The Irish book marketing is growing and smaller publishers are starting to do well. Good news for anyone working in the book publishing industry in Ireland and good news for authors. This was one of my highlights of the Dublin Book Festival Trade Day “Reaching the Readers 2.0: Where Are We Headed?”
So, what are the choices available to authors in seeking to reach readers?
Traditional publishers only commission books that they believe will be commercially successful and this is understandable. This is their business and the preferred method of accepting scripts is via an agent so they know the manuscript had been vetted before reaching their desks.
The self-publishing model differs in that authors submit their manuscripts directly to the publisher and the publishing process is all about the author. The resulting book looks and feels the way the author envisioned their book to look. This adds to an author’s pride and sense of achievement and personal fulfillment.
It can be very discouraging for any author to submit their best work to a publisher and maybe hear nothing for months and then have their work rejected.
This is not to say that they will never be published as some publishers do re-look at their submissions, on occasion, to see if something topical jumps out at them. They might then approach an author and make an offer.
In traditional publishing, the risk is with the publisher and they stand to lose financially if one of the books they publish doesn’t sell as well as they expected. With self-publishing, books are published only as needed or books are printed in lower numbers determined by the author. The author effectively buys their own copies and can re-order when needed.
Another big takeaway point from last weekend’s Book Festival is the lack of women authors in Ireland who are traditionally published versus their male counterparts. This worrying point has also been raised over the past few years by the award-winning Irish author Anne Enright and although traditional publishers can review their selection process, the gap is a big one to bridge.
As a self-published author and book publisher, I am paid by authors to publish their work regardless of gender.
I do not publish everything that comes my way no matter how much a client may want to be published. As my name as the publisher is attached to the publication, there are certain criteria which need to be met. This is also in the best interest of the client if I feel a work isn’t publishable.
Traditional publishers have an important role to play in the book publishing process and have published many successful Irish authors. However, there is a definite need for smaller publishers and self-publishers to keep the dream of ALL Irish authors alive - that is to get published. The fewer routes to readers which are available to authors, the more we risk the demise of the craft of writing, where creativity will be lost to despair and dejection.

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