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Case file: Kieran Devlin, Poolbeg Press

How many writers contact you annually -- and how many are good?

We get approximately 1,500 unsolicited manuscripts every year, of which less than 1pc get published.

Do you sell e-books or have plans to do so?

We are planning to sell and promote e-books on www.poolbeg.com soon.

Are old-fashioned paper-and-ink books on the way out?

Sales of e-books are growing very quickly, but from a low starting point. Maybe in time they will be 5-10pc of a publishers' business. However, this gets 80pc of the attention in the media. When the excitement settles down I believe there is a future for the traditional paperback. The e-book has its place but it does not give the experience -- the look, the feel, even the smell -- of a paperback which is hard to beat. Paperbacks are not on the way out, especially if they're being read for entertainment purposes.

Will e-books damage publishers in the long-term ie cutting out the middle man?

I think there will always be a need for publishers as they do more than just sell books: editing, proofreading, designing covers, book layout, promotion and helping create a bestseller.

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