The Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) and the Association of Publishers Guilds (FGEE) launched the campaign “America Reads Spanish,” in cooperation with the Trade Commission of Spain in Miami. The plan aims to increase Spanish book exports by 20% in the next three years thanks to the great potential detected in three areas: bookstores, division of Spanish books in local libraries, and language centers where Spanish is taught as a second language.
The cornerstones of the campaign, which has a US $3.2 million budget, will be an increased trade show participation of Spanish book publishers and the participation of Spanish authorsin cultural activities in American universities, libraries and bookstores.
The main emphasis of the programm will be put in the eight states most heavily populated by Hispanics. Librarians at around 100,000 US public libraries will be targeted through catalogs and Internet communication.
In 2004, exports of Spanish books to the United States reached 20.39 million euros, which translates to a decrease of 9.15% compared to the previous year, but represents an increase of 41.8% in the last decade (exports in 1994 were 14.28 million euros). The distribution clout of American publishing houses and the strong euro have been obstacles to sales of Spanish book publishers.
Book Expo America
Over 60 Spanish publishers, including Grupo Planeta Publishing and Santillana USA Publishing Co. Inc, were present in Book Expo America 2005, which took place in New York City during the last weekend. Latin American and U.S. based publishers, including HarperCollins, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Hyperion and Pearson featured select Hispanic titles of interest to book buyers.