Editorial Planeta, founded in 1949 by José Manuel Lara Hernández, was the seed of Grupo Planeta and around it other publishing companies and cultural, audiovisual and communication companies were gradually incorporated.
Editorial Planeta, a leading publisher and a reference point across the entire Spanish-speaking world, publishes works by Spanish and foreign authors aimed at a broad public that seeks reading matter that combines quality and success. Its catalogue lists nearly two thousand authors and encompasses all the literary genres: novel (adventures, history, detective, humour and thrillers); essays of a political and historical nature; biographies and memoirs of contemporary figures, as well as practical and self-help books.
Since the year 1952 it has awarded the Planeta Prize, the best recognised and most outstanding of all Spanish literary accolades. An annual event that transcends the world of letters and becomes a focal point for cultural and social news every 15 October when the award is announced. Included on its list of honours are Nobel Prize winners Camilo José Cela and Mario Vargas Llosa, and the big names in Spanish literature from the second half of the 20th century (Ana María Matute, Ramón J. Sender, José María Gironella, Mercedes Salisachs, Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, Jorge Semprún, Francisco Umbral, Antonio Gala and Terenci Moix, among others), who are joined by authors that the prize has helped become established before a broader audience such as Juan Marsé, Soledad Puértolas, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Carmen Posadas, Rosa Regàs, Fernando Savater and Eduardo Mendoza.
Editorial Planeta also promotes other competitions of major importance, such as the Fernando Lara Novel Prize, in memory of the managing director of Grupo Planeta who passed away in 1995, and organised jointly with the Fundación José Manuel Lara since 1996. And also the Azorín Prize, which has been awarded since 1994 in Alicante.
Books published by Editorial Planeta are usually extremely warmly received by readers, who propel them onto the best-seller lists, as has happened with La sombra del viento, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, which has now exceeded a hundred editions in Spanish, and international bestsellers by authors of the stature of Christian Jacq and Dan Brown.