18 March 2014
A new, free app which links books and authors to dates, themes
and distinct locations around Scotland is being launched today.
Bookspotting is a tool for discovering
Scottish-interest books - from old favourites to the latest reads -
making the most of the functions built in to the smartphone in your
pocket. It features a host of titles with a strong connection to a
place, a landscape, an island, or a city in Scotland, and using GPS
technology geo-locates a wide range of books - fiction, children's,
history, humour, Gaelic, Scots, and travel - even when your phone
or tablet isn't online.
Bookspotting, a collaboration between Publishing
Scotland in Edinburgh and Saraband
Books and Spot Specific in Glasgow, was
funded by NESTA's Research and
Development Fund over its six months of development in conjunction
with Creative Scotland. Drawing on
book data supplied by Bibliographical Data Services
in Dumfries, the app features over 3500 books of Scottish interest
and links them to character, place, setting, author, date and
The principal aim of the app is to get people discovering and
reading great Scottish books. The developers also hope to promote
wider access to literature, find new audiences for Scottish
writers, celebrate Scotland's unique literary heritage, update the
image of Scotland's vibrant publishing industry and support
cultural tourism around all regions.
Marion Sinclair, Publishing Scotland's Chief
"Publishers are increasingly coming up with new ideas to promote
their titles digitally as the reading habit shifts more and more
online and onto portable devices. This new app offers a guide to
some of the more iconic places in Scotland and their literary
connections. This is the place to discover the connection between
Jules Verne and Oban, or between Mary Shelley and Dundee, and a
guide to the independent bookshop that's nearest to you."
Sara Hunt of Saraband Books comments:
"As an independent publisher we do our best to be innovative to
help readers find our books, whether in bookshops or via digital
means. It's been exciting to get involved in such a large-scale
challenge covering so many Scottish books and authors, and another
fruitful collaboration with our tech partner, Spot Specific."
Jenny Niven, Portfolio Manager of Literature,
Publishing and Languages, at Creative Scotland said:
"We're delighted to have been able to support the development of
Bookspotting. It's a little treasure trove - a miniature storehouse
of literally thousands of Scottish books, their authors and how to
find them compressed into one tidy little app. It's brilliant to
see Scottish work presented digitally in such an accessible and
comprehensive way, and the simplicity and cleanliness of the design
make it really a pleasure to use.
The collaboration of Publishing Scotland, Saraband and Spot
Specific is also a brilliant example of organisations bringing
their different areas of focus and expertise together to create
something unique and innovative. It comes at a great time too - as
publishers strive to find new ways of working in the digital age
it's great to have tangible Scottish examples of useful digital
Lorna Edwards, Programme Manager in Scotland
for Nesta said:
"We are delighted that the fantastic work that Publishing
Scotland's have been doing on the Bookspotting App is paying
off. This project shows the kind of amazing results that can
be generated through successful partnership between technology
companies and the creative sector.
Over the past two years, Nesta's Digital R&D Fund for the
Arts in Scotland has funded a total of 10 projects such as
Publishing Scotland's Bookspotting App to help creative
organisations use new technology to increase revenue and attract
new audiences. The ideas we have supported are developing the
new ideas that will allow Scotland's arts and culture sector to
continue to thrive in the future."
The app is free to download from the App Store and in the Android version from Google Play.