Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Interview with Carrie Feron, Editorial Director at Avon

Avon Romance Logo

Carrie Feron is the Editorial Director at Avon.  Avon publishes approximately eight original print romances and four digital-first titles each month .  Morrow Trade is a companion line that publishes a mix of women’s fiction and romance.  Avon Impulse is the digital first arm of Avon.  The same team that works on Avon books, including the editorial, production and marketing staff, work on Avon Impulse books.

The original thought was that Avon Impulse would be primarily unknown authors but their existing authors have been incredibly interested in pursuing this line.  About 1/3 to 1/2 are existing Avon authors.

DIaries of an Urban PantherThe first non Avon author to be published by Avon Impulse is Amanda Arista whose title “Diaries of an Urban Panther” will be out on July 5, 2011.

The first slush pile find from the Avon Impulse inbox is (still untitled) an original romantic suspense, in the style of Alias or Femme Nikita, written by Carla Swafford, and will be published on 10/25/11.

Another non Avon author to join the Avon Impulse line is Lena Diaz writing the romantic suspense / thriller, “He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not,” on-sale 8/9/11.

 Price for the Avon Impulse line is pretty fluid.  No one knows the right price and they are experimenting with pricing and books.  The goal is to keep the impulse books under the $5.00 price.  Amanda Arista’s book, Diaries of an Urban Panther, sells for $3.99.

I asked Carrie Feron what she looks for in a book and she said a “strong voice” which she describes as knowing exactly who that author is when she reads the first page.  ”If you have a strong enough voice, you can make your own niche,” said Feron.

Lori Wilde is doing a new sub genre in that her next series contemporary westerns and Rachel Gibson is moving toward military war heroes and  away from hockey heroes.  They are republishing the Lisa Marie Rice Navy Seals and Delta Force books in mass market.

Feron stated that she sees a lot of Regency submissions but that they are always looking for something that hasn’t been done before.  Feron cited her purchase of a Nigerian poet as evidence of her desire for the unusual.  Feron believes that there are a lot of jaded readers out there and that she is looking for new spins on old themes.  She feels that a lot of authors self censor too much.

Feron is excited about the Loretta Chase series.  The next release features three sisters who are dressmakers, and the story takes place partly in Paris.  (We at Dear Author really adored Loretta Chase’s Silk is for Seduction but then we are well known for our love of La Chase)

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

13 Comments

  1. Mary Anne Graham
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 06:52:06

    Avon having such interest in its digital first line from previously-published authors tells everyone where every author should focus their publication interest. Digital is first these days, no question.

    I was very interested in Ms. Feron’s comment about authors self-censoring too much. One of the biggest appeals about indie publishing to me is the freedom to get my over-the-top POV out there to readers. I remain thrilled that I don’t have to ask myself “Can I?” or “Should I?” Instead I can follow my muse where she leads.

    And my muse leads the story through lots of spins, twists and turns. There’s no telling where she might take the tale. I feel free to follow her and find it sad if authors censor themselves when they should be indulging and encouraging their fondest flights of fancy.

    ReplyReply

  2. Edie
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 07:07:29

    Will the impulse titles be geo restricted?

    ReplyReply

  3. Christine M.
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 08:23:13

    Reading these interviews, I’m starting to wonder if the censorship would have anything to do with the agents that are, after all, the middle-man between authors and editors. Are agents also looking for voices or are they looking for polished, smooth manuscripts they can pass straight to their favourite publishing houses?

    ReplyReply

  4. Keishon
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 08:47:50

    Reading these interviews, I’m starting to wonder if the censorship would have anything to do with the agents that are, after all, the middle-man between authors and editors.

    You are not alone Christine. I thought the same. I guess it can’t be helped.

    In general, this also explains why certain writers/authors can’t seem to find an agent or publisher for work that is not the norm but still well written stories. I also get the impression that if a book can’t be labeled or marketed then it can’t be published. If that is incorrect then I stand corrected but that’s how I feel.

    ReplyReply

  5. carrie feron
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 09:01:00

    Hi there
    I am actually the Editorial Director of Avon, and I think that authors should always test themselves whilst knowing for which genre they are writing. For example no one wants an unhappy ending even thoug it would (of course) be a creative twist.

    There was an animated discussion about Georgette Heyer the other day, and afterward I was thinking: How many writers are talented enough to make Freddie from Cotillion a bonafide hero? So my advice is: wow your reader! And my advice to reviewers? Have a merciful memory when an author’s out of the box experiment doesn’t quite work because they are sure to please you the next time.

    ReplyReply

  6. Moriah Jovan
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 09:36:08

    The HEA in a romance is the least concerning of “The Rules.” It’s everything in between that is being self(forced)-censored.

    ReplyReply

  7. Lynn S.
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 09:38:04

    I asked Carrie Feron what she looks for in a book and she said a “strong voice” which she describes as knowing exactly who that author is when she reads the first page. ”If you have a strong enough voice, you can make your own niche,” said Feron.

    Within the first page? Now that is a Strong Voice. I can’t think of any author offhand that I would immediately recognize within the first page unless the book was part of a series and recurring characters or places were mentioned.

    I’m with Keishon in thinking Christine is on the right track. I know of at least one published author who I was surprised to learn hasn’t been able to find an agent.

    ReplyReply

  8. Jami Davenport
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 11:56:41

    I understand the self-censoring. That’s why I cringe when authors use the word “polish.” I hate that word. I’ve found that I write my voice out of the first half of my books because I overedit. I always get comments that readers liked the second half of my books better than the first half. I believe it’s because I don’t overedit the 2nd half. No one is doing it to me, I’m doing it to myself. Lucy Monroe once told me to do one draft, one edit and call it good. Someday I’ll take her advice.

    ReplyReply

  9. carrie feron
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 13:10:59

    I edit Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Eloisa James, Sarah MacLean and Meg Cabot amongst others, and I can absolutely tell whose manuscript it is from one page.

    ReplyReply

  10. Diana
    Jul 08, 2011 @ 02:10:20

    Meg Cabot and Susan Elizabeth Phillips are two of my all-time favorite authors! Thanks for all you do for them, Carrie!

    ReplyReply

  11. Evangeline Holland
    Jul 08, 2011 @ 04:46:42

    @Moriah Jovan: The HEA in a romance is the least concerning of “The Rules.” It’s everything in between that is being self(forced)-censored.

    Ditto! I’ve always been in the camp of trusting an author to do whatever and go wherever in a romance (within reason, of course) because the word “Romance” on the spine promises a HEA.
    The lack of strong voices is undoubtedly the result of self-censoring.

    ReplyReply

  12. Jamie Michele
    Jul 08, 2011 @ 13:49:32

    A while ago, I hosted a quiz on the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog to see how many people could name an author from a line of description pulled from a book. I called it “Name That Voice,” and I was surprised at how many people were able to do just that. So not only might you be able to guess an author from a first page, which should be one of the strongest pages in the book, but a single line.

    http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/name-that-voice/

    ReplyReply

  13. Keep It Real & Don’t Censor Yourself « Quacking Alone
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 07:15:33

    [...] read an interesting post at Dear Author the other day. It was an interview with Carrie Feron, the Editorial Director at Avon.  That house publishes 8 original print [...]

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

%d bloggers like this: