Greystones in Co Wicklow has been revealed as Ireland’s publishing hotspot according to Amazon. The coastal town, which perhaps not coincidentally also has the most expensive average house price outisde Dublin, has more independently published authors per person than any other town in Ireland.
The town already has several literary associations. Samuel Beckett had one of his defining epiphanies as a writer, as expressed in Krapp’s Last Tape, on a stormy night on Greystones’ old pier, and his father is buried in the town. Safe Harbour by Marita Conlon-McKenna, about child evacuees during the second World War, is set there. Ruth Fitzmaurice, author of I Found My Tribe, forthcoming next year from Chatto & Windus with a film deal already signed, is a resident, as is Dave Lordan, editor of Young Irelanders, the New Island anthology. Paul Howard, Ross O’Carroll-Kelly’s muse, is also a former resident.
Joining Greystones in the top five are Mullingar, Enniscorthy, Maynooth and Leixlip. The list reflects the number of authors using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) programme. The top 10 towns in Ireland are:
1. Greystones, Co Wicklow
2. Mullingar, Co Westmeath
3. Enniscorthy, Co Wexford
4. Bray, Co Wicklow
5. Maynooth, Co Kildare
7. Leixlip, Co Kildare
The figures are based on the number of KDP authors in towns with a population of over 10,000 people, divided by population.
While some towns may be recent additions to the literary scene, others have a rich history in books and publishing. James Joyce lived in Bray during his youth and 2005 Booker Prize-winning author John Banville is from Wexford.
Pedro Huerta, director of Kindle Content Europe, said: “KDP allows anyone with the desire to write a book to get their story read locally and around the world. Writing your own book is very popular in Ireland, with scores of authors publishing every day on KDP. We’ve seen a real growth in counties like Meath, Wicklow and Kildare over the last few years, and it’s great to see so many writers publish their work for the enjoyment of readers around the world.”