Executive editor of Carina Press, Harlequin's digital-first imprint, and veteran of the digital publishing industry, Angela James is a well-known advocate for digital publishing. James has enjoyed a long and varied career in digital publishing, including launching and serving as executive editor for Samhain Publishing. James frequently travels to regional, national and international writing conferences to meet with authors and readers, and present workshops on digital publishing for both authors and readers of all genres of fiction.

Carina Press in 2011

by Angela James

Most days, it’s hard for me to believe that Carina only started publishing books seven months ago. When I was at the NINC conference last October, and I was speaking to a few authors who had questions about when Carina was going to do this, or why we didn’t do this, I remember saying “we’ve only been open four months, give us time!” We’ve been fortunate that an entire community of readers and authors has embraced us so enthusiastically, that they, and we, often feel as though we’ve been publishing books for years!

Part of that feeling probably comes because everyone involved with Carina has been publishing books for years (decades, really) and so Carina Press just feels like such a natural extension of what we’ve already been doing that it’s hard to remember it’s still new.

The hard part about being new is that we can’t do it all at once, no matter how much we’d like to. And there’s a lot we’d like to do all at once! For instance, I know people have a lot of questions about print. While there will be ongoing print versions of some Carina books, via Reader Services’ Direct to Consumer program (and consequently for sale direct from the Harlequin site), as well as a few special edition print projects, and while we are considering all options for print, for the immediate future we’re most interested in growing the digital sales because digital is the future of this particular imprint, and digital is what allows us the freedom with lengths, genres and niches.

We do have a lot of plans for Carina’s future, but unfortunately, most of them aren’t plans I can share (too bad, because I think they’re pretty cool). If any of you know me, you know my brain is always working and planning, wondering what the next new thing we can do to improve might be. And the rest of the Carina Press team is just as bad! But I can share a few new things we’re looking forward to in 2011.

First, as I mentioned, several Carina Press titles will be the first to go to print via the Mystery and Suspense DTC program. Those titles include Fatal Affair by Marie Force, In Plain View by J. Wachowski, and Presumed Dead by Shirley Wells with more to be announced in the coming months. In addition to going out to the Reader Service customers who are signed up for the Mystery and Suspense shipments, these print titles will also be available on eHarlequin.com.

Also coming in 2011 is some special, genre-targeted promotional weeks. During these special weeks, all releases will be in the promotional genre (ie: steampunk), we’ll be doing special marketing and promotion, have an accompanying original free read, and basically focus for one week on certain genres. The first of these will be Steampunk Week the last week of April, with three very unique steampunk stories for sale, and a free read, Photographs & Phantoms by Cindy Spencer Pape.

Later in 2011 we’ll be announcing several collections of by-invitation-only special anthologies. Invitations will be extended to authors (both published by Carina and not) to participate in these anthologies. It’s our hope that authors will be intrigued (and flattered) by the idea of being asked to participate. The anthologies will also come with special marketing and promotion, as well as a few other exciting things I’m not at liberty to discuss yet.

Also in 2011 is going to be tremendous presence at both conferences and local chapter events. As of the writing of this post, I’m scheduled for no less than 18 appearances in 2011, as well as at least 4 online Q&A or workshop events. Chances are good I’m scheduled to be in your part of the country this year!

As you can see from just the few things I’ve listed here, 2011 is already scheduled to be an incredibly busy year for us. And there are more things still to come. Do you see anything in here that intrigues you, or that you’d like to know more about? Alternately, are there any other questions about Carina you were hoping I’d address?

Posted by Patricia Rosemoor

Filed as: The Writing Life