“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” ~Anne Lamott
I’m continuing this week with my look at the publisher spotlights from the Romance Writers of America’s national convention in Atlanta in July. The Spotlight on Avon Books was presented by Jesse Edwards, Assoc. Publicist; Tessa Woodward, Editor; Amanda Bergeran, Editor; Shawn Nichols Sr. Director of Marketing and Eric Tsang, Editorial Director.
Avon publishes historical, contemporary and paranormal romance and has a long tradition of publishing best-selling romances. “We’re always looking for different ideas in all genres [of romance.] We’re looking for the right story. We’re looking for good stories and we hope you’ll keep us in mind.”\
Avon began publishing new adult stories this year. Tessa Woodward talked about Avon’s new adult books. “drama filled fun stories that keep you reading.” Heroes and heroines between 18 and 26 or 28.
Amanda talked about Avon Impulse, Avon’s digital-first imprint that launched two years ago. They publish about one book a week, occasionally more. They publish authors who are new to Avon as well as established Avon authors. In 2013 they have published 13 debut authors so far. They can publish as quickly as in 12 weeks, though they can take more time also. Impulse publishes everything from paranormal, romantic comedy, erotica, historical — pretty much everything. The same art, marketing, and editorial team works on Avon and Avon Impulse.
Sean Nichols in Avon’s marketing department talked about Avon’s marketing and publicity team. Campaigns are tailored to each book and start three to six weeks before the book is released. Examples of the kinds of things they do are free e-samplers with excerpts from upcoming titles; QR codes “everywhere”; Facebook; Twitter, as well as working with retailers to get books primary placement.
Jesse spoke about publicity. Every book has a dedicated publicist and a dedicated campaign. They also make heavy use of social media, especially Twitter. They’ve partnered with Little Black Dress Wines to sponsor events. They use Street Teams — the Avon Addicts — 25 super-readers who receive a package of swag and books each month.
The final segment of the workshop discussed submitting to Avon. On Avonromance.com you can post excerpts from your book and get feedback from other romance fans, writers and some editors, who pop in occasionally. AvonImpulse.com is the portal to submit your manuscript to the editorial team. Use the online form to upload your book. They accept anything from novellas to long novels. They accept agented and unagented submissions, and will accept simultaneous submissions.
The editors spoke briefly about some of their personal preferences:
Amanda –Contemporary romance with high concept and great new adult. Romantic suspense, serialized erotica
Tessa — more erotica, whether full-length of serials. “super dark and dirty heroines and heroes.” Historicals — would love a new historical series with “an amazing concept.” She’s also looking for contemporary and new adult.
Erica — “anything but zombies.” She does a lot of historicals, also likes paranormal. She also likes more emotional, gothic historicals and “dark, angsty stories.”
Tip: Follow the editors on Twitter. They sometimes issue calls for submissions via Twitter
Entranced Publishing is a Minneapolis-based e-publisher that publishes young adult, new adult, romance and erotica. They’re also interested in fantasy, science fiction and urban fantasy with strong romantic elements. Entranced currently released three to four titles each month. YA and NA titles should be 50,000 to 90,000 words. Other manuscripts may be from 10,000 to 120,000 words. They pay royalties of 40 percent of net. Find their submission guidelines here.
Entranced is accepting novellas of 25,000 to 35,000 words for an upcoming anthology of contemporary takes on classic fairy tales. The editors are interested in stories with strong heroines who rescue themselves — or maybe even rescue the hero. “Simmering sexual tension” is a must. The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2013. Find more details here.
Authornomy, a project of HarperCollins, is sponsoring a First Line contest. The winner will receive a package of self-publishing bennies, including a professional editorial review, a professional book cover, a book trailer and an e-press kit. Simply enter up to the first three sentences of your book (no more than 100 words) by September 8. You must be an Authornomy member to enter, but membership is free. All genres of fiction are welcome. Get the scoop here.
As always, feel free to share the information in this blog with others. All I ask is that you give me credit as the source and include a link back to this blog. Thanks! Cindi