About Eoin

Eoin was born in Dublin and lives in London where he works as Head of Amazon Publishing, UK. He was previously editorial director and commissioning editor at New Island Books, commissioning editor with Mercier Press, and as publishing manager at Nonsuch Ireland (now The History Press Ireland).

Disclaimer & Copyright
All opinions expressed here are my own. All text and images (unless otherwise stated) are Copyright Eoin Purcell © 2006-2020.

45 thoughts on “About Eoin

  1. Hello Eoin: I’ve recently published a book called Finding My Irish. I am a second generation Irish-American from Chicago and my grandparents emigrated in 1880 and 1903. I’ve written a wonderful book about their lives in Ireland and their lives in America. I’ve appeared on Radio Kerry, Limerick and Clare FM. My distributor is Argosy in Dublin. I’m self published. Short of being in Ireland, what do you suggest I do to boost sales? I would love to have it published there…any ideas?
    Thank you and I look forward to your reply.

  2. Like your Blog.

    I live in Edinburgh (originally from Carlow). I am interested in the changing nature of communications – social networking, ebooks, blogs, podcasts etc.


  3. Hello guys,
    Sharon I hope the e-mail was helpful!
    Tony thanks for your post! Shameless plug we are publishing an Images title of Carlow county and town next year so keep and eye out for it. Speaking of social networking any thoughts on the friendster patent and how it will shake things up?

  4. Eoin, thanks much for your review of our book “Nine Shift: work, life and education in the 21st century.” Keep up your great blog, exploring books in the 21st century, and just enjoy the whole 21st century adventure!

  5. He Eoin, I was searching google for my last name and your blog came up on the second page lol.
    So thought I’d say hi to a fellow Purcell. I’m 100% Irish but living in the states, was in Seattle but now in Portland.
    Just saying ta, your blog looks interesting to some projects I consider from time to time.
    Look forward to reading it!!

  6. I too am curious to see what the future of publishing holds. I keep coming up against the role of the internet in the future of reading and publishing. Web 2.0 aka the social web is bound to impact on how we read – especially if we consider kids are now leaving the tv for the social web.

    By the way, I think your country is just grand, having had the privilege of living in Dublin for a year and a half – wonderful place, brilliant people and filled to the brim with inspiration 🙂

  7. Eoin,
    Please re-read your profile. I would have thought that working as a publisher, the least you could do is spell correctly.


  8. Hello Pierce,

    Thanks for the notice. I found one error. A lack of a “w” in now. If I have somehow missed something than feel free to e-mail me at eoinpurcellsblogATgmail.com.

    I hope you will not mind that I also edited your original message, but only for the unnecessary rather than the point which was valid.

    You should read this piece by Richard Charkin:
    If you are interested in some publishing industry chat about spelling.

  9. Hi Eoin

    I share your unease. I’m just finishing up a book called “Your Writing Coach” which will be published next year, and trying to make it a friendly guide but sometimes I wonder (especially for potential screenwriters) if I’m herding lambs toward wolves! Anyway, with my website and blog (www.timetowrite.blogs.com) I’m trying to offer a friendly voice to people just starting out. When I began, I think people had more time to mentor those just coming up.

    best, Jurgen

  10. Hi Eoin,

    I like your blog. Lots of useful information that I can sink my teeth into.

    I’m one of those obscure writers. Never been published. Your blog has given me a lot to think about.

    Regarding the internet. Got to thank Tim Berners-Lee. He founded the 9th wonder of the world. The greatest tool ever!

    Oops! Sorry for the ramble. I’ll go now.



  11. Wonderful to read about other Purcells in the world. I am from Lewisburg Pennsylvania. My family is from Cork moved here in the early 1800. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  12. Hey Eoin,

    God, it’s been forever since I’ve been to Cork. I was there way back in Feb-March 2001 when the Foot-and-Mouth scare was going on. Fun times. LOL.

    By the by, I’m a struggling writer like a sizable portion of your audience. If I were to give the publishing industry a description it would be “homogenized”. Everything, regardless of genre, author, or imprint just feels the same. The industry is too scared to take chances. I understand the need to make money, afterall publishing is a business, but if you focus on the end goal, making a profit, rather than the means to reach said goal, engaging and entertaining books/magazines/periodicals, then aren’t you simply destroying the very industry you rely on? It is no wonder books aren’t selling as well as they used to.

    This was one main reason I decided to forgo traditional publishing and instead self-publish my first novel. God, the headaches I had trying to describe my book to agents and publishers. It isn’t definable. It crosses so many lines, in more ways than one, that no publisher wanted to even give it a chance because A) It didn’t fit into any single slot and B) They had no idea to market it. If you want to understand what I mean just go to my site, http://www.anti-christ.biz, to get an idea of how difficult trying to sell my idea was.

    I see the future more and more leaning towards authors having to self-publish because publishers just don’t get what people want anymore. Authors need to put together something and prove themselves more now then ever.

    Enough of the ranting. I’ll be out.

  13. hi eoin

    i am another purcell
    i’m in australia via new zealand
    just thought i’d would add myself to your
    growing list of Purcell’s

    as I understand it I am also a Haggerty and
    a Conder on the Irish side but my surname is Purcell

    the peruse i have given your blog has been most interesting

    regards mx

  14. Eoin,
    I’ve written some short stories and some poems and wondering if it’s possible to get third rate material (possibly through vanity publishing) published? If so where do i go?

  15. Ed,

    I’m sure its not third rate.

    First by happy coincidence Richard Charkin has a great post up with some excellent comments attached too so read it:

    Second it is worth investing time and energy in research. Top of my pile would be any of the Writers Handbooks:
    But don’t underestimate the usefulness of the internet. You can find details of individual publishers and their lists and find the one who your work is most suited to.

    I am pretty sure the most annoying thing for editors is getting non-relevant submissions.

    last but by far not least, be strong, it could be a long process! If you don’t want to go to the time and effort of using the traditional system try blurb.com or lulu.com (there are others) and self publish.


  16. Eoin, just an idea for your blog – how’s about a list of favourite bookshops ?
    Mine as follows – ( in no particular order)
    Vibes and Scribes ( Cork city) Prefer the older branch , although the new one by the river is very snazzy.
    Charlie Byrne’s ( Galway City) Possibly the best second hand and remainder bookshop in the country. I never leave without buying a handful of titles. Always preferred it to Kenny’s!
    Hodges Figgis ( Dublin)
    what a
    good general bookseller should be. Good basement,
    odd US titles always in stock.

    Now moved a bit further north in Dublin.
    One of the capital’s best bargain remainder sections.

    Sadly missed –
    Dandelion Books – always a mess, but had one of the nicest owners of a bookshop i ever met.
    House Figgis – this was converted into a Centra or similar on Parliament Street, Dublin. Sigh.

    realise i’m missing many.. any suggestions?

  17. Hi Eoin,

    I’ve enjoyed scrolling through your blog. Quite edifying. You seem like a gregarious chap, perhaps you might advise: I’m an American production editor about to embark on her honeymoon to Ireland in September. I would love to learn a bit more about how books are born on your side of the pond. Do you think any publishing houses would give me a little tour–what the basic process is (I imagine not too different), what equipment/software is used, and the general “climate.” Any suggestions? Thanks for your time.

  18. Jamie,

    Drop me an e-mail and I’ll happily chat over it some more!

    You can get me at:
    eoinpurcellsblog AT gmail.com

    All the best

  19. Eoin, I went to Kilkennny for the first time this year. Our friends live in Nenagh and so it wasn’t far. I thought it was a great city. Enjoy your comments on Richard Charkin’s blog so I just wanted to say hello.

    Richard, in Scotland

    p.s. As an earlier poster said Charlie Byrne’s in Galway – brilliant place to visit. I’m thinking of a trip back soon just to spend a day browsing

  20. Eoin: I just started exploring blogs for the first time today. Was thinking of creating my own and was looking for ideas on format, etc. I was shocked when the 4th or 5th blog was yours since I use the same George Bernard Shaw quote at the bottom of all of my emails.

    Great blog. By coincidence my wife is Irish. We live in San Clemente, California.

    Keep up the good work.

  21. Hi Eoin,

    I am a punter who is frustrated by a very specialised section of Irish publishing, namely, Irish language.

    I have made three main observations about this niche:

    1.The Irish language section in all major bookstores is in retreat and in some cases has disappearted entirely.

    2.Despite an upsurge in the interest in Irish at some level (though this is an area where I have grave reservations about how real or ‘deep’ this phenomenon is) and a significant increase in Irish language media (TG4, Beo.ie, Radio na Life etc), there remains a tiny number of books published in Irish. I mean < 200 per annum as far as I can see. There are a number of state agencies involved in promoting Irish language books/publishing (Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge, Foras na Gaeilge/Áis, etc). Why is there no acknowledgement of a general failure to make progress for readers? Why is there no push to address the challenges faced by this particular niche market in the newly fragmented, more diverse and celeb-driven market place?

    3.Finally, given the utter narrowness of Irish publishing (and where at least 50% of the tiny number published is childrens books (38%) or self-referential, teaching, or language status) how can we square this with the claim that the Irish language is central to our culture (not saying this is agreed – I don’t but it’s the first line of defence in any argument by the pro-Gaeilge lobby)? The range of debate in Irish in written published form – whether literary or factual – is so thin that it cannot constitute anything close to what might be called a ‘national discourse’ or separate ‘world view’. This in my view undermines the credibility of the entire language project. Why are organisations who are serious about the latter not crying out for a root and branch review of reform of Irish language publishing?

    I realise this is intenselt niche and that the latter is a broader debate than publishing. Nevertheless, if you have any experience with Irish language publishing or other experience with niches in Irish publishing which might be relevant, I would be very grareful if you would share it.

    All the best,

  22. Hi Eoin,

    I’ve just latched onto your blog and it’s quite impressive. I wish to publish my own books. I’ve looked at Blurb as well as Lulu and iUniverse. What I am looking for is in a nutshell which company will allow me to produce the highest quality results. If this is too general of a question how would you describe the target author of each of these services. My books will involve text as well as photographs (mostly travel) and I find the standard photo books offered by other companies much too basic with the results all looking more or less the same.

    All the best,

  23. Dennis,

    My gut tells me that Blurb is for you is for you in a low volume scenario! And I mean low, their discounts is paltry.

    If on the other hand you have a significant order to meet, investigate a local printer, but having in mind the best prices you could get at Blurb and lulu and bargain with them!

    Blurb offer you the opportunity to actually design a book using their tool and lulu allow you up load nicely designed books.

    Hope that helps!

  24. Hi Eoin

    I work for The Irish Book Review and identify with your concerns about the publishing industry here in Ireland.
    Would you be interested in reviewing some titles for us? Unfortunately the work is unpaid but you would have the pleasure of seeing your review in print!

  25. Hi Eoin

    I just found your blog and it is very interesting. I’m looking for a literary agent interested in Evolution vs. Creation, would you have any advice. The subject matter can put people off.

    My book The Real Moses Redefining God was self published by Trafford Publishing early in 2007. I now realize that to have any success with a book I need an agent.

    The book tries to prove the nonexistence of God by reviewing the books written by Moses in the Bible. The Moses I write about is a dictator who carries out ethnic cleansing on massive scale as he conquers the Promised Land. I personalize the story by talking about my own life and beliefs that I have formed since I was a child. I talk about subjects like DNA, The Big Bang and The Bible in a way that nobody else ever covered before. It looks at religion from the mind of an Atheist.

    I believe my book could be an important book but I don’t know if it has any commercial value.

    I have made the book available to download at http://www.therealmoses.com .

    Best regards

    Fintan Ruth

    ps It is just a coincidence that you are reading The Pope’s Children.

  26. Hi Erion,
    Just wanted to say hi to another Purcell. My maiden name is Purcell. I’m looking into family history found your Blog. I’m from the states as well southern New Mexico. Hope to visit Ireland soon.
    Good Luck in your ventures.


  27. Hi Eoin,
    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and generally agree with most of what you say. Of particular interest to me is your take on Author Blogging and POD books. I’m currently using my website (should be linked in my name) to publish the short stories that I write this year in the hopes of garnering an audience for my larger works. I figured that this was a better use of my short stories than hunting around for a small literary journal that might publish them, which is what I used to do. This somehow seemed more streamlined. Don’t really have a point here, just was hoping you might pop in if you had some free time. As I mentioned, I’ve enjoyed your insight into various other aspects of this industry, I’d love to hear what you have to say. Also wanted to let you know that some of us on the creative side of things are also tinkering with the rules.

  28. Hi Eoin,
    I’ve read some of your blog with interest.
    I’m a published author here in Ireland. Am still trying to break into the foreign market though.
    I do have an agent but unfortunately no success yet.
    Any tips?

  29. Hi Mary,

    Thanks for the message.

    Breaking into foreign markets can be very tough. It can also be random.

    I’ll send an e-mail along to yo with some more thoughts!

  30. Hello Eoin:
    Since you are a publisher, would like your comments on a newly launched site called publishaletter.com. You can send from the site, letters to the editors of all the key English language newspapers in the world.

  31. Hello Eoin,

    I am currently seeking employment in the Irish Publishing Industry, with a long term view to editing, and am finding it quite difficult. I have a BA and MA in English, excellent proofreading skills, and 5 years book trade experience. I have regurlarly been checking CLE, but to date, have been unsuccessful. I believe that freelance proofreading or copy editing is an excellent start but most publishing houses already have a comprehensive list of freelance proofreaders.

    Can you offer me any alternative advice?

    Thanks a million,


  32. Eoin,

    Not to worry! I did leave my email address, but here it is again if you can’t find it.

    Thanks again,


  33. Hi Eoin: This is my first time ever on a blog, I am looking for information the fitzpatrick/delaney family from Cty Leix, Mt Rath area and the hunt/flanagan family in roscommon/elfin area. Can you give me any assistance, I would appreciate it greatly. Thank you Mary

  34. I am not really sure what I am doing here on your blog.I have been writting for only about the past five years, I have not been to colledge, didn’t even finish high school, have also not been published. While sleeping I feel as if I may have been visited by a Muze. I kept hearing the name Dublin, as in a first name of a male charictor. and Argosy, so I began to write a story called Dublin’s Argosy, then I decided to put the words in my search engin, and there you were, I copied down some names to possibly build charictors from, do the words(Dublin’s Argosy) mean any thing to you ?

  35. Eoin,

    I stumbled upon your site. As an aspiring author I found it really useful.

    Keep up the good work.


  36. Hi Eoin,

    Stumbled upon your blog, and it’s a nice blog to stumble upon!
    I’m writing to you from the other side of the world – India.
    I love writing and publishing – which is why I quit practising law. I’d have loved to work at a publishing house – instead I write advertising copy! Yet, I keep writing and am sure I’ll make it.
    Have you had an opportunity to discover current publishing trends in India – especially what we call, Indian writing in English.


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