Though not many publishers from the U.S. attended this year’s Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), which ran November 26–December 4, Mahar Sperling, the Spanish-language program manager at Rochester, Vt.–based Inner Traditions, found his first visit to the event rewarding. Sperling grew up in Costa Rica and speaks fluent Spanish. He traveled to Mexico with his colleague Beatriz Pimentel, an editor based in Venezuela, to promote the relaunch of the company’s Spanish-language books line. “We just published seven new titles, and so far the response has been great,” Sperling said, pointing to the success of several titles, including Lecciones de los 12 Angeles by Belinda J. Womack and Tarot: De los espíritus, de la naturaleza by Jean Marie Herzel.

Inner Traditions has 60 Spanish-language books in print, but the majority are legacy titles. “This new, relaunched list addresses the needs of the younger generation, many of whom, postpandemic, are seeking a new spiritual path,” Pimentel says.

The pair had traveled to Mexico City for market research prior to FIL and found there was a huge appetite for Inner Traditions’ books, which focus on mind, body, and spirit, in Spanish. In the U.S., too, the publisher’s Spanish-language list has sold well via Amazon and Barnes & Noble. “We plan to grow the program aggressively in the coming years,” Sperling says.

Spain’s Grupo Planeta, the largest Spanish-language publisher in the world, is evolving its approach to publishing in the Americas as well. Planeta has started implementing a new strategy to consolidate its publishing activities, from editorial to digital to sales and distribution, across the entirety of North and South America. “We are going to run the region as a single entity,” says José Alberto Parra García, director of digital strategy for the U.S. and Latin America, who spoke with PW at FIL. “We think this will send a powerful message, both internally and externally, to the market.”

García joined Planeta earlier this year, having previously served as managing director of Storytel in Mexico and the head of content for Latin America at Apple’s iBooks. He identifies digital publishing and audiobooks in the Spanish-language market as a strong area for growth. “Latin America is one of the few regions where many people continue to listen to radio on a daily basis, and these are consumers who are not necessarily readers or book buyers,” he explains.

Now, García says, is the time for Planeta to stake its claim on the territory by offering content in e-book and audio formats. “Planeta has spent the last five years building the catalog. We have seen how the consumer has changed, and how Netflix and streaming have impacted the way they behave: they pay for subscriptions and graze content rather than consume it to the end. We have the deepest catalog in the Spanish-speaking world, which should make us appealing to these consumers. We just have to have the right strategy to reach them, and we should succeed in expanding our audience and growing our business.”