My Bookseller Piece – Ireland: a native hunger

It’s not my headline but I think it gets the point across
So the full text is here

Bestsellers are a rare thing for an Irish fiction publisher, though Poolbeg is still doing a fine job of breaking new talent—in fact all four of those titles mentioned above in the top 50 belong to it. But Poolbeg is the only notable mass market fiction publisher in Irish hands. An industry of one is hardly an industry at all.

Damn busy today

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt stops acquiring books?

Eoin Purcell

No seriously they have
Here & Here:

It’s been clear for months that it will be a not-so-merry holiday season for publishers, but at least one house has gone so far as to halt acquisitions. PW has learned that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has asked its editors to stop buying books.

I don’t understand this entirely but I do see this as being an enormously worrying development!

New Media, New Audience Conference

Eoin Purcell

Berry Bros & Rudd
I’m just back from fine dinner in the fantastic upstairs room of the Weights & Measure building that Berry Bros & Rudd now occupy. The meal was for panelists and speakers at tomorrow’s (Or today’s) Arts Council Conference on New Media, New Audience?.

If the conversation tonight it anything to go by, tomorrow should be amazing. You can read the full agenda here.

Andrew Keen & Charles Leadbeater will be speaking which I think is frankly amazing! Go the Arts Council and Anette Clancy who is doing much of the work for scoring two such highly rated speakers!

I’ll be chairing the New Media in Practice panel! I’ll update with how it went tomorrow!

The fate of smaller markets

Eoin Purcell

With big ones on their doorstep
Hachette is launching a Scottish division. BookBrunch comments:

In non-fiction, Hachette Scotland will be a rival to houses including Mainstream (half-owned by Random House), Birlinn, and Black & White. It will have the clout to put greater marketing efforts behind commercial fiction than would be possible at the independent houses.

On the surface this might seem like a fine idea. In truth it heralds a weakening of the independent sector of the Scottish Publishing industry, and they have been very impressive folk in recent years. I’ve a piece kind of related to this (as in it references Ireland not Scotland) in the forthcoming Bookseller so I’ll wait till that is out and about before commenting too much.

So more to follow,

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 18/11/2008

Eoin Purcell

The Independent is axing shed loads of its staff, and we thinking book publishers have it bad!

More on this to come, but the Arts Council is running a conference on New Media and The Arts.

If you read Science Fiction, read some of the stories on Their community site is growing nicely and generating quite a lot of attention, comment and I hope generating sales.

The British Book Awards are opening nominations. Not long since their founder died, these Awards are, nonetheless going from strength to strength.