A Letter From Our Publisher

Some of my earliest memories of books relate to publications from Ireland. There was an Irish-language book called Sean na nGeanna, a beautiful illustrated hardback sent to me in England by my Irish grandmother, with striking colour illustrations and, most memorably for me, a strong new-book smell – that combination of ink and coated paper that, whenever I encounter it, brings me right back to early childhood.

The other one was The Turf Cutter's Donkey, the classic by Patricia Lynch, with its evocative line drawings of wooden caravans, rolling hills and peat fires. Years later, I was delighted to publish the first biography of Lynch, by the novelist Phil Young, with a striking cover design featuring a Jack Yeats painting.

This is all a roundabout way of saying that books are important indeed life-changing and that producing and publishing them well is just as important as writing and reading them.

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Liberties Press began as a kitchen-table operation in 2003 and has since grown to become Ireland's leading independent publisher, with close to 200 titles in print and an active international presence. We publish the best writing from Ireland, both non-fiction and fiction, by authors ranging from presidents and taoisigh to debut literary novelists and performance poets. We are delighted that, after a number of difficult and turbulent years, there is a growing confidence among publishers and booksellers, with a number of new companies being set up. This all augurs well for the future.

We believe that, important as it is for a publisher to produce an attractive book, to the highest editorial, print and design standards, it is equally necessary to make sure that that book reaches as many potential readers as possible, in whatever format they like to read, and wherever they are in the world.

Good publishing is a creative endeavour, and the work of many hands: editors, designers, publicists, sales people, distributors and booksellers. It is a complicated and sometimes difficult business, but an important one. This is what motivates us in Liberties to continue to strive for the highest professional standards in everything we do. We hope you find something to interest you on our new, redesigned website. By buying from the site, you are supporting Irish jobs and Irish authors and playing an active part in the multifaceted world of books.

Seán O'Keeffe
Publisher, Liberties Press
October 2014


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