It's not every day a Spanish language imprint is born, so the launch of C.A. Press at Penguin is cause for celebration. To learn more about the challenges and opportunities in Spanish language publishing in the U.S., read this month's Q&A with C.A. Press's Editorial Director Erik Riesenberg.
Erik Riesenberg is currently the Editorial Director for C.A. Press, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA). He has been in the industry for over a decade working with such companies as Random House and Avalon Publishing in the editorial, sales, marketing, and publicity fields.
Q: What are the challenges and/or opportunities in publishing Spanish language books in the U.S.?
A: The main challenge has always been to have a wide enough distribution in the marketplace. Fortunately, we have been in the business of Spanish publishing for many years and have direct lines of distribution throughout all channels in the United States and Puerto Rico. With C.A. Press at Penguin Group (USA), we now have the unique ability to also distribute our Spanish titles into all of Latin America. This gives our authors the opportunity to get their works into the hands of readers throughout the hemisphere.
Q: What kinds of books will you publish under your new imprint?
A: We will be publishing a wide range of commercial themes, including current events, astrology, cooking, novels, health, self-help, and original children's titles.
Q: Which categories do you definitely not want to publish?
A: Celebra, our sister imprint within Penguin, would be the one that publishes celebrity memoirs, such as #1 bestsellers YO by Ricky Martin and Dilema by Padre Alberto Cutie.
Q: Will you be focusing on U.S. Latino writers, or will you have an international scope?
A: That depends on the book. We are looking for a wide range of titles, so we hope to publish both U.S. and international authors.
Q: Are you seeking works in English to translate into Spanish, or do you prefer work that is already written in Spanish?
A: We prefer works already written in Spanish. We are big on promotion and media outreach, so having a Spanish-speaking author available is a definite plus.
Q: Do you accept un-agented submissions? If yes, can writers submit their work directly to you?
A: Due to the amount of great manuscripts out there, we do not accept un-agented submissions. Agents are getting familiar with the books we are looking to publish and that vetting procedure makes it easier for us to choose appropriate works.
Q: Other than buy more books in Spanish, what can be done to help support Spanish language publishing in the U.S.?
A: We really focus on the marketing and publicity. With so many books out there, it's very important to stand out. Fortunately, we also do media outreach within the US and internationally to expose authors to the widest possible audience. Getting the word out about a book not only raises its profile, but the profile of Spanish-language publishing.
Excerpted from Latinidad?« ?® 2003 by Marcela Landres
Marcela Landres is the author of the e-book How Editors Think. She is an Editorial Consultant who specializes in helping Latinos get published and was formerly an editor at Simon & Schuster. Author's website Email the author