Self Publishing and Ireland – Part One

What gets self published

Self Publishing is a fairly frequent occurrence in Ireland. Large numbers of locally relevant titles are published every year to varying standards of design, print and manufacture. The range is huge, local history (Full Disclosure: I work for a Local History Publisher), poetry, fiction and masses of non-fiction and memoir.

What Sells

In general they do well so long as they stay focussed on local matters (As Nonsuch/Tempus have shown a nicely produced local book, while low in volume of sales has immediate and sustained local appeal). Of all of these Fiction does least well. It’s understandable. Local stories and histories will appeal locally but a book about a detective in Los Angeles might have little appeal to locals in Ballyjamesduff even if it is well written.

The added problem is that self published fiction has no network outside of the locality to help spur sales. Where a national or international publisher can push their fiction titles through newspaper, radio and television ads no local self publisher can really hope to do so and must rely nowadays on such services as or (or any one to host and push their titles for them> relying thus on word of mouth and a worldwide audience which you don’t have the capacity to reach makes these a much less likely seller.

Are There Solutions?

Are there solutions to this dilemma? It is similar to the problems that pervade on the web for content publishers (by publishing this blog I am a self publisher) with the exception that there are ways to build exposure for a blogger that do not exist in the same way for a writer. Whereas blog search engines automatically crawl and index my posted content and serve it up to punters who search under my keywords and tags, there is no such luck for the self published author.

Maybe there is hope though if Google Book Search lives up to its promise. Self Publishing Authors can sign up if their books have ISBNs. Of course many self published titles do not and therein lies the rub!



  1. Help! I need a Mentor to guide me through this publishing jungle. I have just completed part one of my autobiography which is of my earlier years in the Irish Midlands in the late 50’s. It’s a true hard-hitting account of the influence of the Church and State on the lives of the poor in really difficult times. There are many saving graces as I describe how parishioners interrelated in the best and worst of ways. I have been told by published authors that it should appeal to a World-wide readership. My difficulty is finding a way around the publishing world. I would be grateful for some assistance.
    ‘El Peregrino’

  2. Hi Eoin
    I have a book of one-act plays aimed mainly at the amateur theatre market in Ireland and UK but I want it to be available further afield as well via Amazon etc. The plays are already produced around Ireland (and one in Ottawa this Autumn) so I’m trying to push them with the book.
    I wanted to get an ISBN via a publishing site and have it connected into the bookshops that way by the site, but Diggory is backed-up a the moment and not getting back to me and Lulu can only add an ISBN to one of their own covers (I have my own one-piece cover design). Can you suggest any other on-line publishers that might be able to help. Preferably with someone I can talk to via email or by phone?
    Best wishes

  3. hello,i had a good idea for a book bout two years ago.I submitted it to penguin ireland who said it wasnt topical and it wasnt their sort of book.However,lately Ive mentioned it ot another crowd,this time self-publishers,who feel it is topical but i dont have the money to self-publish. So i was wonderign if there is anywhere that you would know of that will let let me publish in absolute minimum batches? I was told that there is a place in CAMDEN street in DUBLIN that does but I cannot find it anywhere on the web.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s