Irish History

Commissioning For The Irish Story

Last year I launched a niche Irish History site, The Irish Story. The idea was to create a vibrant site where people could discuss Irish history in an intelligent and interesting way.

I also commissioned five titles and have published each of these as Kindle ebooks and iOS Apps. It seems to have worked pretty well. The titles are each between 10 and 15,000 words each with a detailed timeline of events surrounding the particular focus.

The central focus of the website is the free material that gets posted weekly by a variety of contributors.

There are now over 100 posts on the site of varying length from a few lines to full-length essays, all free. Many of them feature exclusive audio interviews with scholars too, brought to you by the excellent John Dorney who also penned three of the first five books, and who is, in my view one of the most interesting young writers of Irish History.

Based on the success of the site (which is slow but steady) and of the first group of titles I’ve decided to commission a fresh batch of books and this series is to focus more on individuals (though if anyone has ideas for an event based title, I would welcome it too). I created an initial list of targets for 2011 commissioning, it’s here. Have a look at it and if any of them appeal to you, drop me a line and we can discuss the project.

I’ve already added two biographies with this batch, Kaye Jones will be writing two titles from the list in 2011.

So please, get in touch if you are interested, I would love to hear from you.
Eoin (Eoin AT eoinpurcell.com)

Some Notes
1) There are no advances for writing these books, however royalties for the digital editions start at 35% of Net Receipts and go up from there.

2) While many of the titles will be made available through Print On Demand avenues, I cannot guarantee this for ALL titles.

Making Things Happen: The Irish Story’s Apps

It’s been an incredibly busy few months for me in lots of ways. But I’ve also managed to get a few things shipped as Seth Godin might put it. So I thought I’d write a few posts about them.

One of the things I’ve managed to get done is submitting all five of The Irish Story‘s first set of ebooks into the iTunes App store. Some of them (Rebellion, Famine and Easter Rising) are already live and available. The final two (Civil War and Independence) will go live soon.

Since I finished at Mercier Press and decided to create The Irish Story, Apps and ebooks were always my focus, the ebooks were the easier part to create, the Apps took a little longer so I’m very glad we are there with them now.

It has been a great experience, which I mostly put down to the talent and commitment of our wonderful co-publisher, Mike Hyman at Collca. I first came across Collca in late October when I found the wonderful History in An Hour Series, which I discovered Collca co-published.

That find sparked an e-mail, a phone call and a contract agreement within a fortnight and now a five app publishing schedule in the space of six weeks. Things can truly move rapidly in the digital publishing space can’t they?

I’ve written before that I don’t believe that Apps are the future and that ebooks are a distraction. Oddly enough I don’t see the fact that I publish ebooks and apps as a contradiction of those writings. Rather I believe a publisher should be ensuring that all their material gets out on the market in as many ways as possible.

So rather than one edition or one format, books should appear online, as ebooks, apps, printed editions or whatever else they can reasonable be packaged as. Brian O’Leary who writes cogently and well about issues in publishing calls this agile content widely deployed.

I like to think that The Irish Story Apps are just one example of that!

Announcement: The Irish Story & Collca Agree Co-Publishing Deal For Five Apps

I’m really pleased to be able to share this news, it means that at least one (and probably more) of the “Story Of Series” will be available as apps for iOS devices by Christmas.

Press Release
04/11/2010
For Immediate Release

The Irish Story & Collca to Co-publish 5 Titles as Apps
The Irish Story and Collca are delighted to announce that they’ve agreed to develop and co-publish iPhone apps for the first five books in The Story Of series of Irish histories.

The partnership will use Collca’s Condor software and data framework to bring the apps to market in rapid succession starting with John Dorney’s The Story Of The Easter Rising, 1916. The Irish Story and Collca will both actively market the apps which will be available from the Apple iTunes app store as soon they’re published.

The Irish Story publisher, Eoin Purcell, said “I’m very pleased with the deal we have reached. It allows The Irish Story to move beyond ebook formats and into the world of apps, something I’ve been keen to do since day one.”

Mike Hyman, managing director of Collca, added “these books provide a very good overview of key events in Irish history. This deal will help consolidate our position as an electronic publisher of shorter concise texts covering a variety of topics – not just history. I believe that this type of publication lends itself far better to electronic publication than to print.”

Notes to Editors
The Irish Story is a digital first publisher of Irish History titles.

Collca, the co-publishers of the acclaimed History In An Hour series, was founded specifically as an ePublisher. It currently publishes book-derived and other educational and reference mobile apps primarily for the Apple iOS platform (iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch). Collca is also actively planning to adopt the ePUB ebook standard as an additional platform for some new titles.

Further information from:
The Irish Story:
eoin AT eoinpurcell.com

Collca:
mike.hyman@collca.com
+44 7980 821222

Quick Link | Mass murder now suspected of Irishmen at Duffy’s Cut | IrishCentral

This is an interesting story the story of the Mass Grave at Duffy’s Cut. As I recall an Irish production company made a film about this a few years ago. UPDATE: Yup it was Tile Films and there’s a video too.

In the summer of 1832 a group of 57 Irish immigrants came to the area west of Philadelphia to work on the construction of the railway line. Within six weeks the men, mainly from Donegal, Tyrone and Derry, were all dead and anonymously buried in a mass grave outside the town of Malvern.

For some time it was thought that the mass grave was due to an outbreak of a dangerous disease such as cholera and this was simply a way of dealing with infection. However, the new evidence paints a different picture. While the two skulls found more recently show signs of violence and a bullet hole the previous skulls unearthed also showed trauma.

via Mass murder now suspected of Irishmen at Duffy’s Cut – SEE VIDEO | Irish News | IrishCentral.

UPDATE: There’s a video of the Documentary:

A Note on Peter Hart And A Link To Mike Cosgrave's Thoughts

A very fair note on Peter Hart who died at the very young age of 46 this week.

Having dealt with Peter while working at Mercier, I have to say I found him very professional and exceptionally courteous.  While I didn’t always agree with his perspective and felt he had serious questions to answer on a number of points, I nonetheless thought he also raised some valid and searching questions about our history that warranted answering.

One less questioning voice in Irish History.

The problem of his ‘revisionist’ interpretation of the War of Independence in Cork still rouses amateur historians to fury. Ireland being a small country, many of his critics are related to the men whose motivation Hart criticised. Sometimes, I think his critics protest too much� – just or not, the War of Independence was a nasty and unpleasant terrorist war in which men on both sides were shot down in night and died in the cold wet ditches.� Hart’s interpretation may have swung too far, but there are still many people in Ireland who are not comfortable admitting how our state was born. Dealing with our past – and in the case of Northern Ireland, our recent past – is part of the contribution we can make to understanding and resolving conflict in the world.

via Peter Hart « Mike Cosgrave.

Florence MacCarthy, the last MacCarthy Mor, 1560-1640 | The Irish Story

John Dorney has a really excellent article over on The Irish Story today about Florence MacCarthy. if you ever wondered about the complexities of Irish 16th and 17th Century history (and if not why not? it’s a fascinating period that shows the best and worst of human nature), this is one for you.

Florence MacCarthy, the last MacCarthy Mor, 1560-1640 | The Irish Story.