Today, the topic of discussion is Avon - the romance branch of Harpercollins Publisher. I know that Avon releases both contemporary and historical romance books, but I tend to associate it with historical romance more. It is also towards that publisher that I'll gravitate when I'm in the mood to read historical romance. There is just something about their books that seems to suit me. However, I feel that in the past few years, Avon historical romance books seem to have become a little too generic. Many of my favorite historical authors' past couple of years releases with Avon have been bland books - Suzanne Enoch, Laura Lee Guhrke, Lorraine Heath and Victoria Alexander just to name a few. All of these authors had have amazing books in the past and as a result, readers have high expectations... Unfortunately, their recent books have not met those expectations and I have to wonder if it's due to a lax in Avon's editors. I also remember that Kristie complained about the fact that all the heroes in Avon books tend to be aristocrats and set in regency England in recent years. So there's been a definitive shift somewhere along the years... All of this combined have made me almost give up on Avon historicals. Oh I continued buying my favorite authors, but every time there was a new author or a new series, I was very hesitant to pick it up.
However, it seems there's been another shift in the past few months... It seems to me Avon has come up with a new release strategy... Did you notice that many authors have had new trilogy with back-to-back releases for their first two books? These are the ones that come to mind: Lorraine Heath's London's Greatest Lover (Nov and Dec), Laura Lee Guhrke's Abandoned at the Altar (Dec and Jan) and Lynsay Sands' Madison Sisters (Jan and Feb). However, we don't really know much about the third book - the title and release date. Is it to build up the anticipation? Why not do release the whole trilogy back-to-back like some other publishers? Still, it seems to be working. Plus, the most important is that the quality of these books has definitively increased, which is good for us readers :)
So kudos to Avon who seemed to realize that they were in trouble and did something to rectify it :)
What are your thoughts?
Did you notice their new strategy?
What do you think of it all?
Is it going to work?