A statement by Gerry Huntman, Managing Director of SQ Mag Pty Ltd, trading as IFWG Publishing Australia, IFWG Publishing International, and IPI Comics.
When IFWG was first conceptualised and built into a publishing house, it was assumed that it would exclusively cater for English speaking readers. To be honest, it wasn’t even a topic to consider – it was a given.
The first glimmer of opportunities beyond English titles came with the publication of The Smoking Mirror by the ultra-talented David Bowles, and while this middle grade book was written in English, its main targeted audience were teen readers from Spanish speaking backgrounds, largely in the United States. Spanish words, often in the younger generation vernacular, were used in the book, and there was even a glossary at its end to help readers understand. I should add that some Nahuatl words were also used (the language that is kin to the language of the Aztecs).
The Smoking Mirror has become a best-seller, gaining an American Library Association Honor, and many schools in the USA have it as required reading for relevant electives. The degree of success of this title, and its subsequent books in the Garza Twins series, begged the question, ‘what about publishing the series in the Spanish language?’ (as spoken in the Americas). The answer was a resounding, ‘yes, we should’.
In 2019 we announced the acquisition of World Spanish Language print and ebook rights to the Garza Twins, and it was our intention to release book 1 in 2020 – many things got in the way for that deadline, in particular the impact of COVID on the book industry. We are happy to announce that book 1, El espejo humeante, will be published in North America in June 2022, with a possible side distribution in Spain through our European distributor, Gazelle Book Services. This was our first effort at coordinating the publication of a Spanish-language title, and it could not have been possible without the hands-on effort of David Bowles, the translator Libia Brenda (outstanding writer and Spanish language scholar based in Mexico), and the editing expertise of IFWG’s Silvia Canton Rondoni.
Yesterday we announced the acquisition of the Spanish language rights to Lee Murray’s middle grade novel, Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse (El Amanecer del Apocalipsis Zombi) – another exciting project that will be released in October 2022 – and which now commits IFWG to a total of 6 Spanish language books. This additional title was acquired for many reasons, but a critical factor at play is the comfort we have in actually producing quality Spanish language books, which in turn relies heavily on our staff and network of experts in the field. To get El Amanecer del Apocalipsis Zombi to the stage where it can be built into a book relied on the professionalism and dedication of its translator, Silvia Cantón Rondoni (IFWG editor and translator, as well as author and poet, based in Canberra, Australia), and the wonderful beta and proofreading carried out by David Bowles, Montserrat Molist Funottet, Leo Mejia, Piper Mejia, and Silvia Nieto.
A special mention should be made of Silvia Cantón Rondoni. What a talented and productive individual! We are so happy to have her in our team, and in many ways she represents the heart of our Spanish language line of titles. She is our translator and editor for various projects and will help navigate our books to release. Apart from being an extremely talented poet and poetry anthologist (her chapbook of poetry, Stark Naked, and her anthology Infectious Hope, are her recent and notable releases), she has shown clear expertise in editing Spanish language text and translating English literature to Spanish, including adapting to the nuances of the language in the Americas (as she is originally from Spain). It is important to us to list these accomplishments and to thank her for her dedication in this field.
We will fairly soon be posting updates on our upcoming Spanish language titles, as well as another announcement about various other lines of books by IFWG Publishing. Stay tuned.