August 25, 2000
NEW YORK HarperCollins Publishers has announced the launch of Rayo, a new imprint that will publish titles for and about Latinos in both English and Spanish. Rayo, Spanish for flash of lighting, has been established to create a distinct literary voice geared to the needs and interests of the growing Hispanic marketplace. The imprint, led by Rene Alegria, Rayo Editorial Director, will publish approximately 12 titles a year beginning in the Summer 2001.
"This is a tremendously exciting development for HarperCollins and a bilingual first. Rayo is our response to the diverse and growing Hispanic marketplace, where there is not only a need for books published in Spanish, but also increased desire for books of interest to the Hispanic community written in English," said Jane Friedman, President and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers. "Rene brings a high level of creativity and vision, along with a solid grasp of the Hispanic market, to his critical role in developing this imprint which we believe will set the standard for showcasing new Hispanic writers."
While HarperCollins has a long history of publishing many high profile Hispanic authors including Isabel Allende, Oscar Hijuelos and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rayo is intended to provide a springboard for emerging Hispanic writers and themes. "There is a groundswell of energy and creativity rising out of the Hispanic community in this country; young voices, developing issues and distinct cultures that make up a larger heritage. Our goal is to publish books that give life to that evolving culture," said Rene Alegria, Rayo Editorial Director.
Alegria has been serving as a managing editor for HarperCollins, HarperBusiness, Cliff Street Books and HarperCollins Large Print Books for the last year. In his new role, he reports to Carie Freimuth, Senior Vice President and Associate Publisher of the HarperCollins General Books Group.