Tuesday, October 03, 2006


New Inspirational Fiction Line from Leading Publisher Celebrates the Grace and Power of Love

“As the leading publisher of women’s fiction, we recognize that more and more readers are looking for stories about what matters most to them – family, faith, community and love. With Avon Inspire, we will give them exactly what they are looking for.”
Liate Stehlik, Publisher, Avon Books

If you write inspirational romance, you'll want to read the full article at the above link. Email links to the publicity peops are included for your convenience, in case you'd like to interview one of the editors for your site or newsletter (I'm guessing, anyway).

The article states:

“Avon Inspire is dedicated to offering the Christian book market and mainstream readers alike page-turning stories of love and hope, upholding traditional values and featuring trustworthy characters,” says DiTiberio.

Stehlik notes, “Inspirational romance is an important category in the both the romance market and the Christian fiction market. The 2005 market industry report put out by Romance Writers of America reported that inspirational romance is the second preferred subgenre of romance, after suspense.”

Sidetrack: I wonder if preferred is equivalent to best-selling. I mean, it's rather unclear. If anyone knows specific stats, do comment and let me know. Back to the subject at hand...

Harper San Francisco Acquisitions Editor Cynthia DiTiberio recently granted agent Kelly Mortimer this interview about the new line:

Q. Hi Cynthia, is the new Avon Inspire line going to be separate from your Harper San Francisco line, and if so, what will the differences be?
A. While I will still continue to be an editor at Harper San Francisco, this line of inspirational romance will be published under the Avon Books imprint. The team at Avon will be consulting with the team at HSF for HSF’s knowledge of the Christian marketplace. We're looking forward to a unique partnering of the Harper family.

Q. Do you accept unagented writers?
A. Yes.

Q. When do you expect the new line to be coming out?
A. Our first book is due in May 2007.

Q. How many books do you plan to release and in what format?
A. We'll have two Avon Inspire books per season, in trade paperback with the Avon imprint to start, with plenty of room to grow.

Q. Approximately what word count are you looking for?
A. We're pretty open right now, but 75-100,000 is a good range. It depends upon the book.

Q. And what sub-genres are you looking for?
A. Once again, we're open to different types. We want to publish excellent books, and won't turn one away just because it might not fit a certain category. In general I'd say contemporary, historical, romantic suspense, and romantic comedy.

Q. Can you elaborate on 'historical' as that covers so many areas.
A. Sure. I'd love to see some American-based historicals. Prairie westerns are always popular, but as the line grows, we’re open to exploring more options.

Q. How strict are your guidelines going to be?
A. Not as strict as some publishers are, but there are general guidelines. As in other Christian fiction, we’d like to stay away from premarital sex, drugs, drinking, and foul language. If the storyline does include some of those elements, it should primarily be to show their destructive nature and how a virtuous life is a better path.

Q. How about the level of intimacy between characters, language, and level of violence?
A. No pre-marital sex or explicit love scenes, the language should be clean--we don't have a list, no gratuitous violence or gore.

Q. How about portraying the main characters?
A. We'd like at least one character to be a strong Christian all through the book, or the main character could be coming back to a faith that they’ve perhaps strayed from in the past. Again, alcohol or drug use should be avoided unless it is used to show the absolute destruction these things cause to our relationships with God and each other.

Q. I hear you have two great authors for your kickoff debut.
A. Yes. Tracey Bateman and Linda Windsor. We're very excited to have their great stories as our leads.

To close out this entry, I'd like to plug Kelly's new writing-related loop. Here's her announcement:

I've started a new Yahoo! group called, A Writer's World. This loop is for all writers, especially those who own writing related businesses. We can't promote our businesses on most loops, but here we encourage it! As an agent, I'll be happy to answer any writing related questions anyone might have. So join up to chat, , advice, to find a Web designer or an editing service, or to advertise your business. Join at: a_writers_world-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Post to: a_writers_world@yahoogroups.com We'd be glad to have you!

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