There is no doubt that the single biggest story hitting Irish publishing this week was the announcement by Gill & Macmillan that the Gill family are to assume full ownership of the partnership, buying out Macmillan’s 50% stake in the business. The move comes after forty five years of its successful partnership with Macmillan signalling what are sure to be interesting times ahead for the landscape of Irish publishing.
Reactions in the twittersphere have been warmly welcoming of the news with many congratulating the Gill family on what is most definitely a bold move. It remains to be seen,however, what this will mean for publishing in Ireland. Although G & M’s Chairman Michael Gill stressed in a press release earlier this week that there would be ‘no trading consequences for the business’, many people may now be wondering what this move will mean for the landscape of Irish publishing in terms of its distribution services and its relationship with other publishers. It will also be interesting to see, as Eoin Purcell pointed out this week in his reaction to the news, how this new publisher will operate in a landscape dominated by the Penguin Random behemoth ( for more on this go to http://eoinpurcellsblog.com/2013/08/14/the-gill-family-takes-full-control-of-gill-macmillan/).
O’Brien Star Rises with McGuinness’ Brandon Re-Launch
It wasn’t all about G & M this week, however, as The O’Brien Press appeared in The Bookseller with its plans to publish Frank McGuinness’ debut Novel Arimathea – claiming quite a coup for the Press as it re-launches its literary fiction imprint Brandon Books to a “worldwide audience” (The Bookseller, http://www.thebookseller.com/news/obrien-publish-mcguinness-novel.html) .
Congratulations Elaina O’Neil!
Congratulations to Little Island’s Elaina O’Neil, who has just been appointed as the new director of Children’s Books Ireland. Elaina is quoted today saying : ‘It is my great pleasure to continue to promote the importance of books and reading for children, and to build on Mags’ many achievements as leader of the organisation” (http://www.childrensbooksireland.ie/blog/cbi-announces-new-director/) She will join the CBI ranks in September.
Launches and other Happenings This Week
In other news this week, Maureen Kennelly has been warmly welcomed as Poetry Ireland’s new director. With a wealth of experience, she has a wealth of experience, including being a co-founder and director with Fergus Cronin of Spool, a company established to promote live literature events and other arts projects. She was also the Programme Director of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature, and will curate this year’s Mountains to Sea Book Festival.
A good time was had by all on Wednesday night as Joe Joyce’s Echoland was launched in Hodges Figgis by Irish Times stalwart Conor Brady who spoke to a full house upstairs while Ciaran Collins gave a reading of The Gamal in Gorey Library on Wednesday night.