Who’s Who in U.S. Spanish-Language Publishing—The Faces Behind the Books

From Criticas Magazine:

by Adriana Lopez — August 15, 2006

U.S. Spanish-language publishers and editors have been around since long before the Latin crossover boom began. But over the last several years, a new dynamic has emerged, forged by imprints such as Rayo and Vintage Español and the sophisticated distribution of Spanish houses such as Planeta and Santillana in Miami. The rise of Spanish-language programs cropping up all over from domestic houses means that editors must work even harder to find that next best seller and vie for competitive and limited shelving space in the marketplace. Houses are now allowing Spanish-language editors opportunities to take risks to reach the sometimes ambiguous Hispanic reader, nearly impossible a decade ago. In most cases, there’s money for acquisitions, marketing, and a support staff. Still, there are many obstacles: expensive translations, which increase cover prices; limited media to publicize or market authors who either don’t speak English for the mainstream or Spanish for Hispanic media; and the tricky art of deciding what book is culturally relevant for the U.S. Latino market.

Meet the Spanish-language book editors—fourteen hailing from multiple generations and making up a tossed salad of nationalities to counterbalance the stifling wave of English-only advocates and the lack of Spanish-speaking colleagues. Críticas set out to spotlight some of the market’s most innovative talents. But, of course, this is not the whole enchilada. For every editor mentioned here, there’s another Hispanic talent working close to them or at a competing publisher across the nation.

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