A very interesting Clé Conference at the weekend (Clé is the Irish Publishing trade body): lots of very worried publishers (and booksellers: we went mad and all sat in the same room this year!) were throwing around the ideas we all need to consider for the survival of the industry in the Current Economic Environment. The change has been incredibly rapid and, unfortunately, started at the beginning of what should have been our peak selling season last year: returns of unsold Christmas stock risk crippling lots of publishers. The major loss of market share by Irish “euro publishers” (ie not the Irish arms of multinationals) has slipped dramatically, particularly at the bestseller end of the market. I’ll stop moaning now 🙂
We were very lucky to have Will Atkinson, Sales and Marketing Director for Faber, and Robin Wood, head honcho from Anova, present to talk about selling outside the conventional book trade, and developing special products for existing and new customers. Some of the creative ideas were just brilliant, but I do wish we had a country of 50 million people instead of 5, so that you can do a clever “nichy” thing and still make a few bob. Naturally, the subject of websites came up quite a lot!
Continue reading “Clé Conference: The Burning Issues”
Celine Kiernan, author of The Poison Throne, is set to appear at this year’s CBI Summer Conference in May – check out CBI for full programme details. Celine is in good company this year, appearing alongside Eoin Colfer, Patrick Ness and other luminaries from the world of children’s books.
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!
The OBP World Book Day flipper book (the only Irish one published this year, and the first bilingual one on record!) Daifní Dineasár / Alfie Green and the Monkey Puzzler will be launched in Eason’s O’Connell Street on World Book Day, Thursday 5th March 2009 at 11am.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 three new editions will be available from all good bookshops in April 2009. Perfect for PJ Lynch fans.
Continue reading “P.J. Lynch doing new covers for classic children’s trilogy”
A whole crowd of us attended an advance screening of The Secret of Kells: a total feast for the eyes, and great to see those stunning images brought to life on the big screen!
Both books are now available from all good bookshops and the OBP website.
Continue reading “The Secret of Kells advance screening”