In an attempt to reinvigorate an aging brand, Avon Trade Paperbacks is changing its name to Avon A. The revamped program will continue to publish the romance and chick lit titles it is known for, but is broadening to include general commercial women's fiction and "quality nonfiction."

Avon publisher Liate Stehlik acknowledged that in its old incarnation, Avon Trade Paperbacks focused on chick lit, which was reflected in its logo, a shopping bag. Avon A will embrace a wider demographic while still publishing some titles for younger female readers. "Times have changed," Stehlik said. "What women are reading is changing. We're still publishing books for a younger audience as well, but it's really going to be about great voices and stories that are not targeted to just one genre of trade paperback." In addition, the Avon Trade Paperback name did not resonate with consumers, Stehlik said. "We wanted to get away from something that sounded a little too industry insider-y."

Unlike the nonfiction program at Harper Paperbacks, which emphasizes pop culture books (including books by Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Simpsons tie-ins), Avon A will publish "topical, light" nonfiction. There will be some overlap in the two imprints' fiction programs, but Avon A hopes to carve out a niche for itself as a publisher of more serious, issue-oriented fiction; historical fiction; and older works by authors like Anne Rivers Siddons and Jacquelyn Mitchard (who may be unknown to trade paperback readers). Stehlik also hopes to publish books that will become reading group selections. Avon A will not compete with Harper Perennial, which is known for more classic, literary fiction; Avon Red, which publishes erotic fiction; or Avon Inspire, a Christian-oriented imprint launching this summer.

Among Avon A's first titles are novels by Marian Keyes, Mameve Medwed and Meg Cabot (Medwed's How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life is already on sale; titles by Keyes and Cabot will pub in April and May). The line's nonfiction titles include two that have confirmed TodayShow segments: the recently published self-help book Sanity Savers and a forthcoming collection of essays on beauty treatments titled Damage Control. As with Avon Trade Paperbacks, Avon A will publish a mix of original trade paperbacks and reprints from within HarperCollins.