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Trade Day 2016 – Interview Series

Una MacConville of Books Ireland is one of our speakers for Publishing Ireland’s Trade Day as part of the Dublin Book Festival. Una will be discussing funding for publishers. We asked Una a few brief questions on this topic in the run up to the Trade Day.  

Una MacConville, Books Ireland
Una MacConville, Books Ireland


Is funding a challenge for Irish Publishers?

The majority of publishers in Ireland are small to medium enterprises (SME). An SME is defined as an enterprise that has fewer than 50 employees and has either an annual turnover and/or an annual Balance Sheet total not exceeding €10m. In fact, many Irish publishers would be defined as small in business terms, with an annual turnover of less than €500,000.

Why is funding so important for Irish Publishing?

Funding for Irish publishers is critical, with at least one third relying on support from a government body such as the Arts Council or the Arts Council Northern Ireland (ACNI). Levels of funding from these sources have reduced since 2014 and are also, in the main, restricted to particular types of publications and activities. In addition not all the funding schemes are open to all publishers.

How much awareness about available funding is there within the publishing industry?

While publishers may traditionally have considered these avenues for funding specific publications, it is unclear how much awareness there is of other forms of support, which may be available from other agencies, such as enterprise Ireland or the Local Enterprise Offices. These agencies are focused on business development and make available a wide range of funding and business supports, such as Trading On Line Vouchers (to develop or upgrades for existing on line trading facilities), marketing initiatives and business development and expansion.

What do publishers need to keep in mind when applying for funding opportunities?

Irish publishers could benefit in thinking beyond the traditional forms of support for specific publishing outputs, such as those available from the Arts Council and the ACNI and consider the wider range of business supports, which can be utilised to develop the publishing business.

Una will be speaking between 2:15pm- 2:45pm on November 11th in Smock Alley. For full details of all speaker sessions see our Full Programme. Tickets are available for purchase here: Reaching Readers.