Carina Press: Now hiring freelance content/development editors.


We are looking to expand our pool of freelance content/developmental editors. We’re in search of editors who are interested in the romance and mystery genres we publish and have an awareness of what is selling in the romance markets, as well as what romance readers are looking for. In short, we’re looking for editors who love romance and genre fiction as passionately as we do.

We’re particularly interested in hiring freelance editors from historically marginalized and currently underrepresented groups in publishing. More broadly we’re referring to race, sexual orientation, religion and groups that are similarly underrepresented or misrepresented.

In order to open these positions to a wider pool of applicants we’ve changed our requirements to place less emphasis on paid experience and more emphasis on unpaid experience, a love of genre fiction, passion for the job, and the ability to commit to a unique freelance position. As such, it’s crucial that interested applicants read through this entire post, do some research on Carina Press, and be familiar with our books and authors, as well as with the romance and mystery genres as a whole.

Please read the below carefully. Respondents who don’t meet the requirements or who don’t include the requested material will not receive a reply. Please be sure to provide all requested material detailed in the paragraphs below.

We are looking for candidates who fit the following criteria:

  • Must be open to diversity, inclusion and romance in all its forms.
  • One year minimum experience, paid or unpaid, in an editorial position.  The editorial position must have included actual hands-on content editing. This experience could come in the form of an internship, freelance editing, or other paid/unpaid positions.
  • A passion for the romance genre. You must be someone who loves to read romance and is familiar with the current romance market. We’re mostly a romance publisher, so #mustloveromance!
  • Understanding of the difference between editing and polishing a book/offering insight into editorial issues and rewriting or interfering with an author’s voice. This is the one that gets most applicants in the testing phase. We are very serious about our editorial partners not rewriting an author’s work, but guiding the editing process instead.
  • Excellent editorial eye for content, story, characterization, plot and more, but also the ability to assist author in line edits, polishing writing and improving craft.
  • Ability to follow a style guide and general understanding of the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Word and its review functions, including Track Changes and comments. All Carina Press freelance editors work on personal computers and are responsible for obtaining MS Office. Training is provided for company-specific programs.
  •  Must be comfortable with technology and digital books.
  • Ability to communicate editorial revisions to an author in a concise, clear and professional manner, both in writing and, on occasion, verbally.
  • Genuine love of editing, reading and the craft of writing.
  • Ability to self-motivate, stay on task and meet deadlines consistently.
  • Ability to take direction and feedback and incorporate it into future work.
  • Interest in working in a freelance environment with a true team atmosphere.
  • Desire and ability to help an author build his or her career.
  • Interest in working in the digital industry, being part of a growing business and joining a leader in digital publishing.
  • Willingness to engage in ancillary activities, both paid and unpaid, such as contest judging, guest blogging and interacting with editorial and author peers in an online environment.
  • Willingness to attend virtual editorial team and acquisition meetings on a paid basis.
  • Willingness to learn and use company-specific software and processes.
  • Desire to learn about digital book marketing, as well as other aspects of digital publishing.
  • Thorough understanding of and insight into the genres you choose to edit.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects during the same timeframe.
  • Commitment to reading and evaluating a minimum of 25 submissions a month (this is a paid activity).
  • Ability to adapt and be flexible as the business processes and requirements change and grow.

If you meet these qualification requirements, are interested in working in a freelance capacity for a flat, per-assignment/per-task fee, and would like to learn more about the freelance editing position, please upload your CV, Credential File, and a letter of interest.

Because we have relaxed our paid experience requirements, the letter of interest is going to be critical in telling us who you are, how you feel about romance, what you know about Carina Press. We’re looking for candidates who can impress us with their enthusiasm and passion for working with our authors, working in the romance industry and working with Carina Press. In short, this is how we’re able to get our first and main impression of our applicants, so don’t be shy in selling yourself!

In addition to enthusiasm, in your letter of interest we’d like you to:

  • detail your qualifications
  • acknowledge understanding of the above requirements, verify that you meet the requirements and cite areas in which you feel you are particularly strong
  • state why you are interested in working for Carina Press in particular
  • list what romance sub-genres you feel you’d be most qualified to edit

Upload all documents to the job posting at this link. Attention Angela James, Editorial Director.

Required information (to be saved as Applicant Name_Credential File) to be included alongside a CV and letter of interest:

  1. Title and author of last 5 books on which you worked as an editor or on which you helped shape the book in some way (providing feedback, for instance).
  2. Titles of any books you have been primary editor for that have won major awards or hit NYT or USA TODAY lists.
  3. Name and email address of 2 authors on whose books you worked, who would be willing to answer questions regarding their editorial experience with you.
  4. Title and author of the three most recent books you read and loved/would recommend.
  5. Favorite book you’ve read so far in 2017.

We will respond with further information about the position, including the freelance rate card, to qualified applicants only.

Applicants who move on past the initial application stage will be asked to complete an editorial test on a partial manuscript, as well as a reading evaluation of 10 manuscripts, so please be prepared to go through this process if you apply. This testing phase is somewhat time consuming but is crucial in finding candidates with a keen editorial eye and an aptitude for critical evaluation of submissions.

To apply: please upload, at this link, three separate documents.

  • Your CV/resume.
  • Credential file, as detailed above.
  • Your letter of interest. In addition to uploading the letter of interest as a separate document, please copy and paste it into the “letter of interest” section on the submission form.

We will accept applications for this freelance opportunity until October 25, 2017. Questions about this position can be directed to

UPDATE 10/17/2017: We’re getting a lot of questions about whether or not someone is qualified, and it’s pretty hard to answer that based on a blog comment or an email. So going forward we’re not going to respond to individual comments/emails asking to vet your qualifications but just reiterate here and say: if you have experience that you feel qualifies you to edit genre fiction (romance and mystery), if you love romance, and are open to diversity and inclusion, and if you fit the other listed requirements, please feel free to apply. Thank you!

**Should you forward this call or post it on forums or job search boards, please be sure to include a link to this post and the requirements. In the past we have received applications via freelancer job boards that have not followed our instructions/requirements as the applicants did not read the specific job posting. Thank you!**


30 thoughts on “Carina Press: Now hiring freelance content/development editors.”

  1. Sylvia Nolan says:

    I see this now and love to apply .I am not a writer per say but I live to write and I love romance genre books.I read a lot and always have a story in my head.

  2. Angela James says:

    Hi Sylvia, we’re not looking for writers, but for editors, so totally okay if you’re not a writer.

  3. Hi Angela,

    I have two quick questions for you:

    1.Does a medical disability due to a chronic and progressive autoimmune disease fit your criteria for underrepresented groups in publishing?

    2. Would editing manuscripts for my critique group (8 years) count as editing experience?

    I’m a writer (as yet unpublished) with over a decade of writing experience, including working with my two literary agents, one of whom was with Writers House. I’ve discovered I like editing and shaping a story almost as much as writing one. Would someone like me fit what you’re looking for or would it be better to accrue more experience?


  4. Angela James says:

    Hi Amy. Our only criteria are those we laid out in the job posting under requirements. There are no other criteria surrounding the job.

    We’ll accept critique group participation as experience in this case, for the purpose of applying for the position.

  5. Emma Smith says:

    Hi, I love the romance genre. Big fan of historical, also like modern romance but also read and enjoy erotic fiction. Have other editorial experience eg online content editing, business, and academic. I am a writer too with two published short stories this year in nonfiction and fantasy. So I edit my material all the time. Would I be eligible to apply? It sounds so great!

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Emma, we’ll accept applications from people who are also writers, yes. As far as editorial experience, it’s not required that it be in the romance genre, though it does help. But you must love romance.

      1. Emma S says:

        Thanks Angela, I will work on my application – I love the romance genre!


  6. Louise Martone says:

    Hello Angela, As a writer and freelance editor for over ten years, this position intrigues me. I’m in an often overlooked demographic, that of the middle-aged woman whose skills and experience rivals that of some younger job candidates. I would like to consider this opportunity, since both the romance and mystery genres are close to my heart. Would you please specify the expected time commitment, potential pay scale and if this position is fully remote? Many thanks.

    1. Angela James says:

      Louise, this is a freelance position so yes, it’s fully remote. The time commitment is dependent on each editor and how long it takes you to edit a manuscript, read submissions, etc. Some editors work many hours a week, some editors work only a few. We share the pay scale if you move on to the testing phase, but it varies from $1000 to $2000 per project, depending on word count.

      1. Louise Martone says:

        Thank you for your reply. I look forward to submitting my application!

  7. Lindsay Young says:

    Hi guys! I have been following Carina Press for ages and am so, so excited to see this opportunity pop up! I went to submit an application, but the box that reads “By checking this box you verify you have three years of paid editorial experience” is still attached to the submission form. I assume it’s alright to submit despite this, considering the altered stance on this particular matter? Thanks so much!

    1. Angela James says:

      Thanks for letting me know, Lindsay. That was lingering on the form from before and I’ve revised it so it fits our updated requirements more closely. Thank you!

  8. I am interested in working for you. Over the past 5 years I have edited for Rogue Phoenix, Class Act Books, and Melange as well as for many private clients. I am a published author with 77 books to my credit. I have also run workshops on editing. I have edited all genre of romance as well as women’s fiction and murder mysteries, therefore I am open to reading and editing almost anything. I also have a site on Facebook called EDITS BY SHERRY

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Sherry, no need to comment here, applications are open and you can apply any time!

      1. I will be looking into it. Thank you

  9. Very familiar with your press and genre, but good heavens TEN manuscripts to evaluate during Testing? For Free?

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Teresa,

      As you may have noticed, we have dramatically decreased the experience requirements for this position, so that means depending on the testing phase to gauge a candidate’s aptitude. We’re not getting any work for free with this process-these are testing materials and not submissions we need to respond to. If anything, it costs me quite a bit in time and energy to go through all of the candidates’ tests each time we hire.

      We pride ourselves on our quality of editorial and for our reputation of editorial excellence, and that starts from the very beginning in the hiring process, with testing of candidates, and that does include candidates demonstrating their critical thinking skills and knowledge and understanding of the genres, when assessing manuscripts. Without this process, we have no way of knowing if a candidate has the necessary skills.

      1. Martha F says:

        But if the applicant does have proven experience, why would they need to perform 11 different tests (along with the partial manuscript) to prove their ability? That seems extremely excessive. For professional freelancers, that can amount to a weeks’ worth of work being done for free.

        1. Martha F says:

          Even after two or three evaluations, it seems it would be obvious what their skill level is. This just seems like a way for Carina to get hundreds of manuscripts evaluated for free.

          1. Martha F says:

            You would never ask a graphic designer to do this. To design 11 different covers, etc before being paid.

        2. Angela James says:

          Hi Martha,
          As noted, these are testing materials, not actual submissions that need to be responded to. We’re not getting any work done for free. Everyone gets the exact same testing materials.

          I understand that some people may not wish to proceed with this process, which is why we’re very upfront about it in the job posting and let applicants make the choice of whether they’re interested or not from the beginning.

          1. Martha F says:

            With these requirements, you are ensuring your applicants are either unqualified or desperate or both. I have never heard of a publisher requesting this much material from someone upfront to be able to judge their skill level. I understand these are testing materials, but work is work and time, as you know, is one of a freelancer’s largest assets.

            It’s absurd that you find it appropriate for an applicant to put in the time and effort for what, by your own estimate of project fees, could amount to $10,000 or more if they were being paid. In most cases, this is more work than would be expected of someone applying for even an in-house position.

            Good luck with your search.

          2. Cassie M says:

            You may also want to think about the fact that in your effort to add diversity to your team, you are exploiting a group of marginalized people who are, quite frankly, exploited quite often enough already. Talk about irony.

          3. Angela James says:

            Hi Cassie, thanks for offering that point of view. However, I don’t agree. We are not getting free work from anyone, and everyone who applies undergoes the same application process. I understand that some who would otherwise be interested in the position may not wish to take the time to do this and I understand their reasons for doing so.

  10. Maurine says:

    I’m a writer who enjoys the process of editing. If I hope to one day publish with either Carina Press or Harlequin, should I forego applying for this position? Thank you in advance for your answer.

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Maurine,

      We do prefer to keep our author/freelance editor positions separate, so if your ultimate goal is to write for Harlequin/Carina, it’s probably best not to apply.

      1. Maurine says:

        Thank you for your quick reply.

  11. Lacie says:

    I’m curious before I apply if editing a news journal would count in this instance? I was the editor for a Department of Defense publication for a few years, and that involved editing features, so I’m curious if that would count?

    Thank you!

  12. Erin Zarro says:


    I have ten years of proofreading/copy editing experience, and a bit of developmental editing experience. I am also a published writer, and have been editing and critiquing books for about fourteen years. I am also a Journalism graduate. Would my experience be enough to apply? I am very interested in this position.

  13. Angela James says:

    Hi everyone,

    We’re getting a lot of questions about whether or not someone is qualified, and it’s pretty hard to answer that based on a blog comment or an email. So going forward I’m not going to respond to individual comments/emails asking to vet your qualifications but just reiterate here and say: if you have experience that you feel qualifies you to edit genre fiction (romance and mystery), if you love romance, and are open to diversity and inclusion, and if you fit the other listed requirements, please feel free to apply. Thank you!


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