A new online Spanish-language bookstore is set to launch in the U.S. this month. Libros in Español (www.librosinespanol.com) will take off on April 15 with “a couple of thousand” physical Spanish-language titles, according to founder Filipe Silva, all of which will be published in the U.S., Spain, or Latin America. Books will reflect competitive pricing, and customers will receive special offers throughout the year, as well as free shipping for orders of $25 or more and a Libros in Español membership program that will launch in the near future.
Silva, a former associate director of Latin American and Spanish-language sales at Penguin Random House, explained that his work on the Latin American side of the business at PRH gave him the knowledge needed to make book selections that speak to Hispanic readers across the U.S. (Silva will be selecting all titles for sale on the site.) He added that growing up in a Hispanic community in New Jersey also provided him with the “cultural knowledge I need to make sure our customers have the diverse book selections they want.”
Categories to be offered include fiction and nonfiction for adults as well as YA and children’s titles, which are broken down by ages. The website will also highlight bestsellers and works by such prominent Spanish language authors as Roberto Bolaño and Carlos Ruiz Zafón. The company is currently in talks with e-book and audiobook providers to add those formats to their selection.
Silva believes that Hispanic readers in the U.S. share similar buying habits and culture with readers in Mexico and other Central and South American Spanish-speaking countries. However, he said that in order to provide a good book selection for Hispanic Spanish-language readers in the U.S., it’s necessary to also take into account the local media and current events.
To that end, Silva told PW exclusively, Libros in Español will also act as a literary agent for Hispanic U.S. authors of works in Spanish starting in autumn of 2018, and has already signed Gabriel Rivera-Barraza, a public relations executive and co-author of Nuevo New York, as well as contributor to Univision program El gordo y la flaca. Rivera-Barraza’s next work will be presented to U.S. publishers this coming fall.
Libros in Español is a family-owned enterprise. “There’s something to be said about family- and independently-owned businesses,” says Silva, “and the freedom we have to listen to our readers and make decisions that benefit the connection between readers and authors, keep freedom of speech alive, and not have to answer to no one in Wall Street.”
Silva says an extensive publicity and marketing plan has been put in place for the next five years, and that he has partnered with “one of America’s biggest distributors” with a great level of customer service and a diverse distribution of Spanish books.