It’s been five years since one of the most crazy periods of my life. Last week, our team was reminiscing on Carina Press’s first anniversary via email and a member of our leadership team mentioned that he didn’t think I slept during the six months leading up to our launch. I’m sure he’s right, but launching a business is similar to childbirth in some ways: the sleepless nights, the stress, the worry, and the heartache along the way—they’re all worth it to see the thing you love grow and thrive.
This week, it hardly seems possible that we’re celebrating the fifth anniversary of Carina Press! Many things have changed in the past five years (there are fewer sleepless nights now that we’re full grown) and often those changes feel accelerated at warp drive, because five years is a very long time in digital publishing, where things change daily. But so many things have remained from our early days, including our commitment to acquiring and publishing fantastic stories by wonderful and talented authors. If anything there has changed, it’s a daily increase in my gratitude to those authors who continue to choose us to publish their incredible stories, in a time when they have an array of publishing choices.
The other thing that hasn’t changed is our promise to readers: to find and publish compelling books that they think about, talk about and share. Along with that is our continued promise to be the publisher you can trust in genre fiction. Romance readers, no messing around with that happy ending!
As I reflect back, and okay, ask for a little help from our numbers people, it’s astonishing to realize we’ve published almost 900 individual titles, worked with over 400 individual authors, launched several dozen debut authors’ careers and sold over 6 million books around the world. In five years. Maybe I do need a nap now.
But it all started in June 2010, when we published 40 books. And we got there in just six months, after we opened our doors to submissions in November 2009. No wonder people think I didn’t sleep; sleep wasn’t possible. Still, when I reflect back on some of those titles, and how far those authors have come today, how far Carina Press has come, it truly was all worth it, and if I had to go back and do it all over again, I totally would.
Here’s a look back at just a few of those first books.
Book one of The Kowalskis was one of 10 books that released our very first day! Since then, Shannon has written eight more books in The Kowalski series, five novellas, and on August 25, HEAT EXCHANGE, book one of Boston Fire will be available in print and ebook. Featuring the brotherhood of a Boston firehouse, this series packs plenty of heat!
Cindy wrote three more books in the paranormal shifter series Urban Arcana before the release of STEAM & SORCERY in 2011, the first book in The Gaslight Chronicles, her steampunk romance series. Steampunk is just one of the many genre trends and mashups that Carina Press has been on the forefront of over the years. Cindy has written eight steampunk romances for us, including ETHER & ELEPHANTS, out in August.
This fantasy romance was Joely’s first book with us. Joely has written three more for Carina since, including the deliciously dark erotic thriller ONE CUT DEEPER, which released last month. Seriously, you want to read this book.
Marie Force and her wildly popular characters Sam and Nick have been with Carina Press right from the beginning. There are now eight books in The Fatal Series (plus the novella FATAL DESTINY), with FATAL FRENZY releasing this September. And there’s more! The Fatal Series has had three cover changes. The gorgeous Washington, DC-inspired covers showcase the newly available print editions.
If you can’t get enough Marie Force, make sure you check out the print edition of Fatal Affair, in stores now, to read ONE NIGHT WITH YOU, a brand-new prequel novella about Sam and Nick’s intense first night together all those years ago.
Proving that cowboys are always hot, Leah has written five books from Carina Press, ranging from contemporary to historical, from erotic to ménage to BDSM—always with a cowboy hero (or two). TEXAS TANGLE is the first in Leah’s Texas Tangle duology, also available in a box set.
LIFE AFTER JOE was the first male/male title Carina Press published, but it was far from the last LGBT book we acquired. Harper went on to write Nine Lights Over Edinburgh and Winter Knights for Carina Press, and was joined by many authors who write inclusive fiction across all our genres.