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20 August 2019

Publishing Scotland news round up 2017

20 December 2017

It's been a very busy year for our members and for us. We've listed some of the highlights below.


Our latest annual report covers 13 months from the beginning of November 2016 until the end of November 2017: download the PDF version.



  • Seven new publisher members  -  404 Ink, Barrington Stoke, BHP Comics, Charco Press, Kessock Books, Little Door Books and Sainted Media - and five new network members - Biblichor Book Production, Emergents, Sharon McTeir (Creative Publishing Services), Anne Milligan and Sylvia Pegg - joined Publishing Scotland in 2017.
  • 404 Ink, BHP Comics, Canongate Books, Handspring Publishing and Vagabond Voices were our members shortlisted for the Saltire Society Publisher of the Year 2017.
  • 404 Ink topped The List's Hot 100, won the Creative Edinburgh Startup Award 2017, was Highly Commended in the FutureBook Campaign of the Year 2017 for Nasty Women, shortlisted for the Scottish Magazine Awards and New Launch 2017, and longlisted for the Most Innovative Publisher and Best Magazine at the Saboteur Awards 2017.
  • Laura Jones and Heather McDaid of 404 Ink are the joint Emerging Saltire Society Publishers of the Year 2017. Both were listed in the Young Women's Movement 30 Inspirational Women under 30. Heather also won a London Book Fair Trailblazer Award and was one of The Drum's 50 under 30. Laura was also shortlisted for a PPC Award for Generic Campaign 2017.
  • Members Kirstin Lamb (Barrington Stoke) and Laura Waddell (HarperCollins) were also shortlisted for the Saltire Society Emerging Publisher of the Year 2017.
  • Stornoway-based publisher Acair celebrated its 40th anniversary.
  • BHP Comics are included in The List's Hot 100 of 2017.
  • Black & White Publishing launched Ink Road a new imprint for Young Adults.
  • Canongate Books was shortlisted for the Saltire Publisher of the Year 2017, bought Severn House Publishers and Jamie Byng, Canongate's Chief Executive, appeared in The Bookseller 100 lists of the most influential people in the book trade in 2017 as an Evergreen (due to regular appearances on it) and a leader.
  • Anna Frame (Canongate Books) won the Publishers Publicity Circle (PPC) award for Second Edition Paperback: Fiction or Non-Fiction for her campaign for The Outrun by Amy Liptrot and was shortlisted for Best Debut Campaign for the same.
  • Jaz Lacey-Campbell was shortlisted for the PPC's Children's Book Award, for Matt Haig's The Girl Who Saved Christmas.
  • Jenny Fry and Vicki Watson were Highly Commended in The Book Marketing Society summer awards 2017 for their campaign for Robert Webb's How Not to Be a Boy.
  • Becca Nice (Canongate Books) was shortlisted for the PPC Best Newcomer Award, for her work on Lemn Sissay's Gold from the Stone.
  • A special edition of Columba's Iona by Rosalind K Marshall was produced by its publisher Sandstone Press at the request of the Church of Scotland to be presented to His Holiness, Pope Francis, on the occasion of a visit from present Moderator, Dr Derek Browning in 2017.
  • Saraband was shortlisted for the IPG Independent Publishing Awards Trade Publisher of the Year 2017.
  • Craig Hillsley, Editorial Director at Saraband was listed as one of The Bookseller's 2017 Rising Stars.
  • Gillian Macrosson took over as the Managing Director of the Witherby Publishing Group in September 2017.



This was another bumper year for awards and listings. Here is a selection of just some of the books that won or were listed for awards or made the news.

  • Memory and Straw by Angus Peter Campbell (Luath Press) won the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year 2017.
  • Goblin by Ever Dundas (Saraband, first published by Freight Books) won the Saltire Society First Book of the Year 2017.
  • The Light Blue Book: 500 Years of Gaelic Love and Transgressive Verse Edited by Peter Mackay and Iain MacPherson (Luath Press) won the Saltire Society Scottish Research Book of the Year Award 2017.
  • Matt Haig's How To Stop Time (Canongate Books) won the Books Are My Bag Readers Award for Fiction in 2017.
  • Fallow by Daniel Shand (Sandstone Press) won the Betty Trask Prize 2017 and was shortlisted for the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year 2017.
  • Expecting by Chitra Ramaswamy (Saraband) (a joint winner of the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year 2016) was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2017.
  • Highland Survivor by David Spaven (Kessock Books)was awarded '2017 Railway Book of the Year' by the Railway & Canal Historical Society (RCHS).
  • The Abyss of Time by Paul Lyle (Dunedin Academic Press) won the ASE Science Book of the Year Award 2016/17.
  • Library Cat by Alex Howard (Black and White Publishing) won the People's Book Prize First Time Author Award 2017.
  • The Outrun by Amy Liptrot (Canongate Books) won the PEN Ackerley Prize 2017. It was also shortlisted for the 2017 Ondaatje Prize.
  • His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet (Saraband) (winner of the Saltire Society Scottish Fiction Book of the Year 2016) was the Netherlands Crime Thriller of the Year 2017.
  • Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ (Canongate Books) was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2017.
  • Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Canongate Books) was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017.
  • Nasty Women (404 Ink) was the bestselling book at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017.



We said goodbye to:

Zander Wedderburn of Fledgling Books

Stephanie Wolfe Murray, co-Founder of Canongate Books

Mo Siewcharran, Director of Marketing and Communications at Nielsen Books

Christine Thompson, former Publisher at the National Galleries of Scotland




Here are some of the things that Publishing Scotland worked on in 2017 (and some highlights):

  • We held our Scottish Book Trade Conference with the Booksellers Association in Edinburgh on 22 February. It was followed by a trade reception for publishers and booksellers.
  • London Book Fair 14 to 16 March.  We hosted the Books from Scotland stand for our members at Olympia in 2017 and launched the spring/summer edition of New Books Scotland (our rights publication in conjunction with Creative Scotland).
  • Sponsored by Publishing Scotland, the closing event of Aye Write! 2017 saw two teams of Scottish authors battle it out in a book quiz.
  • In April we launched our Accelerate Programme for nine emerging publishers. The programme of training and advice will run until 31 March 2018.
  • Our Scottish Parliament Book Trade Reception with the Booksellers Association took place at the Scottish Parliament on 19 April.
  • We held several Open Book and other trade events for members including a session with Waterstones; selling into academic libraries and Open Access;  Audible; and BookBub.
  • We worked with Nielsen and Edinburgh Napier University to bring the Nielsen Publisher Seminar to Edinburgh in June.
  • In June we took part in a panel discussion - 'Publishing and Writing in the Highlands and Islands'- along with members and authors at XpoNorth in Inverness.
  • Many of our members had books for sale in the Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) bookshop tents (12 to 28 August) and we hosted an event Culture versus Commerce(22 August) there.
  •  The autumn/winter edition of New Books Scotland (our rights publication in conjunction with Creative Scotland) was launched at our summer reception in August.
  • Our third International Publishing Fellowship took place 21 to 27 August with a group of nine publishers from across Europe, North and South America and Australia.
  • In September in partnership with the Scottish Libraries Information Council (SLIC) we facilitated a Libraries Day for publishers and librarians in Edinburgh (sponsored by Bertram Library Services).
  • Our Chief Executive Marion Sinclair delivered the inaugural Jim Douglas Lecture in Vancouver in September.
  • Lots of Scottish writers were translated from English to another language with the assistance of grants from the Translation Fund that we administer.
  • In partnership with Cove Park we brought two translators for residencies at Cove Park.
  • There were two rounds of our funds:  the Go-See Fund (for attending book fairs for the first time) and the Go-Digital Fund (supporting digital training and projects).
  • We hosted the Books from Scotland stand with 12 members exhibiting in Hall 6 at the Frankfurt Book Fair 11 to 15 October.
  • We ran 14 public and in-house training courses covering many aspects of publishing.
  • Marion Sinclair took part in several publishing-related events at Wordplay, the Shetland Books Festival, two of which also involved members Bob Davidson of Sandstone Press and Chani McBain of Floris Books.
  • This year Book Week Scotland the annual week-long celebration of books and reading ran from Monday 27 November to Sunday 3 December. Publishing Scotland's contribution was ScotBookFlood  - a campaign to encourage thoughtful book giving.
  • Marion Sinclair was listed as an industry leader in The Bookseller 100.
  • We held our AGM on 19 December and produced an  annual report covering the period November 2016 to November 2017.