Sales of English-language audiobooks have risen steadily in recent years, and it appears that 2016 could see a significant increase in sales of Spanish-language audiobooks as well.
According to Catherine Zappa, director of sales for HarperCollins Audiobooks, HC thinks the time is right to push Spanish-language audiobooks, and it will increase its output from six–10 titles per year to 24, under its new Spanish books imprint, HarperCollins Español (HCE). Most of HC’s sales for audiobooks in Spanish, including titles from its Thomas Nelson and Zondervan divisions, have come from the U.S. rather than Latin America, where the audiobook market is still in its infancy. The business and leadership categories have been the most popular, followed closely by spirituality and religion, Zappa says. She adds that based on requests from librarians, “we will be tapping into HCE’s fiction backlist and produce more fiction audiobooks than in the past.”
Penguin Random House also plans to increase the number of Spanish-language audiobooks it releases this year. According to Carmen Ospina, who is based in Barcelona and is the director of digital strategy and business development of Spain and Latin America for PRH, the company released 50 Spanish-language audio titles in 2015 and plans to publish 150–200 titles this year. Sales of Spanish-language audio began to take off in 2014, after PRH started to obtain the rights for digital formats of many of their Spanish-language backlist books, Ospina explains. The sale of PRH’s Spanish-language audiobooks are managed through its office in Spain and not through PRH’s offices throughout Latin America and the U.S.
Ospina says that from the start, PRH has considered the U.S. to be the primary market for Spanish-language audio, adding that the company has started to see an increase in audiobook sales in Mexico. In the States, these purchases are mainly by people want to learn Spanish as a second language and by second- and third-generation Hispanics who want to improve their Spanish.
Due to PRH’s global strategy for audiobooks, titles are selected based on what the publisher believes will sell well in the U.S., Spain, and Latin America. The voice actors who record Spanish-language audiobooks are mainly from Latin America, unless the author of the book is from Spain (in which case it is performed by a Spaniard). “Finding professional narrators, maintaining low costs, and producing quality audiobooks is also a challenge,” Ospina says. “We use the studios of Penguin Random House in California and are building a team [there] so we can control the quality of our audiobooks.”
Select February 2016 Spanish-Language Titles
Arte en la sangre
(Art in the Blood)
This latest adventure sends Sherlock Holmes and Watson from London to Paris, in a case that tests their friendship.
Pouches of stones come with a chain letter and two requests: to forgive, and to seek forgiveness. Talk show host Hannah Farr has concealed her past for nearly two decades.
Valerie Wyatt is the high priestess of elegance: she has built an empire on showing people how to entertain, how to decorate, and how to live beautifully. But all that is about to change.
Zev Hunter was a dark-blood dealer of death to Lycans. He comes to consciousness by the sensuously familiar voice of a woman that has haunted his fantasies for centuries.
Una tentación para el Duque
(She Tempts the Duke)
Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escape—to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle—waiting to return to reclaim their birthright.
Un juego para toda la familia
(A Game for All the Family)
Soon after moving from London, Justine finds Ellen, her daughter, withdrawing when her new friend George is unfairly expelled from school. To Justine’s surprise, nobody was expelled—George doesn’t exist.
After a 14-year estrangement, Maria Venegas returns to Mexico from the United States to visit her father. Venegas’s reckoning with her father’s difficult legacy is described in spare, gripping prose.
La cuestión de los alienígenas ancestrales
(The Ancient Alien Question)
Coppens suggests that our ancestors were more technologically advanced than is currently accepted, and that certain cultures interacted with nonhuman intelligences.
Delegación y supervisión
(Delegation and Supervision)
This pocket-sized guide reveals time-tested ways to boost the performance and productivity of your employees.
En movimiento. Una vida
(On the Move: A Life)
Sacks recounts his experiences as a young neurologist, first in California, where he experimented with drugs, and then in New York, where he discovered a forgotten illness in a hospital.
(The Complete 101 Collection)
This book can be thought of as a crash course in leadership fundamentals. It can be used as a practical tool to sharpen the core skills every professional needs.
El manual bíblico MacArthur
(MacArthur Bible Handbook)
This book-by-book survey of the Bible includes charts, graphs, and illustrations that will help you easily understand each book of the Bible, its historical context, and its place in Scripture.
El mapa del deseo
(The Desire Map)
LaPorte offers a holistic tool that will revolutionize your search for what you want in life. The book includes a practical workbook with a desire map.
Marco Rubio y la hora de los hispanos
(Marco Rubio and the Impact of the Hispanic Vote)
Sen. Marco Rubio may be the first Hispanic person in history with a real chance of becoming president of the U.S.; his trajectory in politics and humble upbringing is a story worth telling.
Me lo merezco todo
(The Entitlement Cure)
In a culture that encourages shortcuts and irresponsibility, this book provides principles and skills to help people become successful.
Filled with Tracy’s trademark wisdom, this indispensable guide contains 21 powerful ideas you can use to immediately improve your strategic marketing results.
Slim: El mexicano más rico del mundo
(Slim: The Wealthiest Mexican in the World)
This biography dissects the life of one of the world’s most influential self-made businessman, from the onset of his career in Mexico, to building his empire.
Coraline: Novela gráfica
(Coraline: The Graphic Novel)
Coraline discovers a mysterious door when her family moves into a new house. When she goes through it, she finds a similar house, with another mother and father who want her to stay and be their little girl.
Cuando estoy triste
(When I’m Sad)
Readers will recognize similar experiences in their lives as this little guinea pig describes feeling sad when something bad happens. Eventually the heroine realizes that feeling sad doesn’t last forever.
(My Ultimate Dinosaur Sticker Book)
Make Believe Ideas
A dinosaur-themed sticker book, filled with sticker activities.
El gran libro de los miedos
(Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears)
Young children will identify with the little mouse who uses this book to document his fears. The book is packed with details such as flaps, die-cuts, and a fold-out map.
La gran tienda de dulces de las hadas
(The Great Fairy Sweet Shop)
Make Believe Ideas
An adorable sweet-themed sticker book filled with fun sticker activities and amazing scratch-and-sniff stickers.
Guardianes de los cristales: Cinco Reinos, Vol. 3
Trapped in a world where magic is powerful and dreams are real, Cole continues his quest in book three of a series, by the bestselling author of Fablehaven.
Mi Puedo dibujar
(My First I Can Draw)
Make Believe Ideas
Kids will enjoy following these simple steps to create beautiful drawings. This book encourages creativity and develops hand-eye coordination.
El regreso a los sauces
(Return to the Willows)
Mole, Ratty, Toad, and Badger are back for more adventures.
Kelly evokes the magic of Kenneth Grahame’s beloved children’s classic and brings it to life for a whole new generation.
Ser como el bambú—bilingüe
(Be like Bamboo)
A cute story of a panda bear who lives in a bamboo forest and the lessons he learns when he realizes how valuable bamboo is in his life.
Yo estaba aquí
(I Was Here)
When her best friend, Meg, commits suicide, Cody is devastated. She and Meg shared everything, but she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her.