Today’s Bookseller Magazine showcases the Irish market and the optimistic turn it has taken going into 2015 (€). According to recent figures from Nielsen BookScan, there has been a 0.2% increase in value year on year and only a slight (0.6%) decline in volume. This is in contrast to figures in 2013 which saw value sales plunge by 14% and volume sink 15.8%. President of Publishing Ireland Patsy Horton stressed that while there was big competition from big British publishers, there exists strong relationships between Irish booksellers and publishers, helping to point to an optimistic 2015. Much of this reinvigoration is due, largely to factors such as the flattening out of e-book sales as well as the unprecedented success of the childrens’ market.
Former President of Publishing Michael McLoughlin (Penguin Ireland) maintained that 2014 was the best year yet for the publisher, signalling that the market is far from in decline as was previously predicted with some gloom. Both McLoughlin and Horton, however, stressed that the threat, as it were, has not gone away by any manner of means and that changes in Government policy in order to better support publishing and indeed the creative industries in general would have to made and soon. These sentiments were echoed in the article by Bob Johnston, chair of the Irish branch of the Booksellers’ Association and owner of the Gutter Bookshop. He also gave a special mention to the lobbying efforts and tireless energy of the late John McNamee, former president of the European International Booksellers Federation who passed away recently.
PI Socials: Industry Ties Essential
Publishing Ireland has recently begun a series of social get-togethers, usually revolving around a theme such as the publisher-bookseller relationship or non-fiction editing offering Irish publishers a change to strenghten much-needed industry ties. The second of these was just last week as Group Head of Commercial Trading at Easons Keith Butler spoke to Irish publishers about what both sides can do to reinforce the landscape of Irish bookselling. These evenings, together with our upcoming training series (beginning in February with rights specialist Lynette Owen) are sure to build on what has been, in McLoughlin’s words, the ‘best year ever’ for publishing in Ireland.