Today I have Angela James, the Executive Editor from Carina Press, to share her experience at Carina and what she’s learned.
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
I wasn’t going to do a post on an author blog, because I wrote the anniversary post for the Carina Press blog. But when I went to write that post, I discovered there was a LOT to say and it made the post kind of long to include all of this. So thanks to Nadia, who kindly agreed to host me, I get the privilege of having two blog posts today!
So what did I learn this year? Ha! That I have a lot to learn. I swear, some days I feel like I know absolutely nothing about the industry, authors or how publishing works. I feel just as green as I did on the very first day I started editing almost a decade ago.
I learned that I hate packing for trips as much today as I did a year ago, and I’ve not gotten any better at packing “light”. People who can travel with one teeny, tiny, half-size carry-on are mutants. I’m convinced.
I’ve learned patience. I’m an impatient person by nature. If I have an idea, or a concept, or a thought flitting through my head, I want to jump on it and do it now. That’s not quite as easy at a larger corporation like Harlequin. We’re not quite so nimble as some of the smaller folks. Oh, we get things done and make things happen, just not quite as quickly as my impatient nature liked. So I’ve learned patience (well, having a six-year-old daughter has helped with that too)
I’ve learned that while I’m a good editor, and I miss editing, I’m also a pretty darn good administrator, boss, presenter and task-master. I knew I had what it takes to build an imprint, but I really feel like I’ve proven it to myself again.
And holy cow, I’ve been reminded how important a good team is. From the Carina Press acquisitions team, to the freelance editors, I’m surrounded by talented, hard-working, dedicated people. I have been so very fortunate in my co-workers and freelancers, and some of them have become very good friends who listen to my phone and email rants without complaining. Without the talent of this group, Carina Press would not exist today. I get a lot of the glory because I’m out in front, but I’ve worked to try and make sure you all see who’s behind the scenes, actually making it happen. Thanks to all of them, and the wonderful, wonderful authors who’ve trusted us with their books, today we have Carina Press!
Speaking of the authors, I’ve learned that they can come together to be enthusiastic and supportive of each other, and their publisher, in a pretty awesome way. I wish each of you could see the brainstorming and goodwill that occurs on the Carina author loop. It’s inspiring!
As I mention in the main Carina Press blog, I’ve discovered I love working for Harlequin. It’s been a year and a half, and I feel so lucky to be working there every day. I’m fortunate to have not just one, but several wonderful bosses. Malle Vallik has been an incredible boss and mentor, and I look forward to the times we’re together, when we can share a meal and a glass of wine, and talk not just about work, but about life. Loriana Sacilotto has been gracious and welcoming, making me feel as though Carina is just as important in its place in Harlequin editorial as any other imprint, and not just listening to my opinion on digital publishing, but also seeking it out. Last, Brent Lewis and Donna Hayes, who provided snippets for our Carina blog post today, have gone out of their way to let me know how much they value my skills.
But most of all, I’ve been reminded all over again how much I love digital publishing, and you know, learned to feel a little justified in all that preaching about the “digital dark side” that I’ve been doing for years.
Today’s not just a celebration of all we’ve accomplished in the past year, but also a celebration of digital publishing in general, because without all of the readers, retailers, authors, and other industry people who’ve embraced digital publishing, I wouldn’t be where I am today. So here’s to all of you, thank you!
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!