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Books Ireland Trade News

Books Ireland Trade News—a monthly catch up on what’s happening in the industry

This month’s Trade News is supported by Westchester Education UK & International

New Irish imprint of Bonnier Books—Eriu

Eriu, an imprint of Bonnier Books, is a new publisher on the block, headed up by Deirdre Nolan, previously associate publisher at Gill Books.

Exciting for Irish authors, as it offers a new outlet for literary fiction, along with children’s fiction and non-fiction, it’s also bringing some competition to the Irish market, publishing alongside the likes of New Island Books and Lilliput Press.

Eriu will publish their first literary fiction title The Polite Act of Drowning, by Charleen Hurtubise, later in the spring, described by Donal Ryan as ‘lyrical and sensuous.’

Bonnier Books UK has been enjoying a period of growth and expansion under CEO Perminder Mann in recent years, and creating a Dublin-based imprint has been a long-held ambition for the company. 

Nolan says she hopes to provide a new home for Irish talent, and is determined that it should be financially beneficial for authors: “I will do my utmost to ensure that each and every book is as successful as possible and reaches a wide audience.”

New lifetime highs for Children’s and Fiction sectors

There is some welcome news for the book trade in Ireland, as figures from Nielsen reveal that more money was spent on books in 2022 than ever before, with total sales reaching €170m.

There were 13.4m books sold, and the average price for a print book was €12.70—the highest on record.

2022 marks the eighth year in a row of growth in Ireland, with the market improving by 3.8m books and €63m in spending since 2014. Both the Children’s and Fiction sectors set new lifetime highs for value sales, while Non-Fiction declined, although both measures remained ahead of every year from 2011 to 2019.

Irish Book Trade Conference 2023

Booking is now open for The Irish Book Trade Conference 2023 organised by Bookselling Ireland and Publishing Ireland which takes place at the Clayton Hotel, Cork City on Monday the 27th and Tuesday the 28th of February.

The event includes a trade show on Monday 27th, featuring publishers and other trade exhibitors, followed by a bookshop tour of Cork City, a drinks reception and dinner, while on Tuesday there is a full conference programme.

Find out further details and register on Eventbrite here.

Oak Tree Press acquired by JMB Verlag

Cork Publishing Ltd., the parent company of Oak Tree Press, has been acquired by JMB Verlag (Bulle – Switzerland) and is now part of the Corporate Group, an international publishing entity operating in three countries (Belgium, Switzerland and Ireland) and five languages (English, French, German, Dutch and Italian). The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.

Brian O’Kane, founder of Oak Tree Press, said that the reputation of the press at home and abroad has been built over thirty years through the dedication of their authors, publishing team, and suppliers, as well as the support of customers, individual, organisational, and trade. 

“Corporate Group is an excellent fit for Oak Tree Press and offers new opportunities for our titles and authors. I am excited for the future development of the business and look forward to working as part of a wider international team.”

Pictured above following the acquisition are Brian & Rita O’Kane (OAK TREE PRESS), Axel Neefs and Pierre Delroisse (CORPORATE GROUP).

Axel Neefs and Pierre Delroisse, Belgian founders of the Corporate Group, said they are delighted to welcome Oak Tree Press.

“We are convinced that the many titles developed by Brian and Rita over the last 30 years and the licensing contracts initiated across the world (USA, Korea, India, Australia, Greece and the UK) represent an open door to diversity and development of both catalogues.”

Gill Books seeks publicist—closing date 30 January

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Do you love books, have a deep understanding and passion for the Irish media and consumer landscape? Gill Books is looking for a talented, energetic publicist to join their team. But you need to hurry, as the deadline for applications is 30 January, 2023.

The role will involve developing and executing effective promotional campaigns across traditional and new media channels for approximately 25 books each year. You will be quick to identify the most effective channels for promoting titles and converting your ideas and plans into coverage.

Find out more details here.

Little Island Books has acquired The Táin: Ireland’s Battle Epic, by Alan Titley

Cover design: Niall McCormack

Publisher Matthew Parkinson-Bennett acquired world rights directly from the author.

Titley goes back to the source material for this new edition, and his translation sparkles with the wit and humour—as well as the thrill and battle—of the ancient tale. Illustrations by artist Eoin Coveney lend a fresh and modern feel. The Táin publishes on the 17th of March 2023 (St. Patrick’s Day) in paperback.

Little Island’s Parkinson-Bennett says that as a child he loved the story of The Táin, and he’s happy to be bringing a fresh version of the story to today’s children. 

“Alan’s sparkling adaptation is full of wit and wordplay, features of the medieval world which sometimes get lost in translation, and together with Eoin’s brilliant comic-book-style illustrations it will be very attractive to young readers.”

Titley said that The Táin is a mad, chaotic and anarchic story. 

“It’s about heroism, love, jealousy, war, magic, other worlds, pre-history, friendship, loyalty and two bulls. What else would you want in a story?”

O’Brien Bookseller of the Year Award—nominations close February 1st

Alan Johnston, Marketing Director Bookstation, winner of the 2021 O’Brien Bookseller Award.

There is still time to nominate your favourite bookseller for the O’Brien Bookseller of the Year Award, with nominations open until 1 February (you can read about some wonderful Irish bookshops in our regular feature Bookshop Focus).

Download a copy of the nomination form by clicking here—and you can submit your nominations by email to bookselleraward@obrien.ie.

The award will be presented at the Irish Book Trade Conference Dinner on 27 February 2023.

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