PI News Roundup: Seminar Season Begins, Prize luck for Irish Writers and Book Industry Forum Takes on the Government!

Welcome to the April roundup of publishing news at home and abroad- and indeed to summer! With the arrival of a new season comes the launch of Publishing Ireland’s increasingly popular seminar series. This month we announced the lineup of our fantastic sessions from InDesign and Book cover design to writing the perfect blurb for your book.  We began yesterday on an admittedly poor climatic start to the summer, however, there was plenty of positivity to go around as our very own Michael Mcloughlin took the helm of Maximum Publicity for a Minimum Budget. ‘I particularily appreciated the emphasis on practical, low cost approaches to maximising publicity [and] would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in publicity and PR in the arts’ says Wordwell’s Liz Coffey.

Maximum Publicity on a Minimum Budget, Denzille Lane

Michael was joined by journalist, researcher and ex-Hachette publicist Edel Coffey and Repforce Ireland Publicity Director Cormac Kinsella. Key messages? Publicity is at the very heart of the process- and you are the minimum budget asset!

Publishers Call to Action: IBIF

Meanwhile, the Irish Book Industries Forum headed by Michael O’Brien of the O’Brien Press continue in their fight for the book industry in Ireland against Government plans to create a single library supply tendering consortium for the whole country. Dr Paul Davis, a procurement expert at DCU, said the following at an SME seminar: ‘If the Government proceeds with these policies every business in this room will close.’ The IBIF is calling for Irish publishers in particular to make their voice heard in a call to action. To find out more about what you can do, go to http://www.publishingireland.com/2014/04/16/public-library-strategy-call-to-action/

Donal Ryan Launches 'Flight' for Tramp Press
Donal Ryan Launches ‘Flight’ for Tramp Press

In other home-grown news, newest Indie publisher on the block launched their first title with Oona Frawley at the Workman’s Club (launched by the rising star of Donal Ryan)- much more to come from them to be certain!  Speaking of Donal Ryan, has been a rather successful month for him as he was shortlisted for the prestigious and most lucrative of awards, the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award.  Eimear McBride and Audrey Magee were also shortlisted for the Baileys literary fiction prize- a prize that has not, incidentally arrived without a little controversy in the form of the Irish Writers’ Union and various Irish writers who do not feel that the prize is as open as it could be – particularly with regard to its acceptance of Irish-published authors.

Launches and Other Happenings

Julie Feeney Launches ‘From Out of The City’ at Hodges Figgis

April has seen a veritable explosion of great launch events including Dalkey Archive Press’ very impressive spread in Hodges Figgis for John Kelly’s novel ‘From Out of The City’- an event which not only had the likes of Hot Press and the Irish Times but also the voice of Julie Feeney who treated the gathering to an a capella performance to launch it. HF also saw some launches by New Island Books and Irish Academic Press including Inside RTÉ, A Memoir by Betty Purcell  and The Books That Define Ireland anthology by Tom Garvin and Bryan Fanning. Liberties Press also got the 1916 ball rolling with Risteárd Mulcahy and Annie Ryan in Conversation with Margaret MacCurtain on the centenary events.

Beyond the Shore: Kobo Cuts close 60+ Jobs while Amazon Moves into Scandinavia; Germany Pushes for Reduced VAT on E-Books and EBLIDA Pushes ‘Right to E-Read’

While Canadian e-reading giant Kobo’s confidence wanes in the wake of cutting over 60 jobs in Toronto, its competitor Amazon has signed a deal with the Swedish database company Bokrondellen, giving it access to metadata from virtually every Swedish publishing house. Meanwhile, Germany’s push to make things equal between print and digital on the VAT took one step closer with The German government slashing VAT on all audiobooks to 7. This means of course that audiobook sellers will be able to charge less for the product now the VAT rate has been slashed from its previous 19%. The European Bureau of Libraries, Information & Document Associations (EBLIDA) have also put the cat among the pigeons with their increasingly unpopular ‘Right to E-Read’ campaign, which Chief Executive of the Publishers Association Richard Mollet insists is attempting to muddy the waters, hiding the fact that what Eblida means as ‘E-reading’ is in fact ‘E-Lending.

The Publisher’s Blogspot: 

‘The Right to Read’

Chief Executive of the Publishers Association Richard Mollet discusses the nuances behind the European Bureau of Libraries, Information & Document Associations (EBLIDA) and the ramifications of their “Right to E-Read” campaign :  http://www.thebookseller.com/blogs/right-read.html 

Hello! Books are Digitally Different

Interesting piece here on the how format matters in how you think about publishing: http://bookseller-association.blogspot.ie/2014/04/hello-books-are-digitally-different.html