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: http://www.avonromance.com/impulse). 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.
HOW TO WRITE FOR AVON ROMANCE…
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.
- Avon Romance Editor Lucia Macro’s Top Five Pet Peeves
- Editor Lucia Macro Presents: Avon Mythbusters
- Weekly Lecture Schedule: October 15th to October 19th
- Weekly Lecture Schedule: March 25 – March 29, 2013
- Ask An Editor: Understanding Submission Guidelines