Publishing house from the inside: Jacarandá
Jacarandá Editoras: «We like to go out to conquer these readers because we know that they are the future and because we understand and know about their ways of reading».
We continue our tour of publishing houses that publish in Spanish. On this occasion, we have gone to Argentina to talk about publishing in young adult literature with Guillermina Marino and Nora Lía, directors of Jacarandá Editoras.
How did the idea of founding Jacarandá Editoras come about?
Jacarandá Editoras was created when two professionals in Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Guillermina Marino (illustrator and designer) and Nora Lía Sormani (LIJ specialist), decided to join forces and found a publishing house dedicated to publishing. Our previous experiences enabled us not only to edit but also to select quality material: short stories, nouvelles, poetry, and theater.
Is it more complicated to work with a children’s publishing house than with a more adult-focused one?
We believe that children’s publishing is easier, but because it reaches the teachers, the classrooms, and the children. They are precious readers to us. We like to go out to conquer these readers, because we know they are the future and because we understand and know about their ways of reading. Adult publishers aim at an already trained reader. And while this is a facility, they are not the focus of our interest.
What is the state of health of children’s and young adult literature in Argentina?
In Argentina, the LIJ has always enjoyed and still enjoys good health: great writers, magnificent illustrators, essayists, and very thoughtful and creative specialists, risky publishers, many independent publishing houses that play for quality books, managers who bet on the circulation and diffusion of the book and a present State. And the Buenos Aires International Book Fair, a great party that always shelters us. Of course, the economic issue is the most complicated.
What stories do you bring forward? Where do you mainly focus on?
Those that represent us, those that fill our soul because they are poetic and that we want children to read, those of authors that we value. The themes change and so do the genres, but we have a style, a trend that identifies us.
Which is the title you have most enjoyed editing?
We enjoyed them all because we found them different, and attractive, each one in its own style. The processes were all enjoyable. We learned a lot from each author and illustrator. They had different times, and different styles. And they gave us different satisfactions.
We hope that our books continue to receive their laurels. Because for us they are not just another title in a catalog, but we are always looking for spaces for them so that they reach the greatest number of readers. That is our satisfaction.
What is the book that has given you the most joy so far?
Happiness, all of them! We tell you about it. With Angie entre las cajas, by Sandra Comino, we received the Outstanding Award from ALIJA (Asociación de Literatura Infantil y Juvenil de la Argentina) in the short story category. Sol Sin Prisa, by Emilia Gallego Alfonso, with illustrations by Guillermina, gave us the opportunity to make a song, which was broadcasted and praised in the central newscast of Cuba, where its author lives. La luna que miraba, by Alejandro de la O and María Jesús Álvarez, received the surprise of having a library in the city of Córdoba named after the story. Also, Velkan, the hypnotist, by Maryta Berenguer, was read by children from all over the country. In addition, Angie entre las cajas and Anatolia, the latter by playwright Ana Alvarado, received the honor of being in the most prestigious international fairs in the world, such as Guadalajara and Frankfurt, among others. And so we hope that our books will continue to receive their laurels. Because for us they are not just another title in a catalog, but we are always looking for spaces for them so that they can reach the greatest number of readers. That is our satisfaction.
Where does Jacarandá Editoras want to evolve?
Jacarandá Editoras continues to grow. In addition to the new titles that we will publish this year 2023, with authors such as Carlos Silveyra and Graciela Rendón, we are looking for more commitments and challenges. One of them is the Semillero Project, with which we will visit rural schools to disseminate the LIJ in those special and beloved corners. And in the international context, we will translate into Spanish the most important magazine of international children’s literature: Bookbird, which will be published in digital format. Our goal is that its contents can be read by Spanish-speaking specialists and interested parties in their own language. It is a matter of circulating, continuing to promote, and also through publishing.