Couple behind Collins Press to retire after acquisition by Gill Books

File photo of Con Collins, managing director of The Collins Press.

The couple behind one of the country's best-known independent publishers has decided to close the book on their working lives after 30-years in the business.

Con and Anna Collins, who have run The Collins Press in Cork since 1989, have confirmed the acquisition of their publishing house by Irish publishers, Gill (MH Gill & Co), and that they will retire in March.

Gill Books now represents the almost 150 Collins Press titles under its sales agency business, with full acquisition of the company’s trading assets on March 29.

The arrangement will ensure the continued availability of The Collins Press’ titles and the continuation of book sales.

Con Collins, managing director of The Collins Press, said it was important for them to agree a deal that would “keep the books alive” and for an Irish publisher to acquire the list.

The deal will also ensure the payment of royalties to authors. All royalties for sales up to March 29 will be paid by The Collins Press, and by Gill from March 30 on. Gill will also retain the imprint name and logo, The Collins Press.

Mr Collins said they are very pleased that Gill will acquire the list and that their imprint name and logo will continue.

“Our thanks to all the authors and everyone in the sales, distribution, wholesale and retail arms of the book trade for their help and support over the years. It has been a pleasure working with everyone,” he said.

Ruth Gill, the managing director of Gill, said they were delighted to welcome The Collins Press list to Gill.

“As distribution providers for Collins for over 10 years, we have greatly admired the breadth and ambition of the list which Con, Anna and their team have spent 30 years growing,” she said.

“This acquisition continues Gill’s commitment to Irish-interest publishing by both broadening and deepening our reach across this market.”

Founded in Cork in 1989, The Collins Press, grew out of The Collins Bookshop which was established on Carey’s Lane three years earlier. Its first book was the hugely popular Dictionary of Cork Slang by Sean Beecher, followed by Uniquely Cork, a book of stunning black and white photographs by Niall Foley, after which the business took off.

Among its bestsellers over the years were Ireland – Our Island Home (1997), The Keeper of Absalom’s Island (1999), An Unsung Hero (2000), The Framing of Harry Gleeson (2015) and The Lighthouses of Ireland (2018).

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