Acquisitions From a Reader’s POV


Note: Meet Emily, she’s one of the Carina Press Acquisitions Team and probably the one person on the team other than the editors who reads the most submissions. She is super enthusiastic about reading manuscripts and she agreed to write a blog post for us. So please welcome Emily!

When Emily is not moonlighting on the Carina acquisitions team, she works at She loves to read, tan, and spend time outdoors, though not necessarily in that order. She is still experimenting in the kitchen, and tests frequently on her friends. Her favorite ingredient is garlic, and she’s convinced that the more she eats, the less likely she is to get sick.

I tried a new recipe the other night and had a friend over for dinner. This friend had once criticized a soup I’d made (corn chowder, from scratch). We’d fought. Granted, I’d put the bowl in front of her, saying: “I’m not sure how this is going to be.” But I hadn’t wanted her to be honest with me, really.
“It’s sweet,” she’d said—in the same tone she uses to tell me that she thinks I should wear something else. I was totally deflated. When I served this new thing—a kind of chick-pea curry—I was nervous. Every time I’ve served her something since the corn chowder incident (which was almost four years ago), I’ve been nervous. This one went over fine—it wasn’t a showstopper, but it did the job.

But the experience got me thinking about something else: being nervous about someone’s reaction, or rather, not doing something because you’re afraid of the reaction. And so, rather selfishly, I’d like to take a moment to encourage shy writers to submit their manuscripts. If you’ve got a completed manuscript and you’re afraid to send it in— overcome!

I work in publishing because I love to read. Even before I started here, the thought of employee books thrilled me. Now that I’m with Carina and reading manuscripts in their most raw form, that thrill has intensified. Sometimes I think: This is having an ear to the ground. I am obnoxious to friends slogging over expense reports at night; I frequently make comments like: “Ah, you know. I’m going to tuck in early. Do some work reading.” or: “I know—I take work home with me all the time.” When you submit, you make it possible for me to say these things. Please, please—keep them coming! And remember: we know how it feels to put something on the table and have someone not love it. We will be gentle, and we are happy to read whatever we can get our hands on!

11 thoughts on “Acquisitions From a Reader’s POV”

  1. Angelina Barbin says:

    Emily, it sounds like you have a dream job. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of liking a manuscript and then it goes on to wow everyone else? That would be a great high.

    As a newbie writer I appreciate your comments about being gentle. Constructive criticism is helpful, snarkiness is not.

  2. Andrew says:

    Nice post. Thanks, Emily!

  3. Lori says:

    Very kind and encouraging words, Emily. Thank you, and thank you for letting us get to know you better.

  4. Dear Emily, While I was reading your entry about the soup, I was thinking, gee, this person knows what rejection feels like, and then I read further and saw that you do!!! I think that is great, because rejection can be and often is very deflating and even sometimes hurtful. It can also be frustrating, leaving the author wondering what they could have done to make their submission better, and yet it is tabo to ask the editor any questions after you’ve been ‘dismissed’. Thank you for a great post.

    Hope you have a very merry Christmas.

  5. Sharyn says:

    I continue to be amazed by the openness and transparency of the people behind Carina Press – what a breath of fresh air!

  6. Andrew says:

    Out of curiosity – how far back do the rejections you are sending today go? Do they go for the three days you started, or longer? Not trying to be pushy.

  7. EC Sheedy says:

    Nice to meet you, Emily. It’s nice to see the *gentle* approach to rejection. Uplifting, really. LOL

  8. Patrick Doris says:

    A very good post Emily that was a wonderful one minute commercial I am glad to find Carina press I did not have any idea where to submit my work I am just glad to have the hope it will get read by someone other than me.

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