Month: December 2009

Irish Independent does a round up of sales in 2009


Sebastian Barry, king of the fiction world in 2009 with over 70,000 units sold of The Secret Scripture

The Irish Independent story is based almost entirely on the Nielsen figures and doesn’t mention that this can cause a bias because of what doesn’t get included (independent stores and some non-trade sales outlets). In any case, it’s a fascinating read and the nub of the issue which isn’t explored fully lies here:

Overall, however, the Irish retail book sector remains remarkably buoyant despite the recession, with the latest Nielsen data valuing the fiction market here at just over €37m for 2009 with sales of 3,882,427 to date for 46,929 titles. The non-fiction figures are running at 4,630,297 book sales worth just €65m for 199,377 titles.

This compares with the 2008 total market value of €111.3m.

Of course what seems like good news, hides rather bad news for Irish publishers of all shades. Still, no need to get TOO depressing on a Sunday!
Eoin

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 12/12/2009

Colm & The LaZarus Key

I like the structure of that date, it has a good look to it.

Here is a link to JA Konrath’s rather interesting list of ebook predicitions from the start of the month. I missed it then and only read it today.

A brace of great posts from Booksquare; here & here.

Great post about what gamers can teach publishers, really fascinating:

the tabletop role-playing gaming industry started out by trying to model the methods of traditional publishing, found out the hard way that that really didn’t work for them (in the long run, it’s not working for big publishers either, but they’re BIG, so they didn’t notice as soon), and had to find new solutions. They were the first to adopt electronic publishing, shame-free POD printing, electronic-only publishing, podcasting-modules, mixed media releases, and every other experimental method anyone could think of, good or bad. That’s fine: they’re small, and experimenting is something small groups of people can DO that big groups can’t.

By the way is anyone getting the feeling that Seth Godin was SO far ahead of the curve with Small is the New Big? Coz I am!

Last but by far not least, the Irish Times has a list of fabulous books for kids this Christmas, including one of an un-mentioned (on this list) favourites (I thought another self commissioned title was pushing it!): Colm & The Lazarus Key by Kieran Mark Crowley who will be one of Ireland’s best known writers for children soon, of that I am certain. The smartly excellent cover is the work of the wonderful Emma over @ Snowbooks, if you need cover work, she’s your girl.

Reading like a demon, but only just keeping up!
Eoin

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 11/12/2009

Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews to close. Frankly I find this a little strange. Even spinning them off might have been better, though survival on their own would have been pretty unlikely without serious reorganization and a fundamental rethinking of the business models.
Here

Canongate is profiled in the Wall Street Journal, that Jamie Byng has an eye for a book that can be packaged. It’d almost make ya jealous.
Here

Frankly, I don’t buy this Apple Tablet nonsense much. Apple cannot single-handedly change the industry, though they may try. In any case when Steve Jobs announces this on a stage somewhere, I’m sure I’ll want it, but until then, I shall waste no energy waiting or wanting.
Here

On the other hand, both Mike Shatzkin and Michael Hyatt have articles about new display systems for content that they claim will change the book world as we know it. I think both are right that change is coming but I have more sympathy with the Sports Illustrated demo video on Michael Hyatt’s post. After all that looks like a faster webpage with some extra features rather than something new. Webpages are the answer and so putting the web in every hand you can is the way forward for publishers and makes more sense than creating new, confusing and unnecessary formats. The trick is to make the customer pay for access to your content, not find a fancy way to display it.

Christmas Books Special – 2009 – Part 4 of 4 Children’s

It is difficult when writing about such a huge category as Children’s books, which as within it so many genres and sub genres, to choose just three books, but somehow I have managed it.

Ancient Folk Tales of Ireland


Ancient Folk Tales of Ireland
Hawkhill Publishing is a new house, run by Colm Ennis formerly of Hughes & Hughes. he has had a fairly good start and Ancient Folk Tales of Ireland continues his run of good releases. Illustrated by Paul Bolger a somewhat unknown (for reasons I cannot fathom) illustrator of some talent and based on the stories collected by Douglas Hyde Ireland’s first President, this is a wonderful book of the kind all homes should have. It brings to life many of the older and now sadly neglected Irish folktales that warrant our attention.

The Circus Ship


The Circus Ship
Written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. This is a wonderful book. The images shine and he text sparkles and more importantly, they work well together. The production values are something else. I love the book for all those reasons and because my searching leads me to believe that the book is based (in the REAL LIFE STORY sense of the word based) on an actual event, the Sinking of the Royal Tar (Google Docs).

A Little History Of The World


A Little History of the World
E.H. Gombrich wrote this book in German in 1935 and it was only translated to English and released in 2005. It is a startlingly good read and while it strays towards the upper end of the Children’s category, I think it worth adding here to encourage the reading of solid non-fiction by children.