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Thursday, 02 June 2011 02:08 pm UTC
In spite of the continuing global recession, attendance was up, all booth spaces were sold, and publishers were upbeat at the 19th annual Expolit conference, held May 19-24 in Miami.

Though final attendance figures were not available at press time, registrations for the largest trade fair in the U.S. for the Spanish-language Christian literature and music world—which was also open to the general public—were up 13% from last year, and all 450 booth spaces were sold, according to Expolit Vice President and Director Marie Tamayo.

Tito Mantilla, publisher of Editorial Portavoz, Kregel Publications' Spanish imprint, and president of the Spanish Evangelical Products Association (SEPA), said that the company had good sales, despite the challenging economy.

"From our own experience and talking to other publishers, we're all doing fine," he said. "Most publishers and distributors reported that sales have increased or they've maintained what they have. Distribution also continues to increase, and the number of books published in Spanish keeps growing."

B&H Publishing Group Vice President of International Sales Jim Cook said that the company has seen its Spanish sales double in the last three years.

Expolit Executive Director and Editorial Unilit President David Ecklebarger said that his company's sales have been "very good." "There's a renewed optimism among the distributors," he said. "Sales are up and doing well, although we're not back up to our peak of a few years ago."

Steve Strang, CEO of Charisma Media, said that the company's Spanish imprint, Casa Creación, saw 15% growth last year—the fastest-growing part of the organization. The growth led to the relaunch of a bimonthly print version of the Spanish-language magazine Vida Cristiana during Expolit. Vida Cristiana, which saw its last print issue in May 2009, recently started a partnership with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

Held at the Doubletree Hotel & Miami Airport Convention Center, Expolit showcased inspirational films for the first time, with a screening of Courageous—the widely anticipated follow-up from the makers of the hit movie Fireproof—which will release in theaters nationwide Sept. 30.