The growth and importance of Spanish-language publishing is evident at its most important literary event, Feria Internacional del Libro, Guadalajara's book fair. Running from November 24 to December 2, with Chile the guest of honor, the statistics are impressive: 1,900 publishers from 40 countries; 600,000 visitors; and over 100 "tables" in the rights center.
Victorico Albores Santiago, the president of CANIEM (Mexico's publishers association), confirms the belief that Spanish language publishing is poised to expand in the U.S. market.
CANIEM represents 300 publishers who produce 95% of the books published in Mexico. Albores expects that being the host country at BEA in 2013 to raise his country's profile and demonstrate to the U.S. market the potential of Spanish language publishing. Also, he says, "there are so many Americans of Mexican heritage. We want to promote the Spanish language and encourage it. The U.S. is a perfect market, and there is also great interest in Spanish language arts in countries as diverse as Brazil and China."
The change in government is also likely to influence the growth of publishing. With the election of the PRI party, publishers are in negotiations to have more control. Presently, the government generates 65% of textbooks, for example, and controls content for primary and secondary educational books. With Mexico's young population, publishers have a huge potential market.
Albores says Mexico is honored to be selected as host country and will bring between 40 to 50 publishers to BEA, ranging from children's to art. "Mexico has a great deal of culture to offer: our cuisine, our place as a tourist destination, our upcoming young writers in addition to our traditional authors."