The Book Publishing Industry is one of the largest medias in the world. There are millions of employees working around the globe in both large publishing companies. However, studies have shown that as of April of 2023 only 6% of Latinos are working in the publishing industry.
Independent Publishing Houses
Latinx in Publishing
A group of individuals who are all from different publishing backgrounds decided that there needed to be space that was just for Latino stories to be created, advertised and distributed. This imprint was created by Sara Marie Jette and Jess Harold. Sara Marie Jette shared her feelings about working for this company, “I write for the girl I once was, the girl who didn’t see herself reflected in her classroom library. I am grateful that Latinx in Publishing created this fellowship for Latinx authors to grow.”
An independent Latino owned and operated publishing house that is dedicated to creating children stories about Latino culture in both Spanish and English. From early childhood development books such as learning the alphabet, numbers, colors, and animals. There are also books about Latino culture such as, The Life Selena, Counting with Frida, and Alebrijes.
This website is a great resource for young readers.
Veliz Books is an independent book publishing company that houses stories from the following genres: poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. The staff is made up of a hardworking group of latinos who love books and want readers to experience their stories being told.
FlowerSong Press is an independent small press that highlights voices from Latin America, the U.S.A. and all over the world. They publish novice, emerging, and established writers of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books.
It’s a POC, female-owned press, and was created in the spirit of entrepreneurship, a love of literature, a desire to promote Latinx/a/o and Chicanx/a/o stories and poetry, and offer a space to underrepresented voices. Mouthfeel Press was founded with the goal of publishing new and established poets from the U.S-Mexico borderlands, writing in English and Spanish. MFP has published over forty books of poetry, including chapbooks. Our authors have won the FOCO Tejas Award, the International Latino Book Award, and the Western Heritage Award.
Cinco Punto Press
Even though they sold the press to a NYT publishing company in 2021, they are worth knowing. Cinco Puntos Press was an independent press founded by husband-and-wife team Bobby and Lee Byrd in 1985. It had the unique distinction of being based in El Paso, Texas, not three miles north of the U.S. Mexican Border. Cinco Puntos Press was fiercely independent and concentrated on publishing stories from Texas, Border, Latinx, and Native life. They published some of the greatest books of all time, like Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Thirty Talks Weird Love by Alessandra Narváez Varela, and more.
Youtubers in Publishing
Raiza Revelles is the author of the following books; Zelic. La nueva Tierra (the new earth), El reflejo de la bruja (The Witch’s Reflection), and El chico de la Piel de Cerdo y Otros Relatos que Jamás Deberías Leer (the boy in the pigskin and other stories you should never read). If you’re familiar with her Youtube channel, you’ll know that she is very passionate about the horror genre as she has made many videos of herself and her friends experiencing paranormal events.
When asked about her inspiration for her books she responded, “Some people don’t always know that reading can also be a fun activity. There is this group of people who say that reading should only be classic works or it should only be what I left you very tired after reading it. And I’m not saying that it’s not important, it is because it expands our culture, but they forget that reading can be a lot of fun.”
Javier Ruescas has dedicated his channel to reviewing and reacting to popular series in literature. Javier has written two trilogies so far entitled Play, and Electro. As well as a novel called All The Colors of You. During an interview with Adria’sNews in 2012 he talks about how he created the novel Play based on an interaction he had with the cast of the Twilight film franchise, “The curiosity of this novel is that I thought about when an artist stops being an artist to become a character; this dichotomy between talent and fame. And this dichotomy is represented by two brothers, Aaron and Leo.“
Clau Reads Books
She’s a Youtuber who was popular at the same time as Raize and Javier. Like them, she started her Youtube Chanel talking about books and recording the famous and old “booktags.” Between 2012-2015, the era of Latin booktobers, she gained popularity and pushed to publish her books: Principe del Sol, Las Memorias de Fenrai, La ladrona de la luna and more.
His channel, created in November 2012, already has more than 243K subscribers and more than 8 million views. Alberto Villareal is the creator behind library videos, with interviews with authors, collaborations with other readers, summaries and more. His experience has led him to write four books published in more than 16 countries, among which are: Eight Places that Remind Me of You, Last Night in the Trenches, Everything We Were, and Everything You Leave.
Latinx in Publishing
The print offers a variety of resources and options for latin writers, editors, or people in the industry. Latinx in Publishing offers several mentorship and fellowship programs to support aspiring Latinx writers and publishing professionals, listings for literary agents, networking events, and more. They are a really good way to reach out or to start this journey.
Latino Stories is an online website and they often share resources for the latino community. The options, where to reach out to, internships, fellowships and more.
Las Musas Hermanas Mentorship: Las Hermanas is a selection-based mentorship program for traditionally unpublished Latinx kidlit writers and illustrators.
Latinx in Publishing – Writers Mentorship Program: The Latinx in Publishing Writers Mentorship Program is a volunteer-run initiative that offers the opportunity for unpublished and/or unagented writers who identify as Latinx to strengthen their craft, gain knowledge about the traditional publishing industry, and expand their professional connections through work with experienced Latinx authors
Our Journeys Working Towards the Publishing Industry
Madison: I have loved books since before I could read. I remember the stories that my mom would read to me as a child and every time she’d finish one book, I’d always beg for another one. As a kid who grew up loving books, it was sometimes difficult to relate to certain characters because there weren’t any Latino characters written in the most successful children stories I grew up with such as the Harry Potter or the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Now that I am an adult, I can help change the narrative. When I see a book that I helped to publish on the shelves of a bookstore, I hope that a young reader will see themselves in the book.
I never thought that working in the publishing world would be a near dream for me. I remember a lot growing up reading books and begging my mom to buy me more. I lived off the books in my school library and was always creating stories in my head. The literary world chose me when I didn’t think it was something that could be studied.
In my reality, I was a girl who lived in Mexico and was on the border with the United States, where the important thing was to have a job that paid enough to have a decent life. Everyone around me was thinking of becoming an engineer or a doctor, and I just wanted to be in the world of books.
When I entered university, my idea of studying literature/publishing was remote, since I was bilingual and because of my name I didn’t think I would receive many doors. My Latin name, which I found difficult to accept, opened the doors to several opportunities. My bilingual mentors told me “you can open the doors for more people like you.” So here I am, looking to open up in the publishing world, to find more people like me, bilingual, in Spanish, in the Latino artistic world and more, so that our names are not only left behind.