“Keep writing. Keep doing it and doing it. Even in the moments when it’s so hurtful to think about writing.” Heather Armstrong
This week I’m continuing my look at Publisher Spotlights from the RWA National Convention with a summary of the Spotlight on Avon Books. The Spotlight was presented by Editorial Director Erika Tsang, Excutive Editor Lucia Macro, Director of Marketing Sean Michaels and Director of Publicity, Pam Jaffe.
Avon publishes romance under the Avon print imprint and as digital first originals under the Avon Impulse bannet. Erico spoke about the Avon Impluse program. All Avon Impulse titles publish first as ebooks, then as print-on-demand trade paperbacks. Impulse authors that show strong sales may be moved into the print program. In addition to publishing new authors, Impulse publishes novellas and other stories from established Avon print authors. Impulse pays 25 percent royalties on the first 10,000 books sold, and 50 percent royalties after that. Thirty-eight percent of Impulse authors sell more than 10,000 copies. They pay royalties once a month and the turnaround for Impulse titles is eight weeks from purchase to published.
Sean talked about how Avon markets both print and ebooks. Each book has its own marketing plan. AvonRomance.com is a full service platform where authors can set up blogs. The site hosts monthly sweepstakes, blog tours, quizzes, posts excerpts and pulls in readers in a variety of ways. Avon participates in ebook merchandising efforts to get their titles featured on Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com and Apple. They do Facebook and Twitter marketing and produce a monthly reader newsletter, From the Heart, which you can sign up for at Avonnewsletter.com.
Pam spoke about Publicity. The Avon Addicts street team consists of 100 members, chosen out of 2200 applicants, who get the word out about Avon authors. The Avon/Morrow team employs 20 publicists who arrange author events, interviews, reviews, blog tours, promos, chats, quizzes and magazine features. Avon has a digital learning channel for authors and publishes the Digital Dish newsletter for authors.
Avon takes both agented and unagented submissions. Authors submit on the Avon Website. All submissions are considered for both Avon Romance and Avon Impulse. Each editor takes the inbox for a week. Response time on submissions is usually 6-8 weeks.
Avon publishes storeis from 25,000 to 90,ooo words. The editors each spoke a little about their particular interests. They also handed out ‘trading cards” that spoke about the editors’ interest. Below I’ve summarized their comments at the spotlight and information from these cards:
Executive Editor Lucia Macro: She loves both historical and contemporary romance, though historical romances are harder to sell these days. High concept really helps a manuscript stand out. She loves “smart, sexy dialogue” and strong emotion in her books. She loves super-sexy contemporaris and would love a “super, sports guy hero.”
Editorial Director Erika Tsang: She loves paranormal romance. She especially likes romance with strong heroes she can fall in love with, whether they are bad boys or smart, let’s-save-the-world types.
Executive Editor Carrie Feron: She looks for a distinctive voice in the manuscripts that come to her. She wants “complex heroines, flawed but powerful heroes, and big love stories.”
Assistant Editor Chelsey Emmelhainz: She’s looking for romantic suspence, especially with unconventional heroes and heroines who kick butt. She looks for “writing that takes my breath away.” She also likes hot contemporaries with gritty story-lines and hard-edged heroes (no sweet, small towns for her.)
Editor Amanda Bergeron loves contemporary series, whether they feature small towns, big families or sports teams. She’s also interested in New Adult stories, from sweet to super dark. She’s also like to see some really romantic romantic suspense, and a historical western.
Senior Editor May Chen says send you her weepers. She loves emotional, small-town set stories — if they feature cowboys, that’s a bonus! She likes very sexy stories, too.
Editor Tessa Woodward loves sweeping love storeis and “dark and dirty” heroes. She’s interested in historical romances, too — send her your governness stories. She’d also like to see New Adult manuscripts.
Editorial Assistant Nicole Fischer wants super-sexy bad boys (she loves tattoos) in her sexy contemporary or New Adult romance. She likes romantic suspense with strong female characters and men in uniform and character driven Regency romance (especially if you have a series.)
SilkWords publishes short, interactive romances that combine romance and elements of gaming. The reader guides the story by choosing different paths for the characters to follow. Each story is written with decisions points at key moments in the story. The decisions should impact the story in a significant way, and take the story in a new direction. The company is looking for manuscripts of 15,000 to 20,000 words. Payment is $500 plus $3 per subscription generated by your work. Submit your opening, which includes the first decision points, plus a list of all the decision points in the story. Check out detailed guidelines (and read samples) here.
Carina Press has posted a new Editor Wish List. Carina publishes ebook original fiction, both romance and non-romance books. Some of the highlights of what the editors are looking for:
Editorial Director Angela James: A dark erotic thriller, contempoary crack (her term for highly-dramatic, highly sensual, somewhat over-the-top contemporary romance.) sports romances that break the mold, a cowboy Space Opera (think Firefly), or a super-sexy contemporary romance.
Editor Kerri Buckley: mysteries with humor — dry or sarcastic wit welcome, psychological thrillers, contemporary and historical romance set in Eastern Europe, romantic suspense with kickass heroines, a contemporary series focused on Army wives.
Freelance Editor Rhonda Helms: New Adult, LGBTQ Romance, romantic comedies, genre blends, multicultural romance, sci-fi and/or futuristic romance, a regency or Victorian romance or Western featuring People of Color, a sexy gothic.
Freelance Editor Deborah Nemeth: high stakes conflict and flawed, passionate characters. Antiheroes. Adrenaline fueled romantic suspense; male/male stories, especially New Adult; Regency, Victorian, Edwardian and Tudor historical romance; stories of political and palace intrigue; all kinds of mystery and crime fiction.
Freelance Editor Mallory Braus: three-dimensional, believable characters; New Adult, especially with quirky characters; historical romance — World War II or prior; a romantic suspense set among the Amish; historical mystery with a gritty, urban, turn of the century setting; quirky, funny characters; cozy mysteries; gritty thrillers.
Freelance Editor Alissa Davis: erotic romance with great dirty dialogue, romances with geeky heroines and heroes, male-male new Adult, sports romance — soccer, football, hockey and baseball, marriage of convenience stories, medical romance.
Freelance Editor Jeff Seymour: Spicy, intense, romantic suspense; a male-male steampunk romance; characters with unusual takes on traditional archetypes.
Freelance Editor Melissa Johnson: contemporary romance with both strong internal and external conflicts, a fantasy/science fiction romance that combines elements of history and futuristic imaginings, and a traditional Regency rake story with devastating misunderstandings.
Freelance Editor Tina Burns: new adult, romantic comedities, LGBTQ stories, and different historical romances — Gothic, wild west, psychics or alternate history.
Read the entire list here.
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