The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Irish Booksellers and Publishers assemble in Cork for the 2023 Irish Book Trade Conference

Bookselling Ireland and Publishing Ireland – who represent booksellers and publishers across Ireland - were delighted to host their annual conference on Monday 27th and Tuesday, 28th February 2023 in the Clayton Hotel, Cork city. This is the first time since 2008 that the conference has taken place outside Dublin.
After the Covid years of cancelled or curtailed conferences, delegates were delighted to return to a full-scale event this year. The conference included a trade show of publishers and industry service providers, guest authors, a keynote debate on the value of books, practical sessions for publishers and booksellers, as well as the announcement of the O’Brien Press Bookseller of the Year.
A key element of this year’s conference was the launch of Bookselling Ireland’s new manifesto which provided a detailed account of the associations’ key aims, intentions, and views in relation to the bookselling industry in Ireland today, and public policy relating to it. Bookselling Ireland’s mission is  to support, advise, and advocate for booksellers all over the country, as well as providing networking and learning opportunities for its members and running consumer campaigns to promote bookshops, books, and reading.
The manifesto outlines the important cultural and economic contributions made by the Irish bookselling industry, and calls on policymakers to:
  • Ensure the Free School Book Scheme takes full account of the complexity of the supply chain to achieve its desired outcomes
  • Consider the effects on communities across Ireland if bookshops were to close as a result of being excluded from school books supply
  • Make the €20 million School Library Book Grant an annual commitment
  • Request that the Arts Council establishes a ringfenced fund to support bookshop events with Irish writers, and for a portion of this to be dedicated for Irish-language bookshop events
  • Ensure that libraries each have a ringfenced budget to procure books of local interest from local bookshops
  • Invest in public transport to encourage easier access to town centres, and capital allowances for retailers investing in energy use reduction measures
Aoife Roantree, Chair of Bookselling Ireland, said, “We were delighted to be able to bring the Irish Book Trade Conference to Cork this year and to have the opportunity to meet and network once again with our colleagues from many areas of the book trade in Ireland, as well as offering some resources to our members to help ensure a successful year. The conference also gave us the ideal platform to launch our new manifesto which outlines the important contribution that bookselling makes to  Irish society and Ireland’s economy, as well as highlighting a range of policy recommendations to further bolster the industry.”
Caoimhe Fox, President of Publishing Ireland, commented, “Publishing Ireland is delighted to once again partner with our colleagues in Bookselling Ireland and the Booksellers Association for the Annual Book Trade Conference. Hosting the 2023 conference in Cork, home to so many excellent bookshops and publishers, has proved to be very popular across our membership. This cross-sector event creates opportunities for stakeholders across the Irish book ecosystem to come together to share expertise and ideas. Collaboration and information sharing is vital to the ongoing success of our industry and this conference plays an essential role in that process.”
Bookselling Ireland would also like to thank their conference sponsors; headline sponsor An Post, bookseller sponsor National Book Tokens, AIB Merchant Services, Argosy Books, BatchLine POS, Eriu/Bonnier Books, FBD Insurance,  Hachette Ireland, Harper Collins Ireland, Pan Macmillan Ireland, Penguin Random House Ireland, and Simon & Schuster.
For further information you can check out Bookselling Ireland’s social media platforms; Facebook: @BooksellingIreland, Twitter: @BooksellingI and Instagram: @BooksellingI.