Ocean Sur’s catalogue also includes titles on Latin American thinking, politics and revolution, including books on Chile’s Pablo Neruda and Martinique’s Franz Fanon. The company also publishes books under its Open Memories category, which commemorates the lives of freedom fighters and leading thinkers around the world, such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Helen Keller and Albert Einstein.
Ocean Sur’s Yvonne Muñiz, a former art critic with a background in Caribbean art, thinks there are strong opportunities for publishers from the English-speaking Caribbean to mine the politics and history of the region in similar ways.
“In the Caribbean, you have to work the roots,” says Muniz. “You have to start with the history. You have to go against the many myths that have been imposed on the Caribbean. You usually find information on the beauty of the Caribbean. But behind that there is a history that needs to be written and rewritten.
“We should go back to our first thinkers. The topic of race is very important in our culture. There are histories that have been put into silence. The world is not aware of the cultural richness of our countries in the Caribbean.”
Muñiz thinks that the rise in electronic readers and tablets give Caribbean publishers the opportunity to package new works on history, politics and culture in fresh and interesting ways.
“We live in a world of images,” she says, calling for publishers to integrate major texts with relevant photography and illustrations. “Vernacular architecture, ruins, paintings, traditions, cuisine -- all are attractive to other markets. Colour is important. Covers are important.”
Muñiz notes that maintaining an active, current website and supporting social media platforms is critical for Caribbean publishers who wish to reach the international audience. She also recommends generating a regular newsletter and sending Advance Information sheets to distributors for all new releases.
“Caribbean content sells,” says Muñiz. “Our countries are very much loved by people around the world. There are many niches that have not yet been exploited.”
Translation provided by Vladimir Dominguez. Learn more about Ocean Sur Press.