Category Archives: Nothing much ado about Websites

Cian Foley – World Kettlebell Champion :-)

cian-1Yes you read that right! I have to keep saying it out loud because it’s still surreal. I’m a World Kettlebell Champion fulfilling a dream of mine for a number of years.  After winning the Europeans in my category (adult men’s long cycle, 78-85kg bodyweight with 2x24kg bells) this year, I was quietly confident going into the worlds knowing that if I trained hard, cleaned up my diet and got a bit more clever about what I was doing with my technique, I could increase my repetitions and be in with a chance of winning.  My coach Rosaleen Flynn (Rosie is coach at Waterford Kettlebell Club based at Peak Fitness in Cleaboy business park in Waterford) put together a periodisation plan for me and knew when to push and when to lay off to get me as prepared as possible for D-Day.

Photos by Gerry Donnelly © 2015 AIKLF

Between the 25th and 29th of November, the IUKL World Kettlebell championships were held in Ireland in DCU’s sports complex in Dublin and run by the AIKLF. Kettlebell Sport (or Girevoy Sport), is a Russian sport where athletes compete with one or two kettlebells (16, 24 or 32kg) for 10 minutes with the aim of getting as many repetitions (reps) as possible. 565 athletes attended the event from 36 countries, which means it was the biggest kettlebell event in the world to date.

On the day, I managed 87 reps with Per Olhans, the Swedish champion, coming in second with 85 reps, and Karsten Bollert from Germany in third with 82 reps.  There were 14 athletes in total who turned up for the event from countries across the world including Russia, USA, Australia, Serbia and England, see table below for full results:

Men’s <85K Amateur LC – World Kettlebell Championships Resultsresults

Here’s my 10 min set from the worlds championships…

I’m especially delighted to have won a gold medal in Ireland. That made it really special because my family and friends were there to give support. My wife Nic, the kids, my mother and father, my father in law, sister in law, sister, god son & niece and pal Burkie and his wife Juneanne, along with my fellow club members were all there. I really appreciated everyone being there and heard them during my set, you can hear them shouting in the video above. I had to give absolutely everything to get those last 2 reps to win and all the running up and down to Coumshingaun and jumping into the lake for months may have been the difference, thank God.

cian-2Photos by Gerry Donnelly © AIKLF 2015

In terms of big wins for me, I won a European medal in Bulgaria in July of this year and won the Pan American Open Championships the year before in Columbus Ohio at the Arnolds, but this is the biggest for me so far. It’s very satisfying to set a goal and then achieve it.

Big thanks to my wife Nicola and children for giving me the time to train and support needed to focus on the event.  Thanks to my training buddy Kieran and his wife Cathy for opening up their gaff for me to train during the winter months.  Finally, thanks to my coach Rosie from Waterford Kettlebell Club who put together an excellent training plan for me. It obviously worked!

Waterford Kettlebell Club is based in Peak Fitness in Cleaboy Business Park.  If anyone is interested in getting involved or finding out more about Kettlebell Sport in Waterford please contact Rosie or any of the lads in there and they’ll point you in the right direction.

Click here to listen to an interview I did with Open Tempo with Eoin Tubritt

It’s an amazing second chance for me to have gone from being an 18 stone unhealthy slob to <13 stone kettlebell lifting athlete over the past few years.  It was a slow progression but I’m delighted that I got on to that path and how far I’ve come. If you told me 5 years ago that I’d be a European and World Kettlebell lifting champion in 2015 I’d have laughed in your face so I guess what I’m saying is  that there is hope for everyone, if you have belief in yourself and are willing work hard.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Now back to the real world, website anyone LOL?

See previous post: ‘Santa is Real’ Music Video

Waterford Harvest Festival Food Menu

rasher-blaaThis Waterford Food Menu appeared in the Deise Dictionary Two (Tew), which I published back in 2007. It’s hard to believe it was 8 years ago now, with the first book being almost 10 years old!

I thought it would be apt to post it given the Waterford Harvest Festival has just come and gone over the weekend…

The image shows a common rasher blaa, which is of course a truly Waterford invention, with the modern curing process and hence the rasher having been patented here by Denny when they were based here.  Throw in an oul sausage, a black puddin, maybe an egg and some red sauce and you’ll be on de ball.

Below are some of the more traditional Waterford culinary delights on offer in the Déise…

A Déise Menu

Red Lead Blaa (the classic)
Dillix (dilisk) & Butthur Sangwich (mmm salty)
Blaa Butty with Lettuce and Salad Crayme
Denny Rashers on Jacob’s Crackers (both invented in Waterford)
Scallops (Sliced spuds battered and deep fried… soooo good)
Packet of Tay-ho in a Blaa (A full on Meath/Waterford taste explosion)

~Main Courses~
Skirt & Kidney Stew
Crubeens (Pigs Trotters) with Ghrribs & Tails
Offal Stew (Chucks, Back & Loin Bones, Puzzlers etc.)
Tripe with milk & ungins
Cappoquin Chicken Blaanini

(All served with poppies and slouhcawn)

Goody (on a saucer)
Cream Buns (remember de cream?)
Slab Cake / Chesthur Bread
Soda Bread
Sally Luns

Mug o’ Scald / Cup o’ Cha
A Layarge Bohhel offa de Shellef
A Ritz for de lack
A can of Hoppmans
Clonmel Chardonnay
Downes’ no. 9 mix
A Bohhel o’ Phoenix

Obviously we can add a few more craft beers since then like Metalman and Dungarvan… Is there anything else left off the menu???

What they can’t take from Waterford

saleens-sunset (Custom)I’ve been thinking about Waterford a lot of late and our offering to tourists both national and international, and also our job situation and the fact that so much is being pilfered and taken from us and I think that we need to go back to basics… what is it that makes Waterford unique and special, and what can we build on that they can never take away.

We’re lucky to still have the glass, but unfortunately, this just brings in daytrippers, who spend plenty of money in the glass but not around the city before they head off to kiss the blarney stone.  We had a scare recently and the glass could be moved from Waterford and we know Kilmeaden cheddar is made elsewhere now for example.

Other treginalds-tower (Custom)hings that have been taken or at least part set up elsewhere, however,  the most disastrous one was losing our city status, which was blessed and passed by many of our then elected Councillors (many didn’t get re-elected but have any lessons been learned?).  They promised we would still be a city, that nothing would change but we don’t have a city mayor anymore (we have some metropolitan hybrid) and in the local Governments act we can simply call ourselves a city (or pretend we still are).  Anyone with Waterford blood coursing through their veins should see that act for what it was and never forgive it until it is completely reversed.


So what can’t they take and can we build on this?  I think so?

gaulstown-dolmen (Custom)For me, growing up, Waterford was always about family adventures (not just families with kids but couples and friends too, who want an adventure but not run a marathon over mountain range whilst being chased by minotaurs).  Now I know that the west is great at this sort of thing but it seems to be more rugged and wild (certainly Bord Failte think so).  Waterford on the other hand, though still rugged, has it’s own spectacular beauty and it can be enjoyed by families.  So I was thinking about a list of things that we have that cannot be taken that can be promoted, and Paul Dower, of Waterford in Your Pocket has been doing a great job promoting them.  Some of these things include:

Ground Zero:

– City fabric: historic pubs, local artisan shops, walls and museums, food and culture

metalman-coast (Custom)Within 10 miles:

– Fabulous beaches  incuding woodstown, dunmore, tramore, annestown
– Town offerings: great restaurants and pubs in coastal villages, jack meades, spinnaker, the vic etc.
– Megalithic history: dolmens like gaulstown, knockeen etc.
– Suir valley, which will soon be an unreal greenway
– Gardens such as Mt. Congreve and now Curraghmore opening up
– Playgrounds such as people’s park, fenor bog etc.

coumshingaun-chopper (Custom)Within 30 miles:

– Mountain range with magic hill, beautiful falls, accessible drives and fabulous corrie lakes (untouched)
– Walks at Rathgormack side, hanoras cottage, beautiful nire valley
– Magical little walks like crough wood, newtown, colligan
– Amazing beaches all the way to Ardmore

towers-of-ballysaggartmore (Custom)

West Waterford

– Ballysaggartmore towers
– Lismore castle and town
– Dungargvan and it’s countless pubs, restarurants, history, mannicured parks etc.
– Ardmore tower, cliff house, st. declans well, cliff walks
– An Rinn (only gaeltacht this side of Ireland)
– All the way to youghal there’s blackwater, cappoquinn, villierstown, mt. mellary, the vee

ballysaggart-waterfall (Custom)So many amazing spots, enough to fill 2 weeks for any tourist and I’m just chucking this out from the top of my head.

When I was with my wife first we used to love exploring together, now we do it with the kids… yeah we were limited for a few years but as they grow they take on more and more of these experiences and we get pleasure showing them, and a blaa with saussies and red sauce on the side of the road never goes astray.

lismore-ducks (Custom)So, the bottom line is this.  They can’t take these things from us, lets build on it, sing it from the rooftops more and show people how brilliant Waterford really is.  If they use Waterford city and Dungarvan and the other towns and villages as bases money will be spent etc. which will create sustainable jobs as the word spreads about it.

We’ve undersold these assets in the past, nobody else can claim them, but their beauty can claim hearts.

That’s what we should be targetting.

Entertainment Venue for Waterford North Quays?

Gig StageI love the fact that something is being done about the North Quays and the fact that the council have gotten it to a stage where it can be pushed forward. Even it’s demolition will be an improvement as it is an eyesore, though most of our brains just ignore it at this point. Tourists see it very clearly though when they visit and it is ugly to them so anything would be an improvement.  I think it’s a pity that even one of the buildings has to be kept for historic reasons.

I love the bridge. Perhaps it could be covered all the way across, like the corridor from the car park to the terminals in Dublin Airport as it can get very windy. This would be nice for people who get the train here and want to walk to the city centre.

I’m not sure about more offices in the city as we can’t fill the ones we already have… I would much prefer to see something that would push Waterford forward as the capital of the region like an entertainment arena/conference centre.  I would like to see huge acts come to perform here, like they do at the Glenn Eagle in Killarney or the Odyssey in Belfast.  The Forum wasn’t big enough for huge acts to come here, and there’s nothing really like that in the region so it would really add to the cool factor of Waterford if we built something that could hold 3K+ people for big events.  Something like that can be a success with the right marketing and given the site is at the end of the motorway, and train station it is really convenient.  It would bring a huge amount of money to the city as people exiting gigs visit our pubs, restaurants, hotels etc.

The North Quays also bake in the sun in the summer, so it would be nice if it became an entertainment centre with some nice restaurants, cafes, maybe a bar etc.  A cool place to hang out for adults and families with a fantastic view of our city’s quays.  It could be lit up at night calling out to the people of the city to come visit, just as the city would call to people who exit the venue after a gig has finished.   I’d consider moving the bus depot there too, especially if the bridge is covered and make it a hive of activity for people traveling to and from Waterford.

We need to think a lot bigger here in Waterford.  If we build it they will come!

Aurora Borealis / Northern Lights over Waterford

I saw a report last night from Waterford Weather’s facebook page (give them a like) about a possible rare view of the Aurora Borealis as far south as Waterford.

It was about 12.30am last night so I went outside for a look and it looked like there was a sunset happening to the North! I know it’s North because the sun sets in the direction of the Comeragh Mountains.  It wasn’t the city lights because I am in Orchardstown and that is well to the East. I installed an app on my phone to find due North and looked in that direction towards the sky to make sure I wasn’t going crazy.

There was definitely a green haze to the ‘sunset’ so I took a couple of photos with my phone so apologies for the quality.


I went up to my attic to get a higher shot and kept the camera steady on the roof and got this shot also…


It wasn’t flickering like you’d see in the movies but you could clearly see the green haze as it was such a clear night.

Sleep Paralysis Song – and Setting Goals

I’m a firm believer in setting goals and sticking to them.  Without them, targets are missed and you become messy and anxious when it comes to getting the job done.  This year I’ve set myself the goal of getting 12 original songs onto youtube. The first is a Sleep Paralysis Song.

In the past I’ve set goals for lots of different kinds of things.  A few years ago it was getting Slang books published through and then, then it was getting the 1848 Tricolour Festival off the ground with my friends, more recently, getting into good shape through sensible diet, climbing that bastard of a hill, Coumshingaun, and competing at national and international Kettlebell events, which it feels great to be doing at almost 40.

This year I plan on continuing the kettlebell training as it has had such a positive impact on my life, but I have some business goals and musical goals that I also plan to achieve this year.

Most people don’t know this about me but I am a classically trained Tuba player (LOL), yes it’s not much good to me these days except it has made me an expert birthday candle ‘blower outer’ and may even have given me a bit of an extra bellow capacity for the Kettlebells, who knows.  All those days marching with the damned thing around my neck on St. Patrick’s day for example.  I got to grade 7 standard and competed in competition with the big yoke. I played in the Mount Sion Silver Band for about 10 years, which made me a lot of life long friends..  I also played it for my leaving cert, which gave me an edge that the fiddle, and piano players didn’t have.  I remember the look on the evaluators face when I came in with my Tuba.  Their eyes would brighten up as it was unusual, and it wasn’t another fiddle or piano LOL. I’d bang a solo out on the E flat Bass like it was a Euphonium, thanks to the instruction of Liam Walsh, and my Dad for really encouraging me to keep it up when I felt the pressure.

After I left school I kind of rejected music a bit because I guess it became a bit too much like work and I lost the love for it.  Also, I was good but I was never really that good a musician so I wasn’t that confident in my abilities and so I focussed on other things in my life.

What I got from my time playing the tuba was an ability to read music and an understanding of how music works, bass lines, working with instruments in the different ranges and keys etc.

Even though I was a good tuba player, I’ve always been more of a closet singer.  I sang a couple of main parts as a kid in plays like Joseph and always enjoyed that.  Though never really took it anywhere beyond that, which has bugged me.  I was always singing though at home, with guitar and writing songs from a young age, but I let that part of me die for 15 years.

Anyway, to cut a long story short.  I’ve been toying around with the idea of writing songs and getting them out there for years and recently I’ve gotten a few out there.  Over the years I did some spoofy stuff for like ‘The Secret Ball by Paul Flynn’ to the Tune of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, and The Deise Boys up in the Ardree to the tune of Stayin Alive by the BeeGees.

Always a great craic and they did really well locally as most people in Waterford have seen them, but they’re just cover versions and a bit of a laugh.

I started putting some more original stuff out there last year like ‘Hey Mind Yerself’, a song about the big storms in Ireland in 2013/2014 that caused havok, and then an a-capella song ‘Arnies 6 Rules to Success.’

On Christmas eve, I brought out a song called Santa is Real for my kids and this year I’ve promised myself that I’ll release 12 songs, one a month for a year and January’s work is called Sleep Paralysis…

What is Sleep Paralysis?

Sleep Paralysis is a condition that almost 10% of the world suffer from.  When it happens you wake up and cannot move a muscle, you can’t even speak.  It feels very sinister, like you are under attack and you panic and can’t move, not even scream for your loved ones.  It is awful and terrifying to even the toughest individual.  The only way out of it is to wait, and to wait calmly is the best way.

Science explains Sleep Paralysis it as your mind waking up before your body does and studies have shown that it is more likely to happen to people under mental stress.

However, religious and spiritual people believe it to be some sort of demonic/spiritual attack, intending to draw fear from the victim either as an energy source for them or that your panic is a source of entertainment for them.   The jury is out as far as I’m concerned.

Here’s an article on the demonic side of Sleep Paralysis, the testimonies are particular interesting in the comments sections.

In any case, as a frequnt sufferer, I wrote a song about it… it may resonate with some of you…

Christmas in Waterford

christmas-waterfordWhy not spend Christmas in Waterford this year? Waterford City is the place to be this Christmas where Ireland first Christmas Festival, Winterval, is taking place between November 21st and December 24th.  Here are 40 things that you can do in Waterford during the Christmas season!  Come visit and you will be amazed at what we have to offer!  The City will provide a fantasy wonderland for kids of all ages from 1 to 101 and there is no better way of getting into the christmas spirit!

  1. Take a trip on the Santa Express with Waterford & Suir Valley Railway
  2. Visit the Museum of Toys
  3. Take a spin on the old style Carousel  in John Roberts Square
  4. Winterval Illuminates Light show at Cathedral Square
  5. Storytelling for the kids at Irelands oldest civic building at Reginalds Tower
  6. Visit the Yule Viking Settlement at Newstreet Gardens
  7. Visit Waterford on Ice
  8. Visit Santa Grotto at the Medieval Museum
  9. See the Waterford Panto Societies “Sleeping Beauty”
  10. Have a classical evening with Handel’s Messiah at the Cathedral of the most Holy Barronstrand Street
  11. View Disneys “Frozen” and have a hot chocolate or a gluhwein
  12. Visit the Polar Bear Garden at City Hall
  13. Experience a “Victorian Christmas” at the Bishops Palace
  14. Visit the South Pole and enchanted gardens at the Newstreet Gardens
  15. See Keith Barry on the 29th of November at The Mall
  16. Take a slide on the “Helter Skelter” on The Mall
  17. Take a spin on the “Vintage Ferris Wheel” outside the House of Waterford Crystal
  18. Come along a have a listen to the “Singing Christmas Tree”
  19. WAMA, Princesses and Superhero Parade
  20. Visit the Spider Man Exhibition
  21. Let your taste buds experience all the food stalls at the WInterval Market
  22. Take a ride on the WInterval Express
  23. Visit the Elves Workshop
  24. Take a ride through the City on a Horse Drawn Sleigh
  25. Hang a decoration on the Hasbro Giving Tree
  26. Take an adventure through the “Exploration Dome”
  27. Visit the Winterval Market for hand crafted Christmas goodies
  28. Experience the Waterford Homecraft annual Christmas Craft Fair
  29. Sing the kids up for the Christmas Creative Writing Workshop
  30. Visit Central Arts.  Little Elves Puppet Making Workshops. Let your child’s imagination run riot, where they will get the opportunity to make Christmas themed puppets.
  31. Meet Oldman Winter and enter into the City Square Word Search Competition
  32. Visit the Polish Christmas Market at Parnell Street
  33. Party the night away at the Late Night Winterval Club
  34. Call into the Municipal Gallery.  The “Eye of a Child” – is your child a Michaelangelo in the making? Get them to colour in, create and exhibit their own version of one of our famous artworks and bring it home.
  35. Visit the Rotary Club Christmas tree
  36. Visit the Penguins at the Palace
  37. Check out the choice of Hotels and B&Bs in Waterford
  38. Check out some of the over 114 restaurants and cafes that we have in Waterford City and County
  39. Visit Tramore Christmas Carnival
  40. Keep up to date with all thats going on with Waterford In Your Pocket

So you see we have everything covered for you this Christmas in Waterford.  With the special seasonal spirit that can only be found in Waterford, shopping, restaurants, cafes and pubs all in the City centre, Waterford is the place to be this winter!  Fun for all the family, go on, you know you want to!  See you in Waterford Ho Ho Ho!

This article was written by Paul Dower of Waterford in Your Pocket, copyright (c) 2014


Look Down it’s OK!

I saw a video on YouTube called ‘Look Up’.  Some guy reciting a poem about how we should stop looking down at the screen or we’ll miss all the great moments in life.

I don’t think we will.

Yes, the message to look up every now and again is a good one but most people have sense enough to instinctively know this.  Especially crossing the road or while eating in someone’s company etc. However, if you’re on a subway or eating lunch while on a business trip, feel free to check out your facebook feed or your newspaper, or buy something on ebay.  If you’re relaxing in the evening, play a game instead of watching a tv programme, that’s fine too, check out a cool video on youtube or solve a puzzle.  Why not.  But don’t do it while you’re bouncing on your trampoline or out on your bike, or doing chin ups, or visiting grandma and eating her tarts.

Not a good idea.

If you’re waiting for your mates to come into a pub or want to show them a picture of you acting the maggot, look down, if you are dancing and eyeing up a member of the opposite sex, look up. If you are in a parking lot, searching for an address, look down, if you are driving, look the f*ck up. Simples.

My point is, most of us have a bit of common sense and aren’t complete morons, and we don’t need to be pontificated to by a gobshite who wants a bit of attention.  It’s worse than that though, through this video, 35 million people have looked down.  Does anyone see the irony here.  35 million people wasted 5 minutes looking down.  That equates to 332 years of lost time.  I mean you could have used this time give some babe the puppy eyes, you could be in the hospital hugging your dying grandma, or how aboout throwing a stick for a couped up dog or even giving de missus a belt of the old relic.

Oh, and it wasn’t so great in the old days either.  People used to ignore people in other ways, like a huge big broadsheet newspaper, or up in the toilet with a well used copy of playboy, knitting, playing cards or watching Bosco on RTE1.    Kids were bored a lot more often and use to play with small metal cars in dirt or getting stung by nettles catching ladybirds and bees.  Boy would I have loved an ipad back then.  I might not have gotten those warts on my hands.

So my advice is turn off videos like this after 10 seconds before you waste any more time listening to drivel, but if you’re entertained by something or learn something, or challenge your mind or are communicating with a friend 6000 miles away, or chatting up someone, go for it. You see sometimes it’s good to look down, for work, rest or play. Do your own thing, use your own concience to guide you and listen to it.  If it guides you in the wrong direction, or you don’t listen to it…

… Darwin will take care of the rest.

Ps. If you stopped reading this halfway through, good on ya!

Top 10 Tips for Self Publishing a Book

10-tips-self-publishingI was asked recently on Linked In some questions about publishing a book. Maybe you’ve made a resolution to publish the book that you’ve always had at the back of your mind?

The biggest decision you have to make when you wish to publish a book is whether to self-publish or not.  If you decide to go with a publishing company, and your book gets accepted by them a lot of the work is taken off your hands but so too is a lot of the profit, and rightly so because work should be rewarded through sharing profit fairly.

As a self published author of several irish slang books, I wanted to share my experience of writing and publishing my own books. The first book that I published back in 2007 was a book entitled “The Deise Dictionary of Waterford Slang.”

Here is the list of steps that I went through to get the book published and my tips for each stage:

  1. Research with Passion: Before writing a book you must research the topic adequately and become passionate about it, otherwise the book will not be written because the effort required is far more than you initially realise.
  2. Make a Plan:  You’ve got to have a plan for the book, content, chapters etc. etc.  In order to formulate a plan you should talk to others too.  I had great help from Tom Fewer of Ballylough Books to help me plan my first book.
  3. Write it:  Open up your word processor and begin writing.  It probably helps at this point if you format the page size of your word processor to match the dimensions of the book you want to write.  There will be less fiddling about at the end if you do.  Consider margins etc.  Perhaps even talking to a printing company at this point might be a good idea!  They will provide you with exact page dimensions and optimum margin widths.
  4. Review it:  You should get several third parties to go through the book to help correct grammar and other mistakes.  If it’s a novel you’re writing, this is especially important.  For me the most important thing was consistency.
  5. Design it:  Once you have the content written you need to design a cover, and maybe get some graphic design work done on the inside pages too. It’s probably best to employ a freelance designer for this or perhaps your printing company will have someone that can do this for you at a good rate.
  6. Get an ISBN number:  You need to apply to Nielson to get yourself an ISBN number. When I bought them I received a block of 10 that I can still use.  You then need to convert the ISBN number to a barcode.  Generally you can employ a company to do this for you, they will charge maybe €50 and you can pass it on to your printing company.  There are free tools online to create bar codes such as:
  7. Print It: You then need to go to a printing company and get the book printed and bound. Go to several as prices vary quite a bit.  They will help you choose the right format, paper quality and will give you a price. Normally the more you print the cheaper it gets per unit.   Before you print the final copy you will need to go through a proof of the book and fix any last minute mistakes.  If you’re sending physical copies of the book across the globe, consider the weight of the paper too.
  8. Publicise it: Once the book is printed you need to publicise it.  Create a buzz on social media, send copies to local media, papers, get a celebrity to champion it. I asked my school friend and magician Keith Barry (host of Tv3 show Brainhacker) to launch my book, which he graciously did for me.  In my case it was picked up by local and national media, including Ryan Tubridy, which was fantastic for sales.  The Deise Dictionary created such a buzz it actually sold out locally that Christmas (2000 copies). I managed to get a second batch printed quickly, and it kept selling well into January which is highly unusual.
  9. Get it on Shelves: I suppose publicity and placement in shops are a bit “chicken and eggish”  it needs to be in the shops before you publicise but it also needs to be publicised before shops will take it.  When it is in the shop, try and ask the shop nicely to position it well.  It will sell far more if it is more visible.
  10. Sell it online.  There are lots of opportunities to get your book promoted online via blogs, news sites, social media, youtube, discusssion forums and so on.  Consider your target market and where they are.  This is where you need to be.  You could create a site to sell the book via PayPal or get it on Amazon and other book selling sites.

Generating Profit

To make profit from a self-published book is difficult.  In order to get it printed you are looking at a cost of maybe 20% of the sale price.  Then you will need a distributor.  Argosy and Eason charged me in the region of 50+%, which included the shops commission.  If you are distributing yourself, typically, a shop will charge 20%-40% commission to sell your creation.

My advice on publishing therefore, is:

  • If you are exclusively selling locally and you can distribute yourself, then if you sell all of your books you can expect to earn potentially 40-50% of the the sale price.  If you go through
  • If you are selling nationally you will need a distributor, in this case if you sell all of your books you can expect to earn potentially 30% of the sale price.
  • If you go international, through a publisher, a lot of work will be taken off your hands in terms of publishing, printing, distribution, but you can expect a lot less than 30%. You will still need to do a lot of the promotion yourself.

Some more tips on selling your book online:

for-focal-sake-thumbThese days you can sell your book online also.  Consider creating a web page or blog to go along with your book and selling it online via PayPal.  For one of my books “For Focal Sake-A 32 County Guide to Irish Slang” I created a website to collect Irish slang from across the country.  I then published the book on the site and it’s promoted to this day via search engine optimisation.  If someone searches for a slang term and finds, they are possibly someone in my target market.  Through this I have managed to sell this and my other slang books quite successfully.  Of course paypal take a small cut of the sale price and you have to add on shipping costs, but generally you can absorb these costs a bit better for your customer because you are not paying a large comission to get the book onto a shelve and you don’t have to worry about distributing, besides sending the items at your local post office.

If your book is something that people can relate to and you can provide extra information on a blog, some of your content could potentially go viral through social sharing (like button, pinterest pin, linkedin share, google+ etc).  This is a really good way of getting the word out there, but it isn’t easy to be successful.  You have got to find a niche and it has to be sharable, and you need to find a way to get the sharing process kickstarted. Also, once your book becomes popular, don’t forget channels such as Amazon for selling and getting reviews.  Send your book to popular blogs in your target market for review.

Happy writing and best of luck!

The Garden of KilmEDEN – Mount Congreve, Old Kilmeaden Road, Waterford

Beautiful Waterfall at Mount Congreve

Waterfall at Mount Congreve

I spent a wonderful 2 hours today with my wife Nicola in what I’ve coined ‘The Garden of KilmEDEN’ i.e. Mount Congreve, Old Kilmeaden Road on the outskirts of Waterford city. This garden was carefully maintained under by Ambrose Congreve, who died at the ripe old age of 104 back in May 2011.  God bless him for the legacy, nay gift, he has left behind for the people of Waterford and Ireland as he bequeath the state this wonderful sanctuary in his will.  Let us hope that it remains the paradise it is long into the future.

The gardens have been labelled as ‘the greatest garden in the world’ by the Horticultural Society of Massachusetts and won countless awards and accolates worldwide over the years. The Mount Congreve estate is located between Waterford city and the village of Kilmeadan and lies on approximately seventy acres of woods and gardens including a 4 acre walled garden. It runs alongside the suir valley, which has a little train service for tourists that wish to experience the beauty of the area.  Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have Mt. Congreve as a stop on the Suir Valley Railway.

Lush wooded walks

Lush woodland walks

There are around 16 miles of paths so even with a full day you would not have enough time to explore the garden fully in one visit.  In our short lunch we went through the walled garden, which contains thousands of the most healthy flowers you are ever likely to see or smell.  Then we took a path alongside the river through trees and rhodedendrons, which were just out of bloom.

We walked to the old estate, which is in fabulous condition and then on to the beautiful little waterfall.  We stopped for a little packed lunch and then went back to the courtyard where there were some plants and snacks and coffees for sale.  It was great to see the huge interest in the gardens at lunch time today and I hope that it will open 7 days a week soon and the buses start flowing to experience this floral wonder of the world.

Thank you Ambrose from all the people of Waterford and Ireland once again.  May you rest in peace your work has been outstanding.