The you procés, 365 days later, he walked this Sunday like an old ghost through the guts of Modernist Site of Sant Pau (Barcelona). Fatigued, scary, not wanting to make noise. There, where a year before the independentista pulse of the Generalitat monopolized the conversations prior to the Planet Award 2017, yesterday was just a vague memory. I did not have to talk about it. Maybe because the matter tires, perhaps because what 12 months ago pointed to hurricane today, for now, has been in a simple post tropical storm or perhaps because everything, little by little, returns to normal, 24 hours before the editorial group chaired by José Creuheras Deliver his award – endowed with 601,000 euros of reward for the winner – the book focused the debate. The book in all its being: format, threats, economic performance and story. And there, just in the most relevant for the reader, in the plot, the 2018 Planet Prize aims to become an amplifier for the female voice.
"There are news," he warned Juan Eslava – speaker of the jury – before analyzing the ten finalist works. "The Civil war and the historical novel", she pointed out," they give ground to women-oriented books. "The warning was well founded, and among the ten pieces that have passed the last cut, eight have women as protagonists, according to the Andalusian writer himself, winner of the Planet in 1987. In search of the unicorn, "this type of work is close to the vision of women in society and to some current vicissitudes". "Even," he added, "when the narrator is a man, the female voice is present in the plot."
Eslava's words found support in the Canary Fernando Delgado -Member of the jury-, who did not hesitate to point out that "there is a turn towards social novel, but not to the social novel that arose with the Francoism to denounce the lack of freedoms "and to underline that" in the works that we have received there is a vision of society, the vicissitudes of our time are told and the voice of the woman is present. "
The name of the writer that will follow the wake of Javier Sierra -winner in 2017 by The invisible fire– will be known on Monday night – around midnight – of ten finalists: The good bye, by Sandra Glaser (pseudonym); Gender violence, by Paulina Ayerza (pseudonym); Looking at a silent sky, by Elena Francis (pseudonym); The ascent, by James Sussex (pseudonym); The Art of Fugue, by Daniel Tordera; The shadow of the cherry tree, by Ariane Onna (pseudonym); The losers, by María Díez García; Mate, of Hatshepsut (pseudonym); Angela, by Leticia Conti Falcone; Y The lover of the Black Widow, by Ray Collins (pseudonym).
Continuity in Madrid
Creuheras, president of Grupo Planeta, opened the press conference with the mention of three issues that "worry" publishers. "The first," he stressed, "is to lament the absence of a special support plan for bookstores"The bookstores," he continued, "are the bridge to reach the reader and must be preserved as such in cities and towns."
"The second," continued Creuheras, "is the lack of respect for the work of the authors." "Piracy", he explained," has grown by 12% in Spain. In our country, a year, 420 million books are downloaded. That, every minute, involves the illegal downloading of 800 books. 800 books. You have to put in place a plan of awareness and respect. "
"And the third issue," said the president of Grupo Planeta, "is the need to encourage reading in schools, because a society that reads, is a better society that creates a better world ".
Faced with these three demands of Creuheras, Jesus Badenas -Director of the Planet books area-, put figures to editorial market. And the numbers point towards business growth for the fourth consecutive year and the strength of the paper format versus the ebook or the audiobook. "The book," explained the executive, "is the most powerful content sector in the world." "And the format of the printed book," he said, "is the most important because the readers want it."
Badenas, in addition to noting the rise of films and series based on books, detailed that "in Spain billing for book sales it has gone from one hundred billion pesetas, 600 million euros, from the year 2000 to one billion euros in 2018, two hundred more than in 2014, and close to 1,200 million euros in 2010. "
In another year of record participation -642 works have been presented-, the book recovered the protagonism in front of politics, which only at the end, and almost stumbled, made some noise. Asked if the conditions are right for the tax office of Grupo Planeta to return to Barcelona – last year, faced with the threat of the declaration of independence from Catalonia, he emigrated to Madrid – Creuheras cut the matter at its root. "We did not raise it because conditions are not given. However, our structure remains the same as before this issue emerged. Our delegations are still open in the same cities. Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Seville… That decision, legal, was taken to protect our shareholders. But nothing has changed. "