Cristóbal Pera, publishing director at Vintage Español, says that although the house will not have a booth at FIL, he has a full agenda. “With the growth of the rights center at FIL, it has become imperative that I attend from a buy/sell rights perspective,” he notes. Half of his schedule is meetings with agents, the other half with publishers, and Pera will also be looking at the books in Spanish that India will bring to FIL. He always finds time to connect with colleagues from Spain and Latin America but says that what he enjoys the most about the event “is that ocean of readers that fill the halls. You can barely walk the fair. This is what I find most invigorating. It’s seeing the excitement of readers that I love most about FIL.”
Edward Benitez, executive editor, and Lulu Martinez, marketing manager, from HarperCollins Español will be at FIL this year as well. HC Español will not have a separate booth at the fair, but its titles will be showcased at the HarperCollins Mexico booth. Benitez has been attending FIL for more than 20 years and it’s still one of his favorite fairs. “I love it,” he says. “It’s the best book fair in the world because it’s open to the public. There is music, movies, theater, it’s a cultural festival.”
Benitez is an FIL veteran, but Martinez will be attending the fair for the first time. She is not only going to explore FIL but will be comparing notes with her colleagues from HarperCollins Mexico. Martinez is also looking at book covers, booth designs, and events being held at FIL. Benitez provided some helpful tips to Martinez: “Wear low-heel shoes, bring snacks and water, and be careful after 5 p.m.” His warning about 5 p.m. refers to the time the doors open to the public, when the sea of book readers fills the halls of the largest convention hosted in Mexico.