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Carina Press Anniversary

In celebration of our one year anniversary, I asked as many of our Harlequin team members and Carina Press freelance editors as possible to write a short blog post, talking about what the past year or so has been like for them, working on Carina Press. I deliberately didn’t provide any direction other than that, because I wanted to see what people came up with, in the spirit of Carina’s 1st anniversary. I was so pleased when I saw what they’d all come up with, and had to say (and some of these posts made me just a little teary)! I hope you enjoy the post, and look for your opportunity to win a Carina Press book at the bottom of this post. ~Angela James


Lessons from Carina’s First Year

Gina Bernal is a freelance editor for Carina Press. You can follow her on Twitter.


Wow, I can’t believe it’s already time to wish Carina Press a happy first anniversary. Not to be cliché, but it does feel like just yesterday that I shot an email to Angela James saying, “Hey, I hear you might be looking for editors…” Lucky me, I made the team. Working for Carina has been a pleasure, but it’s also been a tremendous learning experience—both professionally and personally. Carina’s first year as a publisher also happened to be my first year in an exciting, emerging part of the industry, in a new job, living in a new city. And I’ve learned some interesting lessons along the way…

The writer’s imagination is endless. Carina’s motto is “Where no great story goes untold,” and that wholehearted approach to finding compelling reads means our inbox is filled with a little bit of everything. Great, good and—if I’m being honest—sometimes bad, the variety of manuscripts assures that a batch of submissions will be anything but boring.

Digital publishing moves fast. Tight deadlines keep us all constantly going, but it’s rewarding (and not a little nail-biting) to see a book you love go from acquisition to a reader’s hand in less than a year.

Working in a virtual office doesn’t have to equal isolation. Having always worked in chatty, cooperative offices, I was apprehensive about working from home as a freelancer. Who would I bounce ideas off of? Who would listen to a random rant? Though Carina’s editorial team is scattered across the US and beyond, the “water cooler” environment fostered by our email loop and social networks means someone’s usually there to lend support or share a laugh.

There’s a slippery slope from smart skirts to sweatpants. You know you’ve gotten way too comfortable working from home when your significant other asks “Why are you dressed for dance class?” and your only reply is “Oh, I’ve been wearing this all day.” Yes, I’ve gone from having once been the dressiest person at my old job to coveting Old Navy stretch gaucho pants. All my cute shoes are crying in the closet. Writers and other stay-at-homers, I hope you can commiserate.

Everybody knows Harlequin. Readers or not, people recognize the Harlequin name. The brand is synonymous with romance, and telling someone you edit books for Harlequin’s digital-first imprint is guaranteed to spark an interesting conversation. Makes for a fabulous icebreaker.

Twitter is addictive. Does this need further explanation?

Novellas can pack a storytelling punch. Lately, I’ve become a slow reader. Seriously, I’m jealous of people with active Good Reads update feeds. Novellas provide a fast treat…and a sense of accomplishment when you finish quickly! Some of my Carina favorites include Tia Nevitt’s The Sevenfold Spell, Ginny Glass and Inez Kelley’s Dirty Laundry series, Eleri Stone’s Mercy, Nicole North’s Laird of Darkness, and Seleste deLaney’s Badlands (full disclosure: I edited the latter two).

Romantic Suspense is disproportionately represented in my editing repertoire. While I enjoy romantic suspense, I don’t read tons of it for pleasure—maybe five to ten percent of my for-fun romance reading could be classified as suspense. But as an editor, about thirty percent of the books I’ve worked on thus far are romantic suspense. No explanation for it, but when reading submissions those suspenseful storylines have an undeniable allure.

They’re all real books. Working in digital publishing has made me especially touchy when people say they don’t read ebooks, they read “real” books. People work their tushies off to write, edit and produce ebooks and they’re just as real as any hardcover or paperback out there, thank you very much.

Here’s to a great first year and many more to come!

To celebrate Carina’s one year anniversary of publishing books, we’re giving away some prizes. Today, on each of the nineteen blogs our team members are featured on, we’re giving away a download of a Carina Press book to one random winner (that’s nineteen total winners!) All you need to do to be entered to win is comment on this post. You can enter to win on all nineteen posts. In addition, on the Carina Press blog, we’re giving away a grand prize of a Kobo ereader and 12 Carina Press books of the winner’s choice. Visit the Carina Press blog to enter to win, and to see links to all 19 of today’s blog posts.

And a sincere thank you from all of us, to our readers and authors, for making Carina Press’s first year a success!

58 thoughts on “Carina Press Anniversary

  1. Happy Anniversary! I agree with Twitter! Totally addictive.

  2. They should use your post as a recruitment tool. Who wouldn’t want to be home with a virtual office to share things home and be in your sweats all day?

  3. I do like novellas cos they are fast 😀

  4. Hi Gina! I’m just popping in to say hi to my fabulous editor. I can attest to the speed of digital. It’s hard to believe that last July I submitted to Carina and the first book will be out next month. Crazy fun! It’s been a great ride, so thanks for helping me along.

  5. I’m one of those romantic suspense authors Gina works with. Going into the digital world of deadlines was a first for me, and Gina helped me through it step by step. Gina’s a dream editor [I can ‘hear’ her writing ‘no cliches’ in my sleep now!]. It has been both an honor and a thrill for me to work with her this past year, and I look forward to the next year of our collaberation on, yes, another romantic suspense. 😉

    Carol Stephenson
    Courting Disaster & Courting Death, Carina Press &

  6. Never leave my sweatpants when I’m writing! LOL! 😉 Thanks for a great post and congrats on the anniversary.

  7. I really enjoyed your post. 😀 Congrats on the first fantastic year and here’s to many more to come.

  8. Congratulations on your anniversary! Yeah…gotta love being able to dress comfortably to work- I’m sure your pretty clothes will get their chance again …lol…Here’s to an even better 2nd year for Carina and you!

  9. Happy Anniversary! I love reading romantic suspense. To tell the truth, I read more ebooks than print now, mainly because there is no bookstore close to me for the prints. lol

  10. Hi Gina. As one of those Romantic Suspense authors, I’m thrilled to have Gina as my editor. She does such a tremendously fabulous job, I couldn’t have asked for a better co-conspirator for my book. 😈

    Congratulations to Carina for its first birthday, and may we have many, many more together.

  11. Happy Anniversary Carina. Wishing you great future success.
    I’m one of Gina’s suspense authors chiming in to sing her praises. Thanks for everything Gina and Carina.

  12. Thanks to Joely for hosting me today.

    @LisaJ @CaridadPineiro Sweatpants wearers of the world unite!

    @Blodeuedd Reading short novellas always make me feel like the speedy reader I was (once upon a time)

    @AdrienneGiordano @CarolStephenson Aw, thanks, ladies. Working with great authors makes my job even more fun.

    @Lisa @PhyllisC @MariaD Thanks for the anniversary wishes!

  13. @AmyS I’m mostly a digital reader now, too, and I love it. Ebooks feed my need for instant gratification and save on shelf space (my guy has no idea just how many books live on my ereader, ha!).

  14. @KathyIvan @RitaHenuber *waving* Love that my authors are coming out to represent.

  15. Happy one year anniversary. Wishing you many more successful years.

  16. congrats on 1 year! may you have many more.

  17. Hello Gina!
    Congrats on the big anniversary!

    Of course ebooks are real books. Most of my reading is done on my Kindle. I have piles of books on my TBR shelf but I always seem to read my ebooks first. I suppose ease of use and portability is a factor.

    I’m a shoe addict so I can sympathize that you aren’t able to wear your cute shoes to work. Although working from home sounds great. Good luck with all of the upcoming Carina Press releases!

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

  18. Congrats on the 1st fabulous year for Carina!

    Love the bit about casual and work at home. I find the same thing on the rare days I get to work at home – I mean to get out of my pyjamas and shower, but never quite get there…then my kids come home and scold me for still being in my pjs!

  19. Happy 1year anniversary! Wishing you more success in the next year.

  20. It’s amazing how much has changed in the book publishing world, Gina–congratulations on Carina Press’s first anniversary! Looking forward to more ground-breaking work and GREAT reading in the years to come!

  21. Happy anniversary to you & Carina!

  22. Congratulations on an amazing first year! I also have to agree that ebooks are REAL books. I’ve read some fantastic CP books, and I love them as much as any print book I’ve enjoyed.

    Keep up the good work ❗


  23. happy birthday Carina press

  24. @CrystalGB, Tammy, Patti and Fedora — thanks so much for the anniversary wishes. It’s a big milestone for us and we’re happy to have readers like you share it with us.

    @StacieDM and Katherine — Maybe I should start a new trend? Comfy clothes with fabulous shoes. 😛

  25. 😆 Congrats on a year! I know I love my digital books!

  26. Happy Anniversary Carina Press!

  27. Hi Gina, you make a wonderful case for working from home 😉 Thanks for the delightful information..!!

    And strangely, nowadays I have become a novella girl too.. fast paced world? maybe impatient me? no idea! But I love reading, even as I am writing too 🙂

  28. Happy 1st Birthday Carina Press!

  29. I used to be in the camp that ebooks weren’t real books. But having seen the quality of materials publishers like Carina Press promote, I have changed my mind!!!! Congratulations to Carina Press on a year of wonderful ebooks and spectacular employees who are doing a fan-tabulous job!!!!!!!

  30. Happy anniversary and I so agree about Twitter just started it at RT this year and can’t seem to get away from it 🙂

  31. Congartulations on the Carnina’s first year anniversary! Enjoyed your post – clearly able to see how much you enjoy your job. My daughter has worked from home for about 6 years now, so I can totally relate to the wardrobe issues! Romantic suspense is one of my favorites to read, so I’m glad you are seeing a lot of them. I just recently learned that the editor is the one responsible for the back cover blurb – let me just say thank you for doing such a good job! Wishing you continuted success!

  32. i love romantic suspense. It’s my favorite genre right now but i have only read a couple authors who write it. I’d love to find a few more that have the mix of things i like in romantic suspense.

    Happy Anniversary and congrats on one year!

    Lisa B
    modokker at yahoo dot com

  33. Happy Anniversary! Carina has had some awesome books this past year, glad I got to read a few! :mrgreen:

  34. What a great post, it speaks so highly of Carina’s amazing success.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  35. Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary!

  36. Happy Anniversary!

  37. Congrats on one year!

  38. The comfy wardrobe is THE top reason to work at home! 🙂

  39. Congratulations for such a grand and successful year.

    Thanks to Carina Press, I’ve discovered many new authors.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  40. Great post, thanks, and Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to Carina and all the wonderful authors!

  41. Happy 1 year Anniversary!! I have been avoiding the twitter addiction as I barely have enough time to follow all the blogs I follow.

  42. Happy Anniversary, Carina Press!

    Thank you everyone for making this such a special day!

  43. How awesome are you giving US a present on YOUR anniversary!! Thanks so much 😉

  44. Congrats on your first year! Hope the next one is even better. Any book is a real book if the person took the time to tell their story, whether 50 pages or 500. Length, format, etc does not matter, only the story.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  45. Aah, yes. Real books. I don’t understand that mindset. A real book has words in it. That’s it. Dead trees not required. Great post!

  46. Carina press books are addictive. Im so glad I could celebrate birthday one with you!

    Holly wright at comcast dot net

  47. Woohoo!! Congratulations to one year down and many more to come! There should be one more section – “Free Books” – where fanatic fans have their dreams come true. 🙂 Wonderful post!

  48. Happy Anniversary! Twitter is effective as well as addictive. I’ve found many great books/authors through Twitter.

  49. i see no problem with wearing those cute, crying shoes with your gauchos! i agree with inez kelley’s dirty laundry books being favs 🙂

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