Submission call from me! (something I rarely do anymore)

So Carina Press keeps me pretty busy on the admin (and travel, omg, the travel!) side of things and it doesn’t leave me a lot of time for editing. I still do some editing, but it’s generally not much more than one or two novels a year, and then the holiday novella collections. I almost never acquire from slush anymore but…

I’m looking to acquire a few things for my own schedule for Fall 2012.

Here’s what I’m specifically looking for:

A contemporary romance trilogy or series. I love editing Shannon Stacey’s books and I want to edit more contemporary romance, so I’m looking to acquire an author who has a contemporary romance trilogy or series planned. Any heat level considered! I’m specifically looking for contemporary romance novels (over 70k) but will consider a novella series (forA?novellas, even better if they’re erotic, but not necessary)

A new paranormal romance (or urban fantasy w/romantic elements) series. The good news for you is that I’ll consider all manner of paranormal, including vampires, shifters, etc. I’m not wore out on paranormal, so hit me with your A-game, even if it’s a vampire series! Again, any heat level considered.

A very, very hot erotic romance series. Smokin’ hot. Any subgenre, any length. Can be BDSM or m/m. Just looking for smokin’ hot erotic romance (not erotica, please).

So the trend here is that I’m looking for an author/authors I can build within a series in these particular genres. I’m not looking for standalone novels or novellas for this particular submissions call for myself (though Carina Press is always willing to and does acquire standalones).

If you have something now, or in the coming weeks/months that fits the bill, please follow the submissions guidelines here, and send to the submissions address. However, please note in the body of your query letter that you’re responding to my specific call for submissions (many subs come in addressed to me, so I won’t know, just based on that, that you’re responding to this call).

Edit: I’ve had some questions about subbing an idea or partial. Carina Press submission guidelines require a full manuscript and so do I, unless we’ve worked together before, or you have an established history of publishing quality work, and you have an established author brand, in which case, I’d consider a proposal/partial w/thorough synopsis.

Are you in: Denver, Tucson, Las Vegas, Toronto or Seattle?

Those are all places I’ll be visiting and speaking at writer’s conferences or RWA chapter meetings in the next three months! In addition, I’ll also be near Tampa, Florida. If you’re in or near any of those places, and would be interested in attending, meeting me and hearing me talk about publishing, brand building, social media and the rise of digital, then read on! Also, I should note that I’m nearing the end of 2011 and the year of travel. In 2012, I’ll be traveling and doing far fewer appearances (for my own sanity, and the sake of all the other things I need to accomplish!)

September 9-11, Denver, Colorado. Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference.

Join me as I offer critiques, pitches, a 2-hour workshop on brand building and participating in the editor panel.

Registration for the conference is still open here.

September 24, Tucson, Arizona. Saguaro Romance Writers.

Here I’ll be speaking to this chapter in a smaller environment. My agenda hasn’t been set by the chapter yet, but I’ll be there speaking for at least 4 hours on brand building, publishing Q&A, social media, etc. From their website, I understand that non-members are welcome to attend. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come and see me!

October 19-23, St. Pete Beach, Florida. Novelists Inc. conference.

This will be my third year attending the NINC conference and if last year is anything to go by, I think this will be an outstanding conference for authors. On Thursday, the conference gathers together a collection of industry professionals to sit on panels, asking some in-depth questions about the industry (only one panel at a time goes on). On Friday thru Sunday, there are writing workshops offered by a variety of authors, agents, editors and other experts. I believe I’ll be participating in both the Thursday panels, as well as offering a workshop that weekend (the schedule hasn’t yet been set).

I should also add that St. Pete was one of my favorite conference locations. The beach was beautiful (and I live near a beach, but I still enjoyed being right there) and the hotel rooms very comfortable. I’m so glad the conference is going to be there again.

Registration is open.

October 28-30, Seattle, Oregon Washington. Emerald City Writer’s Conference.

In Seattle, I’ll be taking pitches, drinking martinis, giving a workshop Q&A on the future of digital and future of publishing, and drinking martinis (okay, I threw the drinking martinis in this one just to change it up a bit, lol!)

This is a larger regional conference, and I encourage area authors to attend! For readers, there’s also a booksigning that you might want to check out!

Registration is open here.

November 12, Toronto, Ontario. Toronto Romance Writer Chapter.

The program for Toronto hasn’t been set yet, but I can tell you a few things: I’ll be doing a Q&A about publishing at the very least, and there are a number of Carina authors who belong to this chapter, as well as a number of published authors, so you’ll have a lot of people to meet and ask questions of.

Toronto is also where the Harlequin offices are located, so I’ll see what kind of goodies I can dig up for this event 😉

Guests/non-members are welcome at this chapter. Look for more information here.

November 19, Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas Romance Writer Chapter.

Even though this is the last appearance of the year, I already have the program for it! Here it is:

Building Your Brand (1hr)
Using Your Website to Support Your Brand (1hr)
Lunch Break (1hr)
Publishing in the Digital Age (1hr)
Kamikaze Cold Reads (1hr)

Yep, I’m doing all of those, so you get me for four hours of speaking! And, dude…Las Vegas. Even if you’re not close, maybe you want to come anyway?

Their website is here.

As I said above, this will be my last appearance until January 2012 (when I’ll be in both New Jersey, New York and California!) But that’s 2012…

Tell me, will I be seeing any of you at any of these last 2011 appearances?

A Carina Press anniversary post from Rhonda Stapleton

In celebration of our one year anniversary, I asked as many of our Harlequin team members and Carina Press freelance editors as possible to write a short blog post, talking about what the past year or so has been like for them, working on Carina Press. I deliberately didn’t provide any direction other than that, because I wanted to see what people came up with, in the spirit of Carina’s 1st anniversary. I was so pleased when I saw what they’d all come up with, and had to say (and some of these posts made me just a little teary)! I hope you enjoy the post, and look for your opportunity to win a Carina Press book at the bottom of this post. If you’re curious about my thoughts on the Carina Anniversary, you can find me on the Carina blog today, and on Nadia Lee’s blog, talking about it ~Angela James


Rhonda Stapleton is a freelance editor for Carina Press. You can follow her on Twitter.


Happy 1-year anniversary, Carina!


Being an editor for Carina Press has been one of the most awesome experiences of my life. This past year, since Carina launched, Ia??ve read hundreds upon hundreds of submissions, edited some amazing manuscripts, learned the fine art of balancing my schedule and bonded with fellow freelance editors over how glorious cheese really is.


Herea??s a bulleted list of a few things Ia??ve learned, experienced, loved and hated about being a part of Carina this past year:


–You really cana??t be too nit-picky about the details within a manuscripta??because if you arena??t, the copy editor will be. Those people catch EVERYTHING and will make you feel dumb with every. Single. Manuscript. And if they dona??t, the readers do, and then we get to hear ALL about it, haha.


–Therea??s something intoxicating about being one of the first people to get a real gem of a manuscript. As youa??re reading, youa??re already planning how youa??re gonna pitch it for acquisition, looking for edits you think it needs, etc. In short, youa??re vesting yourself in ita??and THATa??S how I know a story has hooked me.


–One of the only things I hate about working for Carina? When I fall in love with a story and get to acquire ita??only to lose it to another publisher. I finally understand how awful that feels. IT SUCKS.


–The other thing I hate about working for Carina? Having to reject manuscripts (not writersa??manuscripts). Sometimes I fall for an authora??s voice, but the story itself doesna??t work for me. Sometimes the author needs to work harder on the craft before submitting. Sometimes a story is sooooo close but not quite there. It never gets any easier, regardless of the reason for rejection, and I always feel guilty about it. Luckily most authors are incredibly gracious.


–I love working at home. As Ia??m typing this, Ia??m sitting on my covered patio, listening to birds chirp. The sun is warm, soft, with light breezes flowing through the large screened windows. My old job? I was in a gray cubicle facing the mena??s bathroom. Yeah, Ia??m happy to be done with that.


So, happy 1-year anniversary, Carina Press! Thanks for letting me do what I love mosta??read, bond with authors and make stories as strong as they can be.

To celebrate Carina’s one year anniversary of publishing books, we’re giving away some prizes. Today, on each of the nineteen blogs our team members are featured on, we’re giving away a download of a Carina Press book to one random winner (that’s nineteen total winners!) All you need to do to be entered to win is comment on this post. You can enter to win on all nineteen posts. In addition, on the Carina Press blog, we’re giving away a grand prize of a Kobo ereader and 12 Carina Press books of the winner’s choice. Visit the Carina Press blog to enter to win, and to see links to all 19 of today’s blog posts.

And a sincere thank you from all of us, to our readers and authors, for making Carina Press’s first year a success!


The “read” necklace

You may remember I was on The Marilyn Denis Show a few weeks back. After many of you watched the online video, I had a tremendous number of comments on the necklace I was wearing, wondering where you could get one. If you didn’t see the video and are wondering about my necklace, here’s a picture:

If you’ve been following me long enough, you probably know I’m a huge fan of Etsy, so it’s probably no surprise that I bought this necklace (I actually bought several of them) on Etsy a few months back. The seller is sweetfairyboutique and she has a number of necklaces crafted of the same material, so you should check out her shop, but the READ necklace can be found specifically here for the seriously dirt cheap price of $8.50.

I mentioned I bought a few of these (I gifted them to friends) and the seller was kind enough to gift me a few more when I told her I had worn her necklace on the show and wanted to give her an opportunity to get them into her shop before I linked to them. I’ve now seen them in every color and they are all beautiful, but I think the blue is my new favorite. But I’m still glad I had the red to wear on the show, because I think it stood out and really sent my message along! Read more books! (especially Carina Press and Harlequin books, of course)

If you’re an author, an artist, or otherwise a creative person, you may also be interested in the necklaces that read CREATE. I have this one, in script, to give away in a future contest but you can also get them in the same block font as the READ necklace. They look beautiful in script and I can’t recommend these necklaces enough for the low price!

And I promise, should I ever be fortunate enough to appear on TV again, you’ll get to experience more of my reading-related Etsy jewelry. I have more!

I’m going to be on TV

I kind of meant to post this earlier, but I’m in Toronto and have been either in meetings, or preparing for meetings, for three solid days. But just in case any of my readers are in Canada, I thought I’d let you know that on Thursday, January 20th (tomorrow) at 10a Eastern, I’m going to be on the Marilyn Denis Show doing a segment on digital devices.

I don’t know for sure, but if you’re not in Canada, it looks like they may stream it online and, if nothing else, the clip may be up on the website later in the day.

This is something new for me, as I don’t think I’ve ever been on TV before (other than a political commercial when I was in 6th grade–for a Republican senator, hahaha– and a news interview when I was a “flood refugee” years ago) and certainly I’ve never been on live TV before.

Happily, I’m still not too nervous, but I can’t speak for what I’ll be like in the morning!

2010: The year of less editing but awesome books

In past years, it would have been impossible for me to do this post. During my time with Samhain, I edited just over 250 titles in 4 years. I worked for royalties and more editing equaled a living wage! But since my situation with Carina is different, and editing is not actually in my main job description, but is something I do more because there are a few authors who still love working with me (thank you!) and because it’s something I love doing, I can highlight here the books I edited in 2010 because there are only nine!

Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey — it’s not often I’ll say a book I edited is a favorite because I love everything I edit (or I wouldn’t edit it) but I’m going to admit here and now to having a soft spot for this book. Not only was it the first book I edited for Carina, but it was one of the launch week releases and it continues to be our top selling title. A contemporary, non-erotic romance. I’m proud of this book and the reception it’s gotten from readers, and I hope if you didn’t get a chance to read it in 2010, you’ll put it on your 2011 reading list.

Fair Game by Josh Lanyon — How happy was I that Josh wanted to work with me and Carina? I think Josh is an amazing author, fantastic at promoting his work and his brand, and consistently puts out quality product at multiple publishers. When Josh sent me Fair Game, it didn’t disappoint when I got it for edits. Not only did I adore the characters, but I loved the suspense. And Josh is such an incredible professional during edits, responding exactly right to editorial suggestions and feedback. A love of m/m romance isn’t necessary to appreciate this fantastic story. In 2011, Josh will re-release Snowball in Hell with Carina. I’m sad to say that I won’t be editing it, but I fully intend to edit the follow-up to Fair Game that I hope will come in 2011!

Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey — I’m sure Shannon is cringing reading this, wondering what I’ll say about UY because, you see, this was a difficult book for us. I don’t even know how many books Shannon and I have worked on together, but I do know it’s a lot and this is the first book that I’ve ever given her really major, we’re gutting this and this, type edits. They were hard. Really hard.A? I’m pretty sure a dart board with my picture on it was involved at one point but Shan didn’t give up and we ended with a book we can both be proud of. In June 2011, the third Kowalski book will release–Yours by Design.

Mercy by Eleri Stone — So, I think the thing that makes this book most unique on my list is that Eleri is a debut author–an author I’d never worked with before, unlike all the others, who I have an editing history with. But I randomly opened this submission one day and I was hooked. I loved the story, I loved her voice and I knew I wanted to edit this sexy paranormal novella. I can’t wait to see this author’s career develop as she publishes future books because she has some writing chops! Eleri currently has a follow-up book in the same world on submission, so I have high hopes for her in 2011!

Second Chances by Lauren Dane — I still remember the first submission I got from Lauren (Giving Chase, in case you’re curious). But that wasn’t the first time we met. We were members of another publisher’s yahoo group and pregnant at the same time. I remember Lauren announcing her first ever sale. And I’m thrilled to have worked with her and developed such an incredible relationship over the years. So I was bouncy when she asked if I’d be interested in working with her to re-release Second Chances. Would I? Ha! Second Chances is unique in a sea of erotic romances, and I’m glad to have gotten the chance to work on it. Next, Lauren and I have an urban fantasy releasing in June 2011. And someday, I hope to revisit small town contemporaries with her, because I loved the Chase Brothers!

All She Wants for Christmas by Jaci Burton — These next four books were all part of the invitation-only Carina Christmas collections. Since I’ve already talked about the other three authors, I’m not going to talk about them individually, except this one. When I was coming up with a list of authors I wanted to invite to do the Christmas collection, I knew Jaci had to be on it. But I also knew her schedule was insane. After all, she’s a New York Times Bestselling Author now, writing for Berkley and with a deadline for Mira (her first book there releases in 2011). So I threw myself on the sword of our friendship and asked her to write a novella for me. I was lucky, because I knew she was missing writing for digital-first and I took advantage of that. And I will take advantage of that again if she’ll let me. I hope you’ll give this fun contemporary romance interlude a try.

As I said, the next three are all part of the Carina Christmas collections and they’re fun, sweet, romantic stories that will melt your heart. They–and all of the holiday stories— give you the sense of sitting next to a crackling fire, that warm, happy feeling, even when there’s no fireplace to be seen. I know the holidays are nearly over, but these are timeless stories you won’t regret reading year round.

Holiday Sparks by Shannon Stacey

Believe by Lauren Dane

Icecapade by Josh Lanyon

So that’s it for me in 2010. What’s coming in 2011? Well, I’ve already noted a few books from Lauren Dane and Shannon Stacey. And I’m also working on a special, by-invitation-only, edited by Angela James (well la di da!) collection. Who knows what else I’ll find in my inbox in the new year. Maybe there are authors out there who will send me something they just know I need to edit!

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