Localbooks.ie to target the 80m-strong Irish diaspora

1 Jun 2010

Bard na nGleann, the company behind the world’s largest online language bookshop Litriocht, has launched a new web store, Localbooks.ie, which will specialise in local books about Ireland written in either Irish or English.

Most of the authors live locally and have unique, in-depth knowledge of that area. Localbooks.ie will be open for business from today. Books can be shipped anywhere in the world.

“Currently, local books can only be found in small local shops,” explained Bard na nGleann MD, Tom Fitzgerald. “There is no central outlet to get them to the wider world.  Localbooks.ie will reach the 80 million Irish in the diaspora and help rebuild rural Ireland’s link to its diaspora.”

Litrocht.com, which only does books as Gaeilge, has customers in more than 66 countries, and in a recent survey more than 60pc of Litriocht customers told us they want local books on specific areas in Ireland. Localbooks.ie aims to offer the world’s most extensive collection of local books on Ireland.

Initially, the online store will focus on books on Munster but the offering will gradually increase to include books on the whole of Ireland, north and south. We will also seek to sell the many books written by emigrants about the parish or village they left behind, or even Irish communities in other parts of the world.  

Because of the lack of distribution, finding local books is difficult and time consuming, and most tend to go out of print quickly. Localbooks.ie will be a one-stop shop for people at home and abroad who enjoy reading about local areas as diverse as Cape Clear, Kilfenora or Dingle. Each book can transport you to a different time and place and can bring back memories of long ago.

Localbooks.ie readers can learn about specific parishes and how they coped throughout the famine, through migration and the Irish civil war. 

Local Irish stories

Stories from local people have been captured and the reader learns firsthand the struggles and successes that that have been encountered from the past to the present time. Ireland’s cities, towns, villages, bays, harbours, headland and beaches are captured in illustrations and photographs.

Bard na nGleann, a Gaeltacht-based company, has made Litriocht a successful and popular Irish online store, winning awards such as the Golden Spider best e-business in Ireland award in 2008, and Barr 50 (Top 50 Irish-language companies) award.

Litriocht is the world’s largest online Irish language bookshop, with more than 5,000 titles and the goal to provide every Irish-language book in print.  

Localbooks.ie can expect to have even more success, because the books are in English, and can thus attract a wider audience.  Localbooks.ie will also work hand in hand with Litriocht.com to bring the best of local Irish books to Irish readers and the 80 million-strong Irish Diaspora. 

Anyone who has a book they’d like to sell on Localbooks.ie are encouraged to drop a line to info@localbooks.ie

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years