Is Scott Pack the best thing to happen to Indie publishing since sliced bread?

Eoin Purcell

Just reading a rather nice review of 2007 from the lovely people at Fidra Books who I have been admiring from afar for some time (Blog is here and main publishing page here):

At no point did I say that I wanted us to buy a shop and open a bookshop or start developing a trade list but those are by far the biggest developments in our business.

Excellent progress I thought as I read and got excited about how well they would do with their list when it cam out packaged the right way. And then I read this:

The other thing that had a huge effect on Fidra was an email from Scott Pack asking why our books weren’t in more bookshops and Susan Hill pointing out that we should be pursuing a wider range of readers than the collectors who made up the main body of our customers.

Thanks to their well timed prodding our books are now available via Gardners to any bookshop that has an account and we’ve seen sales rise through outlets who wouldn’t have otherwise stocked our titles. Scott agreed with me that the ‘retro’ look of our books wouldn’t endear them to mainstream booksellers and we hatched a plan which will come to fruition later this year to repackage some of our bestselling titles in a contemporary format and launch them as a trade list to be sold into more bookshops. It’s all very exciting and when I saw the drafts for the cover designs that the lovely people at Snowbooks are creating for us I was really excited – I’m looking forward to being able to unveil them here soon.

I am delighted to see this kind of encouragement and engagement between independents. It just makes sense, long may it last. Scott seems very eager to share his expertise and that is very refreshing and exciting, especially when he has his own company to think about. Not to mention his busy blog.

Enjoying the season,

*Contested only by the lovely people at Snowbooks of course

A Christmas Baking Slideshow

Long sentences alert!
In what is rapidly becoming a tradition Blathnaid and I bake a mountain of mince pies from scratch (including making our very own mince meat). This year we threw in some gingerbread men (and women, not to mention children), sugar cookies, macaroons, pecan fingers and in spite of my bad handling of the cooking of them, some rather fabulous florentines.

This year also took some nice pictures! Hope you enjoy them.

Full of festive spirit,

Back in the new year with thoughts on e-books, kindle, the Irish trade and Black Swans!

Anne Enright, the Booker and booksales revisited

Eoin Purcell

I wrote a little while ago about how well Anne Enright is selling here
And how bad here reception was in the UK (She gets dissed again here). I though, it being the season of good cheer, that I’d update again and the result is stunning. Enright has sold some 34,000 books and generated over €500,000 in sales.

Enright’s Sales YTD

But what does that mean?
Well it means this: if The Gathering sells like it has been selling for the last week of Christmas (and why shouldn’t it?), it will be number five on the bestseller list for the year. These rankings are tentative but have a look.

1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K Rowling
2) The Official Driver Theory Test
3) The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
4) The Interpretation of Murder – Jed Rubenfeld*
5) The Gathering – Enright, Anne

There is a slight chance that Enright’s book will surpass Rubenfeld but I suspect it won’t (watch me be proven incorrect). All in all a stunning performance and one that I think means people found it a good read. After all, The Booker can only do so much for sales and after that it comes down to recommendations, word of mouth and book clubs.

Trying to be Christmassy (it was so much easier in Chicago with 8 inches of snow)

* I find this one fascinating> I want to do a little digging but this hasn’t attracted as much attention as its sales would suggest. Though to be fair, neither have The Secret or The Official Driver Theory Test.