TITLES BY Joseph O’Connor and Eddie Hobbs are among those chosen to feature in a national campaign to be launched today in a bid by Irish publishers and booksellers to attract more people into bookshops.
Also included in the initiative will be Tom Garvin's Judging Lemass, launched earlier this week by Taoiseach Brian Cowen.
A panel of booksellers selected 30 fiction, poetry, Irish-language and non-fiction titles to showcase what they see as the best of recent Irish books.
Between October 24th and 31st, anyone buying a book with a Great Irish Book Week sticker from a bookshop will get a free book containing extracts from the 30 titles, whose authors will also participate in events around the country.
The campaign focuses primarily on Irish-published books, which account for only 15 per cent of bookshop sales in Ireland.
“This is a sad state of affairs for a nation which prides itself on its literary heritage,” said Alan Hayes, president of Clé, the Irish Book Publishers’ Association.
“Literature is Ireland’s greatest export and Irish publishers are an important part of our cultural infrastructure: as an employer, economic generator, contributor to our national pride and international reputation.”
Without a vital publishing sector in Ireland, “many emerging authors may never see their work published”, Mr Hayes added.
As well as The Irish Male: His Greatest Hitsby O'Connor and Debt Busters: Managing Your Money Through the Recessionby Hobbs, other titles include Life in the Universeby Michael J Farrell; Flowing Still: Irish Poets on Irish Poetry, edited by Pat Boran; and Conspiracy: Irish Political Trialsby Myles Dungan.
For a list of the 30 titles see www.greatirishbookweek.com.