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An Interview with Hispabooks Publishers

Ana P?®rez Galv?ín and Gregorio Doval talk about their publishing house

By Teresa Dovalpage
Published on LatinoLA: January 2, 2015


An Interview with Hispabooks Publishers


Hispabooks offers "the best of contemporary fiction in English language translations." Yet it takes a giant leap of faith to become a publisher today. Here's my Q&A with Ana P?®rez Galv?ín and Gregorio Doval, founders of Hispabooks.

Q: What motivated you to launch Hispabooks?

A: Faith is a must, but it also takes a will to adapt oneself and explore a new approach to the way things work. Most of Spain's best literary writers are easily translated into other languages like French, Italian, Serbian, Arabic . . . but the English-language book market hardly takes up authors from abroad. We've seen there is a big lack of Spanish literary fiction from Spain in English and want to do something about it, so here we are with 10 titles published so far! For industries as jeopardized as the publishing one, one of the ways out is to foster the globalization of culture, taken as a two-way highway, not as a one-way-only one.

Q: Do you sell eBooks, traditional (paper) editions or both?

A: We sell both formats, trade paperback editions and ebook ones (both in Kindle and epub versions for all ebook retailers), and they are both available worldwide on and offline. Prices follow the local market standard in each case and we try to make the books available through all possible outlets, following a promotion strategy based in accuracy, trying to reach the right target rather than the largest one, with a care for detail in all we do, in the same way one cares for what's most precious to oneself, what one knows well and loves.

Q:Where can American readers buy your books?

A: In many ways and many places. Our books can be found in the main online stores like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBook Store and in traditional bookstores and their online shops throughout the world. Our goal is to make our books available in all bookstores and libraries possible in the English-language global market, specially the US one, and we are patiently working toward that end.

Q: Do you plan to publish translations of Spanish authors only or will you add Latin American writers along the way?

A: For the time being we are only publishing authors from Spain (the best authors from Spain), for the reason I mentioned before, there are many authors from our country whose work we know first hand and we greatly enjoy and appreciate, and would first like to help their being known by the American readership too, but we might consider Latin American ones in the future if we manage to thrive! Cultural closeness enables us to assess and work on the translations (hired to the best Anglo-American translators) to great effect so that they not only convey the authors' words but their same voice.

In today's complicated and at times puzzling publishing world, authors are supposed to become partners with their publishers in terms of promotional work. How much do you expect your authors to do? What are your best promotional strategies, up to now?
We only expect our authors to do what they feel like doing, we don't want to impose an obligation on them. Nowadays there are many ways of marketing and promoting a book, and though the authors' participation is always a plus, if somebody doesn't feel like it, it's no problem for us. It's just good to know in advance to plan things out differently. However, up till now we have had a pretty enthusiastic reaction from all our authors and quite a few have taken part already in literary festivals and book fairs abroad. Our promotional strategy right now is building up a really relevant readership willing to read World literature and new authors, something we do mostly through community management.

Q: Can you mention a few forthcoming titles?

A: We have just released "Ant??n Mallick Wants to Be Happy", by Nicol?ís Casariego, which is a really fun, witty, thought-provoking novel, and the next release is "Paris" by Marcos Giralt Torrente, one of the best literary fiction writers in Spain now. He was awarded the Spanish National Book Award in 2011 and this year is his great debut in the English book market, with three different works published by three different publishers. In late summer we will be releasing "Rain Over Madrid", by Andr?®s Barba, an author included back in 2010 in Granta's selection of "The Best of Young Spanish-language Novelists" and a memoir by Imma Mons??, a Catalan writer: "A Man of His Word", a homage to his deceased husband and a beautiful piece of literature. And after that, many more that will serve as proof of the very good and very diverse literary fiction that is being written in Spain today. Let's hope American readers come to believe so too!

To find out more about the publishers, visit Hispabooks.com.

About Teresa Dovalpage:
Teresa Dovalpage was born in Havana, Cuba and now lives in New Mexico. She is the author of eight novels and several short story collections. She writes in English and Spanish.
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