Submissions update


Winding up this week, sorry I missed posting yesterday (and I even have content to use!) but I spent a good 4 hours on the phone and when I wasn’t on the phone, I was trying to get some urgent items on my to-do list taken care of. But submissions are always at the forefront of my mind, so I thought I’d share some statistics to cap off the week.

Manuscripts offered contracts to date: 19

Rejections sent to date: 198

Revise/resubmit letters sent: 10 (0 returned so far, but I’ll remain hopeful since it’s still early days)

I have another batch of probably forty rejection letters to send and 2 new contract offers to deliver with more coming next week! Yay!  That puts us at about 8% acceptance, which is actually pretty high, so I’m impressed with that number, especially considering the stringent approval process these books are being put through.

All November submissions should get a response by next week, with two exceptions: any that were reissue submissions, and those manuscripts the acquisitions editors are still taking a closer look at. So we’re still within the 8 week time frame, and definitely within 10, despite the holidays. That time frame will actually be shorter now that I’ve added another editor and the holidays are past so we all have more time.

I know authors often wonder about the timing of sending in manuscripts so I’ll give you a little inside tip: right now, the editors and acquisitions team are flying through submissions and they are hungry for quality books. Since we’re still concentrating on submissions, and a lot of the editors haven’t entered into the editing phase yet, now is a really good time to submit and see a quick turnaround time from submission to response. We’re currently, as I said, finishing out November and many December books have gotten responses as well. The reason it doesn’t go in exact chronological response order is because I send books to editors based on not just date of submission, but also their reading preference. Since some editors read faster than others, and some genre categories had more submissions than others, or some genres have a larger number of team members reading them (like historicals, we had a lot of historical submissions but probably twice as many people who love that genre, apparently) we moved more quickly through those than through others.

I know authors also like to know what in particular a publisher is looking for, but I’d have to list most every genre because the reading tastes of the acquisitions team and editorial crew is amazingly diverse. And since we’re a new publisher, we’re looking to fill slots in all genres. I will say that historical submissions fairly get snatched up because nearly every member of the acquisitions team is a fan of historicals, as are at least half of the editors. On the other hand, several editors and acquisitions team members love erotic romance, science fiction romance, fantasy and steampunk and we’ve had some minor skirmishes over things coming in for those genres. And we’d love more contemporary romance. And paranormal romance. And futuristic…well, see? You get the point. A little bit of everything!

So that’s where we’re at with submissions. If you’ve got any questions about the process or turnaround time (please don’t ask about your specific submission, however) I’m happy to answer in the comments!

38 thoughts on “Submissions update”

  1. Laura Bachelder says:

    Thanks for the update! Waiting for a response can be agonizing, but I know we all appreciate how you’ve kept us in the loop! :-)

  2. I have yet to submit, but I wanted to say thank you for your transparent approach to publishing. The waiting is always hard, but you made it easier to understand the process and the time.

  3. Angelina Barbin says:


    There has been a lot of discussion about e-books on my chapter loop this week and what I keep hearing is that epublishing isn’t that interested in mainstream stories. I write spicy Regencies and wonder if even then my work is too traditional for Carina. My gut tells me that as long as my submission pulls the editors in and is well-written I have as good a chance as anyone(?)

  4. Angela James says:


    I think you should revisit our acquistions (you can just select acquisitions tag in the tag cloud) and look at what they are. None of the 19 to date are erotic, except for Charlene Teglia’s! So spicy Regencies would be welcome. Non-spicy Regencies would be just as welcome. We’re going to publish all heat levels, and I’d like to think we’ve already shown we’re not just saying that–we’re showing it through our acquisitions!

  5. Thank you for keeping us well informed. I do have a question: Have you acquired any previously published submission yet? As you’ve probably guessed, I’m one of those who submitted in November with two previously published historicals. Know you’re very busy, but I was just curious. Thanks.

  6. Angela James says:

    We haven’t, but that should change in the next few weeks. We’ve been on hold, trying to decide how we were going to handle reissues editorially, and what exactly we were looking for in a reissue. I had a brilliant (if I do say so myself) idea last week and we’re going to get the books in the hands of the acquisitions editors to go over, starting the beginning of next week. So you should have an answer by the end of January, I’d say!

  7. Andrew says:

    Should all subs within the first week have received a response? I submitted on the 16th of November and haven’t heard anything.

  8. Angela James says:

    Nope, not yet. By late next week though, yes.

  9. Thanks for the update, Angela. It helps a bunch.

  10. L.K. Rigel says:

    Can we submit in two genres, say futuristic paranormal and straight historical, at the same time? Or would you prefer we wait to hear on one submission before sending in another?

  11. Angela James says:

    No, you’re welcome to submit more than one manuscript at a time. The only thing I would ask (and I’ve been meaning to update the submissions guidelines to reflect this) is that you not submit more than one book in a series. It doesn’t really make sense to submit more than the first book! But otherwise, we’re happy to see multiple manuscripts, though different editors may be looking at them!

  12. Ni Gig says:

    Thank you for your update. I sent my submission in in the begining of January. What ever the outcome I will keep trying. (smile) I love the idea of Carina press. I do have one question however, Are you also accepting dark fantisy romance/erotica and cross genre? I have a dark fairytale that might need a home.

  13. Angela, you’re a treasure! Your brilliant communications policy makes the submission process here a pleasure. Thank you!

  14. Angela James says:

    Wow, thanks, David!

    Ni Gig: We’ll look at all fiction genres with the exception of children’s/YA

  15. L.K. Rigel says:

    Thank you, Angela. I agree with David. Your updates and presentation of acquisitions makes the waiting . . . maybe pleasurable is going too far, ha, but certainly not so stressful.

  16. Ni Gig says:

    Well then get ready to read some erotica…hehehehehhehe …

  17. Angela James says:

    Thanks so much, L.K., and everyone else who’s commented on the updates, it’s nice to hear feedback from all of you about what you’re finding useful!

  18. Ni Gig says:

    No thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Waiting is always hard but this makes it easier.

  19. Andrew says:

    Thank you for your timely and helpful response. Your transparency is really amazing.

    One final (I promise) question. Are the responses next week all rejections, or are you not allowed to share that information?

  20. Angela James says:

    Nope, I have no idea if they’ll all be rejections or what they’ll be. Some of the material is still under review! But most of it should be in to me by next week. Again, though, a few books may still linger, as they get closer looks!

  21. Andrew says:

    Thanks again! I really appreciate your willingness to communicate.

  22. Phoenix Sullivan says:

    Loving the updates, Angela. Thank you.

    You mentioned you’ve added another editor (wow!). How many editors do you now have?

  23. Angela James says:

    There are nine, if you don’t count me (I make ten).

  24. Dakota Flint says:

    I think it’s so interesting to read these blog posts as the press continues to grow and make acquisitions, and I think it’s awesome you’re sharing the “behind the scenes” stuff–so thanks so much for that! :)

    I do have one question, though, and it’s just curiosity on my part. Recently (a month-ish ago on twitter? I think) Angela, you indicated you hadn’t received any gay romance submissions and I wondered if that had changed.

  25. Angela James says:

    I think I actually said we hadn’t received many (because none would be untrue) and it’s true, we haven’t received many.

  26. Dakota Flint says:

    Thanks for answering. And sorry for the misquote!

    1. Angela James says:

      @Dakota: eh, not really a misquote, no worries!

      @Amanda: Generally, if we want to see a submission again, we would give detailed feedback and ask for it to be returned.

      @Patrick: I’m glad it’s helping. I know the only thing that would be better is instant responses :P

      @Kris: Thanks!

  27. Amanda says:

    Hey Angela! What if you sent in a submission and it was rejected, but since then you fixed things and edited, are you allowed to resubmit or is there a waiting period?

  28. Patrick Doris says:

    Thanks for the open communications. I have tried not to count the weeks. Since this is my first submission I had no idea of what to expect but your n blogs have enable me to find the waiting some how exciting

  29. Kris Starr says:

    Thanks for all of the fascinating blog posts! They’re truly great to read. Looking forward to reading about more new acquisitions!


  30. Ni Gig says:

    Hi Angela, speaking of aquisitions, any new updates…

  31. Angela James says:

    Lol, patience!

  32. Rhian Cahill says:

    Hey Angela,
    Question on lengths.
    Are you getting a variety or is there a particular length you’d like to see more of?

  33. Angela James says:

    Sorry, Rhian, for some reason I’m just now seeing your comments! We’ve been seeing a lot of single title length books, 90 to over 100k for some reason, and have signed them. I’d love to have some more novellas or 50-70k length books, but regardless of length, I just want some awesome books!

  34. Rhian Cahill says:

    No worries Angela, time zone difference means I get to everything late. It’s interesting to see what you’ve been receiving and get an idea of what to expect from Carina when you go live.

  35. Wkshadow says:

    It is so exciting to see such respected editor in this new process. I am very fascinated with e-pub and Carina is one of my top three to submit. I’m working feverishly mad on my current wip. I aim to make it 66k. Hopefully, it will find its home with you! (BTW, the other two of the top three is Samhain and TWRP)


  36. Sasha Devlin says:


    Thanks for the information! It is so refreshing to to have it all laid out clearly.

    Back to the writing!

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