Saturday 5th November


Seminar “Self Publishing for Success”

with experienced self publishing author Alex Blackwell

Sean Staunton Room, Town Hall Theatre


FREE (booking recommended)


Self Publishing for Success

Do you have an idea for a book? Have you been turned down or disappointed by traditional publishers? Have you finished a novel and are uncertain what the next steps are in getting it into the hands of a reader? Or are you an instructor or specialist and have been asked about further reading? Alex Blackwell has worked his way through all of these scenarios. He has also been a book printer and has self-published several of his own fiction and non-fiction books.


Book publishing has changed radically in the past decade. Self-publishing, the alternative to the traditional route, was previously an expensive option. With print-on-demand technology and online digital marketing, the up-front costs are no longer prohibitive. Getting a book published is now something everyone can achieve.


Alex will introduce you to some of the options available to you in today’s publishing world, giving you a taste of what may or may not work for you as an author. He will also give you some pointers on what it takes to successfully self-publish your work.


Yes, your work can be published and deserves to be read. Yes, you can find an audience. And yes, you do have options to successfully create your masterpiece.



Alex Blackwell

Alex Blackwell writes about sailing and sailing adventures, contributing to several magazines, websites and e-zines. He has enjoyed a professional career as copywriter, marketer and speaker. Born in Chicago, Alex and his family moved to Clew Bay, Ireland when he was 14.


Because of his mother’s German heritage, Alex went to school in Germany, where he earned a Master of Science degree in Marine Biology. After starting an oyster hatchery in Ireland, he went to America for a six-month research project. As many people do, he stayed for 20 years. There he was a partner in a marketing support services firm and commercial printing company which included a short-run book printing division. The firm also had an art and design studio. The book production, which Alex oversaw, was targeted at run lengths from 50 to 1,000 copies of premium quality, perfect bound (soft-cover), and case bound (hard-cover) books. These were produced for individual authors and for book marketing firms.


Since then Alex and his wife Daria have been sailing far and wide, exploring distant shores, always to return to their home in Ireland.


Alex has written and self-published two novels and is working on the third of his series. He also published an oyster cook book. Together with Daria he has written and published two further non-fiction books: one on boat anchoring and one on sailing or driving along the Wild Atlantic Way. All titles are available in print and Kindle format, Alex having done the design, layout and prep for the final files, including the conversion to Kindle format.


Leveraging social media, their informational and publishing websites, and public speaking engagements, their anchoring book has become the best seller in its genre on Amazon. The other titles have also all been well received and are slowly gaining traction.


Current Titles:

The Butterfly Effect: It started on 9/11

An “addictive page turner”


The Brotherhood; Acquisition of Power

Book 2 of the Butterfly Effect Series

Even more exciting than the first book


Cruising the Wild Atlantic Way

Discover Europe’s Gem, the Wild West of the Emerald Isle


Happy Hooking – the Art of Anchoring

Best selling anchoring book on Amazon


Oyster Delight

The definitive guide to enjoying oysters



From The Galley Of…

A grand collection of recipes shared by OCC members from around the world

(Type, design, layout, and editing by Alex Blackwell)





On the Couch with Claire Grady, Deirdre Purcell and Ann O’Loughlin

Clew Bay Hotel




“From journalist to novelist”

Claire Grady, first female editor of the Irish Independent in lively conversation with authors and journalists Deirdre Purcell and Ann O’Loughlin. Followed by book sales and personal signings by the authors. One of the most popular events at the Rolling Sun Book Festival so book your ticket well in advance!


Deirdre Purcell

Deirdre Purcell was born and brought up in Dublin, and educated there and in a Crossmolina convent. Before turning to the writing of fiction, she lived through an eclectic set of careers, including acting, as a member of the permanent company of Ireland's National Theatre (The Abbey), and journalism for all media - for which she won Ireland's top awards. She has published twelve critically acclaimed novels, most recently The Winter Gathering and The Husband, all of which have been bestsellers in Ireland.


Following an eclectic set of careers in the civil service, at Aer Lingus, and as an actress in the Abbey Theatre company, Deirdre was invited to become the first "European Theatre Artist" at Loyola University, Chicago. There, she met her first husband.


After marriage, in order to fund a return to Ireland and a house deposit, she worked three jobs for four years as a travel agent, late night cocktail waitress, and actor/manager of weekend dinner-theatre. Funds raised, she come home and joined RTÉ as a radio announcer. Over the course of her nine years with the station, she moved into the newsroom first as a newsreader, then TV journalist, and before she left to join the Sunday Tribune, was anchoring the Nine O'Clock News.


At the Tribune, she became known for her in-depth interviews for The People Page which garnered awards for her writing style and insight into her subjects -- as a result of which she drew the attention of a publisher, who commissioned her to write her first novel. This, A Place of Stones, was followed by 13 other best-selling novels and six non-fiction books; her latest novel, The Husband, was published in September 2016.


Her interests, predictably, are: reading, current affairs, the natural and developing worlds, and the welfare of animals.



Ann O’Loughlin

A leading journalist in Ireland for nearly thirty years Ann O’Loughlin has covered all major news events of the last three decades. Ann spent most of her career with Independent Newspapers where she was Security Correspondent and was a senior journalist on the Irish Independent and Evening Herald. She is currently a senior journalist with the Irish Examiner newspaper covering legal issues. Ann has also lived and worked in India. Originally from Co. Clare she now lives on the east coast with her husband and two children.


The Ballroom Café, her debut novel became an Irish bestseller and just three months after publication in June 2015 was one Amazon’s top 20 bestselling ebooks of 2015. Rights have since sold to the US, Germany, Italy, Norway and Hungary as well as large print and audio. The novel was published in the US on October 4 under the title The Secrets of Roscarbury Hall and in Italy last July, it will be released in Germany in December and in Norway and Hungary in Spring 2017.


The Judge's Wife published in Ireland and UK July 2016. In the Irish bestseller charts for four weeks it is currently back in the Irish Top 10. Rights have also been sold to US, Norway, Italy and Holland so far.




The Bumble Bee Key: Book launch - AC Coady

The Bookshop (Bridge Street)




A C Coady was born in Dublin. She resides in the small seaside village of Sandycove with her husband John and cat, Sonny. For most of her working life she was involved in the creative advertising environment. Her passions include reading, writing, travel and creative projects. She loves children and animals and is the middle sibling of five. Her nephew Kevin, inspired her to author "The Bumble Bee Key”. This is her first book.




Interview: Sebastian Barry in conversation with Frank Reidy about his glittering career and his new book, published this month, Days Without End

The Walnut Suite, The Plaza Hotel




Sebastian Barry

Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin in 1955. His novels and plays have won the Costa Book of the Year award, the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Prize, the Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year, the Independent Booksellers Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He also had two consecutive novels, A Long Long Way (2005) and the top ten bestseller The Secret Scripture (2008), shortlisted for the MAN Booker Prize. He lives in Wicklow.


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

Published by Faber & Faber

Time was not something then we thought of as an item that possessed an ending, but something that would go on forever, all rested and stopped in that moment. Hard to say what I mean by that. You look back at all the endless years when you never had that thought. I am doing that now as I write these words in Tennessee. I am thinking of the days without end of my life. And it is not like that now...’


After signing up for the US army in the 1850s, aged barely seventeen, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian wars and, ultimately, the Civil War.


Having fled terrible hardships themselves, they find these days to be vivid and filled with wonder, despite the horrors they both witness and are complicit in. Their lives are further enriched and endangered when a young Indian girl crosses their path, and the possibility of lasting happiness emerges, if only they can survive.

Moving from the plains of the West to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry’s latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt, and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America’s past, Days Without End is a novel never to be forgotten.


‘A beautiful, savage, tender, searing work of art. Sentence after perfect sentence it grips and does not let go.’

Donal Ryan


 ‘Sebastian Barry is an artist of the highest order.’

Claire Kilroy



Frank Reidy

Frank Reidy is a regular contributor to both Raidió na Gaeltachta and TG4 on both defence and international issues. His first book, Ó Chósta go Cósta, which was published by Cló Iar-Chonnachta in 2009, is based on his travels in east Africa. Ó Chósta go Cósta won the prestigious Irish language book of the year award - Gradam Uí Shiúilleabháin - in 2010. Frank was born in Sligo and he lives in Ros a' Mhíl, Co Galway. He is currently researching for a new book on Ethiopia.


Frank is a former army commandant and was head of the Audio Visual Unit in the Curragh, where he lectured on Media Studies in the Military College. He spent periods in both the Middle East and in Rwanda. On his retirement, he worked with RTÉ as a reporter and researcher. He returned to Rwanda in 2000, working for Refugee Trust International. He regularly returns to Africa, travelling and as a voluntary worker.