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Thread: [Publisher] Avalon Books

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW
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    Post [Publisher] Avalon Books


  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    Have not heard of them before but they seem to lean heavily on supplying their books to Librarys. There isn't any mention of national or international distribution and ominously for a New York 'commercial publisher' they only mention on line availability through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Not sure whether you have read their submission guidelines but they are also pretty strict, not just on the format of novel submissions (40k - 70k, Western, Romance mainly), but they are a good old 'wholesome' publisher according to their web page, meaning, no cursing, limited mention of alcohol and no 'sexy writing'!

    They also accept unagented submissions, again, in these times, that is unusual for a New York Publishing House.

    There are small things which set off alarm bells about this one, not that I'm saying they are not legitimate, but rather they may not be the kind of publisher most serious author considering writing novels full time - dare I say for a living - with ambitions of 'best seller' list should consider.

    Unless of course you write 'wholesome' novels.

  3. #3
    I know a writer who has written a few books for them. They are indeed "wholesome" (or boring, depending on your mindset). Mick is correct that they do sell mostly to libraries. If memory serves they only do hardcover (I could be wrong about that one though...it's been a while.)

    From what the writer said, they seem to take an extraordinarily long time to get back to their authors (as in taking two years getting back to an author they've published before). Still, she seems relatively happy with them.

    If you want to see your book in libraries, they might be for you. If you're looking to build a career outside of libraries, I'm not so sure.
    The First Victim by JB Lynn

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  4. #4
    Someone on the Romance/Women's Fiction board JUST sold to Avalon. (in the Who's Sold? thread) Maybe you should IM her....
    The First Victim by JB Lynn

    "Looking for a suspenseful thriller? Then The First Victim by JB Lynn is the book for you. From the first word to the last word this novel will keep you hooked."

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Lucy Dashwood's Avatar
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    I sold a book to Avalon yesterday. Unagented, it was 8 months from submission to acceptance. I had 3 chapters at Avon for a year before they deigned to get back to my agent. I thought this was good.

    No, you won't be a bestseller but library sales can be strong. I have a friend who writes for Harlequin and she never makes more $ than her advance. Her books are available in stores for 1 month then they're pulped. My library gets new Avalon books every month and they're in the stacks. People read them.

    Again, I think this is good.
    Nothing is inevitable.

  6. #6
    smart enough to know better
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    We submitted a western to them some time ago. They rejected it saying that the language was offensive. The only expression that was stronger than "dang" was "son-of-a-bitch." That was too strong for them. There were two drinking scenes, both comical. Not for them. Yes, they are very conservative, but very legit.

  7. #7
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Here's a thread in the Romance forum about Avalon: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54053
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  8. #8
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Completely legit. Like Five Star, their focus in on selling to libraries, not in bookstores. And what everyone else has said about the rigor of their requirements vis-a-vis language and situations: no sex, no drink, no cussing, no playing cards.


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  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceCreamEmpress View Post
    Completely legit. Like Five Star, their focus in on selling to libraries, not in bookstores. And what everyone else has said about the rigor of their requirements vis-a-vis language and situations: no sex, no drink, no cussing, no playing cards.
    IceCreamEmpress,

    Five star? You're either legitimate or you're not. Carrying out the basic job of being a publisher shouldn't be a star rating system.

    I worry about publishers like this. The attention to library sales was the first warning bell to me that we were not dealing with a publisher who is grounded in the world the rest of us live in. I take my hat off to them that they have identified a market and genres of books which work for them. But IMHO, I can't shake off a feeling of uneasiness about their approach to what they publish and how they see the world we all live in.

  10. #10
    Oh, the humanity. Giant Baby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickRooney View Post
    Five star? You're either legitimate or you're not. Carrying out the basic job of being a publisher shouldn't be a star rating system...
    Fivestar is a publisher ICE is comparing Avon to, Mick. She's not creating a new rating system.
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  11. #11
    That door could be a time portal... Deb Kinnard's Avatar
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    Five Star sells hardcovers. I've seen a couple and they're rather nice--nothing terribly fancy, but adequate. Five Star's advances, like Avalon's, are said to be modest. Word lately is that they're scuttling their suspense line and focusing on romance.
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  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Baby View Post
    Fivestar is a publisher ICE is comparing Avon to, Mick. She's not creating a new rating system.
    Doh! The caps on Five Star should have given that away!

  13. #13
    figuring it all out CowgirlPoet's Avatar
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    Avalon Books

    Hello! I'm considering sending my novel (historical western) to Avalon. I've done the basic research (read the website guidelines, become familiar with what they publish) but I'd really like some further information.

    Has anyone on here dealt with them? Have you considered sending something to them?

    Any help would be very appreciated!

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW JanDarby's Avatar
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    A friend sold a couple books to them, including a western romance. She enjoyed the experience, although, admittedly, it was quite a few years ago, so I don't know anyone with really recent experience there.

    I've submitted to them (although obviously under a different name, since they publish sweet stuff exclusively). Got close to acceptance once, and then the editor who loved me left, and the incoming editor wasn't impressed by the story. Sigh.

    JD

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW
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    Try the romance forum, I know there was someone there who recently got accepted by them.
    Note: They are legit.

  16. #16
    figuring it all out CowgirlPoet's Avatar
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    Thank you! This is very helpful!
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  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW
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    Question: To those who have submitted to Avalon. How long was the wait when you sent the first three chapters as per their sub rules?

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW JanDarby's Avatar
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    They recently went through an editor change, so it may be longer than usual. I haven't subbed in a couple years, but when I did, the initial response was pretty quick -- a few weeks, no more than two months, once as short as a week. I've heard that they're significantly backlogged reading the requested full manuscripts.

    JD

  19. #19
    This hat is getting too hot Chumplet's Avatar
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    One of my former critique group colleagues had two books released by Avalon. They were both sweet, fast-paced romances, but I would have liked to see the distribution a little wider than Amazon and libraries.

    I think it's a good credit if looking for an agent with the next book.

  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW c2ckim's Avatar
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    Avalon Books

    Does anyone know how to contact Avalon Books? I tried Email but it keeps getting bounced back, I tried snail mail but they haven't gotten back to me that way either... I know they aren't accepting email submissions anymore but does anyone have a valid email address?
    Thanks
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  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW ChelseaWriter's Avatar
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    Avalon Sold to Amazon?

    Via "The Passive Voice" today:

    link here

    Very interesting development....(scroll down in the comments section for a letter of explanation, from Avalon's owner).
    Last edited by ChelseaWriter; 06-05-2012 at 10:29 PM.

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  22. #22
    New kid, be gentle! Carlene's Avatar
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    Amazon/Avalon

    Read on the news yesterday that Amazon bought out Avalon Books. I wonder how it will impact Avalon's authors?

    Carlene
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  23. #23
    ideas are floating where they will Stlight's Avatar
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    I wonder if Amazon will take new submissions and if they can include sex and cussin'?

    I suppose they'll get whatever you get for backlist royalties, if Amazon finds them all. It did seem from the Passive Voice that Avalon didn't know where their authors were. That seems odd when Avalon continued to hold the rights to their books. They must have been positive there would be no more royalties paid -- ever.
    Last edited by Stlight; 06-06-2012 at 02:32 AM.

  24. #24
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    I saw this today too. An interesting development. Will Amazon retain the Avalon name, I wonder? Yeah, now I'll send them some raunchy stuff and see how it flies.

    tri

  25. #25
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops View Post
    Will Amazon retain the Avalon name, I wonder?
    Nope, it's been completely absorbed into/dispersed over Amazon's other imprints.
    ICAO
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