing erotic romance, any genre.

Deborah Nemeth, Freelance Editor, is looking for erotic romances featuring badass alpha heroes, and she’d love a contemporary erotic series not set in a sex club.

Alissa Davis, Freelance Editor, is looking for erotic romance with strong dialogue and great sexual tension—bonus points for heroes and heroines who rock at talking dirty.

Mallory Braus, Freelance Editor, is looking for erotic thrillers and suspense. She’d love to see a femme fatale character. She’s also intrigued by the potential of a cross genre Erotic Urban Fantasy with a strong female lead against a strong male lead… For example: something like a Catwoman and Batman pairing.

Tina Burns, Freelance Editor, wants erotic romance for both het and LGBT. Give her it all!

Submit your erotic romance to Carina Press now, right here!

Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session

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Feel like you’re missing out by not attending RWA Nationals this year? Good news! Not all of the editors here at Carina Press are attending either! And those who couldn’t attend this year are taking your pitches in the Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session hosted right here on the Carina Press blog!

Have a manuscript you want considered by our fabulous editors? Now’s your chance! Post your pitch below in the comments section and check back to see if an editor has requested your material!

Editors participating in the pitch session:

Deborah Nemeth @DebNemeth
Alissa Davis @AlissaDenay
Melissa Johnson @MelissJohnson
Tina Burns @TinaBurns

PITCH CONTEST INSTRUCTIONS

Authors are invited to pitch their 200 word (maximum) query and first 100 words or first paragraph for submission. The contest will run from July 23 – July 27 – pitches submitted after this date will not be considered. Please check back on the blog! You must submit your pitch with a valid email address. Authors whose pitches are chosen will be contacted via email. Editors will request materials from authors by July 28. Send your submission no later than July 31, 2014 midnight Eastern. The link you receive will expire after that, and you will be unable to submit via this route. Good luck to all!

ELIGIBILITY TO PARTICIPATE:

1) A complete, ready-to-send, manuscript that falls within the commercial fiction genres that we publish. (Please view our submissions guidelines here)

2) You must be prepared to send your manuscript within 3 days of the Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session.

3) The manuscript cannot be one that has previously received a pass letter from us.

4) The manuscript cannot be one that is currently under review with another Harlequin imprint

5) You may pitch more than one project.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE: 

1) Post your pitch as a comment on the “Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session” blog post which is where the editors will be monitoring the pitches. this blog post will go live on July 23, 2014 9am Eastern.

2) Please do not post pitches for one book in the same blog comment. Enter a separate comment for a new book pitch

3) Please do not post your pitch for the same book more than once

4) Watch for a reply from a Carina Press editor.

5) If an editor lets you know that they’d like to see your submission and your manuscript is NOT currently on submission with us:

a) The editor will contact you via your email address which is required to comment on the blog post. Please be sure to use a valid email address for this purpose
b) Please follow the submission guidelines here and include all required information via the received Submittable link.

If more than one editor asks for your submission, you may choose which editor to send to, though you may also wish to indicate the second editor who had interest, in case the first editor chooses not to read it.

d) Send your submission no later than July 31, 2014 midnight Eastern. The link you receive will expire after that, and you will be unable to submit via this route.

NOTES ABOUT CARINA PRESS NOT-AT-NATIONALS PITCH SESSION

  • You don’t need to direct your pitch to a specific editor. The editors participating will be monitoring the blog comments throughout the day. However, if you want to bring it to the attention of an editor you think it’s particularly suited for, you are welcome to do so. At the bottom of this post is a list of participating Carina Press editors.
  • Please don’t post your pitch more than once on the blog. This includes not changing your pitch five times and posting it five different ways, please. This allows all authors equal opportunity to be seen. Thank you!
  • An updated list of what different editors are looking for is available here. You can see editor bios here.
  • Information about what we publish, our submissions guidelines and specific FAQs can be found here.
  •  Feedback is welcome! Please email us at generalinquiries@carinapress.com if ever you have specific, constructive feedback you’d like to share.

ONE LAST (VERY IMPORTANT) NOTE:

Even if your pitch isn’t selected by an editor, that doesn’t mean your project isn’t right for us. In the end, it’s the words you write in the story that will get us to acquire the book, not the words you wrote for the pitch, so if you’ve written something we publish, please still submit it to us. Your chances of having the manuscript acquired are just as good as those whose pitches we single out.

*Permission to forward this post, use it on blogs and author forums is permitted.*

Submit your pitch in the format below. Please be sure that your query and first 100 words/first paragraph adhere to the word counts below.

Name:

Title:

Genre:

Manuscript Word Count:

200 maximum word query:

First 100 words or first paragraph of your story:

Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch is Coming!

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The Carina Press editorial team will be holding a pitch event on THE CARINA PRESS BLOG from july 23, 2014- july 27, 2014. 

 

Good news! Not all of the editors here at Carina Press are attending this year’s RWA Nationals in San Antonio. And those who couldn’t attend are taking your pitches in the Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session hosted right here on the Carina Press blog!

This pitch session will be similar to the very popular #carinapitch we held back in February, but this time all action will take place on the Carina Press blog. Our pitch sessions have been very successful events! Our February pitch event resulted in requests for over 75 manuscripts and resulted in three new contracted authors.

Our ultimate goal is always to find new authors to acquire, not new authors to reject!

Please read on for details of how the event will work.

 

Beginning July 23, 2014, Carina Press freelance editors will be monitoring the Carina Press blog for book pitches from authors.

Eligibility:

1) You  must have a complete, ready-to-send, manuscript that falls within the commercial fiction genres that we publish. (Please view our submissions guidelines here)

2) You must be prepared to send your manuscript within 3 days of the Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session

3) The manuscript pitched cannot be one that has previously received a pass letter from us

4) The manuscript cannot be one that is currently under review with another Harlequin imprint

5) You may pitch more than one project.

How to participate: 

1) Post your pitch as a comment on the “Carina Press Not-at-Nationals Pitch Session” blog post which is where the editors will be monitoring the pitches. This blog post will go live on July 23, 2014 at 9am Eastern.

Get ready to submit your pitch in the format below. Please be sure that your query and first 100 words/first paragraph adhere to the word counts below.

Name:

Title:

Genre:

Manuscript Word Count:

200 maximum word query:

First 100 words or first paragraph of your story:

2) Please do not post pitches for one book in the same blog comment. Enter a separate comment for a new book pitch

3) Please do not post your pitch for the same book more than once

4) Watch for a reply from a Carina Press editor

5) If an editor lets you know that they’d like to see your submission and your manuscript is NOT currently on submission with us:

a) The editor will send a Submittable link to the email address provided in your blog post. Please be sure to use a valid email address for this purpose.

b) Please follow the submission guidelines here and include all required information via the received Submittable link

If more than one editor asks for your submission, you may choose which editor to send to, though you may also wish to indicate the second editor who had interest, in case the first editor chooses not to read it.

c) Send your submission no later than midnight (EST) on July 31, 2014. The Submittable link provided will expire after that, and you will unable to submit.

  • Notes about carina press not-at-nationals pitch session: 

  •  You don’t need to direct your pitch to a specific editor. The editors participating will be monitoring the blog comments throughout the day. However, if you want to bring it to the attention of an editor you think it’s particularly suited for, you are welcome to do so. At the bottom of this post is a list of participating Carina Press editors.
  • Please don’t post your pitch more than once on the blog. This includes not changing your pitch five times and posting it five different ways, please. This allows all authors equal opportunity to be seen. Thank you!
  • An updated list of what different editors are looking for is available here. You can see editor bios here.
  • Information about what we publish, our submissions guidelines and specific FAQs can be found here.
  •  Feedback is welcome! Please email us at generalinquiries@carinapress.com if ever you have specific, constructive feedback you’d like to share.

One last (very important) note:

If your pitch isn’t selected by an editor, that doesn’t mean your project isn’t right for us. In the end, it’s the words you write in the story that will get us to acquire the book, not the words you wrote for the pitch, so if you’ve written something we publish, please still submit it to us. Your chances of having the manuscript acquired are just as good as those whose pitches we single out.

*Permission to forward this post, use it on blogs and author forums is permitted.*

Participating editors:

Deb Nemeth @DebNemeth
Alissa Davis @AlissaDenay
Melissa Johnson @MelissJohnson
Tina Burns @TinaBurns

 

Romantic Suspense – Give Us Your Drama!

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Publishing trends can be funny. What’s “dead” one year could very well be on a must-have list the next, and vice versa. Romantic Suspense is all the rage at the moment—it’s being asked for at conferences, highlighted on third-party retailers, and hailed as the next “big thing,” once again. That’s exciting to us, because the Carina editors have a special kind of love for heart-pounding stories of love mixed with danger, and Romantic Suspense has always been a genre we actively acquire.

We’ve seen incredible success with and reader investment in Marie Force’s New York Times bestselling FATAL series and others, and are eager to expand our already-robust offerings in 2015 and beyond.

Angela James, Editorial Director, has been asking for a great series featuring mercenaries. Anti-heroes and anti-heroines welcome. Strong female protagonists a must! She is looking for something both action-packed, with lots of things blowing up and getting shot (she’s bloodthirsty!), and also sexy. Heroes who are totally into their heroines will be adored. Heroines who can hold their own against alpha dudes and kick some ass will be moved up to the top of her reading queue.

Kerri Buckley, Editor, would like to see a romantic suspense series set in the wilds of Alaska. Think “Northern Exposure” with a strong suspense arc. She’s also looking for romantic suspense with Eastern European anti-heroes. Real Russian bad boys, please. And finally, suburban spies. Kerri would love to see a high-octane romantic suspense series centering on spies gone deep undercover in an American suburb.

Rhonda Helms, Freelance Editor, is actively seeking a New Adult romantic suspense. Angsty, thrilling, with active characters and a real sense of danger. LGBTQ/PoC welcome—show her the diversity!

Deborah Nemeth, Freelance Editor, would love to acquire a military romantic suspense series, featuring intense alpha heroes and men or women in uniform—SEALs, Rangers, SAS, marines, firefighters, pilots, smoke jumpers…

Melissa Johnson, Freelance Editor, would love to edit a romantic suspense standalone or series that has a new adult flare. She’s looking for well-crafted danger and intrigue, and high emotional drama between the main characters.

Mallory Braus, Freelance Editor, is looking for romantic suspense series that feature a ”Band of Brothers” feel. Especially stories that involve a group-a specialized FBI team, a crew of firemen, a police unit, etc. Where the job risks are high, and there’s a solid connection. Also, thanks to a sudden obsession with television shows “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD,” she’d love to read a series based around a fire rescue squad or an intelligence unit.

Alissa Davis, Freelance Editor, would like to find a military romantic suspense series—m/m or m/f, historical or contemporary.

Have you been working on something that fits the bill for one of our editors? Submit your story HERE.

 

Series Books that Stand Alone

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If I fall in love with an author’s world and characters, it’s wonderful to discover that there are more of them—a series, available to buy and read now.

On the other hand, I hate starting to really get into a book and then getting the sinking feeling that I’ve missed something. That this book is part of a series, and to follow along I really need to read the previous however many volumes first. This forces a decision: do I go to the trouble of buying the first book(s), or DNF and read something else in my TBR pile?

While reading the books of a series in order can be rewarding, that’s not always how we discover them. As subsequent books come out, there will always be new readers checking them out.

I like it when authors make it easy for us to read their series out of order.

If I’m reviewing manuscripts submissions for possible acquisition, I look for this quality in a sequel. This means giving the sequel its own beginning, middle and end. Giving it its own villain, or at least introducing the villain of previous adventures in a new way, in action. Likewise, all characters need to be introduced again. Prior episodes should be treated as backstory, with the focus of the book on the current conflict, goals and motivation.

A book can become overcrowded if the characters of previous books appear for no reason other than to wave at the reader and announce the birth of their youngest child. If the cast is too large, a story can sometimes lose focus.

Of course I realize there are many series that tell one long story and are really best read in order. But if the stories are independent enough, why not write the series so that each book can work as a stand-alone read?

Carina Press–call for submissions, fall ’12!

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It’s submissions week at Carina Press! Every day this week, we’ll have a new call for submissions. Friday will be a special opportunity, for one week only, for all authors sending submissions to Carina Press. I suggest holding your submission to send after you read the blog post that day (but that’s up to you, don’t say I didn’t warn you!) We’ve also updated our submissions guidelines, so please be sure to read the new information and guidelines before submitting. ~Angela

Hellooooo, everyone! As you’ve seen, this week has been all about new submissions Carina Press is looking for. Today, it’s time for our editors to do a round-up of what we’d love in our inboxes.

Of course, our standard disclaimer applies: PLEASE note that in the end, what we really want is a good story, so even if yours doesn’t fit the descriptions below, don’t hesitate to send it to us anyway! Sometimes we don’t know what we want until we get it in our inbox. :-) You can find out more info on all the Carina freelance editors on this page.

That said, here we go:

Rhonda Helms: I’m open to pretty much everything, with or without romance. But a few genres I’m eager to read more of right now include: new adult, atypical fantasy, sci-fi/futuristic, romance (any steaminess level, though I do admit I love the super-hot stuff, haha), stories with a mythological element, historicals (especially featuring real historical figures/events), stories set in unusual locales, thrillers/horror with unusual twists, super-funny romances, books with kick-ass heroines, and anything with a multicultural element.

Gina Bernal: Though always open to romance (of all subgenres and heat levels), urban fantasy and mystery/thriller submissions, there are a few specifics I’d love to see hit my inbox:

  • I’m definitely hungry to build my contemporary, non-suspense romance list. Treat me to anything from a small-town tale to a cosmopolitan love affair, just as long as the story has high emotional stakes.
  • Historicals are always a must-read, especially those that feature the grittier side of life (think shows like Spartacus, Deadwood or Copper), unusual time periods, countries or character types (non-British nobles need love too!). And it never hurts when the history comes with a hint of adventure.
  • For paranormal romance or urban fantasy submissions, the key I’m looking for is world building. Hook me with a fascinating new universe I want to return to again and again. Fill my Game of Thrones void with sweeping fantasy or fantasy romance submissions bursting with drama and intrigue. I’m also interested in steampunk and gaslight fantasy stories, particularly those set outside of Britain.
  • Regardless of genre, I’m seeking out authors with plenty of stories to tell, preferably consistently in one or two genres. I greatly enjoy working on series, so if you have a sequel, trilogy or more planned, make sure to say so in your query.

Melissa Johnson: Melissa is looking for a story in which the main characters have electric chemistry.  She wants to read about two people who can’t resist each other and are enthralled by each other’s strengths and flaws.  In the midst of their dramatic coming together, she’d like them to have meaningful friendships or family relationships, and exist in a fleshed out world.

Krystal Gabert: I’m currently looking for a captivating police procedural. Something with a female lead who is strong but not insufferable and with a narrative that is split between solving a mystery and exploring the relationships/personal lives of the detective(s). I’m also looking for a paranormal shifter romance in which the heroine is perhaps newly turned or is secretly a shifter and is dealing with the emotional issues of living a secret life.

Jeff Seymour: I’d love to see a sci-fi romance or romantic suspense played out in deep space. Bonus points for life-threatening situations involving monsters or ship breakdowns! Steampunk or alternate-history fantasy that takes place outside of Europe and the U.S. would be great as well. And, as always, anything with deep worldbuilding, heartstring-tugging characters, or can’t-put-it-down plotting.

Deb Nemeth: I’m interested in reading manuscripts by authors who plan to write multiple books in the same genre in order to build their readership. I enjoy a wide range of fiction and content—dark, lighthearted, any heat level—but, whatever the genre, I want to see stories with strongly motivated characters and high-stakes conflict. I’m attracted by writing with energy, passion, wit and intelligence. I’m especially drawn to characters on the edge, who have a lot to lose, whether emotional or physical; characters forced out of their comfort zone into no-win situations.

My wish list includes historical and fantasy romances with epic sweep, thrillers and romantic suspense with pulse-pounding tension, cozy mysteries with brain-teasing complexity, fun capers and clever heists, m/m romance, high-adventure space opera, gritty military SF, and contemporary romances with snappy dialogue. I’m looking for historicals in periods other than Regency (Medieval, Tudor, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Jazz Age). I’m crazy about exotic settings—I’d love to get a historical series set in Asia. I enjoy Arthurian and myth-based stories, multicultural characters, blue-collar heroes, SEALs, smugglers, rebels, concubines, sheriffs, spies, bluestockings, nerds and outcasts of all kinds.

Elizabeth Bass: I would love to read a gripping police procedural/thriller with a complex detective anchoring the story. Also, a creepy horror story involving mutant critters, zombies, or really scary (not romantic) supernatural beings. Historical romances of all eras, but especially ones with World War (I or II) settings, Western historicals, and historicals involving actual events/people. I’d also love to see a good mashup, such as a time travel-police procedural or a horror-historical. Nothing makes me happier than when an author takes an offbeat idea and then knocks it out of the ballpark.

Alissa Davis: I edit and love both m/f and m/m and would be happy to see either of those pairings in any of the scenarios I mention below:

  • Tortured heroes. I love ‘em.
  • Reunion romance. I’d love to see submissions where our hero or heroine returns home and falls for an old flame.
  • Interesting settings.
  • Foodie romance. In these books, food or cooking plays a pivotal role in the love story.
  • Forced proximity situations that lead to love. Whether it’s a historical where the heroine is blackmailing the hero or a contemporary with a hero who has a love/hate relationship with his sick child’s doctor, I love books where the characters are stuck with each other.
  • Erotic romance, menage, BDSM, etc. Turn up the heat!
  • Heroes or heroines with blue collar occupations.
  • Fantasy romance with amazing worldbuilding.
  • Professional rivalry/conflict. Got two heroes with competing restaurants or two swimmers up for the same scholarship? Send them my way!
  • My list is low on contemporary romance, and I’m looking for authors with a strong contemporary voice.

Mallory Braus: Mallory looks for characters first. Three dimensional and relatable characters—with depth and vulnerabilities—pull her into a story faster than anything else. She’s looking for all genres, but there are a few things she’s especially keeping an eye out for:

    • New Adult! I’m so excited that Carina Press will now be open to submissions in this genre!
    • I’d love, love, love to find a romantic suspense or contemporary romance that’s set amongst the Amish (non-inspirational)—like Witness or Karen Harper’s romantic suspense series.
    • Psychics – Especially if you have psychic FBI agents or members of a special government agency…
    • I adore quirky characters. Nerdy/dorky heroines or heroes. Funny relatives. Etc.
    • Gritty thrillers.
    • Historical Mysteries. Especially something set in 19th century Urban America. I’ve recently started re-reading The Alienist by Caleb Carr and would love to read a story set with a similar atmosphere!
    • “Band of Brother” type series. Examples would be Nora Roberts’s trilogies, Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters, or J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Where an emphasis is on the building of multiple characters’ relationships.
    • Stories with unique worlds/setting, including, but not limited to: steampunk, post-apocalyptic, futuristic sci-fi, and urban fantasy.

Angela James: If you’ve been watching this week, you’ve seen three calls I did. I’m going to acquire at least one New Adult author with an ongoing series to edit myself, I’m also avidly seeking what I’ve called “contemporary crack”, and yesterday I posted the 2013 holiday collection call, which I’ll be editing. In addition to those, I’m still interested in building some superstars in contemporary romance, something with a fresh hook and appeal, nothing old-fashioned, but a very fun, hip contemporary feel, and that has an ongoing series/trilogy potential. I’m also still interested in acquiring sports-themed romances (MMA/UFC included!) Last, I continue to look for a space opera w/a Wild West flair, fast pacing, incredible world building and fantastically drawn characters.

So, if you have anything that fits an editor request (or even just a great book in general!) to submit, visit our submissions page and follow the directions there. You can address your submission to one of the editors above, or the editorial staff in general. Thanks, and we look forward to reading your amazing stories!

Note from the executive editor: If I can give you one tip to stand out in what we expect to be a busy submissions month, it would be to write an excellent query letter that clearly says what your book is and makes it stand out to us. We have some hints on that here on the blog. Also, f you’ve written something that fits what someone above is looking for, it really does help your submission chances to address it to them, rather than sending it generally addressed and letting me send it to who I think is best. If you can match up with one of these freelance editors, do! ~Angela

Now acquiring: 2013 holiday novellas for our four annual special collections

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Update: because I will be on vacation March 1st, and not able to read submissions during this time, I’ve extended the deadline to March 15th, 2013. ~Angela

Every year we do 3-4 holiday collections in December. Usually, these collections are by-invitation-only, with only one collection being open to submissions. For 2013, I’ve changed things up for this one year only and am opening all of our collections up to submissions and doing four collections instead of three (because I liked both themes suggested and couldn’t choose). I’m going back to by-invitation-only in 2014! This is the only open call for collections/anthologies we have planned for 2013. Please read below for information on submitting to each of the individual collections. All authors are welcome to submit to any or all of the collections, if you want to write 4 different manuscripts!

2103 Contemporary Romance collection

Carina is looking for m/f contemporary romance novellas with a winter holiday theme, to be published digitally both individually and as a collection in December 2013. The novellas should be from 18,000 to 35,000 words and feature holiday elements as integral to the contemporary novella. The stories must be m/f romance, but cannot be erotic romance (that’s a separate collection, see below). However, the stories can range from sweet to sexy, as long as they aren’t erotic. Novellas with any theme of a winter holiday (it does not need to be a Christian holiday) will be accepted.

The contemporary romance holiday collection will be edited by Angela James and  supported by a marketing and promotion campaign both online and in print. In addition,  each author chosen to contribute to the anthology will receive a set number of limited-edition print copies for their own use in giveaways and contests (or to decorate their own bookshelves).

To submit, please send your completed manuscript and synopsis, along with query letter to submissions@carinapress.com by March 1st, March, 15th 2013. In the subject line, please put Contemporary Holiday: Manuscript Title and Author

2013 Erotic Romance collection

Carina is looking for erotic romance novellas with a winter holiday theme, to be published digitally both individually and as a collection in December 2013. The novellas should be from 18,000 to 35,000 words and feature holiday elements as integral to the erotic romance novella. The stories can be of any romance subgenre (paranormal, contemporary, historical, science fiction, etc) and can be m/m, m/f or any combinations thereof. They must be erotic (in the “this novella should come with a melting panties warning label” variety).  Novellas with any theme of a winter holiday (it does not need to be a Christian holiday) will be accepted.

The erotic romance holiday collection will be edited by Angela James and  supported by a marketing and promotion campaign both online and in print. In addition,  each author chosen to contribute to the anthology will receive a set number of limited-edition print copies for their own use in giveaways and contests (or to decorate their own bookshelves).

To submit, please send your completed manuscript and synopsis, along with query letter to submissions@carinapress.com by March 1st, March, 15th 2013.. In the subject line, please put Erotic Holiday: Manuscript Title and Author

2013 themed collection: Harleys and Holidays

Carina is looking for romance novellas with a combined winter holiday and motorcycle theme (despite the name I used, it doesn’t have to be Harleys), to be published digitally both individually and as a collection in December 2013. The novellas should be from 18,000 to 35,000 words and feature holiday elements as integral to the romance novella. The stories can be of any romance subgenre though I expect many will be contemporary and none will be historical ;) and can be m/m, m/f or any combinations thereof, and can range from sweet to erotic.  Novellas with any theme of a winter holiday (it does not need to be a Christian holiday) will be accepted. How will motorcycles play a theme in your novella? Your imagination is the only limit. Motorcycle clubs doing Toys for Tots drive and romance ensuing, the town’s bad boy coming home, or a sassy heroine finding freedom on the road.

This romance holiday collection will be edited by Angela James and  supported by a marketing and promotion campaign both online and in print. In addition,  each author chosen to contribute to the anthology will receive a set number of limited-edition print copies for their own use in giveaways and contests (or to decorate their own bookshelves).

To submit, please send your completed manuscript and synopsis, along with query letter to submissions@carinapress.com by March 1st, March, 15th 2013.. In the subject line, please put Harley Holiday: Manuscript Title and Author

2013 themed collection: Military men and women, Home for the Holidays

Carina is looking for romance novellas with a combined winter holiday and military troops returning home for the holidays theme, to be published digitally both individually and as a collection in December 2013. The novellas should be from 18,000 to 35,000 words and feature holiday elements as integral to the romance novella. The stories can be of any romance subgenre (paranormal, contemporary, historical, science fiction, etc) and can be m/m, m/f or any combinations thereof, and can range from sweet to erotic.  Novellas with any theme of a winter holiday (it does not need to be a Christian holiday) will be accepted. We’re looking for holiday novellas that have a military/Navy SEAL/Air Force/etc theme, with deployed soldiers coming home and finding love, rediscovering love, etc. Any time period or military branch is welcome (including those you make up for a futuristic or sci fi!), but all should centered around coming home during the holidays.

This romance holiday collection will be edited by Angela James and  supported by a marketing and promotion campaign both online and in print. In addition,  each author chosen to contribute to the anthology will receive a set number of limited-edition print copies for their own use in giveaways and contests (or to decorate their own bookshelves).

To submit, please send your completed manuscript and synopsis, along with query letter to submissions@carinapress.com by March 1st, March, 15th 2013.. In the subject line, please put Military Holiday: Manuscript Title and Author

Further details

All submissions will be reviewed and final decision made by April 1st, April 15th 2013. Please read the updated submissions guidelines prior to submitting.

For questions about this call for submissions, please email Angela James at submissions@carinapress.com. I will be the editor on all four collections.

Please note: because these are very specific calls for submissions, and we must wait for the submissions deadline to read all submissions and before making a final decision, if you choose to submit these simultaneously somewhere else, we will not be able to give you a decision before the deadline. We prefer that you do not submit these simultaneously to other publishers, but instead wait for a response. However, we know this is not always possible, so should you choose to submit elsewhere, and receive a contract, we ask that you email us and withdraw your submission promptly from consideration, to save us time. Thank you!

*permission to forward granted*

Special thanks to freelance editor Alison Dasho for the idea of the military holiday theme and fab reader Melissa (@Mimmibklvr) for the Harleys and holidays theme!

Now acquiring: Contemporary crack at Carina Press

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It’s submissions week at Carina Press! Every day this week, we’ll have a new call for submissions. Friday will be a special opportunity, for one week only, for all authors sending submissions to Carina Press. I suggest holding your submission to send after you read the blog post that day (but that’s up to you, don’t say I didn’t warn you!) We’ve also updated our submissions guidelines, so please be sure to read the new information and guidelines before submitting.

So, yes, I’m doing a submissions call for my very own made-up genre. I think this is called letting the power of my position go to my head? But what good is power if you can’t try to acquire what you want to read?

I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary lately and I’ve noticed I’m enjoying two categories that actually share some similarities. The first is New Adult, which I posted a submissions call for yesterday, and the second is what I’ve been calling contemporary crack. What is this crack?

Story elements: High drama, high intensity, often multiple conflicts (relationship conflict and another external conflict, along w/hero and heroine internal conflicts), loving relationships between hero and heroine, sensual sex scenes, frank language. Think a bit of soap operas, with situations that can be a little over the top (except your story should have a happy ending). Series potential is good, but not necessary.

Give yourself permission to write things you might not otherwise write, just to see what happens, but even while making it over the top, wrap it in elements of believability. Make the reader feel as if you might just actually be able to meet these characters and imagine these situations, even while knowing these things will never happen.

Characters: Alpha heroes (sorry, there’s no room for beta heroes in contemporary crack), heroes are often possessive, protective and sometimes jealous over heroines, whom they clearly love. Heroes are into their heroines (this may be clear but conflict still drives them or keeps them apart).

Heroines are smart, sassy and have a backbone. They’re not afraid to talk back, care about their friends, get into trouble and protect their man as much as he protects them. No doormats allowed but we don’t want anyone bitchy either!

Characters might be a bit larger than life, sometimes it works if you have a sports figure, a billionaire (because why go for a millionaire when you can go for a billionaire ;) ), a military man, etc. But you can also have two people who seem ordinary, acting in extraordinary ways.

Other themes: These are meant to be page turners, fast paced and addictive. Let your imagination loose. Maybe you have a heroine in jeopardy (nothing brings out a hero’s protective instincts more, yeah?), a reunion story where two characters with high sexual tension meet again and finally get their happy ending, or even the unlikely couple, where opposites attract and don’t let go.

Can I give you examples? Everyone asks who I think of when I think of this type of book. Kristen Ashley, Lora Leigh, Maya Banks. Julie Garwood’s old historicals. JR Ward’s paranormals. The Harlequin Presents line has definite elements of what I’ve described (perhaps why I love them?) Feel free to share other examples of authors you think fit into what I’ve described above!

Let’s face it, I’m not entirely sure this is the type of book you can sit down to write. It may be that this is one of those things that’s just your voice and style. But I want to read more of it, and I want to publish more of it, and I figure if I don’t define it and ask for it, my chances of doing either are diminished. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone actually try to define it and ask for it so…I’m giving it a go, because I have nothing to lose, right? So if you think you can do it, or you have a manuscript that already fits, go for it! I’m totally game to read these submissions.

(Someone is bound to ask: while I do specify contemporary here, if you think you can write this book in another genre, whether it’s paranormal, historical, futuristic or otherwise…you should totally go for it because I’m in search of the next page turner in any form.)

 

Now acquiring: New Adult at Carina Press

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It’s submissions week at Carina Press! Every day this week, we’ll have a new call for submissions. Friday will be a special opportunity, for one week only, for all authors sending submissions to Carina Press. I suggest holding your submission to send after you read the blog post that day (but that’s up to you, don’t say I didn’t warn you!) We’ve also updated our submissions guidelines, so please be sure to read the new information and guidelines before submitting.

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)

Editors for this genre will be Angela James, Rhonda Helms and Mallory Braus.

For a further explanation of New Adult, please see this interview I did on the Harlequin blog: http://harlequinblog.com/2013/01/exploring-the-new-adult-genre/

Let us tell you: Notes from the Carina Press #rwa12 spotlight

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Normally on Mondays I’d have a You Tell Us question, but this week we’re doing it a bit different and offering up some information! Our roving Harlequin reporter Amy Wilkins was live tweeting the different Harlequin spotlights. Unfortunately (or fortunately for you guys!) Twitter broke and she had to create a transcript instead. I’m sharing that here, keeping in mind that I spoke for a full hour and shared a lot of information! These are some of the points Amy picked out, but if you’re interested in the full spotlight, you’ll be able to purchase it from the RWA website. I’ve also put up the slideshow on SlideShare for anyone to browse.

If you have any questions about the spotlight, the presentation or Carina Press, please feel free to ask them in the comments here, or if you’d prefer to ask privately, please email generalinquiries@carinapress.com and we’ll respond via email!

The transcript:

Due to technical difficulties (we think RWA broke Twitter ;) ), we couldn’t live tweet the Carina Press Spotlight at RWA on July 26. Instead, here’s a transcript of what we would have tweeted (plus some more we probably couldn’t have said in 140 characters, too! Silver lining J )!

 Spotted at the Carina Press spotlight: Shannon Stacey, Ruth A. Casie, editors Rhonda Helms and Mallory Braus and many more!

Carina Press executive editor Angela James has a lot of announcements, but is starting with what Carina Press (CP) is about and how it came to be.

CP is a digital-first imprint of Harlequin. Our first ebooks were published 2 years ago in June.

CP was conceived because of the opportunities for romance and other genres in the digital market. Harlequin staff work on CP because they love it & the books.

There is a lot of variety in Carina Press books and the CP team!

Currently release 2-4 books per week, plus a number of special projects like the Carina Press Editor’s Choice collections, invitation-based anthologies/collections, and a new print project (more about that later!)

Select CP books are also available in audio and print.

CP has a 5-8% acceptance rate for submissions. 8% includes returning authors and agented submissions. The 5% rate reflects unsolicited submissions (aka slush).

Royalty rate is 40% of net receipts from 3rd party retailers and 50% net receipts from CarinaPress.com sales; no advance.

CP ebooks are DRM-free.

We acquire worldwide rights and all rights because Harlequin is a global company and it does use a variety of rights (keep reading for more).

Speed to market from acquisition to release is an advantage with CP and professional covers.

CP publishes a variety of content, most adult fiction genres (just no women’s fiction, inspirational, YA or nonfiction). That includes genres WITHOUT romantic elements!

With Carina Press, authors get editorial support, marketing support, assistance and feedback on marketing plans, cross promotion on Harlequin properties and newsletters, and more. Also have meetings and workshops online and by phone with authors 3-4 times a year where we can share news and authors can ask questions.

As Harlequin authors, CP writers get online author training webinars and videos as well as meet one-on-one with digital team at Harlequin’s Digital Day at RWA on topics like social media training, website reviews, etc. Also webinars on developing author skills like self-editing.

About 30 people work on Carina Press either freelance or as part of Harlequin. Includes 14-16 freelance editors and very low turnover rate.

CP has refined strategy since first books went on sale. For example, narrowed genres CP publishes and reduced number of titles on sale each week from 4-6 to 2-3 so able to focus more attention on each book until CP could grow. We’re now ready to increase to 4 new releases a month so send in those submissions!

CP accepts all heat levels from erotic to sweet romances, plus books without any romantic elements (e.g. mystery, sci fi, fantasy). 15,000 words and up. Will also look at previously published material but particularly looking for a package of backlist titles.

CP’s top genres are: 1) Contemporary Romance 2) Paranormal romance 3) Romantic Suspense 4) Erotic Romance

Top genres in print: 1) Contemporary Romance 2) Romantic Suspense 3) Mystery à different because of Harlequin’s Direct to Consumer subscriptions, especially Mystery.

CP has 265 contracted authors, including 30% debut authors. CP is very interested in debut authors because we love their enthusiasm and we want to build their careers.

Key message from Angela: no matter who you publish with, be ready to build your career with a publisher with multiple books. It’s a lot easier to build an author with more than 1 book.

Over 2/3 of authors have multiple books contracts with CP or return for more than 1 contract.

CP books have hit the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists as well as individual retailers’ bestseller lists (e.g. Amazon and Barnes & Noble). CP/Harlequin team works with retailers for promotions.

CP helps build authors with consistent cover design for author branding. Even debut authors with 1 book get individual and group promotions (e.g. targeted ads on blogs and sites for individual authors or specific genre; 99 cent pricing promos this summer).

Now have CP books published in the UK, Italy, Germany, through Harlequin’s international offices. 70% of CP titles are sold in audio from Audible.com. Audible currently picks up about 90% of new releases each month. Other new uses for content include backlist ebook bundles (e.g. Christine d’Abo Long Shots Books 1-3 bundle of first 3 novellas) and new print opportunities.

The Future of Carina Press:

-          More targeting of specific genres. E.g. getting great attention on fantasy and fantasy romance. Will have 2 weeks of fantasy in February 2013.

-          More special projects like themed collections and continuities.

-          Scheduling more connected editorial from individual authors strategically. CP may hold back releasing the first book in a series so can release a book every 6 months or so for a bigger marketing push and suit the authors’ schedule. CP currently has 20-25 series on the go.

-          Updated submissions guidelines coming soon!

-          Increasing CP marketing support, such as more digital sampling, and even more use of print and foreign rights. Print on Demand is coming (no start date yet) and Harlequin is printing a trade-format anthology of erotic romance novellas by Delphine Dryden, Christine d’Abo and Jodie Griffin in November called The Theory of Attraction. It will be the first print book sold under the Carina Press imprint!

Authors can expect honesty, commitment and insight into the publishing process from CP.

Audience got to vote on the cover for 2 future releases: Lynda Aicher’s first book, an erotic romance called Bonds of Trust. Also voted on the cover for Susanna Frasers’s An Infamous Marriage.

Question from the audience: How do you feel about self-published authors submitting to Carina Press?

Answer from Angela: CP is happy to look at submissions from previously self-pub’d authors but do prefer to see new content (but will always look at it!).

Angela’s personal call for submissions (more here: http://carinapress.com/blog/2011/12/submissions-call-from-angela-james-something-i-rarely-do-anymore/ )—she’s looking for: sports-themed romance, “space westerns” in the vein of Firefly, novel-length (i.e. 70k words or longer) erotic romance, novel-length paranormal romance with a fresh twist. Also looking for new opportunities for serialization.

For info on what other Carina Press editors are looking for, check their bios on the CP Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/CarinaPress) or the Carina Press blog at CarinaPress.com (here: http://carinapress.com/blog/2011/10/carina-press-call-for-submissions/).