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    10/31/2006
    Where is Walt when you need him....
    Dear Reader:

    The novels you've enjoyed over the past ten years by such authors as Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, Johanna Lindsey and Laurie McBain are accountable to one thing above all others: Avon has never tried to force authors into any particular mold. Rather, Avon is a publisher that encourages individual talent and is always on the lookout for writers who will deliver real books, not packaged formulas.

    In 1982, we started a program to help readers pick out authors of exceptional promise. Called "The Avon Romance," the books were distinguished by a ribbon motif in the upper left-hand corner of the cover. Although every title was by a new author, and the settings could be either historical or contemporary, they were quickly discovered and became known as "the ribbon books."

    In 1984, "The Avon Romance" will be a feature on the Avon list. Each month, you will find novels with many different settings, each one by an author who is special. You will not find predictable characters, predictable plots and predictable endings. The only predictable thing about "The Avon Romance" will be the superior quality that Avon has always delivered in the field of romance!

    Sincerely,

    Walter Meade
    President & Publisher


    This letter is found on the first page of China Rose by Marsha Canham published in 1984 (that I found for a $1 the other day). I have to agree with walt here and it would be nice if they could find their way back to this. I don't see why Avon can't publish the 12000 Regency Historicals every month they feel we need and do one or two books in a line like "The Avon Romance".

    Does anyone remember these "ribbon" books? I would be interested in seeing who else was apart of the idea. LOL maybe the idea tanked and that is why Avon became all regency all the time.

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    3 Comments:
    1. I'm guessing Walter Meade is no longer the president and publisher. Wow...times sure have changed.

      By Blogger romancelover, at 11/01/2006 01:24:00 AM  

    2. I remember the ribbon romances but I can't remember many of the authors. I don't think a lot of them really went anywhere although I know some did. They sure have done a 180 since 1984 haven't they? I do know that they used to be a good publisher. That's why they are my numero uno target now - because of what they used to be.

      By Blogger Kristie (J), at 11/01/2006 05:39:00 AM  

    3. Since Jane Friedman's taking over the helm at Harper Collins, she has had 8 successive years of record profits. I am sure that part of that is due to Avon's rise to power in the romance genre. I've heard from industry sources, though, that the historical numbers are down even for stalwart authors with big time bases. I don't know whether Avon is going to suffer some significant backlash from this. Only time will tell.

      It may be that we will see a correction in the industry where following trends leads to short time gains but long time losses. I have also heard that the paranormal sales are slightly down as well with many people tiring of the vampire glut. It's the regency, chick lit all over again, but in warp speed.

      By Anonymous Jane, at 11/01/2006 08:58:00 AM  

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