After 10 years in the U.S. Spanish book market, Random House's Vintage Español will significantly expand the range of its publishing activity. Beginning this year, the literary imprint, known for bestsellers like Sandra Cisneros's Caramelo and Gabriel García Márquez's Memoria de mis putas tristes (Memory of My Melancholy Whores), will broaden its publishing program to include commercial fiction, bestsellers in translation, and books on health, diet, parenting, self-help and personal finance. The plan is to grow from the dozen or so titles set for 2005 to twice that number in the next five years.
To oversee the unit's expansion, Milena Alberti-Perez has been named to the newly created post of director of Spanish-language publishing at Vintage Español. Alberti-Perez, who is fluent in Spanish, joined Bertelsmann in 2001 as the director of business development and in 2002 became the director of corporate development for Random House Inc. In both positions, Alberti-Perez focused on expanding Random House's Hispanic marketing efforts and outreach.
This is not the first time Random House has tried to publish popular fiction and nonfiction for U.S. Latinos. In December 2000, the publisher launched Random House Español, but disbanded it in early 2003 in favor of importing titles from its Random House Mondadori publishing group, which includes Spanish and Latin American houses Plaza & Janés, Grijalbo Mondadori and Sudamericana.
Although the Random House Mondadori titles, which come mainly from Mexico, Spain and Argentina, have sold well in the U.S., the new Vintage Español line will be designed specifically with U.S. Latinos in mind.
"We are definitely in growth mode," Anne Messitte, publisher of Vintage/Anchor Books, said of the Spanish line. "Milena's mandate is to broaden the scope and reach of Vintage Español through new title acquisition, marketing initiatives, media partnerships and direct outreach to Spanish-language readers," Messitte said.