At Home: News in Irish Publishing
Nielsen BookScans may have revealed some more bad news for the Irish consumer market, with year-to-date sales have dropped to 14.5 % since 2013 but it’s not all doom and gloom for the market as a whole. The market for children’s books has actually grown and with what the Bookseller magazine has termed a ‘buoyant’ week for publishers at the Bologna Book Fair, it seems that children’s books are where it’s at. Continuing along a positive note for news in Irish publishing we have seen not only the (jam-packed) launch of the newly polished Books Ireland under the baton of Wordwell books and editor Tony Canavan but we can also boast not one but two Irish writers Audrey Magee and Eimear McBride who have been longlisted for the coveted Baileys Women’s Fiction Prize. Fingers crossed for both of them!
Launches and Other Happenings
March has been rather filled to the brim with launches, including the rather entertaining musical/photographical extravaganza hosted by Liberties Press last night (above left) for Where the Street Have 2 Names: U2 & The Dublin Music Scene 1978-81 at the Little Museum of Dublin. Along with a jam-packed room filled with beautiful images of Dublin in the 70’s, guests were also treated to live music from Troubador Larry Beau as well as a speech by Dave Fanning. The much-publicised Books that Define Ireland (Irish Academic Press) was also launched by the ever-eloquent and controversial Olivia O’Leary once again to a full audience- this time in the members’ room of the Royal Irish Academy. Congratulations also to New Island for the launch of A Question of Duty: The Curragh Incident 1914 and to The O’Brien Press on their fabulous 16-Lives series, the latest of which was also launched this week in Hodges Figgis. Books Ireland also began its new chapter (no pun intended) in Dubray Books under the baton of Wordwell press.
Beyond The Shore: Amazon Incursion Grows While Alternatives Rise Up; E-Book Purchases Up and Kobo Fights Agency Deal
This month has seen digital developments in terms of self-publishing platforms- first with the ever-growing Amazon and its territorial targets. In a bid to build what it has described as the most ‘author-centric’ publishing house for authors, Amazon has chosen the UK market for its purposes as the retailer believes that it will face less resistance from bookshops than those in the US when it comes to stocking their print titles (see The Bookseller: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/amazon-publishing-targets-uk-market.html ) The Great British Bookshop- a consciously-devised alternative to Amazon answered this by launching its online retail site for print and e-books. Both Nook and Tesco have also ramped up their strategies by launching new digital platforms this month- Nook with its self-publishing platform in the UK and Tesco with the launch of its e-book retail arm ‘Blinkbox Books’. There are certainly interesting times ahead! In news from further afield, i.e Canada, the e-books and e-reader Kobo has dug its heels in against a government mandate in Canada that would see the abandonment of its agency pricing deals with some of the larger publishers
The Publisher’s Blogspot:
Some interesting nuggets for you all this month, not least of which involves the somewhat controversial spat between Robert McCrum and The Bookseller’s Phillip Jones who seem to be on differing sides of the ‘author is dead’ (or at least profession) argument. We also have a few interesting posts about who reads the most in global terms as well as the latest from Bologna- chief of which concerns the ice cream!
Who reads the most? Mental Floss:
‘Old possum’s piece of publishing wisdom’
Philip Jones answers Robert McCrum’s laments on the very end of authorship as we know it: Nice piece on how and why publishing models are shifting and what publishers will need to do to float on them: http://www.futurebook.net/content/old-possums-piece-publishing-wisdom
Robert McCrum on the end of authorship and the novel:
Bologna: Ice Cream and The Middle Grade: