Overview of publishing in Scotland
Scotland is home to over one hundred active publishers, varying
greatly in both size and focus. Structurally, our publishing
reflects global industry trends: a large number of small
independents, all established in the past five decades, operate
alongside offices of larger conglomerates. 'Small,' however, should
not be confused with 'insignificant' - Scotland has a thriving book
trade, with our publishers and authors regularly receiving
prestigious awards and international acclaim.
Scottish publishers have an increasingly global outlook, both in
exporting their products and in welcoming writing from all over the
world. Canongate Books, one of our largest trade publishers, is
known for amplifying vital international voices, from Black Lives
Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors to Guantanamo detainee
Mohamedou Ould Slahi. Sandstone Press, an independent based in the
Scottish Highlands, has recently won the Man Booker International
Prize for Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi, and was
named Publisher of the Year in 2019. Edinburgh-based Charco Press
is scooping up awards and nominations for its brilliant work in
uncovering the best of contemporary Latin American literature;
Glasgow indie, Vagabond Voices, is committed to new Scottish
writing as well as to translated fiction from other languages,
calling itself 'both Scottish and fervently European in its aims'
and Gresham/Waverley have been exporting reference books and gift
titles all over the world for years.
While increasingly looking outside of Scotland, our publishers
are fundamental to sustaining and promoting our literary and
linguistic heritage. Independent companies like Acair, Luath Press
and Itchy Coo (imprint of Black & White Publishing) publish
acclaimed Scottish authors and celebrate the national languages,
Gaelic and Scots, advocating for their inclusion in the Scottish
curriculum. These (and many other) companies make an enormous
contribution to Scotland's understanding of itself and its past,
ensuring that our distinct culture is recognised and
Scotland is also known for its award-winning children's
publishing. Edinburgh company Floris Books offers an array of
titles for all ages, from the classics of Scottish literature to
new authors discovered through its annual Kelpies Prize. Barrington
Stoke produces accessible, dyslexia-friendly books that encourage
every child to be a reader - it has recently won the UK's most
prestigious children's book award, the Carnegie Medal, for
Lark by Anthony McGowan. Newly-established companies such
as Little Door Books or Cranachan Publishing have been going from
strength to strength, establishing themselves as some of the most
creative and exciting children's publishers on the market.
Of course, Scottish publishing is not all trade - our specialist
and academic companies, such as Witherby Publishing Group or
Edinburgh University Press, are amongst the largest and most
successful publishers in the country. Bright Red Publishing, the
only independent educational publisher in Scotland, has been
producing excellent resources for secondary students and teachers
for over a decade. And Scottish publishing is not all independent -
conglomerates like HarperCollins and Hachette have their offices in
Scotland, making an important contribution to the health and
diversity of our industry, while the trading arms of the national
cultural institutions such as the National Galleries of Scotland,
the National Museum of Scotland, the Royal Botanic Gardens
Edinburgh, Historic Environment Scotland, and the Glasgow Museums
all have lively publishing programmes.
Despite the obvious challenges of 2020, Scottish publishers
remain as active as ever - selling and promoting their books
online, organising virtual events, and coming up with creative ways
to tackle the crisis. Follow the Publishing Scotland website and
Twitter account @PublishScotland to keep up with the latest
Our publisher members
Find out about each of our publisher members. Every profile page has
contacts and links.
Book catalogues and annual report
New Books Scotland (highlighted new books from
Scottish publishers and writers).
Scotland in London showcase magazine
2019 (specially produced magazine to celebrate
and highlight the Scottish publishing industry).
For a snapshot of the publishing industry in Scotland, see our
most recent annual report (2018-19).
Publishing Scotland International Fellowship
Ten publishers will be taking part in the 2021 Fellowship
which was postponed from 2020 because of the Covid-19
pandemic. Find out more about our programme and
previous Fellows in our Fellowship Brochure (PDF) or in more
detail at our Fellowship pages.
Scottish Books International
Scottish Books International is a
new service on behalf of the literature sector in Scotland,
dedicated to the international promotion of books, writers,
festivals and organisations.
BooksfromScotland.com is the largest online
collection of Scottish books, showcasing the best of Scottish
writing and publishing. Readers can stay updated through its
fortnightly newsletter and social media channels.
Publishing Scotland Translation Fund
This fund is administered by Publishing Scotland on
behalf of Creative Scotland. The purpose of the fund is to
support publishers based outside the United Kingdom with the
payment of translation fees to translate Scottish writers. See our
translation pages for more information.