New Spanish-Language Publishing House in New York City

Sudaquia EditoresWith the way the world is changing today, it is no surprise that many people are becoming entrepreneurs for an endless amount of reasons. It is arguably so, that entrepreneurship is a new trend because people are thinking ahead as opposed to thinking what is happening now.

Books by Latino authors are limited and it is hard to find representation. This is when owners Asdrúbal Hernández and María Angélica García, started the new publishing house, Sudaquia Editores in New York City. The house is Latin America, geared toward the US market. Both owners are immigrants from Venezuela and are now living in New York City.

Sticking to their native tongue, a representative list of authors include Osdany Morales, Grettel J. Singer, Alexis Romay, Enrique Del Risco, Andrés F. Solano, Francisco Díaz Klassena, Enrique Winter, Martín Cristal, Diego Fonseca, Héctor Torres, Israel Centeno, César Landaeta, Francisco Massiani and many others.

For the owners, both of them grew up around books and appreciated receiving books as gifts.

Where are the Latino Authors?

Pile of Books“Books are paths which upward lead, book are our friends, come, let us read!” said anonymous.

Have you noticed that when the major news sources come out with their lists of the best books for the year, most of them do not have Latino authors on them? It gets exciting, especially for a reader, to see the list and find out which of their favorite books made it. On the other hand, you look at the lists and see the lack of variety of authors.

Why is that?

It may be a bit biased to say why an author may or may not be on the list, but there could be several reasons, such as, there are so many that could make the list, some are trying to do more publicity for themselves; it is just too difficult to pinpoint it. Being that Latino authors are on the rise and many of them becoming best sellers, it can be upsetting not to see them on the list.

So is there something that you can do about it? Of course there is. Right now, go tell all of your friends and families about your favorite authors and keep the buzz going. This may not be a guarantee that a Latino author will make the list next year, but you will be supporting your favorite author.

In the mean time, here are some holiday cookbooks to keep you in the holiday spirit.

Mexican Made Easy: Everyday Ingredients, Extraordinary Flavor by Marcela Valladolid

Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours by Aaron Sanchez

Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Marciel E. Presilla

Viva Vegan! 200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers by Terry Hope Romero

So, where are the Latino authors? No one person understands the real reason why one author makes the list over the other. It is just important to understand that there are great authors out there ready to showcase their work and every author should make it to a “best” list at some point in their career.

The Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide—Non-traditional that is

Stocking StuffersTraditional stocking stuffers can have all kinds of things inside like gift cards, candy, small travel items, jewelry and even makeup. These stocking stuffers are great for any person in the family, but we have to admit that it becomes a little mundane every year of getting the same gift for people. Coming up with some new stocking stuffers ideas, especially if most people in the family have no idea what they want for Christmas, can become a challenge. Make it a goal this year to begin a new tradition and give some more non-traditional stocking stuffers.

Toothbrushes

It may sound strange, but here is something that children could actually get excited about when they are brushing their teeth. The toothbrush is called Brite Beatz from Brush Buddies and it features a synchronized light and music show while playing Jingle Bells, a classical holiday song. The time that dentists recommend to brush your teeth is two minutes. This gives a reminder to children to brush until the song is done. Other songs are from musicians like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. The toothbrushes with replaceable brush heads include a tongue and cheek cleaner and batteries that are replaceable while designed to help clean plaque in hard to reach places.

Also, available, are the Brush Buddies The Smurfs Talking toothbrushes. Once the belly button is pressed, the brush pops up and the bristles are gentle on children’s gums.

Ornaments

It sounds a bit strange to give an ornament as a gift mainly because there are plenty already on the Christmas tree. But more often, ornaments have become available and can be given out for the holidays. We are not talking about the traditional red, blue, gold, green and silver balls, but rather the non-traditional and more personable ones. These can include a photo of the family, a sled, cross stitched patterns, snowmen and countless of the many more designs to represent the person or family. Many stores sell these unique ornaments and there are plenty of how-to websites to make some of your own, without having to spend a lot.

Little books

Little books with simple phrases are not just for youngsters anymore. There are many books that offer inspirational sayings, jokes, and even prayers to get through difficult times. These books are simple, yet meaningful to someone that not only likes collecting books, but can also find them useful beyond the holidays. With many different topics and choices, this may be the small and perfect gift for that always ‘hard to give’ person on your list.

There are some many more things to put in the stockings and there may be some favorites that you do every year. But if you are looking for a way to break out of tradition and give something new, try these ideas. One of these stocking stuffers may become the new tradition in your family year after year.

A Monologue Presentation of the book: Count on Me: Tales of Sisterhoods and Fierce Friendships by Las Comadres Para Las Americas

Count On MeWriting a book is not as easy as it looks and marketing it is not easy either. As an author, you have to be able to get out there, talk and promote your book for people to know about it. While word-of-mouth is an important way to promote a book, there are other ways to promote it as well, such as, using social media, holding events, or performing monologues.

Performing a monologue is exactly what Nora de Hoyos Comstock, President, and CEO of Las Comadres Para Las Americas, did for promoting her book “Count on Me: Tales of Sisterhoods and Fierce Friendships”. This book is an anthology written by 12 authors all over the country.

The event began by Nora explaining why she wanted to do a monologue and how a writer has to find a way to promote their work in order for them to make money and sell their books without just giving them away. Nora had chosen two stories to perform, that described friendship from when it began, and how it continued and matured until the end. They also talked about important events throughout life and the journey they went through. She wanted to give the listeners an idea of what the story is about and not give it all away. The story was left at a cliff hanger in order for people to buy the book and find out the rest of the story. Each presentation was different in the tone, feelings, expression, and the story.

Afterwards, she wanted feedback from the audience about the performance and what they would want to see more at another monologue. In addition, they asked questions about the performance to be more engaged with the story and this in turn created more dialogue about the book. The organization can be found at Las Comadres Para Las Americas.

Interview with Peggy Robles-Alvarado

Photo courtesy of Pepper Negron

Photo courtesy of Pepper Negron

Peggy Robles-Alvarado is a Puerto Rican and Dominican poet, writer, and educator based in New York. From being featured in numerous articles and attending speaking engagements all around New York City, Robles-Alvarado uses her poetry to educate and empower others around her. Her most recent accomplishments are having two self published books. The first is Conversations With My Skin (2011) and the second is Homage to Warrior Women (2012). The second book was a finalist in the Latino Book Awards for Best Bilingual Poetry and Best Cover. Robles-Alvarado sat down with LatinTrends to discuss her five golden rules for young moms wanting to succeed and how her poetry has influenced others.

Interviewer: What is your definition of success?
Peggy Robles Alvarado: My definition of success is anything that makes me happy with myself.

Interviewer: What are your 5 Golden Rules for young women wanting to succeed?
PRA: My 5 Golden Rules would be fearless, be perfectly imperfect, no excuses, just solutions, listen to your spirit and intuition, and always say thank you.

Interviewer: Where did the idea of your book, Homage to Warrior Women come from?
PRA: The idea of the book came from gratitude, in which, we thank the women that had helped us in the past and overcome it. We are all warriors in our own way.

Interviewer: Did you know that you would become very successful one day or did it catch you by surprise?
PRA: I have always been a very goal oriented person, so it always had been ingrained in me that becoming successful was something that I had to do. At one point, my soul was happy, but my creative side needed more. This is where I believe my daughter saved my life and is how my first book, Conversations With My Skin was formed.

Interviewer: What advice would you give to other women who are trying to be successful when they are constantly hearing rejection after rejection?
PRA: The advice I would give is that I tell myself that I am learning. It is a process to learn to forgiveness and self and know what to work on. As women, we are our own worse critics and tend to dwell on the negative, but can always overcome rejection.

To find out more information about Peggy Robles-Alvarado and her accomplishments visit <a href="http://robleswrites.com/” target=”_blank”>http://robleswrites.com/.

Book Launch Event of Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead by Shannon O’Neil hosted by AS/COA in New York

Two Nations Indivisible_lrgLike the United States, Mexico had changed in the last 30 years politically, demographically, and economically. Author Shannon K O’Neil, writes about these topics in her book Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead, giving an overview about what happened then now and everything in between.

The book launch took place at the Amercias Society/Council of the Americas in New York where several interested attendees were eager to listen to the event. Hard data coupled with personal anecdotes, kept the audience interested in what was being said. O’Neil kept the audience interested and presented the information in a sequential order in order for everyone to follow along. When dealing with a variety of data, this is the best way to do it, in-so-that, the attendees that had not followed what has happened in Mexico, understand through a certain order.

To make a company be globally known, there had to be a trade off of some kind and partnership in order for the company to excel very well. O’Neil described the partnership between the United States, Canada, Mexico and others as multi-regional trading. This means that there are multiple regions involved to import and export goods and services. It was projected that trade would happen more and more and would always be predictable until it happens, yet keeping the competition in mind is going to step in no matter what.

Overall, there really is no way of telling what is going to happen even in the next 30 years now. This book, however, focused a lot on various issues including stability and security, immigration reform, power of initiative and the effect of recent labor laws, to at least get the conversation started.

Book Discussion: The Economic Development of Latin America since Independence by José Antonio Ocampo

Economics may not be the most interesting thing to talk about on an everyday basis for some people, but to have an author that studied and knows a lot about it, is something different. Author, José Antonio Ocampo, presented his book, The Economic Development of Latin America since Independence on March 14th, 2013 at the American Society/Council of Americas.

Ocampo’s book is about economic reforms in Cuba and looks at the history of the economic development since it has gained its independence. He was very knowledgeable about the book and took the time to state facts about each participating country on how they played a part in Cuba’s independence. Several topics that were included in the discussion were income distribution, human development, equality, labor unions, gross domestic product, and social and economic convergence. The book furthers looks at strengths and weaknesses, services, imports, exports, and other countries that had helped for Cuba’s independence.

Ocampo was able to explain the book in a way that was interesting, insightful and informative. The audience was engaged and seemed to be more informed about the economic development of Cuba after the discussion. After the discussion, there was opportunity for question and answers as well as Ocampo signing his book and talking with the guests.

Chemorella by Katy Franco

Photo taken from Google Image.

Based on the story of Cinderella, the book Chemorella by Katy Franco, is about beating breast cancer and seeing your dreams come true. Chemorella is a breast cancer patient overcoming obstacles to dealing with this disease. She tries to stay strong by following her doctors orders and by following her heart. Despite the negativity that comes with having the breast cancer disease and going through chemotherapy, the story provides an emotional support for those affected by breast cancer whether it is a mother, sister, aunt, cousin or even a friend. This story is great for all ages and is also written in both English and Spanish.

Katy Franco is a breast cancer survivor and co-wrote this book with her husband Ken Phillips. Katy is a Puerto Rican actress performing both dramatic and comedic roles, hosted a children television series and has been an entertainment reporter. In 2006, she was a breast cancer survivor.

Festivals Have Good Books, Too!

by: Rachel Slaiman

The easiest way to describe a festival is that it is a showcase for all the independent publishers, self publishers, and literary presses that get taken over by the big six of the publishing industry to get their name out there as well and so that authors can have more choices in trying to find the best publisher to pitch their book too. But is a festival really the first place you think of when you want to go get a new book or the next book in a series by a particular author? Probably not. In fact, Barnes and Noble may be the first place that book lovers will go and get books, followed by the public library, then the grocery store, and then finally festivals. It is hard to believe with all the hype about Kindles and iPads and other e-readers, festivals still manage to stay alive and still be very popular. With a festival, it is a time to appreciate all those, for argument sake, not so popular books. Seeing just how many independent publishers and the like there are, it is almost seems clear of why there is so much competition in the industry. There are just too many books to choose from. Some people may argue that they have a few booths they will want to hit, staying about two hours or so and then leave. But now with the growing popularity of festivals and the word spreading fast, it takes all day just to get through it, not that book lovers would not mind.
That being said, with the fall season just beginning, don’t fall back into old habits. Go out and try something new, perhaps to a festival for an afternoon and enjoy all the books that are there, not to mention the food as well. Just remember, take someone who loves books with you or if you prefer, fly solo. The last thing you want your buddy to do is to complain and not look interested with so many things going on around them. So for all you book lovers out there trying to find some new reading material, consider these that were found at a nearby festival and then go out to another festival and find even more.
Boundaries by Elizabeth Nunez (Akashic, September 2011)
This novel is about choosing the country that you were born in and the country that you live in now.

A Wedding in Haiti by Julia Alvarez (Algonquin Books, April 2012)
Taking a journey through two countries, Haiti and Dominican Republic that share an island, but are bordered by each other is hard enough. Even though there is hatred toward each other, the main character returns to Haiti a year later trying to answer questions of “have…” and “have not…”

It is hard to believe, but much of what is said to be “dead” or “no longer exists”, can arguable not be true all the time. Festivals are here to stay and some may see it as an opportunity to appreciate what the smaller presses and agencies have to do in order to survive in this tough economy and a tough time in general for America. Just read all that you can and that is the way to keep in touch with an industry that is so dynamic, yet agree on one thing, it keeps people reading.