Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mysteries Revealed at Carina Press (Part 1 of 2)

By Linda Lovely

Angela James
(pictured at left), the new Executive Editor of Carina Press, a subsidiary of Harlequin Enterprises Limited, says it’s no mystery why the new digital-first publishing house is interested in mysteries.

Carina is seeking first-rate manuscripts in a wide range of genres including mystery, thriller, science fiction, paranormal, family sagas, romance and erotica. Ms. James, who comes to Carina from Samhain Publishing, is an online press veteran.

The Sisters in Crime blog thanks her for her intriguing answers to questions about Carina’s policies and ambitions in this two-part blog entry. Here’s Part I:

What made Carina Press, a member of the Harlequin family, decide to expand its offerings beyond traditional romance and romantic suspense genres?

Digital-first publishing offers a lot of opportunities for experimentation and reaching new audiences, so it only made sense for us to open to other genres with an imprint that wasn’t branded as romance already. With the digital market expanding at an extraordinary rate every day, we believe there is room for tremendous growth in genre fiction outside romance in the digital community. We also have some exciting plans for some of our mystery/romantic suspense titles that we’re hoping to announce in the next month or so.

Why should a mystery or thriller author consider submitting to Carina Press?

I don’t suppose the response “because we rock!” will work as a satisfactory answer?

Alternate professional markets for genres such as mystery or thriller can be difficult to find. Carina Press brings to the table a wealth of editorial experience and marketing acumen. We can offer authors a partnership and a forward-thinking place to publish.

Your website indicates you’re open to the full range of mysteries—cozies, procedurals, historical mysteries and contemporaries—as well as psychological, legal, medical, and political thrillers. Are you receiving many submissions in these genres? Is there any niche that has fewer submissions than you’d like to see?

We see quite a few mystery submissions, actually, and the editors are thrilled with this. I wouldn’t say that there’s a particular subgenre of mystery that we wish we could see more of, because the spread is quite even there (though we do have an editor who’s still wishing for a pet-centric mystery series).

Thriller is the one genre we haven’t seen nearly as much of as we’d like. We’ve not yet acquired a manuscript in the genre, and it’s not for lack of trying!

How are you spreading word of your mystery/thriller offerings to fans of these genres?

We use a combination of websites and print media to market and promote to genres. Those include Suspense Magazine, RT, Dear Author, Fresh Fiction and more. And, of course, we are always open to suggestions for effective places to market to the non-romance crowd. I love to hear what’s working for others!

Your website says you’re interested in acquiring digital rights to published works. Does this include out-of-print mysteries/thrillers? Are you looking to acquire series backlists?

Yes, we would most definitely be interested in series backlists. Especially if the author is interested in continuing the series but, even if they’re only looking to republish an older series, we’d love to see it.

How many titles does Carina expect to publish in its first year?

In 2010, we’ll publish a little more than 100 titles.

How many mystery/thriller/romantic suspense titles have you acquired?

To date, of the almost 200 titles we've acquired for publication in 2010 and 2011, approximately 17% fall in the mystery/thriller/romantic suspense genres. As I noted elsewhere during the interview, we haven’t yet acquired any thrillers, but we are keen to do so (though we do have a science fiction military thriller releasing in January 2011 so I suppose that does count!).

Award-winning author Linda Lovely writes romantic suspense novels featuring “smart, sexy heroines caught up in danger-packed situations that require them to partner with equally smart, sexy men.” Her novel, "
Counterfeit," is a finalist in the Romantic Suspense category of the 2010 Golden Heart contest sponsored by the Romance Writers of America.


Polly said...

Good post, Linda. I can't wait for part 2.

Shirley Wells said...

Lol, I think "because we rock" is the perfect answer. As a proud (mystery) author for Carina Press, I know it's true!

Great interview. Looking forward to part 2!

Donnell said...

Well done, Linda! Thanks to Angela Knight for spreading the word!