Name: Anna del Mar
Book Title: The Asset
Genre: Romantic suspense, Contemporary romance, Military romance, SEAL romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Anna del Mar: I love writing. I always have. I think I’ve lived with these stories in my head all my life. A few years ago, I had the chance to devote myself to writing full time. It was a risk, but I took it. The stories pretty much wrote themselves. I talked to a very experienced romance editor, Nancy Cassidy, from The Red Pen Coach and asked her if she thought my stories deserved publication. She pushed me full steam ahead, not just to write more stories, but to submit them to Carina Press. And…here we are!
Is this your first book?
Anna del Mar: The Asset is my first novel in the romance genre and I’m delighted to say that it will be followed by three more novels, all scheduled for publication this year.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Anna del Mar: I’m published by Carina Press, an imprint of Harlequin which is also an imprint of Harper Collins. There are a lot of great publishing houses out there, but Carina Press is particularly known for great romance. Carina is an incredible place to be right now, cutting edge, innovative, staffed with amazing talent and publishing an impressive list of authors. It’s the perfect home for my stories.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Anna del Mar: My publishing journey with these romances began with me, staring at these completed novels and having only a murky idea of what to do next. I think one of the best things I did was to reach out to an experienced romance editor—Nancy Cassidy for The Red Pen Coach—who had a lot of experience not just with romance writing but with the romance publishing industry as well. She knew what to do, how to prepare a novel for market, which publishers were looking for what and which publishers were a good fit for my stories.
I submitted to a very small, selected group of publishers and immediately generated some interest. Then came the waiting. The selection process at Carina Press, for example, is very, very rigorous. If you’re being considered, a team of twenty people have to read your manuscript and agree, unanimously, that your novel is a good fit for Carina. That’s a lot of scrutiny. And it takes a long time. But I actually liked that. They were being as picky about me as I was being about them.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Anna del Mar: Hmm. Let me think. Lessons. Patience is a big one. The publishing industry moves at its own pace and as an author, there’s very little you can do to change that. I also learned that it’s a very competitive environment out there, with lots of great authors presenting polished manuscripts and amazing serial concepts. You’ve got to bring your best game on. And finally I learned that it’s about more than one book. Publishers today are looking for productive authors who’ll be capable of enduring the rigor of professional writing, create a brand, and deliver a steady stream of quality novels over the years to come. If you can show that you’ve got depth, you’ve got a chance.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Anna del Mar: Yes.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Anna del Mar: What I just said about having depth as an author, being prepared with professionally polished manuscripts and creating a brand and a concept are all right up there in terms of my best advice. Write with purpose, power and passion and keep writing all the way to The End.