1. Tell us about Editorial Sargantana….
Editorial Sargantana are publishers that, next September, will be have been going for two years. Founded by three partners from the publishing sector, we wanted to fill a gap in the market for local issues and for writers in Valencia that needed a publishing house that would give them a voice and allow them to reach both a local and national readership.
After a year and a half of working with themes and with local Valencian writers, we have made an opening in the Basque market with local writers from Bilbao, Álava and Vitoria with two books that have worked very well and have opened the door to the publishers in the Basque market. We have become publishers that were concerned with local Valencian issues to a local editorial that now focuses on subjects of any community in Spain. Being young local publishers has made us encounter a lot of competition and bumps along the way to achieve good distribution, which we have solved with a lot of promotion work for each book we publish.
At Editorial Sargantana, we give great importance and care to our authors, who are the most important asset of the publisher. We have created a wonderful atmosphere with them and a great family of authors is forming, which is also creating a really good friendship between them.
2. Could you tell us about the key books?
In Editorial Sargantana we are very happy with almost all the books published, but the collection of books with greater sales is without a doubt the books regarding local themes. They are the books with most demand in the market and that we have more facility in positioning in the bookstores.
Examples of successful Valencian books would include Vicent Marco’s ‘De categoria internacional’ with more than 4,000 books sold, ‘La Valencia Insólita’ by Roberto Tortosa with more than 3,000 books sold, ‘Historia de Valencia en Pildoritas’ de José Vilaseca or ‘Cuanto sabes de la Comunidad Valenciana?’ by Marta Landete.
In addition, we have just published the first tourist guide to Valencia that is bilingual (English and Spanish) by Javier Sprang and a book in POP-UP format about Fallas with Castilian, English and Valencian versions by Blanca Llácer.
As for novels, we are very happy with many of them. It is a much more difficult issue to position in bookstores because of gender competition. We could highlight ‘Diario de una sombra’ by María García-Lliberós with nearly 2,000 books sold, stories by Laura Girón ((‘País de paso’ y ‘País de destino’), ‘35 grados a tu sombra’ by Nacho García Nas whose cover is illustrated by Paco Roca and Manolo Garcia’s ‘El Ultimo de la Fila.’
Finally, in narrative, we have just translated the well-known English writer Jason Webster into Spanish with his collection of the detective ‘Max Cámara’ books. Last April, we published ‘O el toro te mata a ti’ (Or the bull kills you) with a great reception among the Spanish public. In the next month of October the following book ‘Muerte en el Cabañal’ (Death in Valencia) will be released.
3. Is the digital age killing the traditional format of books?
In our case, we have not been affected by the new technologies. In Spain, e-books can account for only 8% of readership. The e-book to date has not triumphed in Spain. In our case, we often complement the paper book with the digital one, which we release a few months after the physical book.
4. What are your plans for the future?
Seeing the good reception that we have had in the Basque market, our plans go on to continue betting on the Valencian authors but we will also bet on the authors and continue the Basque theme and so gradually go into other autonomous communities. We want that in the not-too-distant future we are recognized for risking by helping those good local authors that the big publishers had not given them a voice. Until now, they did not have the option to work with an editorial that was ready to bet for them. We want to make them known throughout the national territory, through distribution and promotion with different events.
“ Local writers for universal readers”
Interview by Owl