To coincide with its one-year anniversary, e-book publisher TheWriteDeal has announced a joint initiative with the state of New Mexico to publish a series of free bilingual children’s books that celebrate that state’s Native American and Hispanic heritage.

“This adds momentum to TheWriteDeal’s integration of its English and Spanish publishing platforms,” says Teresa Dovalpage, editor of Spanish acquisitions for the electronic-only press. “The series will always be available, and always free of charge.” The New Mexico Department of Public Education funded the project and the four books are authored by grade school students, their teachers, and art instructors from the historic town of Taos. Titles include Flamenco in Taos and Traditional Dances From Northern New Mexico. “We definitely plan to add more bilingual books to the series,” Dovalpage says. “The next group will be based on local animals and raising awareness about the Southwest fauna.”

TheWriteDeal’s publisher, Yves Sorokobi, coined the term “e-leaf” to describe his approach to online publishing. “E-leafs are sisters to e-books, but they aren’t always full books,” he says. “They can be stories, essays, graphic novels, or chapters from books in progress. So far we’ve published 165 titles, five a month on average.” TheWriteDeal curates its list of fiction and nonfiction with an editorial team and, says Sorokobi, “our only criteria is quality.” Membership is free, although Prime Members receive a 50% discount on all e-books for a monthly fee of $4.99. Membership has reached 3,500 in one year. The WriteDeal’s bilingual open column Grandma's Bottom Story ensures that there is a regular flow of quality content that's free.

“The bulk of our audience are bilingual young professionals, soon-to-be parents or already with children,” says Sorokobi. “We’re bullish on the future of the U.S. Spanish-speaking readership. The trends are very encouraging.”