PI News Roundup: May 2014

Local News: Children’s Books Hold Their Own


 Well, it might not have been quite as sunny as one may have hoped (pun unintended) but this month has seen plenty of positives for children’s writing in particular. First we had the announcement Eoin Colfer as the newest Laureate na nÓg. Colfer takes his place as the third laureate, following previous recipients Siobhán Parkinson and Niamh Sharkey. Eoin was in flying form for the Children’s Book Awards- an event which saw many a young student starstruck in the face of the creator of Artemis Fowl.  The CBI Book of the Year Award went to author and illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick  for her novel Hagwitch. Added to the CBI celebrations was some welcome industry coverage on how children’s books are now very much holding their own, accounting for 25% of overall sales in Ireland- a figure which is increasing year on year. Add this to recent findings that YA readers are showing an overwhelming preference for print over digital and it seems we have a very decided shift towards a younger audience.

Awards Awards!

In other happy news, it seems Eimear McBride’s star continues to rise with her winning the prestigious Kerry Group Novel of the Year Award 2014 for A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing , which was announced at a sun-filled Listowel gathering this week for the Listowel Writers’ Week. the Davy Byrnes Short Story Awards shortlist was announced this month and include Julian Gough, Colm McDermott and Danielle McLaughlin among the contenders for the €15,000 prize. See the full list by going to http://stingingfly.org/content/davy-byrnes-short-story-award-%E2%80%94-shortlist-announced


PI Training: Upcoming Courses!


We were packed to the brim this month at the PI towers with  our training sessions on Publicity and InDesign.If that weren’t enough for you we have yet more on the way! Check out our Editing for the Screen course which is coming your way in September:http://www.publishingireland.com/2014/05/22/publishing-ireland-seminar-series-upcoming-sessions-editing-on-screen/ and more to come! Be sure to keep an eye on our twice-weekly newsletter for more details!


Launches and Other Happenings



May witnessed the always vibrant Dublin Writers Festival during which crowds flocked to Smock Alley and other venues across the city for what was a fantastic event and, if that weren’t enough, we were also inundated with some excellent launches- beginning with Liberties Press’ launch of ‘Thickets Wood’ by Rebecca Reid at the Gutter Bookshop and New Island’s Peace After the Final Battle: The Story of the Irish Revolution, 1912-1924 by John in Connolly Books, Temple Bar.  We also saw The O’Brien Press launch Martine Madden’s debut novel ‘Anyush’ and Lilliput Press who launched James Joyce’s Ondt & the Gracehoper, illustrated by Thomas McNally at the Royal Irish Academy.


International News


The biggest story this month is undoubtedly the rather public spat between Hachette Us and is Amazon who have seemingly removed the ‘pre-order’ buttons from forthcoming Hachette titles on its website, following some incredible delays in delivering some of its titles. All of this is in reaction to a dispute between the publisher and online retailer over royalty payments in its contract.  French culture minister Aurelie Filipetti has accused Amazon of holding books, authors and publishers ‘hostage’ in its use of ‘intolerable’ business practices ( while time the EC is considering a French- proposed law that will ban free deliveries of Amazon products) Germany is no more impressed by Amazon’s actions and neither side of the battle  sees much hope for a timely solution.  See our Publisher’s Blogspot for a fuller flavour of the anti-Amazon war!


The Publisher’s Blogspot: 


There have been some really interesting blogs circulating cyberspace this month- not least of which has to do with the ever-increasing traction gained by the Amazon –v- Hachette spat- so much so, that we have decided to break it down to its own blogspot category! The web has virtually exploded with opinion on Amazon’s recent (and indeed familiar if we think back to its incident with Macmillan) move against the US Hachette group, whose titles were stripped of their pre-order buttons. Both groups have spoken out, and publically. Here’s a flavour of the latest and greatest Amazon –V- publishers dispute:


Amazon –V- Hachette: It’s the Books that Lose Out

David Streitfield and Melissa Eddy  point out that it will be the books and authors that ultimately lose in this fight and that Amazon may not have thought its position all the way through.



Amazon –V-Hachette: The view from Germany (and France)

A really interesting and informative piece in the New York Times  on how Germany and it’s trade association is looking at the tactics of Amazon:



Amazon –V- Hachette: Amazon’s Funding a Necessary Evil?

And from the side of the smaller literary non-profits we have an interesting blog on Amazon’s tactics might not be pretty but they are the only game in town in a landscape of ever-dwindling funding resources:




In Other News……


Cannongate have launched a hands-on marketing plan to engage its readers in thematic hashtag sending free books to those who offer their comments:



Discoverability: Phillip Jones makes the case for discoverability as the single biggest issue facing the book industry today in The Bookseller: