For me, writing is exploration; and most of the time, I’m surprised where the journey takes me.”

  Jack Dann


I’m home from the Romance Writers of America conference in New York City. I was able to attend a number of publisher spotlights and will share those with you in the coming weeks. Every conference has certain buzzwords that are on everyone’s list. My impressions of this conference: ebooks are now “digital first” and it’s all about “discoverability” – helping people find your book in the mass of titles out there. 

All the publishers seemed to be working hard to convince authors why they’re a better choice than self-publishing. They spent more time than ever talking about their marketing efforts and showing off beautiful covers. Digital first imprints from both Avon and Ballantine, Bantam, Dell are open to a much wider range of sub-genres and settings, meaning, I think, more opportunities for authors.  The publishers seem to be putting a lot of money and effort into these ventures. 

I thought the overall mood of the conference was optimistic and the message from publishers – “we need you.”


The Spotlight on Avon was presented by Lucia Macro, Executive Editor of Morrow/Avon, Assistant Editors Amanda Bergeron and Wendy Lee and Associated Editors Tessa Woodward and Esi Sogah. You can find more about the company at And recently they launched their new digital-first publishing venture, Avon Impulse.

Wendy Lee presented some statistics about Avon – they receive 22,000 visitors to Avon each month. They have 30,000 newsletter subscribers, 5000 Twitter followers and 11,300 likes on Facebook. In 2010-2011 they had 28 New York Times and 32 USA Today bestsellers and five Rita nominees. 

They publish all sub-genres of romance – Regency historical, contemporary romance, paranormal romance and urban fantasy. For historicals they prefer Regency. They prefer dark, sexy paranormals and like small-town set contemporaries. 

Avon Impluse has the same editorial team as Avon’s print program. They plan to submit publish one new romance a week, priced at $3.99 for a novel and $1.99 for a novella. They pay 25 percent royalties on the first 10,000 copies and 50 percent royalties after 10,000 copies. They publish as quickly as six to nine weeks after receive of the final manuscript. The books will be available in all ebook formats and potentially can go into print also. Avon’s print authors will also publish novellas and special promotions with Impulse.

 They are open to a wide variety of stories in all subgenres. Stories may be in first or third person. There is no length limit. You may submit novellas as well as full-length novels. Un-agented authors are welcome to submit through the Avon Impulse website. Agents should submit in the traditional manner. 

Submit to them using the form on the Avon Impulse website. Submitting to Impulse is also submitting to Avon’s print program. They will give no response if they’re not interested.

The editors shared some of their wish list items for the Impulse program: funny contemporaries, westerns, epic fantasy, “women living in a state with more men than women, preferably titled The Odds are Good,” or a series about military wives. They are only suggestions, as they are open to any ideas you can come up with.


Night Owl Reviews reviewed Nobility Ranch recently and gave it 4 1/2 stars. An excerpt from the review: “I was caught up in the story immediately, never expecting that both Cecily and Charles would worm their way into my heart to the extent they did. Cecily surprised me; determined to get her man, resourceful, intelligent, kind-hearted – she is a delightfully charming character. Charles, too, came across as knowledgeable, generous, and masculine even though he is bull-headed in his desire to avoid what he sees as a life of boredom and discontent that he believes awaits him if he returns to England. It was often quite funny watching him squirm on the end of Cecily’s patiently baited hook as the story played out. ” Read the whole review here. Or pick up a copy of Nobility Ranch here or at Amazon for Kindle.


My publisher for Nobility Ranch, Aspen Mountain Press, is actively seeking speculative fiction for a new speculative fiction line., Aura. The editors are looking for “science fiction, both hard and soft; fantasy, from epic to urban and in between; horror, all types; Steampunk; cyberpunk; dystopian stories and anything else that falls beneath the wide SF umbrella.” They’re not interested in erotica for this line. Romantic sub-plots are fine, but the romance shouldn’t overwhelm the rest of the story. Short stories to 20,000 words will be published as Aura Flash and novels may be up to 100,000 words.  They’re open to both new material and previously published backlist.  Find all the guidelines here.


As always, feel free to pass along information from this blog: forward it to friends and reprint it in newsletters. All I ask is that you give me credit and include a link to the blog. Thank you. Cindi