Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Belated congratulations to all the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Award winners.

Novelist and playwright Jennifer Johnston whose books are a constant delight,
was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Joseph O'Connor. John
Jennifer Johnston with Joseph O'connor
Banville's 'Ancient Light' took Eason Novel of the Year; 'Just Mary', much loved
politician Mary O'Rourke's autobiography, was RTE John Murray's Show Listeners'
Choice; Crime Fiction Book of the Year is 'Broken Harbour' by Tana French - no
surprise there, it's unputdownable; a writer to watch and Newcomer of the Year is
Donal Ryan with 'The Spinning Heart';  Eoin Colfer's 'Artemis Fowl: The Last
Guardian' takes Children's Book of the Year, Senior, and the last in the series,
we believe.

The Bord Gais Energy bookshop of the Year is Bridge Street Books in the town of Wicklow. It is run with passion by Hilary Hamilton who is surrounded by a dedicated team of book lovers who are as passionate about reading as they are at recommending 'reads' to their customers.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


The Pleasures of Winter by Evie Hunter, pen name of Irish writing duo Eileen
Gormley and Caroline McCall, was launched last night with great gusto. Dubray's
book shop in Dublin's Grafton Street was packed to the rafters with well wishers,family, friends and writing colleagues. As a token of Caroline and Eileen's thanks, Penguin's Patricia Deevy accepted a rose, a white feather and an unknown object in a dainty box which caused blushes and laughter in equal measure.

As the wine and conversation flowed and the tills rang with sales, The Pleasures moved for the second week into no. 3 in the Irish best seller list and its running at similar in iTunes. Yes, it's succeeding where so many other titles failed in knocking all those Shades...off their perch.                                    

Monday, November 12, 2012


The self-publishing revolution is well and truly here and those in the
know talk about tearing down the walls between author and reader.

There are streams of self-help books on how to convert your manuscript
 to bestseller. But for my money Irishman David Gaughan's is the best. Let's Get Digital: How to Self-Publish, and Why You Should. It is comprehensive and written in clear, understandable language, so you 
don't have to be a whiz to follow the instructions and there is a load of
 information and contacts. It has shifted in the region of 4000 copies and is a Sunday Times bestseller as well as the 2012 winner of the Best Non-fiction Independent E-books Award.

The prophets of the book industry predict the continuous growth of ebooks and self-publishing. But there is still a fair bit of resistance: a lot of it generational but some of it purist, with the idea of electronic reading dividing establishment readers.