Answering Questions


So much went right when we announced Carina Press yesterday that we didn’t notice comments weren’t appearing at the blog until this morning. They are live now, but I thought I would answer some of the most popular questions in this blog post.

First, there is supposed to be an automated response from the Carina submissions inbox saying we’ve received your submission. It wasn’t working yesterday or today. It will soon. For those of you have already submitted (and there are many of you, thank you!) we will send you a reply in the next couple of days so that you know your manuscript arrived.

A few of you queried your book idea a.k.a pitched on the blog. Please send your query to our submissions inbox:

Please also note that we would really appreciate it if you could delete the automatic subject line (carina submission) and instead add the story title, author name and genre. This helps us organize, read and follow up on submissions faster.

A potential writer wanted to know if Carina Press eBooks will be sold on the website.  No, we will be building a bookstore for Carina Press and selling through other eRetailers. Why? Because Harlequin offers a very specific promise to its readers and Carina Press is open to a much wider range of editorial.

Another reader wondered what will happen to Harlequin’s existing original eBook programs like Spice Briefs, Silhouette Nocturne Bites and Harlequin Historical Undone. These programs will continue publishing as they have been. I know people can be a little confused about Carina Press versus Harlequin but just think of it this way: what was Harlequin is still Harlequin.

An aspiring writer wondered how long after submitting to Harlequin can she submit to Carina Press. We ask that you wait for your answer from Harlequin. Turn-around varies from imprint to imprint but if you haven’t heard anything after three months, please contact the editorial office and find out the status of your ms. You should always receive a response.

Some people are concerned about our statement that we will not be publishing print editions. Please read our answer carefully: “At this time we have no plans to publish print books.”  Notice the key words, at this time. We are not making any promises at this time. The future, however, is wide open.

The question continued about how can an author promote her titles and be involved in book signings? The answer is digital marketing and social media (I know, social media is part of digital marketing, but it also needs to be pulled out on its own to show just how important it is). Authors can do a lot of promotion without a physical book. We’ll be talking a lot about social media in this blog space and with Carina Press authors.

A very astute reader told me, nicely, that I used the wrong term in my I’m so excited post. The correct military terminology is Hoo yah!

Today,  I am smarter because of a former Navy office INFP-type who shared her knowledge. Hoo yah! I love my job.

81 thoughts on “Answering Questions”

  1. Cheryl Williams says:

    Please make your new offerings downloadable to the Kindle. I will not fool around with hooking up Kindle to the Computer at the library. Thank you.

    1. Malle says:

      We will offer our editorial to all 3rd party vendors!

  2. Janet W says:

    Very exciting indeed! HOOYAH :) Not to argue with your astute reader “A very astute reader told me, nicely, that I used the wrong term in my I’m so excited post. The correct military terminology is Hoo yah! Today, I am smarter because of a former Navy office INFP-type who shared her knowledge. Hoo yah! I love my job”

    … but I’ve never seen it spelled quite that way. Hooyah or HOOYAH :)I work with a former Navy SEAL LCDR (Lieutenant Commander) and I would agree with wikipedia when they say HOOYAH is a phrase most often connected with SEALs.

    In any case, what a fantastic team! Congratulations to all.

    1. Teresa D'Amario says:

      Oh No, HOOYAH is also very popular over at Ft. Bragg, which is Army, and also in the Marines over on the NC Eastern coast! (Go Cherry Point!).

      I guess the correct response would be “It’s popular among the special forces type soldiers/airmen/seaman. There, that gets it. LOL. (Yes, I did know a few Air Force special forces types who picked up on it as well.) Betcha you guys didn’t expect THAT kind of response when you mentioned it. LOL.

      So on the eve of Veteran’s day, to all you military types reading this: HOOYAH and GREAT JOB. Thank you!

      Now back to the topic at hand. I think Carina offers alot of great opportunity to folks on all sides of publishing! I will certainly be watching, and who knows, maybe submitting!

      1. Jeanette Murray says:

        Technically, for the Marines, it’s HOORAH. (Pronounced “oorah.”)

        I do believe every branch has their own motivational terminology. But, for the sake of the blog, HOOYAH will work.

        Very excited about this news. Thanks for the answers to all the questions!

        1. Dee Tenorio says:

          LOL, grew up around Miramar and all I ever heard was Ooh-rah! Moved around and heard Hoo-ah!

          All I hear is “happy”.

  3. Congrats on your launch, and you’ll be hearing from me, but in the meantime, I’m very excited for you and your team. What a great time to start an new digital publishing brand!

  4. Anna says:

    Besides the professional editing and sales through Carina website, what other value added can an author expect through Carina? It appears that the author must do most of the promotion work online (social networking, etc), with advice and possibly some tools provided by Carina.

    It also appears that you are not leveraging the Harlequin brand (most have never heard of Carina). Is there a chance that the branding could be “Carina – Harlequin’s Digital Publishing Group”? “Harlequin” carries a strong connotation of quality as a brand for which many authors would be willing to give up an advance. Carina? Not so much.

    I’ll be looking forward to reading more specifics on the marketing plan and learning about other online etailers you’ll market through, book pricing, etc.

    Thanks to Harlequin for this innovative approach — it looks like a promising option, albeit still evolving, and gives authors another channel for distribution.

    1. Malle says:

      You’ll hear lots more about marketing plans as we move forward.

      In our description we were trying to stress the small, independent publisher feel we hope to offer within Carina Press. We will be working together closely with authors on marketing efforts. We expect authors who want to participate in social media, etc. will most likely sell better. It’s part of the nature of this space. But by no means do we mean the author will be doing all the heavy lifting! Heck, that’s why we stress what an amazing digital marketing team we have. One that has years of experience.

      The brand will remain Carina Press because the editorial will be distinct from what Harlequin offers.

  5. Elise Logan says:

    Will a sample contract be available to view by authors?

    1. Ella Drake says:

      I had this same question. Also wondered, if print may be considered in the future, does this mean that Carina will be seeking print rights in the contract?

      1. Brenna Lyons says:

        That’s a good question and one I was wondering about. Glad I read the questions before I added my own.


        1. Malle says:

          No, we won’t be offering a sample contract online — my legal department would shoot me. Yes, we will be buying all rights.

          1. Dakota Flint says:

            Yes, we will be buying all rights.

            Is this negotiable?

          2. Angela James says:

            Dakota, to echo Malle’s comment further below, contract terms will be discussed during contract negotiations.

          3. Nadia Lee says:

            When you say “all rights”, do you mean print rights as well?

  6. Paige says:

    Are you accepting applications for cover artists?

    1. Malle says:

      Send your resume and link to sample work to our PR email.

  7. Chrys says:

    I was so excited to hear about Carina Press, until I read the ‘broad’ type of editorial’ie: gay/lesbian, multiples, no rules, mentioned on the site. I found this sad, so very much as for years and even now, romance writers are striving for respectability in the marketplace. Sorry, but this ‘broad’ editorial sounds ‘sleezy.’ I’d hope the editors revise, please.
    Thank you!

    1. Karen says:

      I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m positively GIDDY that Carina is open to GLBT and know several other m/m writers who are excited about it as well.

    2. Brenna Lyons says:

      Hate to put it this way, but… GLBT is not sleazy. Neither is allowing multiple partners or dark fiction in the mix or any of the other things indie-es do and Carina seems to be aspiring to. Like it personally or not, GLBT (especially M/M and menage with M/M involved…menage in general, actually) are HUGE right now. They are some of the bestsellers in indie-e. If you don’t want these things, the other Harlequin lines are wide open to the more traditional types of editorial.

      I only dabble in GLBT and menage, but I am deeply entrenched in milieu-heavy dark spec fic, so I appreciate that someone at Harlequin has finally embraced what REALLY works in indie-e and isn’t remaking it into a cookie cutter, watered down version of what works in indie-e with the Carina line. It’s a great day for the industry, IMO.


      1. Brenna Lyons says:

        One question I had… It doesn’t really affect anything but satisfying my own curiosity. Since you DO have the wider range of editorial allowed, have you discussed using content advisories as some of the indies do, to make it easier for readers to find what they want and skip what they don’t want to read? I’m not just talking about GLBT and menage but also things like violence, language, and HEA or not (since you’re not simply publishing romance and erom).


        1. Malle says:

          Oh, the thanks was supposed to attach to your earlier comments. Good suggestion re. the reader advisory and we will take that under consideration. At a meeting today we scheduled a new meeting to discuss what an ideal eBook should include (including back cover copy!) Let us know if there is more you want. This would make a good blog topic — I’ll write one!

    3. Malle says:

      I’m sorry you feel that way but our mandate is “Where no great story goes untold.” We will be publishing a broad range of editorial. We expect a large portion to be HEA traditional male/female romance, but we are open to GLBT and many other genres!

      I do hope our covers, cover copy and categorization makes it easy for readers to find the kind of books they want and to skip categories they don’t read.

  8. Amanda says:

    I saw that the ‘higher royalty’ rate is 30%, pointed out to me from a post by Angela James. How is that higher? Most e-publishers use a 30%-40% royalty rate right now. At least the ones I’ve seen. I’m a little concerned with that.

    1. Brenna Lyons says:

      It’s higher than NY conglomerates give, which means it’s higher than Harlequin usually gives. At the e-book lines in NY, you are lucky to be making 20% of net. 30%, while at the lower end of the norm in indie-e, is still head and shoulders above what the other NY e-book lines are giving authors, by and large. It would be the lowest of my personal royalty rates, since all of my indies offer 35-50% net, but for a chance with the Harlequin imprint…I’d go there in an instant.


      1. Malle says:

        I also want to point out our royalty is based on the COVER PRICE and not NET. We believe the cover price is transparent to the author — there are no odd costs added to it (as can be done with net). So, if the book is priced at $5.99 the author receives her percentage of that.

        Even if Carina Press bookstore discounts the price for a sale or on a regular basis, the author still receives her royalty percentage of the $5.99 cover price.

        1. Vella Munn says:

          Thanks for the royalty clarification, Malle. Interesting what you said about how odd costs can be added to net. Bit of a shell game? I suspect a lot of writers will be dealing with Carina scans agents and this will help in understanding contracts.

        2. Yeah. This all sounds fantastic. Stop blogging and go read submissions! :}

        3. Julie says:

          Thanks for clarifications. You mention that even if the Carina Press bookstore discounts the price, royalties are still paid on the full cover price.

          But what about sales from 3rd party vendors? Will authors receive the full 30% of the full cover price royalty on books sold through Amazon.con, Fictionwise, Sony, etc?


          1. Brenna Lyons says:

            That’s why I assumed net. The indies typically give net, discount for sales or not, but what they are doing is a straight percentage of cover on their own site sales and the same percentage of what they receive from third party vendors (which is net on those). It surprised me to see a straight cover even mentioned with the same percentage across the boards. I’m really perked and waiting to hear more.


  9. Karenna says:

    Hope customers are able to get these books via NOOK on Barnes and Noble.

    1. Brenna Lyons says:

      I’m personally hoping for Sony, B&N, Kindle, Fictionwise, and ARe/OmniLit. That is a good cross-section of the places I’ve found work best and those who are growing fastest.


      1. Malle says:

        We’ll be offering the editorial to 3rd parties. (ie all listed)

        1. Michael Barnette says:

          What about Smashwords? You can easily do direct download of the epub format to iPhone there.

  10. Lynn Crain says:

    Very nicely said. I wondered what went wrong yesterday.

    Good information about submissions. Our RWA chapter is really excited about this new epublishing house. Personally, I can’t wait to send something to you. Unfortunately, I have a couple of deadlines to fulfill before I do. LOL!

    Only thing I didn’t notice was about cover art…how is this going to be approached?


    1. Brenna Lyons says:

      EPIC is buzzing about it, too. The GLBT are buzzing. The major writing groups are buzzing. Face it. Though many people don’t know who Carina is yet, they soon will. The news has gone viral.


    2. Malle says:

      Not sure I understand the question. We will be be creating lovely covers for the books. We will ask the author for suggestions/ideas and then make it happen. ???? Did you want to know something else?

  11. Kai says:

    I was wondering a couple of things actually *grin*.
    Do you have a sample contract to share? I know there’s always going to be differences between author contracts, but I was hoping you had a bare bones one to share?
    Do you have any specifics on geographical limitations (or are you happy to accept from anywhere?) – I’m based in the UK and want to make sure before I send my package :D.
    Finally, how do you feel about series? All of the books I write are both stand-alone and fit into arcs, but I’m looking for a half decent publishing house that’s willing to commit to them as much as I’m willing to commit :)

    1. Malle says:

      As long as your novel is written in English we would be happy to see it!

      Yes, we are keen on miniseries/connected books. This is in our guidelines: “Miniseries have proven to be very popular with readers and Carina Press is looking for interesting twists on established, popular romance themes (marriage of convenience, cowboys, vampires, babies). We are interested in seeing your fresh interpretation on novels featuring astrology, pets – especially rescue animals – playing a role within the story as matchmaker or catalyst, and other unusual or fresh themes. The only limit is your imagination!”

      This was under the romance section, but it applies to all genre fiction.

      1. Kai says:

        Sorry on missing the bits in the romance section – I’m not a romance writer, so I kinda skipped that bit *blush*.
        And the rest is great to hear. I can let the writers that I know, know that too, which is good!

        You’ll be hearing from me after the NanoWrimo (as ML and writing three books this month, I’m not committing to *anything* else ;))
        Thanks again!

  12. Anna says:

    One more quick question. Since you are publishing DRM-free, does that mean your books won’t show up on Kindle? Amazon uses DRM. If you don’t publish to Kindle, can the author retain those rights?


    1. Megan Cullor says:

      Although the Kindle books are generally DRMed, publishers can work with Amazon to sell DRM-free books. A good example of this is the line of books by O’Reilly Publishing — this company has worked hard to keep all of its books DRM-free, even in Kindle form (and the books are sold through Amazon’s Kindle store).

      1. Malle says:

        We will be offering the stories DRM-free on the Carina Press site and we will be offering the editorial to other vendors. If they wrap their own DRM on it, that will be their call.

  13. Brenna Lyons says:

    And another original question, I hope… I notice you take lower than novel-length. Is there any particular lower limit you will not consider below? I know some indies go as low as 10K or even 5K, but some cut that drop-dead line as high as 25K or so. How short is too short for Carina?


  14. Malle says:

    We’re hoping above 15K

    1. Brenna Lyons says:

      Great! Thanks for the update.

  15. Lou Gagliardi says:

    this has probably been asked, so I do apologize, but i noticed that you mentioned the average below? What’s the actual word count this publishing imprint is looking for? around 15K to ??


    1. Malle says:

      We’re looking for genre novels between 50 – 100 K. Willing to consider bigger single titles over 100 K. And I think there is a sweet spot for shorter books/novellas between 20 – 30 K. Angie tells me I’m wrong and that there is a lot of great material between 30 – 50 K. I wait to be corrected!

      So basically we are wide open1

    2. Angela James says:

      And what she didn’t say is that yes, we will take as low as 15k. I expect a lot of amazing short submissions and a lot between 30-50k so I can say “I told you so” :P

      1. Brenna Lyons says:

        You’ve got a novella from me, so you’re on your way. Grinning… And it’s a series (new world for me) to boot. Happy reading.


      2. Brenna Lyons says:

        Quick question… Do you want space word counts or actual? I’m used to indies wanting actual and NY conglomerates wanting space, so I gave you both on that first submission. Which are you working with?


  16. Eve Tull says:

    Do you plan to hire editors and proofreaders for Carina Press or will those roles be filled by Harlequin staff?

    1. Heather says:

      I had the same question.

    2. Angela James says:

      I will be hiring copy editors in the coming weeks. We’ll be using freelance editors we’re familiar with and who we’ve worked with in the past, for the time being. That could, of course, change as time goes along. In the meantime, you can email a letter of interest/experience to me at if you’re interested in taking the copy editing test when we’re ready.

  17. Charlotte says:

    Are you accepting applications for editors? Thanks

    1. Angela James says:

      See my answer directly above!

  18. For erotica and erotic romance, what level of sexual explicitness will be desired/required/permitted? On the understanding that the sex is not gratuitous and that it progresses the story, etc., of course.

    1. Angela James says:

      We’re looking for all heat levels, Jaye, so there are no minimums and no restrictions. You can have no kissing up to whatever sexy stuff fits the story. As it says in our guidelines, we’re not looking for Penthouse Letters, we’re looking for great storytelling.

  19. Heather says:

    Do you accept fiction for children and young adults? Does the author keep the print and TV/Film rights?

    Thanks and best wishes!

    1. Malle says:

      No YA or children’s fiction at this time. We want to focus on what we do well. Contract terms are discussed during contract negotiation.

  20. Kassa says:

    After reading the comments and answers here and a variety of places, I’m curious about the following: What makes Carina attractive to authors and readers in the sea of current epublishers?

    Since you’ve stated several times that Carina is an independant press from Harlequin and won’t have an association, then why would an author chose a brand new publisher, offering a lower royalty % than current epublishers, taking print rights without a plan for print, and offering no advance.
    Why would an author be attracted?

    Also what would this publisher offer for readers that is currently lacking in the epublishing venue? The website is geared towards authors and as a reader, why would I chose to purchase from Carina versus the numerous other epublishers?

  21. Congratulations on this exciting, new venture! It does give all of us another opportunity to get our books in the hands of readers, and to realize our dreams of publication. But oh, how I would like to see print options available! I have two in print, and it would be heartbreaking not to be able to offer books to my family and friends, most of whom don’t own E-readers!
    But thank you, thank you, for this new publishing house. In this down market, it is certainly needed and wonderful to see.

    1. Angela James says:

      Thank you! Never discount what might happen in the future, Patrice, but for the immediate future, we’re concentrating on the amazing possibilities of digital.

  22. The answer is digital marketing and social media

    Speaking of which, if any author reading this lands a contract with Carina for a sci-fi/futuristic romance of any kind or heat level, please contact me at The Galaxy Express so I can hook you up with our online community! I’m also a columnist on the sub-genre for LoveLetter, Germany’s romance magazine and a front-page blogger for I love putting the word out about new authors.

    sfrgalaxy “at”

    Malle, Angela, thanks for your support of sci-fi romance!

  23. Renee says:

    Carina Press sounds like an exciting opportunity! Will you be considering chick lit submissions?

  24. Jennifer says:

    I’m very, very excited about this news! Planning a weekend of polishing so I can get a submission out next week.
    Meanwhile, meaning no disrespect at all to our fine service-men and -women, “BooYah!” is a term often heard in sports arenas. It’s a slam-dunk, touchdown, slapshot kinda’ thing ; )

  25. MzGeek says:

    I’m currently working on a book which is an installment in a series that was published by another epublisher several years ago. Would you consider this book even though the earlier books in the series were published by another ebook publisher? Those books are still available on their site.

  26. This is great news for many of us epublished writers. I’ve already submitted a story where the rights have reverted back to me and would love to work with Carina Press on this project. I’ve passed the word to my Yahoo Group Erotic Romance Workshop to let them know about this brand new venture. I’m sure some will want to submit their stories.

    This I think is an exciting time for many publishers – both epublished and traditionally published. Next week I’ll be attending my local RWA Chapter meeting where we will be discussing for those newbies how to get themselves published in the epublishing market.

    Collette Thomas
    Marie A. Roy

  27. Malle says:

    To McGeek
    I’m not sure. A new publisher has added challenges selling an ongoing series that has started with another publisher. I’d prefer to see an original book or series. I’m not saying you can’t submit it, but you are setting up added difficulties.

  28. MzGeek says:

    Thanks Malle!

  29. Angela James says:

    @Malle and MzGeek: I’ve seen it work very successfully at epubs, including at least one series that I was active with that moved to me, from another pub, so it can be done and make pots of money while doing it, so we won’t rule it out!

    Along those lines I’d include authors who had series they never got to finish because they lost their contracts or something else happened. We all can think of some of those!

  30. MzGeek says:

    Thanks Angela! I’m so excited to send you this book. It comes straight from the heart and I love it :)

  31. Shannon McKelden says:

    I have a couple manuscripts headed your direction soon, but wondered for the future whether you accept partials or would like to always see a completed manuscript?

  32. Great article, again. These informations are especially useful …

  33. Pingback: piano sheet
  34. Great post at Answering Questions Carina Press. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful info particularly the last part :) I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  35. I’ll be social bookmarking your net web page as a result i could accumulate upwards from the upcoming.

  36. I merely have to say THANK YOU!!! i became struggling in order to identified this sort particulars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *