We’re celebrating Avon Romance this week with two posts from Avon editor Lucia Macro. Today she shares her Top Five Pet Peeves with us – editorially speaking, that is. If you’re considering submitting (see guidelines below), TAKE NOTE!
Ok, as promised, here are my pet editorial peeves. I get asked about these a lot. I’m not sure if by sharing them you’ll get any insight into my editorial soul, but it’s always interesting for me to have to think about this kind of stuff, because it reminds me to tame my own subjectivity.
1) Stop overthinking! Because here is what I’m not thinking about: your formatting (just double space and have page numbers and we’re good to go); shifting pov (if it’s jarring, it’s wrong; if it’s not jarring, I don’t care); your font (just don’t use this); the number of times your characters have sexytimes (make it right for the plot); the ‘dark moment’ (I don’t even know what that means); what your betareader (don’t know what that means either) says.
2) What I do care about: is your book entertaining me—either dramatic/entertaining or humourous/entertaining? Do I like your characters? Do I want to be the heroine and marry the hero? Did you create a world I want to jump into? Is it your story, or someone else’s—did all your friends plus your mom tell you what to do? Because I can tell.
3) Do your characters talk and dress like real people? Seriously folks, 50 year old women do not talk and dress like the mother in the Andy Hardy movies. That was 1939. Now, 50 year old women listen to Sirius radio and wear cute clothes. Also, 20 year olds talk and dress like 20 year olds. And not 20 year olds from that same 1939 movie. Listen to the people around you and make them sound just like that.
5) Your editor is not your enemy. Honest. I don’t want your book to sound like every other book. I don’t want your cover to suck. I don’t want to have your sales circle the drain like a Scrubbing Bubble. I don’t fill every page with my editing. I am not a frustrated writer myself. I want your book to work, to look great, to sell like crazy. I promise.
Now that Lucia has shared her pet peeves with us, do you have any questions for her?
Join us Friday when Theresa Stevens returns with her regular column.
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.
Avon Romance Submission Guidelines:
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.
Be Creative! Be innovative! And don’t hesitate to submit to Avon today.
- Editor Lucia Macro Reveals Four Things About Avon Romance You Won’t Want to Miss
- Weekly Lecture Schedule: October 15th to October 19th
- Editor Lucia Macro Presents: Avon Mythbusters
- Avon Romance Editor Lucia Macro’s Wish List for Historical Romances
- Weekly Lecture Schedule: March 25 – March 29, 2013