I attended my first ever Irish PEN talk on Thursday 14th October, on the subject of ebooks. The panel consisted of Eoin Purcell, publishing whiz; Vanessa O’Loughlin of Inkwell; Gareth Cuddy of DirecteBooks.com and Catherine Ryan Howard, who has successfully self-published her own book in both traditional and ebook form.
The panel was amazing. Between them they had a full complement of knowledge about ebooks and their place in the publishing market, from pricing knowledge to technical details, market share to basic how-to advice. Some members of the audience were very familiar with the topic already, others were just getting to grips with it, but I believe that everyone left the room with a far better understanding of ebooks and their future role than when they went in.
Irish PEN holds talks on the second Thursday of every month in The United Artists Club, 3 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2 at 8pm. The talks are excellent value, costing €3 for members and €5 for non-members. As a complete newbie and (currently) a non-member of Irish Pen, I was made to feel very welcome. I will certainly be attending the next one, and taking out membership by then too.
Catherine Ryan Howard is a writer and blogger from Cork who in March 2010 self-published her travel memoir, Mousetrapped: A Year and A Bit in Orlando, Florida . Almost as an afterthought, Catherine released e-book versions on Amazon’s Kindle store and Apple’s iBooks and was amazed at how easily, cheaply and quickly authors could upload their content and start to sell their work. Hundreds of ebooks later, she wants to spread the word. Her popular blog, Catherine Caffeinated