PI News Roundup: July

More Awards for Irish writers as the Deenihan Makes Way for Heather Humphreys


colin barrett 3 (2)The Dáil may be in its summer recess but there has been plenty happening on the Irish publishing scene beginning with a big congratulations to The Stinging Fly, whose discovery of Colin Barrett paid off this month with his winning the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award for his debut collection Young Skins (full press release via . http://www.publishingireland.com/frank-oconnor-international-short-story-award-winner-2014-worlds-valuable-short-story-collection-prize-celebrates-10th-year/). The €25,000 award is the single most lucrative in the world for a collection of short stories and is named after the writer whom W.B. Yeats described as the Irish Chekov. There was yet another win for Eimear McBride as she scooped this years’ Desmond Elliot Prize for her novel A Girl is a Half-formed Thing and to top it off, the Illustrious Man Booker longlist now includes not one but two Irish writers Joseph O’Neil & Niall Williams.


In other local happenings it seems that Jimmy Deenihan has been reshuffled into a post liaising with the Irish diaspóra while the relatively unknown quantity of Monaghan-based TD Heather Humphreys has now been made Minister for Arts, Heritage and The Gaeltacht. Congratulations is also in order for Maria Dickenson who has announced her move from Easons to the post of Managing Director at Dubray Books.


Beyond the Shore: International Publishing News


The dispute between Amazon and Hachette rages on with petty exchanges becoming increasingly numerous. While Hachette has accused the e-tailer of holding titles hostage, Amazon have responded with offers to Hachette’s authors of 100% royalties- an offer which the American Authors’ Guild described as “highly disingenuous” (via The Guardian). Meanwhile the unveiling (after the accidental unveiling) of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited or ‘Netflix for books’ as it has been coined has raised even more concerns for publishers and authors on whether or not such a subscription model is sustainable.


Launches and Other Happenings



Liberties Press kicked off the proceedings this month with Kate Carbery’s ‘Becoming Mum’, which was launched by broadcaster and journalist Olivia O’Leary at Hodges Figgis, followed by New Island’s launch at the Irish Writers’ Centre of The Interview by Patricia O’Reilly. We also had titles from Lilliput Press and Merrion Press for Nevill Johnson, 1911-1999,  Artist, Writer, Photographer edited by Eoin O’Brien and In A Time Of War: Kildare 1914-1918 by James Durney respectively. The Stinging Fly released their summer issue at which some wine was drunk!


The Publishers’ Blogspot 


Hugh Howie Outlines who he sees as the real losers behind the Amazon –v- Hachette scuffle



The Sound of One Hand Clapping

Some stark advice here for publishers to return to their bookselling roots from Piers Blofeld from Future Book: http://www.futurebook.net/content/sound-one-hand-clapping


How the Amazon –Hachette Battle Took On The Rhetoric of Class Warfare



Netflix for Books? The Implications of Kindle Unlimited



Publishers must make decision over Amazon Subscription Services



Do Independent Booksellers Matter?



How Book Prizes Boost Literary Talent Internationally