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.

So you’re done with #nanowrimo? Now edit!

Here’s the thing: editors and agents know you’re really proud of the book you completed during NaNoWriMo. We think you SHOULD be proud of it. It’s not an easy task to complete a book, and especially not in a month. But please, do us a favor and don’t send it to us…yet. First, set it aside for a few weeks. No really. Distance gives you fresh eyes (and renewed love for the story). Go ahead and start writing the next book while you’re letting this one percolate on the back burner.

Once a few weeks–or even a month, maybe after the distraction of the holidays?–have passed, then it’s time for a step that’s just as important as the writing of the book–the self-editing and polishing. No editor, agent or reader should be seeing your book just after it’s written. It doesn’t do justice to your hard work, and it doesn’t show a respect for the reader, editor or agent’s time.

Yesterday I did a round of #editreport on Twitter, and if you’re wondering about that, you can read them on Storify. Essentially, this shows what an editor is thinking as they read the slush pile. The things we see and reject for are so very often things the author could catch in edits. Many of the reports I see from the editors say “this author needs to learn to self-edit.” Yes, story is more important than good writing, but to get either a reader or an editor/agent to read that great story, your writing still needs to be above average. A great story won’t overcome a manuscript full of errors, awkward sentences and bad grammar. It will only overcome a small portion of that!

So now that you’ve completed your NaNo book, no editor or agent should have seen it in their slush pile yet (or even worse, if it was a book you wrote to fulfill a contract obligation, don’t send that to your editor or agent either!) First, you have to self-edit.It shouldn’t be an optional step.

To support this, I’m offering all #nanowrimo participants a discount on my Before You Hit Send self-editing online workshop, which starts in January. For the month of December only, use code NANO on checkout and receive $9 (18%) off the workshop price.


Giveaway! In celebration of my holiday story releases!

Today marks the release of the second annual holiday collections. Unlike last year, I decided to edit all 12 of the holiday stories for the 2011 collections. First, I adore holiday novellas and second, I don’t get to edit much anymore, and this was a great opportunity (third, working with me actually seemed to be a draw for some authors. They’re crazy like that!).

You guys, words cannot express (because I’m not an author) the depth of my love for how these 3 collections of 4 stories each came together. The authors were a dream to work with, I loved each and every story, and I’m just kind of…giddy…with how awesome I think the collections are. Here’s all three of the collections (with links to the individual stories as well). Keep reading for info on my giveaway.

We Wish You a Steampunk Christmas

Changed forever after tragedy, a woman must draw strength from her husband’s love. A man learns that love isn’t always what you expect. A thief steals the heart of a vengeful professor. And an American inventor finds love Down Under. Enjoy Victorian Christmas with a clockwork twist in these four steampunk novellas.

Anthology includes:

Crime Wave in a Corset by Stacy Gail

This Winter Heart by PG Forte

Wanted: One Scoundrel by Jenny Schwartz

Far From Broken by JK Coi

Stories also available for purchase separately. 117,000 words


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…Love!

A man gives the gift of trust and receives a second chance at love in return. A woman helps to heal the wounded heart of a soldier. A couple finds that true love knows no distance. And a young widow learns that there can be two great loves in a lifetime. Love, romance and passion come together in this collection of four seasonal shorts.

Anthology includes:

This Time Next Year by Alison Kent

A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton

It’s Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon

Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey

Stories also available for purchase separately. 103,000 words


Baby it’s Cold Outside

A man receives the gift of pleasure at the hands of two expert lovers. Boyhood sweethearts get a second chance at romance. Two very proper gentlemen indulge their forbidden desires. And a Christmas tree farmer has an epiphany. It may be cold outside but these four holiday novellas will warm you up.

Anthology includes:

My True Love Gave to Me by Ava March

Winter Knights by Harper Fox

Lone Star by Josh Lanyon

The Christmas Proposition by K.A. Mitchell

Stories also available for purchase separately. 116,000 words

The giveaway…

I have the following prizes up for grabs:

(2) $28 gift vouchers to the Funky Monkey Metalwork Etsy store

(2) $37 gift vouchers to the Simply Willow Etsy store

(1) $15 gift voucher to an online book etailer of your choice

All four of these vouchers are good towards any purchase in their respective Etsy stores.

I’m also giving away

(1) each special, limited edition print copy of each of the 3 holiday collections (Holiday Kisses, A Clockwork Christmas and Men Under the Mistletoe). These print editions are not for sale anywhere, but can only be won from either Carina Press or the collection authors!

You can enter to win up to 3 times. To enter, either tweet or post on Facebook using the hashtag #ajwin (the hashtag is the only way for me to track your entry). Do NOT comment here to enter.

Tweet or FB post, with the #ajwin hashtag, a link to each individual collection on the Carina Press website along with a promotional message for that collection. Yes, I’m using you to do promo. But look…stuff to win!

You get one entry per collection for a total of three entries. This contest is open to everyone over the age of 18, and is open to international participants. Contest closes at 11:59p Eastern December 6th, 2011. Winners will be chosen by random draw on December 7th and notified via Twitter/Facebook. Winners must collect their prizes by December 8th, 5:59p or new winners will be drawn.

Sample tweets/posts (and since you have more room on Facebook, feel free to say a bit more :P) You can tweet/post whatever you like as long as it’s (not rude) got the collection name, the hashtag and a link to the collection on the site!

A Clockwork Christmas, the steampunk holiday anthology is now available from Carina Press. Check it out here: #ajwin

A Clockwork Christmas is a good way to give the steampunk genre a try. Four novellas in one book! #ajwin

Holiday Kisses brings you 4 holiday contemporary novellas that will put you in the holiday spirit! #ajwin

The contemporary novellas of Holiday Kisses bring together four bestselling contemporary authors in 1 book! #ajwin

Take a break from the holiday madness with 4 m/m romance holiday novellas in Men Under the Mistletoe #ajwin

The 4 m/m holiday novellas of Men Under the Mistletoe are a delightful mix of naughty and nice! #ajwin


In addition to trying to win the prizes, I hope you’ll all check out the collections, and the individual novellas. I really believe they’re all fabulous reads and the perfect length for passing the time while you stand in long holiday lines, or just take a break at the end of the day. If you do read them, please let me know what you thought!

(reminder, do not comment here to enter to win. Those comments will be deleted. Thank you!)

Before You Hit Send is back


If you’ve heard the Carina Press authors talk about the self-editing workshop I gave all of them in January, this is the workshop! The next 3-week, work-at-your-own-pace class starts April 11th and is the last class I’ll be giving for a few months. I *may* do one in July, but if not then, then not until next fall sometime.

This course isn’t just for new authors, it’s also for those who’ve been writing awhile. I’ve had both new and experienced authors take this course, and everyone goes away learning more than they expected. Writing (and editing) is a craft that’s a continuous learning experience. You may be surprised at what you can learn to polish your book and take things to another level.

Registration is limited to the first 50 registrants, and is half full now. You can register and read more about the course here.

In the meantime, here’s a few quotes from former participants:


Angela, thank you for this workshop. I have three books on revisions and self-editing, but your lectures took it to another level. ~Sarah Tanner


This was my first online workshop for anything and it worked so well I’m a bit shocked. I think what struck me was the high level of things I recognized I’m doing wrong — but because of the medium of the workshop — the recognition didn’t feel brutal. I didn’t feel attacked. So that made it easier to learn.

Thanks, Angela, for a fantastic learning experience. Now to remember it all, apply it and wow the world! (or at least a few editors). ~Jenny Schwartz


Angela, this workshop has been great– far and away the best, most information-packed workshop I have taken. It’s not just worth the money, it’s a bargain! ~Karla Doyle

This was the best workshop I’ve ever attended, and WELL worth the money. ~Janet Taylor

Thank you, Angela. This was an enjoyable and informative workshop. You have made an overwhelming situation manageable.
~Lita Harris


Register now

Ask an editor: Story Killer #askeditor

Months ago, I asked people if they had editor questions. I found this one in my drafts and decided to post it.

Today’s was from @patrickdoris who asked:A?does a bad first sentence doom a manuscript?

Not at all. I know authors agonize over the first sentence, wanting it to be perfect. And certainly it’s fun to run those first sentence contests (I’ve run a few myself) and see some of the intriguing first sentences, and first five sentences, but the truth is, no editor or agent is likely to stop at the first sentence. Will we stop at the first page? Yeah, definitely. But, for the most part, unless you catch us on a really bad day, or have a first sentence that’s a signal we’re reading complete and utter gibberish, we’re going to keep reading that first page. I will note that a few months ago, Agent Kristin Nelson blogged that 90% of queries don’t get more than 2 pages read! But that’s not normally because of the first sentence. It could be because of the first paragraph though, if it’s really (really) bad.

Does a good first sentence make a difference? Well, sure, first impressions are important. But most of us form our first impressions based on the first few lines or paragraphs, not just one. And we all are especially interested in what comes after the first three chapters (the most polished chapters of any manuscript, and the point at which most promising manuscripts fall apart).

So when you’re stressing over writing your book, or polishing your manuscript, don’t get hung up on the first sentence. Concern yourself instead with the overall structure of the book, the strength of the story and the arc of the characters.

Getting “The Call”

I’m going to give you permission for something, not that you need MY permission, but it might make you feel better to know that editors and agents really do understand…

see more Lolcats and funny pictures

When you get The Call, whether it’s your very first or your tenth, it’s okay if you take a moment or five to be incoherent. If your emotions get the best of you, and you feel a little teary, or you want to be excited and babble and make absolutely no sense, it’s okay. We won’t hold it against you. Editors and agents know this is a big moment for a lot of authors, and we usually plan for this and follow-up with an email detailing the conversation. And even if we don’t, it’s okay to email later to tell us you were so overwhelmed with excitement, you missed some of the details, and would we just explain again. Honestly, we get it. This is huge for you, so take a moment to bask in it.

The only thing I ask is that you not make me listen to you throwing up because you’re so overcome (no, that’s never happened, I just wanted to add that caveat).

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