So what was the Blogs And Books event like?

A very interesting event. Quite a decent audience for a gig of that type. In truth, the subject was so wide that there were no blinding insights or specific messages to be drawn from it, but a few things struck me. While Blogging is a young person’s game, the audience was older than I was expecting: when I asked how many there were under 25, about 5 hands went up.

Also, while the people in the room were all at the leading or bleeding edge of technology, there was a huge affection for books, from a number of perspectives:

  • They pretty much all wanted to get published in books form, even though they were publishing on the web at will
  • Quite a lot of them already were being published (which may account for the age profile — the people who are still learning how to write simply were not there)
  • The all loved reading in book form: the whole paper-and-ink experience that us conventional publishers hope that people retain a deep affection for, for as long as possible
  • They didn’t seem too put out at the process of producing a book: the editing, compromising and struggles involved

The blogging form is still young, but seems to be gaining a large degree of maturity, and it is inevitable that lots of great writers will cut their teeth on blogs, as well as continuing to use is as a means of self-expression along with whatever other writing they may do. Thanks to the organisers, and best of luck to them all at the blog awards on Saturday!

Ivan

Cover Competition

It’s almost World Book Day, and already the darkness of winter is lifting a little — we can almost get cheery about aspects of 2009! We have just had a great collaboration with CBI — a nationwide competition for kids to design a new cover for The Great Pig Escape by Linda Moller. The response was super, and some of the entries were very quirky indeed!

There’s more info here, including all the runners-up entries.

Change of venue!

The Irish Blog Award Book Event (The Blookie Event: thanks David!) has been moved to The Teachers’ Club, right around the corner from the IWC at 36 Parnell Square. Same day and time as before. Actually, slight change in personnel too, as Fiona McPhillips has been added to the bill.

That’s Wednesday 18 Feb, 7pm.

German cover for The Poison Throne

heyne-catalogue-spread

We have just seen the cover approach being used by Heyne, the German publisher for The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan: they are calling it “SchattenPfade” which, the internet assures me, translates as “Shade Paths”. The second book in the Moorehawke trilogy is called “The Crowded Shadows” in English, so I wonder what they’ll go with for that!?

Interestingly, while we published this as teenage fiction, the Germans are going with a dual approach — the Heyne edition (to be published this autumn) is aimed at a general audience, and a children’s/teenage edition will follow.

Irish Blog Awards book event

I’ll be participating in the Irish Blog Awards Book Event (catchy title!) in the Irish Writers Centre next Wednesday 18 Feb at 7pm: do come along! I’ll be there with Sarah Rees Brennan, Twenty Major, Mags Walsh and others to talk about the impact of blogging on books, and vice versa.

As a newbie to the blogsphere I’m looking forward to getting totally beaten up and told that we’ve completely missed the boat on The Tech Revolution, to which I will wittily retort that I have too much actual work to do, to be spending my life noodling away.

Which is flatly contradicted by this post — and so it goes on! Report to follow.

Ivan O’Brien

P.J. Lynch doing new covers for classic children’s trilogy

Best-selling children’s author Marita Conlon-McKenna’s most famous books are getting a great makeover. PJ Lynch, Ireland’s most celebrated children’s illustrator, is creating new covers for all three books in the best-selling Children of the Famine trilogy. It’s the first time PJ has worked with us, and it’s really exciting.
The first one he’s done is Under The Hawthorn Tree, and we now have the full painting in the office!

The three new editions will be available from all good bookshops in April 2009. Perfect for PJ Lynch fans.

uht_cover_colour

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