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24 October 2021

Publishing Scotland and Booksellers Association Book Trade Conference 2017

22 February 2017

The joint Publishing Scotland and Booksellers Association Scottish Book Trade Conference 2017 took place on Wednesday 22 February at Central Hall, Tollcross, Edinburgh.

The conference is the biggest get-together of publishers and booksellers in Scotland with over 200 people from the industry.

The pictures above were taken by Sandy Young of Sandy Young Photography.

 There were lots of tweets during the day (#scotbookconf) and blog posts after including this overview from student delegate Kellie Jones.


Conference Programme

You can also download a 2-page PDF of the programme.



  • 09.00: Registration and refreshments sponsored by BookBub
  • 09.30: Welcome Publishing Scotland and the Booksellers Association
  • Welcome: Chair, Jenny Brown
  • 09.40: Keynote - sponsored by Gardners Books - Barry Cunningham, Managing Director, Chicken House
  • 10.10: The Key Retail Market Trends - Steve Bohme, UK Research Director, Nielsen Book

REFRESHMENTS 10.55 sponsored by PLS

  • 11.20: Separate sessions for publishers & booksellers.

    For publishers

    • 11.20: Launching a debut on a low budget - Sam Eades, Orion Books
    • 11.55: 'By its cover' - the secrets of good cover design  - Suzanne Dean, Penguin Random House
    • 12.30: 'Seven Ways to work better with authors (and sell more books)' - Society of Authors


    For booksellers

    Bookseller Brains Trust: Round table discussions on:

    • Planning your windows
    • Using Stats and data
    • First Minister's Reading Challenge
    • Returns - what's the best way?
    • Above the Treeline

LUNCH 13.00 sponsored by Bertram Books


  • 14.00: Trade Question Time Panel - Chair: Nigel Roby, The Bookseller. Panellists: Kevin Ramage, Bookseller at The Watermill, Aberfeldy; Sally Pattle, Bookseller at Far From the Madding Crowd, Linlithgow; Neal Price, Sales Director, Canongate Books; Sabrina Maguire, Marketing & Sales, Bright Red Publishing.
  • 14.45: Fever Pitch - publishers pitching to booksellers (pre-booked slots)


  • 14.45: Publisher break out sessions
  • Nielsen Book Research: Market Overview -Anne-Claire Woodfield, Publisher Account Manager. Nielsen Book. Research provides market data on ten key territories.  Annie will provide an overview of the book market in these countries, what's up, down and how you can use this information to inform your business plan.
  • Creative Europe Desk UK - Scotland, Kate Deans, Culture Officer - Creative Europe's Literary Translation scheme. Kate will provide an insight into this scheme which supports the translation, production and promotion of a slate of European fiction, poetry and plays. (NB this will run twice, in half-hourly sessions) .
  • Getting Stuck In: Editing narrative openings - Eleanor Collins, Floris Books. This workshop is open to editors working directly with fiction or non-fiction narrative. It will be a loosely structured discussion and sharing of experience. What options do we have when the opening chapters of a manuscript are not working? How can we help authors draw readers in? Structurally? Through voice? Together we will develop a list of questions to keep in mind when editing the initial part of a narrative.
  • 404 Ink: Publishing Louder - Heather McDaid and Laura Jones. Described by The Bookseller as 'kicking up an "ink"', 404 Ink stormed on to the Scottish publishing scene in late 2016 with a new literary magazine and their first book Nasty Women, which saw the support of Margaret Atwood in their successful Kickstarter campaign, raising over £10k. The duo behind 404 will shine some light on how to set up a new publishing venture with a bang, how to market loudly online (and gain results) and how to keep the noise going.

REFRESHMENTS 15.45 sponsored by Nielsen Book

  • 16.15: New Audience Development: the advantages of cross platform storytelling - Crystal Mahey-Morgan, Founder, Ownit, London
  • 17.00: Building Trade Collaboration and Building Communities on our High Streets - Andrew Hutchings, Owner, Cotswold Cycles; Michael Jones, Head of Local Sales and Marketing, HarperCollins; Rosamund de la Hey, Bookseller, The Mainstreet Trading Company.


  • 17.30: Round up and close
  • 17.40: Drinks reception for all delegates - sponsored by Batch