Round up of 2020
18 December 2020
It was a challenging year for everyone but there were many book
and industry highlights. Some of them are listed below along with
our main events and projects for the year.
ANNUAL REPORT 2020 AND NEWSLETTERS
You can get an overview of our year in our latest annual report
which covers 12 months from the beginning of December until the end
of November 2020. Read the PDF. Our BooksfromScotland and
Industry News bulletins give regular updates on books and news
throughout the year. You can read the latest ones on our newsletter
sign up page.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF 2020
We welcomed eleven new members in this period: publishers
Leamington Books, Salamander
Street, thi wurd, DC
Thomson, Kate Davies Designs,
Monstrous Regiment, The Common
Breath and Banner of Truth and network
members Bookspeed, Laura Waddell
(Tramp Press) and Central Proofreading.
Members pitched their books to BBC producers for small screen
adaptation and to various festivals.
We worked with Scottish Enterprise to run two training sessions
on export for publishers.
This is our Story by Ian Murray (Luath
Press) was announced as the winner of the Best Biography or Memoir
by a Parliamentarian at the Parliamentary Book Awards.
BHP Comics, Charco Press, Little Door Books, Sandstone Press,
and Scotland Street Press were all Scotland finalists in the
running for the British Book Awards Small Press of the Year
18 Scottish writers were awarded grants to promote Scottish
writing and culture worldwide by the Author International Travel
Fund, a cornerstone pilot initiative of new international promotion
service, Scottish Books International.
Publishing Scotland Translation Fund made 12 awards to
international publishers to publish Scottish writers.
More pitching: this time to STV producers and Historic
Publishers and librarians met up at the annual Publishing and
Libraries Day which took place at the City Art Centre.
Publishers took part in a Scottish PEN roundtable event to learn
more about defamation reform.
Jenny Brown, Scottish Book Trust and HarperCollins were
shortlisted for British Book Awards 2020. They joined Sandstone
Press shortlisted for Small Press of the Year (and already the
Scotland winner of that category).
During Glasgow Film Festival 2020, Screen Scotland and Creative
Scotland brought together professionals working in film and TV and
those working in literature.
We ran our first (and last) face-to-face training course of the
year: Writing Digital Content
Tolkien's Library: An Annotated
Checklist by Oronzo Cilli (Luna Press Publishing) won Best
Book at the Tolkien Society Awards 2020.
Cricket 2.0: Inside the T20 Revolution
(Polaris Publishing) was announced as The Wisden Book of the
The National Galleries of Scotland exhibition title Bridget Riley won the 'Best Exhibition
Catalogue' at the Cultural Enterprises Awards 2020.
The Seafood Shack by Kirsty Scobie and
Fenella Renwick (Kitchen Press) won the Jane Grigson Trust Award
for New Food and Drink Writers 2020.
The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela
Cabezón Cámara, translated by Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh,
and published by Edinburgh-based Charco Press, was one of the six
books shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2020
The 'Scottish Issue' of The Bookseller featured
many of our members.
Generally this month was busy with everyone adjusting to the
lockdown and the cancellation of the London Book Fair, working from
home and setting up online events and training. We began our weekly
news updates for members.
Chris Baker (Fangorn) won the British Science Fiction Award for
Best Artwork for a Book for Wourism and Other Stories by Ian Whates
(published by Luna Press Publishing).
The contributors to a free eBook - Stay at Home! - published by Cranachan
Publishing, were thanked in a motion to the Scottish
Members took part in Open Book events with the Booksellers
Association and Gardners.
We ran our first online training course (proofreading) adapted
by our usual tutor.
Lark by Anthony McGowan won the
2020 CILIP Carnegie Medal. His publisher Edinburgh-based Barrington
Stoke is the first Scottish publisher to publish the winner in
Medal's 84-year history.
Donald S Murray won the Society of Authors' Paul Torday Memorial
Prize for his debut novel As the Women Lay Dreaming (Saraband).
This month's Open Book session was with eBook and audiobook
distribution service, Glassboxx.
Writing digital content and copy-editing were run as online
Witherby Publishing Group, and the Postgraduate Publishing
Programmes at Edinburgh Napier University and the Centre for
International Publishing and Communication at the University of
Stirling launched two Publishing Scholarships for the academic year
2020-21. The scholarships were established to support individuals
from under-represented or disadvantaged backgrounds to undertake a
postgraduate degree in Publishing.
Cricket 2.0 by Tim Wigmore and Freddie
Wilde (Polaris Publishing) won the Heartaches Cricket Book of the
Year 2020 at the Telegraph Sports Book Awards. Polaris Publishing
had another book - Behind the Dragon by Ross Harries -
shortlisted for Rugby Book of the Year at the same awards.
Christine Wilson, Publications Officer at Historic Environment
Scotland, and Jack Clark, Owner of The Portobello Bookshop, were
announced as Rising Stars of 2020 by The Bookseller.
Grace Balfour-Harle was a winner in the developing specialist
skills category of the Printing Charity's Rising Stars. An
Editorial Assistant at Beano comic (DC Thomson), Grace used part of
her award to attend five Publishing Scotland training courses.
Scottish Book Trust, Publishing Scotland and Scotland's
publishers teamed up to bring readers five exclusive lists - Books
for Summer - of the best new Scottish picture, children's and teen
Sandstone Press was shortlisted for the Paperback Bookshop Trade
Publisher of the Year - one of the IPG's Independent Publishing
We partnered with the University of Glasgow for a series of
three Creative Conversations showcasing the best in Scottish
The Edinburgh International Book Festival went online and so did
its bookshop with a special Scottish showcase of publishers and
writers. The festival also hosted a Literary Scout masterclass for
publishers and a discussion of the Future of Publishing.
August's Open Book event featured Itison.
Members had one-to-one sessions with an export expert.
New Books Scotland Autumn was published online (see the pdf).
Acair published three of the winning titles at the Gaelic
Literature Awards 2020: An Tiortach Beag agus Sgeulachdan Eile by
Morag Ann MacNeil; Cluaintean Uaine by George L. Murray and
Donald Gillies; and Mo Ghranaidh agus an Losgann Mòr by Marie
The first of our Autumn Conference sessions involved publishers
pitching to booksellers.
Insights for trade publishers was the focus of the September
Open Book session.
Online courses in writing digital content, proofreading and
copy-editing were well attended by members and non-members.
Harper Macleod ran the first of its online webinars for our
members (employment law update).
The Scots Language Awards 2020 saw The Wee Book Company win
Scots Business of the Year, The Itchy Coo Book o Hans Christian Andersen's
Fairy Tales in Scots win Scots Bairns Book o the Year, and
Tippermuir author Stuart Paterson win Scots Writer o the Year.
D-Day Dog by Tom Palmer (published by
Edinburgh-based Barrington Stoke) was announced as the Overall
Winner of the Children's Book Award for 2020. It also won the
Confident Readers category.
Luna Press Publishing was shortlisted for the British Fantasy
Award 2020 for Best Independent Press.
Produced by Publishing Scotland to mark the start of the 2020
Frankfurt Book Fair, we premiered Second Nature an 18-minute documentary film
featuring five award-winning writers talking on the subject of
nature and nature writing today: Kathleen Jamie, Jim Crumley,
Chitra Ramaswamy, Roseanne Watt and Gavin Francis.
The first of eight episodes of the Big Scottish Book Club aired on the BBC.
Hosted by Damian Barr the series features Scottish writers and
writers and books published in Scotland.
Jasper Sutcliffe introduced members to Bookshop.org at the
October Open Book event.
Online events and online selling was the topic of the second
Autumn Conference session.
Frankfurt Book Fair took place online and members got involved -
some for the first time.
Harper Macleod ran two online webinars for our members (GDPR and
film and tv rights).
Douglas Stuart won the Booker Prize 2020 with his debut novel
Shuggie Bain (Picador).
The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste
(Canongate Books) was one of the books shortlisted for the Booker
Incompleteness Theory in Incomplete
Solutions by Wole Talabi (Luna Press Publishing) won the
Nommo Award for Best Novella 2020.
One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time
by Craig Brown (Harper Collins, 4th Estate) is the winner of the
2020 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction.
Meryl Halls, MD of the Booksellers Association, was named
FutureBook Person of the Year.
Book Week Scotland was a very busy week. We teamed with the
Stay-at-Home! Literary Festival to present six fantastic online
events featuring our members and their authors.
We also held our AGM during Book Week Scotland. James Crawford
stepped down after 4 years as Chair preceded by 2 years as a Board
Member. Kate Gibb of Canongate Books was appointed as Chair and
Fiona McParland of APS Group Ltd as Treasurer. John MacPherson of
Bright Red Publishing joined the Board and Chani McBain of Floris
Books was reappointed to serve a second term.
Online bookshop platform Bookshop.org launched in the UK and
many members got involved.
Harper Macleod ran two online webinars for our members (funding
schems and books as a brand).
The first online further proofreading and copy-editing courses
took place and we ran an extra introduction to copy-editing
The Bookseller published its list of 150 of the industry's top
leaders, innovators and decision makers of 2020. It included a
number of industry figures with a Scottish connection: Jamie Byng,
Marion Sinclair, Nick Barley, Jackie Kay and JK Rowling.
It was great to see so many members at our all members
Our slightly delayed Autumn Conference session with Steve Bohme
took place in December. It focused on consumer behaviour - what
happened before, during and after lockdown.
We worked with Scottish Enterprise to run an International SEO
and social media masterclass for members.