While the megaseller Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix failed to create as much of a noticeable ripple in the publishing industry as it did with the four before it, it is, yet again, opening doors and helping out its crafters in another, related way. Among other books, Phoenix is rapidly opening the door to Spanish readers, encouraging major book chains to offer more foreign-friendly services.
The Spanish-language segment, however, may be opening a new chapter for the industry. Although hard numbers are hard to come by in the closed book world, those in the trade agree that the market is expanding rapidly.
"The industry has grown enormously in the last five years," said Karin N. Kiser, a Spanish-language book industry consultant in San Diego. "Borders has been doing this for a long time."
...According to trade journal Críticas, the number of titles available in Spanish has boomed to about 30,000 from 5,000 just two years ago.
"Up until now, books in Spanish have been tremendously difficult to buy in the United States, even though so many people in this country prefer reading books in Spanish," said Jorge Ramos, the Univisión news anchor who is also a bestselling author.