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December Editorial

Happy Christmas from Books Ireland to all our readers, contributors and advertisers. Without you the magazine would not exist and your support is much appreciated. The end of 2019 has special significance for us at Books Ireland as it marks the final year in which there will be a print version. After six years (and 35 issues) Wordwell has reassessed the current model for the magazine and decided that the way forward is a fully digital platform, beginning next January 2020. Our digital platform will allow us to offer space for a variety of contributions on book-related topics. There will still be reviews and our regular columnists will be on the platform but we can now include more considered articles on any topic related to the world of Irish books. There is huge potential on the digital platform and the team at Wordwell are open to ideas and suggestions.

The decision to go digital was not taken lightly, especially as Books Ireland has been in existence for over forty years and has been an essential feature of Irish publishing. However we decided that the benefits of going digital were persuasive. We recognise that the world is changing. How people read, keep up with events and share with others is changing, and in going digital Books Ireland is responding to the needs and demands of those who are involved with publishing in Ireland, and are interested in the world of Irish books.

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By increasing our digital presence, we will have a worldwide reach as anyone with access to the internet will be able to read Books Ireland anywhere anytime. At present we have a two month time lag in covering some Irish-related events and news stories. By going fulltime online, we can instantly respond to developments and maintain ‘live’ coverage of events and stories, from new books to announcements of prize winners.

This transition has been made possible through the support of the Arts Council of Ireland. The new digital platform enables us to future-proof our ability to continue to be a leading Irish source for authoritative news for writers, readers and Irish book publishers—amplifying and supporting the work across the industry and helping publishers reach new readerships.

The digital version of Books Ireland will keep the spirit of the print version and remain true to the traditions established over 43 years. We will continue to list all new Irish-published titles and bring news of events, conferences, signings, rights, prizes and awards. We will still have our regular reviews but we are adding new content, such as our new monthly interview series, ‘This Literary Life with Mary McCarthy’, and providing a shared space for Irish literary-focused podcasts, as well as other new features. We are committed to remaining at the heart of the Irish book world and continuing to support Irish publishers and writers.

Books Ireland is embarking on a new journey and we hope that all those who have supported us for over forty years will come on that journey with us. This is an exciting venture for us and we look forward to continuing to play an important role in the world of Irish books.

Tony Canavan , Dec 20 2019 Tony@booksirelandmagazine.com

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