Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mysteries Revealed at Carina Press (Part 2 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 II:

How do you decide on an appropriate price for an ebook?

Price is generally determined by word count. I say generally because there are times when a book may fall in a higher word count but we choose to price it lower for reasons of marketing and sales.

There’s been a lot of conversation regarding fair ebook royalty percentages for authors. Your website states you do not pay advances but pay higher royalty percentages. Do you see publishing moving toward an industry standard ebook royalty percentage?

No, I don’t, though I don’t like to use “never” since that just tempts fate to prove me wrong. But print royalties aren’t standard; I don’t see digital royalties being different because that’s so individual to each publisher’s business plan/model.

According to your website, you don’t offer DRM—digital rights management. Does that mean people who download Carina ebooks can share them with others and/or read them on multiple devices?

Yes, absolutely. We believe that the book itself shouldn’t be an impediment to either buying or reading. We also recognize that people aren’t going to have only one device over the course of their lifetime, so they need to be able to move the book around. As for sharing—it’s an important part of reading culture. We’ve all shared books with friends and family at one time or another. We recognize that you may want to share a book with someone you know will love it—and we hope that encourages them to come back and buy more titles from either that author or from Carina Press. DRM-free is about making buying and reading so easy and pleasurable that the reader won’t have a reason not to come back for more!

What distribution channels do you plan to tap in addition to your own web bookstore?

You can find Carina Press books on third party etailers such as Amazon, Books on Board, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobo/Borders, All Romance Ebooks and more.

Though Carina is a digital-first publisher, your publishing contract includes print and audio rights. What factors would prompt you to publish a title as a paperback or create an audio version? What if a Carina author has a print opportunity elsewhere—would you release the rights? receives a list of our releases and they choose from that list which titles they believe will be the most successful, using their knowledge of their customers, buying habits and any holes in genres they might have. While we can encourage Audible to look at a particular title, they ultimately choose what goes to audio (which makes sense, when you think about it, since who better to know the audio market?). To date, they’ve chosen just under 50 of our 2010 titles.

We would not wish to see a competing title on the market, so we would be unable to release print rights, especially as we may wish to use them. When and if the time comes for us to put titles in print, all titles would be considered on a similar basis: audience, marketability, needs of the print channel, etc.

Do you plan to publish any mystery/thriller anthologies or short stories?

We haven’t compiled any anthologies to date (though we are doing a holiday collection, it’s not an anthology), so I can’t speak for plans of anthologies yet, but we would certainly be open to one. Digital is a wonderful place for shorter versions of genre fiction.

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.


JB Lynn said...

Very informative interview. My thanks to you both!

Polly said...

Great information, Linda. It helps to make an informed decision about ebook publishing. Thanks.

Marie Dees said...

Thanks for the great article!

Vicki said...

Thanks for a great interview (both 1 & 2), although I don't write mysteries, it was still great to get some inside info from Angela and Carina Press.