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
Denise Nielsen is a freelance editor for Carina Press. You can follow her on Twitter.
When friends or family hear that I get to read books for a living, the response is always the same: first, a laugh, because anyone who knows me well has seen the way in which I devour books; and second, at least from other book lovers, outright envy. Among non-writers though, there seems to be little understanding of what an editor actually does. Many of them think I spend my days reading, with the occasional fix of spelling and grammar errors, and they don’t understand of the depth of the work that goes into getting a book ready for publication.
It’s the depth of that work that I love. Working with authors to hone and polish their stories and get them into shape for publication is the most rewarding thing about editing. It’s always a fine balance to ensure the author’s unique voice—which is of course what sold the book to us in the first place—is maintained, even while we suggest changes to words, sentence structure, and scenes to make a story clearer, tighter, stronger. Sometimes, this is the most frustrating part of editing too. Sometimes sentences just don’t seem to work no matter how we rearrange them, and we spend a great deal of time cussing and pulling our hair out.
Actually, that isn’t true because at Carina, we have an amazing support team. Even though my fellow editors and I live in different places—I’m in Canada—we talk regularly. Our virtual water cooler is a place where we can always go to get advice, to talk out a difficulty, ask a question, or even just to rant about something that isn’t working. This connection means that even working at my desk on my farmhouse in Ontario, I can reach out and ask a question, and have an answer (or a bunch of them) often within minutes. The Carina team is exactly that: a team. And I love that.
For me, the biggest challenge I have faced in the past year has been time management. I am good at it. At least I thought I was. But juggling the reading of new manuscripts, making recommendations, and editing new acquisitions taught me that learning to pace myself in very important. I am a fast reader, so it is easy for me to read (and then recommend) lots of books quickly. But having a pile to edit all at the same time is not so easy. Editing should not be rushed.
It’s your fault though, dear writers. You keep sending us so many amazing stories, and we are so excited to read them all. The best thing about working for Carina is seeing all the incredible stories that cross our desks. They are imaginative and powerful, and keep me reading deep into the night sometimes. So perhaps my envious friends and family have a point after all. I do spend many of my days reading. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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!