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Our history

The beginning

Publishing Scotland grew from the work of the Scottish Publishers Association (SPA), a group formed out of necessity, energy, conviction, ambition, and the wish to fan what then looked like the dying embers of a once-important industry in Scotland. It was formed in 1973 (and launched in 1974) by 10 publishers who had the idea of collaborating on gathering information, attending book fairs and joint marketing. The first Chairman was Robin Lorimer and the Scottish Arts Council gave financial support. As the membership grew, so did the services offered. The SPA became a familiar sight at international book fairs and marketed their books to the trade collaboratively, raising the profile of Scottish publishing.

In 1986, the SPA brought together librarians, booksellers and publishers and formed the Scottish Book Marketing Group to promote Scottish-published titles through the book trade.

Publishing Scotland

In April 2007, the 34-year-old SPA changed and became Publishing Scotland, an organisation encompassing not just Scottish publishers but organisations, companies and individuals who work within the publishing sector.

The original ideas behind the Scottish Publishers Association are still at the heart of Publishing Scotland but added to this are 21st-century issues such as digitisation and direct-to-reader marketing.

Read and view more about our history

More information on the history of Publishing Scotland can be found in Thirtieth Anniversary of the Scottish Publishers Association: A Celebration – download the PDF. Publishing Scotland’s Flickr Photostream has a selection of images from the 1980s to the present.