Posted On October 15, 2012 by Print This Post

Editor Lucia Macro Reveals Four Things About Avon Romance You Won’t Want to Miss

We are delighted to welcome Avon Romance editor Lucia Macro, who will be back on Wednesday with more great information for writers. Think you know all about Avon Romance? You may be surprised! Read on…

When I was asked to write two posts about what we’re looking for at Avon, I went into a state of paralysis. I always protest that half the time I don’t know what I’m really looking for until I see it—or, rather, read it,  often declaring that being an editor is 50% instinct and 50% luck.

But that’s not entirely true, of course (though I do believe in instincts!). Everyone knows editors are always on the look out for certain stories, certain themes. So in a way that is hopefully not utterly boring,  here’s a list of what we need here at Avon—post #1—then, I’m going to indulge myself and talk about some totally arbitrary pet peeves—post #2.

First, Avon is not just historical romance!  I’m just so tired of seeing these great contemporary romances (print and e) going to other houses, and when I call the agent to whine they wail, “But I didn’t know!”  That’s when my head goes on my desk. I’m Rachel Gibson’s editor for crying out loud—and there are no dukes in those books.  Yes, as an editor I have to respond to trends, but as a reader and fan I’ve always loved books set in the here and now. My background is in contemporary romance (for years I worked on the Silhouette-now-Harlequin Desire line). Fans, especially those buying books on line, are gobbling up contemporary romances. And seriously I couldn’t be happier.

Next, we publish e book originals.  That’s what Avon Impulse is all about. (Here are the guidelines:  We publish  two a week, which means we need books!

And if that pace hasn’t made us fall over yet, well, I’m convinced nothing will. We are unstoppable. And it’s the same team who brings you the fabulous Avon books (in print)—editorial, marketing, art, publicity, and even the people who try to sell your book to Germany.

Supersexy/superfun/series: That’s how I’m looking at the Avon Impulse list right now. I’m very into the three book story arc or three book series. Because they get published quickly readers don’t have to wait long and we don’t have to drag our feet deciding what to do next. And because we can market directly to the fans, we don’t have to worry too much about what the ‘gatekeepers’ will say.  The virtual shelf is not only everywhere, it is forever. And I, for one, embrace the possibilities found in that space.

Not light and fluffy: This is another story I always hear – Avon only wants books that are light and fluffy and funny.  Where this comes from I don’t know, because this certainly isn’t the case with the books we publish. So send us your drama, your alpha heroes, your intensity (as well as the humorous, because we’re not against laughter either!).   We’re glad to see it.


Are you an Avon Romance reader? Which Avon authors are on your must-read list? RU Writer? If you’ve got questions for Lucia, jump in with both feet!

Come back Wednesday to find out Lucia Macro’s top five pet peeves – which she hopes won’t be too peevish! Also, check back Wednesday to find out about the Avon Romance giveaway!


Bio: Lucia Macro is a Vice-President/Executive Editor for Morrow/Avon Books, whose career path began with an English degree and a vague sense that she could type very quickly. An article told this budding CosmoGirl that she could “…work in a publishing house! Meet sexy, smoldering authors who will woo you with wine and words!” She ended up as the assistant to a textbook editor. After a few years she wised up, took a job in the romance department of Berkley, and never looked back.

Lucia has worked at Harlequin, where she was the head of the Desire line, and presently edits many New York Times bestsellers and Rita Award winners. In 2006 she was the honored recipient of the Vivian Stephens Career Achievement Award. In addition, she is part of the team that created both the Morrow Paperback and Avon Impulse imprints and is constantly on the lookout for the next bestseller.


Q) Do you think all the fun has gone out of romance novels?

A) Sometimes we do, too!

Toss away your ideas of what Avon is all about, and read here for how to write for

Avon Romance and Avon Impulse.

You desire: books that are super-sexy and romantic.

We need: The stories you want to read—and write—but can’t always find.

We publish: Digital original and mass market original romance. We want you to be our next star!

What might get you noticed:

  • Fabulously sexy heroes who let nothing get in the way of getting what they want—the heroine of course—and giving her everything she needs.
  • Heroines unafraid to take chances in life…and in love. She’s smart and she’s never afraid to stand up for herself.
  • You choose the setting, just make sure it’s utterly romantic! We want to be able to immerse ourselves in the wonderful world that you’ve created.
  • “Series Wanted!” Readers always cry out for more when you’ve given them characters to believe in…so give us more, too, and you’ll get our attention.
  • Dark and dramatic? Bring it on! We all love to laugh, but we’re also interested in stories that explore the many twists and turns of true love.

A few necessary facts:

  • Avon Books (print): should be 80-95,000 words in length
  • Avon Impulse (digital first): We are seeking full length novels of approximately 50-60,000 words.
  • Formatting choices are up to you. If we can read it, you can submit it.
  • No need to submit to a specific editor. If a specific editor has requested your manuscript, please let us know and we’ll get it to her.
  • No need to submit to specific imprint, either; you’ll work with the same editorial team.
  • You should receive an answer either way in about three months.
  • You don’t need an agent.


Be Creative! Be innovative! And don’t hesitate to submit to Avon today.

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29 Responses to “Editor Lucia Macro Reveals Four Things About Avon Romance You Won’t Want to Miss”

  1. I really enjoyed this post, Lucia. For contemporary romance trilogies, does Avon consider m/m pairings?

    Posted by Mercy | October 15, 2012, 6:55 am
  2. Hi Lucia,

    Guilty of thinking Avon did historicals and only agented writers need apply. Looking forward to your pet peeves.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | October 15, 2012, 7:33 am
  3. I’m lucky enough to have Lucia as my editor and I can vouch that she’s certainly open to “superfun” ideas…after all, she bought my “neurotic hit woman who talks to animals” books. Anyone would be lucky to work with her!

    Posted by JB Lynn | October 15, 2012, 7:50 am
  4. Morning Lucia!

    I’m guilty of believing you needed an agent too! What great news! =) And I love Rachel Gibson’s books! It sounds like a fabulous opportunity for those of us who write rom com – I’m always worried I have TOO much humor. =)

    Thanks for an eye-opening post Lucia!


    Posted by Carrie Spencer | October 15, 2012, 8:31 am
    • Don’t get me wrong–I love to laugh–in fact, my laugh is so loud it can be heard from miles (or at least many feet) away.
      I love fun and funny books, too.

      But it doesn’t always have to be humor at Avon. We’re happy to cry. Or to see some drama.

      Posted by Lucia Macro | October 16, 2012, 2:25 pm
  5. Lucia – Thank you so much for clarifying what Avon Romance is today. A lot of my favorite authors write for Avon – some are historical authors but I’m also hooked on Toni Blake, Susan Andersen, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Robin Gold. I knew Avon published some mysteries, but when I looked through your author list was surprised to see how many mysteries Avon publishes – written by great authors like Andrea Kane, Mary Daheim, Anne George, JB Lynn (*waves madly*) and Deborah Crombie (I’ve been hooked on her books for years!).

    JB – Thanks so much for joining us! (To find out more about JB, stop by Barnes & Noble’s Mystery Forum tomorrow. Let me know if you have trouble posting a comment there!)

    Thanks to all our fabulous viewers and commenters for helping us celebrate Avon Romance this week!

    Posted by Becke Davis (Becke Martin) | October 15, 2012, 9:01 am
  6. Wow, Lucia definitely offered some answers I wasn’t expecting–thanks for posting this! Very informative (and fun!)

    Posted by Diane J. Reed | October 15, 2012, 9:55 am
  7. Hi Lucia,

    Where would a “new adult” book go? Adult contemporary or HarperTeen?

    Posted by Bev | October 15, 2012, 10:00 am
  8. Hi, Lucia. Thank you for being here.

    This is a terrific post. I know I learned a couple of things! 🙂

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | October 15, 2012, 1:15 pm
  9. Hi Lucia!

    I write contemp single title, so I read contemp, including all of Rachel Gibson’s books. I’m reading Robin Gold’s book right now. However, I’ve always associated Avon with historicals, i.e. Anna Campbell and Stephanie Laurens.

    Also, I didn’t know Avon accepted unagented manuscripts. Thank you for blogging with us today and for the great info!

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | October 15, 2012, 1:46 pm
  10. I write contemporary western romance and two of my favorite authors are Rachel Gibson and Lizbeth Selvig. Thanks for letting us know Avon’s submission guidelines.

    Posted by Stephanie Berget | October 15, 2012, 3:57 pm
  11. Thank you for your post, Lucia Macro. My question: Would you or your fellow Avon editors ever consider publishing a romance in which the hero DOESN’T have to be redeemed? And in which the heroine ISN’T feisty? Thanks!

    Posted by Mary Anne Landers | October 15, 2012, 5:32 pm
  12. This was great to read, and very encouraging for someone working on a book that meets all 4 of those criteria! Thanks!

    Posted by Kerrie | October 15, 2012, 8:07 pm
  13. I am writing a three part series with other characters featured in the same series later. Do you like romantic thrillers? I would l love to submit to Avon. This is s very unique series and im nearly done with book one.
    Thank you Kelli McDowell

    Posted by Kelli McDowell | October 19, 2012, 1:42 am
    • Yes we are seeking romantic thrillers. I just acquired three romantic thrillers (a series) by an author Jennifer Ryan. But these stories comes in all sorts of “shapes and sizes,” so don’t hesitate to submit to us!

      Posted by Lucia Macro | October 19, 2012, 8:14 pm
  14. Lucia,

    How do we submit to the non e book imprint? I can’t find it on the page. I have two more chapters and this is complete. I anticipate being finished by the end of the week.

    Thank you,

    Kelli Mcdowell

    Posted by Andi | October 23, 2012, 1:41 pm
  15. If you submit a manuscript will you hear either way, or if Avon isn’t interested will you not get a response?

    Posted by Susan Jansky | August 31, 2013, 10:13 pm
  16. I am starting a historical novel for Avon. How much do authors get paid for a novel?

    Posted by Geneva Chapman | April 4, 2017, 9:15 am
  17. Hi, I’ve written four short stories, with a central theme.
    All four have the same subtitle: “Love and Life on the Delaware Coast”. Many of the characters recur – A series.

    May I submit them to Avon/Impulse?

    Each of these short stories are approximately 11,000 words.

    Thanks, Art H.

    Posted by Arthur Hoffman | November 2, 2017, 6:30 pm


  1. […] Avon isn’t just historicals. Rachel Gibson’s editor Lucia Marco talks about that and more in her October 2012 interview with […]

  2. […] very own Lucia Macro gives the scoop on what Avon Romance is really  about. Trust us, you’ll want to check this […]

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