The two shores of the Spanish novel

For decades, the Spanish publishing industry has fed a dream: the dream of making the most of the common tongue of over 500 million people to create a solid market, where writers and readers meet across borders.

From Spain, over 38 million books crossed the pond in 2017. Is it possible that a stable bridge between the two continents, or does transatlantic travel changes make books not worth the paper they’re written on? Since the latest explosion in this marvelous and unifying movement of the Latin American book, the Spanish book world is looking for a way to recreate a connection that extends the ties between its diverse geography, spread across two continents. The overall industry sectors are promising, and position it among the best ten in the world, with a value of close to 4 billion euros and 224,300 titles published in 2016, according to the Regional Centre for the Promotion of Books in Latin America and the Caribbean (RCPBLAC).

However, these figures belie strong imbalances. From this total, Spanish editions make up 116,869, compared to 27,000 for the next two countries in the list, Mexico and Argentina. The biggest setback is the subject of exports. According to the Foreign Book Trade Report of 2017, exports from Spain to Latin America comprise 34% of the total, leaving a remainder of 194 million euros, whilst barely 1.4% of Latin American editions reached Spain.

Read more: El Cultural

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