Mariane Féged, director of Spanish markets at Bookwire, says that success in the Spanish-language audiobook market depends on several factors, including excellent production quality, significant author involvement with the audience, and great stories. The following three titles have been especially popular on Bookwire.

Por si las voces vuelven

Ángel Martin. Planeta, 2021

“No title has ever done more for the audiobook format in the Spanish language than this title,” Féged says. The audiobook, read by Martin, recounts the true story of how the author—a well-known television personality, screenwriter, and comedian—coped with drug addiction and mental illness, nearly losing his career and his life. “The narration is extremely touching as the author discloses his mental health problems, anxiety, and suffering, and throughout offers a candid and honest, but warm and never desperate, depiction of his situation,” Féged notes. The narration is punctuated by extemporaneous commentary about the text and episodes depicted in the book, making the experience of listening to the audiobook more personal, intimate, and revelatory than even the print book, she adds. Another factor contributing to the audiobook’s success was its modest length of just four hours. In all, the title was a #1 bestseller in Spain for much of 2022 and sold in excess of 300,000 copies, with audiobooks accounting for 100,000 of those sales, according to Bookwire and Planeta. It has since been turned into a popular podcast by the author.

Nuestra parte de noche

Mariana Enriquez. Anagrama, 2019

Unlike Martin’s terse book, the audiobook edition of Enriquez’s novel clocks in at a whopping 23 hours and 14 minutes. “Surprisingly, this was not an obstacle to sales,” Féged says, “as clearly listeners don’t want the story to end.” The epic novel is alternately macabre fantasy, supernatural horror, and vampiric noir, all of which lends itself to the audiobook format—like the modern iteration of a spooky campfire story, she notes. Nuestra parte de noche, which was published in English by Hogarth in February under the title Our Share of the Night—was awarded several prizes, including the Premio Herralde de Novela and Premio de la Crítica. “The magnetic narration, the author’s close relationship with her fans, and the support of Editorial Anagrama ensured the book’s success,” Féged adds. To date, Anagrama has published four of Enriquez’s novels as audiobooks.

Tiziano: La decisión del Capo

Angy Skay. Entre Libros, 2022

This book is the first in a new series by a successful self-published author working with a conventional publishing house. Typically, Entre Libros behaves like a hybrid publishing house, publishing primarily in digital-first formats, but it opted to offer this new series simultaneously in print, e-book, and audiobook formats, Féged explains. The audiobook, in particular, is interesting, because it employs two voice actors as narrators, both of whom were chosen after an intense casting process. According to Féged, the dual narrators have bonded with listeners and have been used for all audiobooks in the series. “The success of the launch was greatly helped by the publisher’s intense social media marketing, in which they documented and broadcast the recording of the audiobook,” she explains.