Easons Looks Forward; Dublin Book Festival Season Begins; New Island Loses to Amazon and Ireland Celebrates the Indie Publisher!
Easons has received a bank deal from Barclays which chief Conor Whelan hopes will bring a happy ending for the brand. He is optimistic about the development of the bookstore and has long term plans in place for the future.
Can Irish writers earn a living from their craft? With sales and advances falling, authors are looking at other ways to generate income.
As part of the Dublin Book Festival kick-off, Mary Feehan of Mercier Press talks about how the Irish love to read, and how she wants to see more support for non-fiction publishing. Check out the interview here. A new, adult Charlie and the Chocolate Factory cover causes controversy for publishers (via- The Independent). Roddy Doyle’s The Barrytown Trilogy has been chosen as the Dublin City One Book for 2015.
Independent Publishers Lilliput Press and Liberties Press are featured in the Irish Times as success stories. In being creative, engaging with the community and discovering and promoting new talents, they are thriving in an industry that is going through a lot of changes.
In other news, it seems that New Island Commissioning Editor Eoin Purcell is to join the ranks of Amazon to head up it’s London publishing outfit.
Books Are My Bag Ireland: Get Your Authors Involved!
Super Thursday is hurtling towards us and to celebrate the world of physical books and bookshops, the Bookseller’s Association in Ireland is calling on Irish publishers to get their author involved in what is really a great campaign to highlight the merit of the independent bookshop!
We want to try and get an author into every bookshop in the country on Saturday 11th October. Please get in touch with your authors and ask them to get involved. It doesn’t need to be a formal signing or talk (although it certainly could be if your author is well known enough to create a queue). We will be sending out some ideas about what they can do in due course – but it could be anything from just being photographed with a BAMB bag, and providing a quote about their favourite book and favourite bookshop, to working in the shop for the day, or undertaking a mini-tour. ANYTHING they can do to help is appreciated.
Speaking to Publishing Ireland this week, Chair of the Irish branch of the Booksellers’ Association, Bob Johnston of the great Gutter Bookshop appealed to keep the indie bookshop on our streets by saying: ‘Books Are My Bag is a great example of why physical bookshops and physical books are still so popular with Irish readers. By working with Irish publishers to highlight the campaign in October this year, we’re hoping to remind people how wonderful and vibrant the Irish bookselling scene remains’. For more information on how to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publishing Ireland AGM
We also put a call out to all our members to save the date for our upcoming AGM on Thursday, 11 September at 2:15pm. The venue for the AGM has been confirmed and will take place in the Members’ Room at the Royal Irish Academy on Dawson St. Dublin 2. Looking forward to seeing you all there!
Beyond the Shore
The Amazon and Hachette conflict rages on, with authors taking on Amazon, and French cultural minister, Aurélie Filippetti criticising the company for a lack of ‘literary diversity’ (Via The Bookseller). Meanwhile, Hachette’s ebook sales have taken a hit as a result of the dispute.
WH Smith has started to stock books by Amazon Publishing imprint, Thomas and Mercer-a move that is sure to ruffle a few feathers!
Booksellers have also questioned whether the retail prices should be removed from books and The Guardian also reports that readers want more foreign literature with Popular Scandinavian authors including Jo Nesbø and Stieg Larsson growing domestic demand for translated books in the UK.
There is some good news for poolside/bathtub readers as Kobo has launched its Aura H20 (set to retail for $179.99). The first waterproof e-reader can survive in a metre of water for up to 30 minutes.
Things are going steadily well for US publishers, who have experienced an increase in pay of 2.8% in 2013.
Launches and Other Happenings
A great month for Liberties Press was had with a packed preview event of their upcoming titles, a nice feature in the Irish Times (profiled along with Lilliput Press) and they have just launched a video book trailer for their forthcoming title Sister Caravaggio, which will be launched next week.
Congratulations to the O’Brien Press who also launched the beautifully produced White Feathers by Susan Lanigan this week, at which an impromtu rendition of Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin in the Wind’ was brought out. We also saw some great launches from New Island Books for Deadly Confederacies by Martin Malone and
It’s also been a busy time for the Collins Press with their events at Heritage Week and their documentary series on Great Houses of the North West produced by Ocean FM, which was launched in Sligo City Hall.
The Publishers’ Blogspot
Mixed Feelings on Amazon Appointment: Porter Anderson muses on Eoin Purcell’s New Island departure and what it means for the industry
A Perverse Anachronism?
Douglas McCabe discusses the finer points of the ‘Renaissance Bookshop’ and what outlets must do to survive: http://www.thebookseller.com/blogs/renaissance-bookshop.html
What is this ‘YA’ creature and how do I sell it? Publishing Perspective’s Dennis Abrams delves into the murky genre of YA in bookselling:
The Scottish Question…in Books? Gerry Hassan unravels the political hot potato of Scottish independence in the context of how it will affect books and the publishing industry: