A garden party on the exhibit floor of International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta on Tuesday (July 10) welcomed retailers, agents and media to the official launch of a new Christian romance imprint, Avon Inspire. Authors of its first two titles, Tracey Bateman (Defiant Heart) and Linda Windsor (Wedding Bell Blues), were on hand to autograph their new books. The line’s titles are being published by Avon Books in partnership with HarperOne, with sales to CBA outlets handled by HarperOne sales director Jeff Hobbs. Since these authors have penned successful books for both the ABA and CBA markets, acceptance was immediate, and Avon publisher Liate Stehlik noted good coverage from the Christian media.
Acquisitions editor Cindy Di Tiberio noted that Avon Inspire’s two fall titles—Blessed Assurance by Lyn Cote and The Trophy Wives Club by Kristin Billerbeck—are also by authors with both ABA and CBA success, a tactic that the publisher will continue. “We will continue to look for authors who already have a reputation in the CBA marketplace,” Di Tiberio said. Ten to twelve titles per year are planned.