HarperCollins's Avon Books has launched Avon Impulse, an imprint dedicated to digital titles. Avon Impulse will focus largely on e-books; it will also publish POD novels/novellas by Avon writers and new authors. Senior v-p and publisher of William Morrow/Avon Liate Stehlik said the new imprint will give Avon the opportunity to give romance readers titles in a format they have long embraced, as well as to publish more quickly "with an eye to what’s trending in fiction.” Avon Impulse is looking to do multiple titles every month, working up to releasing titles on a weekly basis.
Stehlik added that Avon Impulse grew "organically" out of Avon's existing program and that the acquisition process will be the same as it is in print. Avon Impulse titles will be backed by a marketing program that includes social media, digital marketing, and online retail placement. Avon execs said in the release about the imprint that with shorter publication time lines, titles can be marketed more effectively as well. Carrie Feron, editorial director and v-p at Morrow/Avon, said the imprint will also be able to release titles in varied lengths, which "enables us to explore new themes in romance. POD titles will be available only from online retailers.
The launch of Impulse comes as sales of traditional mass market paperbacks falls under the pressure from shrinking bookstore shelf space on the low price of e-books.
The line launches with A Lady's Wish, an original e-novella by Katharine Ashe set for release March 15; it will be followed by Royal Wedding, a historical romance short fiction anthology by Stephanie Laurens, Gaelen Foley and Loretta Chase, timed to coincide with the wedding of Prince Andrew and Kate Middleton.Both will be $1.99.
Avon Impulse will not pay an advance, but authors receive 25% royalties from the first book sold. After an e-book sells 10,000 net copies, the author's royalty rate rises to 50% (contracts will provide royalties for both e-book and print-to-order copies).