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Avon Impulse

March 7, 2011

Today, HarperCollins/Avon announced their new digital line, Avon Impulse. Twitter is all atwitter about it.  Below is the official announcement direct from HarperCollins:

Give in to Impulse:
Avon Books Introduces Digital Publishing Imprint
Avon Impulse Launches March 2011 with e-Original Romances


NEW YORK, NY, March 7, 2011 – Today, Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announces the debut of Avon Impulse, a new imprint dedicated to digital publishing.  The new imprint will feature e-books and print-to-order novels and novellas by existing Avon authors, and will seek new talent to nurture in an e-book marketplace that finds Romance experiencing expansive growth.  “Romance readers have been among the first to embrace books digitally,” says Liate Stehlik, Senior Vice President and Publisher of William Morrow and Avon Books.  “Their passion has encouraged us to introduce a line of romance e-books, which empowers Avon to publish more quickly, with an eye to what’s trending in fiction.”  The new imprint is looking to publish multiple titles each month, eventually releasing new content on a weekly basis.  The Avon Impulse brand has grown organically from Avon’s existing publishing program and offers authors all the strengths of Avon’s widely respected team.  Books will be acquired by Avon editors, and will benefit by targeted marketing and publicity plans, as well as powerful sales platforms.

“What sets Avon Impulse apart,” affirms Stehlik, “is that authors are signing to work alongside the Avon team, and will benefit from the same platforms that Avon authors have always enjoyed.”

As part of the imprint’s publishing strategy, each Avon Impulse e-book will benefit from a dedicated “five-point” marketing and publicity platform, helping build awareness in the competitive marketplace.  Plans include cross promotion, digital marketing and publicity, social media outreach, interactive assets and coaching, as well as targeted online retail placement strategies.

“Without traditional printing constraints, we can edit, market and release e-books more quickly, allowing unprecedented speed to market,” says Carrie Feron, Morrow/Avon Vice President and Editorial Director.  “The Avon Impulse imprint also allows us greater flexibility in the length of books we can publish – from novella to full-length fiction, and enables us to explore new themes in romance.”

“There is so much opportunity right now within the romance genre,” Stehlik says.   “Readers have found a rich array of fresh content using digital and e-reading devices.  It’s crystal clear that we can nurture great talent via Avon Impulse’s e-book publishing platform – and that there is already a very dedicated fan base of savvy digital readers.”

The line launches with A LADY’S WISH, an original e-novella by Katharine Ashe; on-sale 3/15/11; and then features ROYAL WEDDING, a historical romance short fiction anthology by Stephanie Laurens, Gaelen Foley and Loretta Chase,  timed to coincide with the nuptials of Britain’s most beloved young couple.  Later in the season bring four releases from Lavinia Kent and a prelude to Karina Cooper’s Avon debut, Blood of the Wicked.  Jaime Rush launches a brand new series with a  digital short; and a full-length paranormal romance novel by author Kristin Miller will be released in the summer.

Avon Impulse is currently in the acquisition and production process for e-books to be published in 2011 and 2012.  “We are actively looking to acquire for Avon Impulse,” says Feron.  Authors looking to submit to Avon Impulse can find guidelines and an online submission portal at www.avonromance.com/impulse.  “We are looking for quality submissions across every romance subgenre,” says Feron.

Avon Impulse e-books will be made available at all online retailers, everywhere in the world where English-language e-books are sold.  For those seeking a hard copy of individual Avon Impulse titles, print-to-order books will be available from online book retailers.

For more information on Avon Impulse, and a detailed FAQ, visit www.avonromance.com/impulse.


HarperCollins, one of the largest English-language publishers in the world, is a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NWS, NWSLV). Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups around the world including the HarperCollins General Books Group, HarperCollins Children’s Books Group, Zondervan, HarperCollins UK, HarperCollins Canada, HarperCollins Australia/New Zealand and HarperCollins India. HarperCollins is a broad-based publisher with strengths in literary and commercial fiction, business books, children’s books, cookbooks, mystery, romance, reference, religious and spiritual books. With nearly 200 years of history HarperCollins has published some of the world’s foremost authors and has won numerous awards including the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, the Newbery Medal and the Caldecott. You can visit HarperCollins Publishers on the Internet at http://www.harpercollins.com.


I think for HarperCollins, this was something they had to do to keep up with the ever increasing speed at which digital publishing, ereaders, iPads, android tablets and any other device you can read with are being bought and utilized. Who is this going to benefit? Very definitely readers, giving them more choices in terms of the kind of stories, books released at a greater frequency and varied book lengths. It can also be of great benefit to writers but it all depends on what the writer hopes to achieve in publishing with Avon Impulse.

I see this as a great opportunity for an author if what is most important to them is:

  • Exposure and recognition and distribution guaranteed by the Avon name.
  • Editing, cover art, marketing and promotion that usually comes with being with a NY traditional publishing company.

I can also see Avon authors releasing novellas through this imprint to create more awareness for an upcoming full-length print book.

However, if you are an author whose top priority is making money, this may not be the best deal for you. Here’s the breakdown in how the Avon Impulse imprint pays.

  • No advance –  This is common in epublishing companies.
  • Royalty – 25% royalty is paid on the first 9,999 books sold. Once the book reaches 10k sold, the royalty goes up to 50%. Now if this royalty was paid on list price, I would say this is an average sort of deal. Reaching 10k is no small feat, especially for an unknown author. However, the royalty is paid on net. Which means if yur book retails for $3.99 and the cost incurred in the production and distribution of the book is $1.99, then you will receive 25% of the difference, so in this case $2.00, which would then net the author .50 per book. This works out to 12.5% of list price.  If you apply the same rules to 50% royalty after you hit the 10k mark, the author will receive $1.00 per book, which is 25% of list price. Most epublishers pay royalties of anywhere from 35-40% of list price (not including third party vendors), so Avon Impulse is offering authors significantly less in earnings.
  • I’ve checked out the submission page and it requires more than just a query, synopsis and manuscript. I’m not sure that I’m in love with it. Anything that requires me to write more than I already have, tends to make me antsy.

So that’s pretty much it. And since this is an Avon imprint we’re talking about, I’m going to give away some Avon books. Just tell me what you as a reader or/and an author thinks about the new Avon Impulse line. Comment to enter to win. :)

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  1. I agree with you, Bev, that for the author it depends on what they want out of it. Authors who are already making very good money probably don’t want to spend the time going the self pubbing route, and for new authors who don’t have an established name yet, the benefits of Avon art, marketing, etc., would be worth it. For authors in between, I’d think it worth their time to publish the books themselves and get more money.

    For readers, it’s win-win. I have a lot of kindle books, but none are romance–those are all print. Maybe I would change my mind if I had the Nook color reader. Not sure.

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