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PI News Roundup: Colm Toibin Shorlisted for Booker; Poetical Appointments; Kindle Goes Welsh and VAT Preparations Afoot for 2015

The Irish Booker!

In his third nomination to date (since his first with The Master in 2004), Colm Toibin has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2013 for his novel The Testament of Mary (Penguin)- a  personalised portrait of the Virgin Mary’s grief. He is the only Irish writer on the list, having outgunned debut novelist Donal Ryan (Lilliput, Doubleday) for The Spinning Heart. This year’s shortlist can also boast four female writers having made the cut, including former Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, for her second novel The Lowland and the Canadian-US writer and film- maker Ruth Ozeki, for A Tale for the Time Being,  New Zealander Eleanor Catton (who also took part in this year’s Mountains to Sea Book Festival) who at 28 is the youngest of those shortlisted for  her second novel, The Luminaries and the Zimbabwean writer Noviolet Bulawayo, whose shortlisted debut novel is We Need New Names. British veteran Jim Crace is tipped to scoop the Prize for Harvest (rumoured to be his last novel) having previously been shortlisted in 1997 for Quarantine, which went on to win the then Whitbread prize. We would like to wish Colm the best and we will keep our fingers crossed!


Congratulations to Paula Meehan

A big congratulations to the Dublin poet Paula Meehan for her appointment as the Ireland Professor of Poetry.  The post was set up in 1998 after the late Seamus Heaney won the Nobel Prize for Literature and, according to President Michael D. Higgins (quoted in today’s edition of The Belfast Telegraph), will form ‘part of his legacy and the role will go on to foster and deepen people’s understanding of poetry’. Via The Belfast Telegraph. To read more, go to


The Language Scalpel



It looks like Grammar is far more popular than you may have been led to believe with even more sign-ups this week. Space is, however, becoming rather tight so if any of you out there feel the need to tighten your commas or polish up your syntax then today is the final day so you had better get your skates on by 5pm this evening! For more information, go to


Launches and Other Happenings


Lots happening this week in terms of launches and signings. We began with the launch party of Máire T.Robinson’s ‘Your Mixtape Unravels My Heart’ (Winner of the 2013 Doire Press International Chapbook Competition) inThe Irish Writers’ Centre, Reading Room on Wednesday evening and moved along to listening to the great Brenda Fricker last night with Liberties Press for the launch of Virginia Gilbert’s debut novel ‘Travelling Companion’ at Dubray Books on Grafton Street. And if you thought that it was over for the week in book happenings then you thought wrong! There will be a book signing with the O’Brien Press and Debut crime author Sheila Bugler who will be signing copies of her new book Hunting Shadows tonight at 6.30 pm in The Bookcentre at 25 John Robert Square, Waterford. There is also a Launch tomorrow at 1pm of Aileen Armstrong’s debut End of Days (Doire Press) in Galway Arts Centre.

 Are Books Your Bag?

The Gutter Bookshop will be opening its doors tomorrow for the launch of the great Books Are My Bag campaign. ‘Books Are My Bag’ is a huge celebration of physical books and bookshops across the UK and Ireland that aims to remind people of the value and excitement that local bookshops have to offer so get down to Temple Bar tomorrow to get your hands on one of these excellent bags (and some books of course!). Rumour has it that there will also be a special cake…..For more information, go to

Beyond the Shore: International Publishing News


Kindle Cymru?


In a boost for minority languages, Amazon has decided to make Welsh-language books available on its Kindle e-reader. This comes after  Welsh publisher Y Lolfa, launched a petition in April protesting about Amazon’s decision to list Welsh as a “not supported language”, after  after  Garmon Gruffud, managing director failed to sell the company’s books through the Kindle platform.

After the petition gained 3,000 signatures, Amazon has said the Welsh publisher is now able to sell some of its bestselling titles on the Kindle platform in Welsh. Could this be the beginning of an entirely new niche with the Kindle platform? For more, go to The Bookseller


VAT 2015


Well the dreaded questions as to what publishers are to do exactly when it comes to new VAT regulations are becoming more prevalent in the run up to Europe-wide changes.  From 1 January 2015, the way VAT is dealt with across Europe for e-services, including e-books, will change, with the tax applied in the country where the consumer lives rather than where the supplier is based. The Bookseller quotes a webinar which was held this week by the Independent Publishers Guild in association with the Publishers Association advising publishers to be clear on all their contracts with retailers about what tax is applicable.  Luigi Lungarella of PKF Littlejohn underlined that different situations applied to different portals through which you will be selling- Amazon in particular. “Publishers need to be aware of their terms and contract arrangements” , he said. Via The Bookseller. To continue reading, go to


ePubDirect Continues Expansion


There is no stopping ePubDirect as it announced the opening a new office in Oxford. The company which has recently signed a number of high profile new customers including Random House Group UK and Australia, Osprey, the I~MF and Hot Key Books will provide sales and support services at the Oxford Centre for Innovation.

“I am delighted to announce that we have now moved into our new home in Oxford” said Roger Miah, UK Sales Director, ePubDirect “The company has experienced phenomenal growth in the UK publishing market over the past year with a significant increase in the numbers of clients, outlets and staff. The move was necessary in order to continue to provide our customers with the same high level of customer service and support.  ”


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