Toni has many authors in her stable (an industry term), including several Latino authors. Though Thomas Dunne Books and St. Martin's Press do not have a Latino line per sé, Toni is looking for new Latino authors that will fit in any of their genres. (She acquires more mysteries than anything else, but also literary and commercial women’s fiction, and nonfiction.)
"My mother is from Mexico, and I like reading about the Latino experience in the U.S." she explains. "I want to find new Latino voices." And so Toni spreads the word to agents and attends conferences and book festivals like the Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival, the largest in the country.
Toni is delighted to see Latinos writing not just literary fiction, but also mysteries, romance, fantasy, et al. She encourages writers to join the different writing organizations, like Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Private Eye Writers of America, etc.
"Authors should network with other authors, to learn about the industry and opportunities," stresses Toni. "The success of a book has a lot to do with the author's efforts. It’s their work. In the end, they can sell it better than anyone else can."
Today's authors promote themselves through their own websites, blogs, and social networks, like Facebook and Twitter. Blog tours are also catching on.
Toni accepts only agented submissions. She advises writers to find a good agent. "Authors need an agent, Latino or not, that loves their work. A good agent has experience placing works with publishers and knows which editors to contact at the various houses. What’s more, they can lead you through the publishing process and help you develop your career, over many books.”
When asked, Who is the Latino Audience?, Toni replied that there is no set profile for a Latino Reader. Latinos read Latino authors and they read non-Latino authors. They read across all genres. When Toni acquires a book by a Latino author, she is hoping to reach a Latino audience. But she also hopes to reach any crossover audiences. For example, if the book is a mystery, that book is marketed to mystery readers.
Read Latino. ---mcf
Do leave a comment and let us know how many of Toni’s authors have you read.