¿Cómo Se Dice ‘Opportunity’?
Nine hundred billion dollars. That’s the estimated buying power expected of the Latino market within the next five years. Today its buying power is $500 billion here in the United States, and it is considered the 12th largest economy in the world. Information like this can be found on www.SpanishBookMarket.com—a Web site built and maintained by Mark Wesley of Rosa + Wesley, a development firm specializing in graphic design, book production and Spanish translation located in Wheaton, Ill.
For those in any business, such numbers are enough to make one’s head spin. Yet some in book publishing are just now waking to this reality, and, slowly, doors are beginning to open. Some also suggest that it won’t be long before the Latino and Hispanic book markets produce a steady and significant impact on the industry.
Spanish or Latino?
Before anyone goes rushing out to package and produce books for the Spanish market, it is important to know one thing. Spanish, Hispanic and Latino are often terms interchanged a little too loosely. Johanna Castillo, senior editor of Atria Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, says there are important distinctions.
“The Latino market generally includes books reflecting the voice of Latinos and are written in English,” she says. “For this market, authors typically were born in the U.S., but write about Latino culture. Then there is the Spanish market, which includes books in Spanish. Either they are books brought over from Spanish countries into the United States or they are translations of popular English books into Spanish-language books.”
Hispanic, on the other hand, is an American word created as sort of an umbrella term that lumps 21 nationalities of Spanish-speaking countries together. To make things a little more complex, some Hispanics are so acculturated to American way of life they are considered buyers of the general market—the market serving mainstream Americans.