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
Eoin

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2 comments

  1. I commented on the Bookseller piece; very interesting reading!

    They ask for brevity (not my forte) so I hope you don’t mind if I continue here. I had a lovely lunch recently with some fellow writers at all stages of our careers, and when the talk turned to choosing agents and publishers, we were divided.

    I’m funded by the Arts Council for my writing, so I feel gratitude certainly, and a certain obligation to stay with Irish agents and publishers. As you’ve pointed out, there aren’t many of those to choose from, and what they publish seems to be memoir, chicklit, more memoir and more chicklit with a few GAA biographies. If they’re publishing more than that, I’m not finding it on the bookshop shelves. And, I don’t write any of that; indeed I feel ill-qualified to write a memoir for the Irish market because my childhood was relatively happy.

    One of us at lunch wasn’t even going to consider submitting to any Irish publishers because “all they want is misery memoir and Cecelia Ahern”. That seems a general impression : are we wrong in believing this, or are things changing?

    I’d love a post (when you have time, I know you’re busy!) about what advantages and benefits Irish writers can find with our Irish publishers, and what those publishers are looking for now, that national writers can fulfill.

    Thanks again for another interesting and thought-provoking post.

  2. Great piece Eoin – the hard data really highlights the current situation. Of late I have found there appears to be a real lack of Irish-published Children’s literature as well, with the exception of course of O’Brien. It seems to be an area where the ‘third book syndrome’ (i.e. Irish writers publishing a couple of titles with irish publishers and then hopping over to a UK publisher) coupled with the challenging market (price sensitivity and the dominance of a few well-marketed celebrity writers) pose a massive problem, to such an extent that it is almost becoming unviable. Children’s publishers seem to be dying off here, which is sad.

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