Issues Facing Latino Writers

  • Many publishers operate from the premise that most people of Latino heritage do not speak English, and donʹt read or write, and that other Americans are not interested in books about the Latino experience. José Yglesias explained it this way in Publishers Weekly: “Americans open the cover, see all the Juans and Marias, close the book, and donʹt buy it”
  • Publishers who are interested in Latino writing seem to prefer barrio stereotypes or magical realism.
  • Some publishers are content to publish one Latino author each season, with the result that the collective percentage of Latino writers on major publishing lists is small and does not reflect their numbers—nearly 30 percent of the population. Even some Latino networks donʹt want stories about mestizos (people of mixed European (Spanish) and Native American ancestry).
  • Manuscripts written in Spanish are ignored by mainstream publishers. Translations are expensive.
  • Most editors and marketing staff are not linked into the network of Latino readers and the Spanish‐speaking media.
  • Anglo publishers may believe their one Latino writer represents the entire Latino population, oblivious to its complexities.