Atlas of the Revolution reprints on their way

Atlas of the Revolution reprints on their way
Map of events at Béal na Blá, 22 August 1922 from the Atlas of the Irish Revolution.

Three articulated lorries will be needed to transport the second print run of a book from Cork that has become one the hits of 2017.

The Cork University Press had high hopes for the Atlas of the Irish Revolution after the success of a previous work but even they had no idea how popular it would be.

“We based the first print run on the Atlas Of The Great Irish Famine in 2012, that sold 4,000 in a couple of months,” publisher Mike Collins explained. 

“So we thought we would cover ourselves a bit better with 8,000.

“But those went from the distributor after four or five weeks.” 

Atlas of The Irish Revolution.
Atlas of The Irish Revolution.

And so, less than two months after its launch in September, booksellers around the country are awaiting their next delivery of the massive tome. Even with a larger second print run, there will be disappointed readers left wanting before Christmas.

“We’ve gone back with a 14,000 print run but we already have bookshop orders for over that so there will be a third print run in the new year,” Mr Collins said. 

“Because it is a complex book we won’t be able to do it before then.

“We had more orders than books available so we had to try and allocate them on a fair basis. There will be no books left in the distributor within a few days of arriving there.” 

The book covers the story of the Irish revolution as it played out across all 32 counties and includes hundreds of images and maps. Each copy weighs 5kg and costs €59, making its success even more impressive.

“The bookshops felt the price should be €80 but our view was that €59 is really at the upper end of what an individual will buy. By keeping it at that price we hoped to sell more books and that has turned out to be true.

“The fact that it is one volume cuts out the buying choice because if there were two volumes some people might choose to buy one or the other. It is better for the book that it is printed as one.” 

Mr Collins also explained why a book about Irish history, written by UCC academics in Cork, is being printed in Italy.

“We are part of UCC so anything that costs over €25,000 has to go to EU tender. It is out of our hands and goes to the procurement office in Government. Any printer in the EU can apply. It so happens that they also printed the Atlas Of The Great Irish Famine.

“It is all about the binding and they have a very good bindery. The book is 984 pages but they are not ordinary pages. It is art paper, which is thicker and heavier than normal.” 

The publishers of the Atlas of the Irish Revolution also had more reason to celebrate this week after the book was nominated for Best Irish Published Book at The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2017.

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