Publishing Round-Up: 19th September 2016.

As the new cohorts have started on their publishing courses throughout Scotland we thought it was time to bring back the weekly Publishing Round-Up which brings you the previous week’s key news into one handy post. A round up will be posted every Monday throughout the term.

Before we get to the latest don’t forget that we have our first event of the academic year on Thursday 22nd in Akva, Edinburgh – our September social! Bring your friends and colleagues for an evening of chat. Free for all – join the Facebook event & get your tickets.

MagFest brings big-hitting magazines to Edinburgh

MagFest 5PPA Scotland’s MagFest was at Edinburgh on Friday 16th showcasing some of the best established and upcoming magazines in the Scottish industry.

Magfest is Scotland’s biggest magazine event, with magazine publishers and enthusiasts coming from far and wide to be inspired by the international speakers, meet others in the industry and hear about the latest developments in the magazine world.

This year’s theme was Fight For Your Audience – because that’s what the industry is doing – not only fighting for market share, but also fighting on behalf of readers.

Speakers included Connect Publications, DC Thomson, Family Media Group, Grapevine, Herald & Times, Holyrood Communications, Paragraph Publishing, The Big Issue, The Drum, The Skinny, Think, White Light and Wyvex Media.

Bloody ScotlandBloody Scotland has best year yet

Described by William McIlvanney as one of the friendliest festivals around, Bloody Scotland, finished this year last weekend up on last year with total sales of 6537 tickets in comparison to 5884 last year. An increase of more than 10%.

Chris Brookmyre was awarded the McIlvanney Prize for the best Scottish Crime Book of the Year for Black Widow.

Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers – Alex Gray, Lin Anderson, G J Brown and Craig Robertson – in 2012. This year marked the 5th anniversary.

Find out more about Scotland’s leading crime writing festival here.

His Bloody ProjectGraeme Macrae Burnet shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016

‘Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project– published by Contraband, the crime fiction imprint of the tiny independent Scottish press Saraband – is one of the more surprising contenders for this year’s £50,000 prize. Although it is billed as crime fiction, judges said it was a long way from generic thrillers.

The author himself told the Guardian that he felt his book was a novel about a crime, rather than a crime novel. “I’d say it is primarily about character and setting, but that is not to dissociate myself from the crime fiction world,” Burnet said.

He said he was thrilled and surprised to be shortlisted: “There is a certain Scottish way of preparing yourself for disappointment in advance, a coping strategy born out of many years of watching our football team.”

But the news was still sinking in. “When you see Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Rankin and Val McDermid are tweeting their congratulations, you begin to feel it is quite a big deal,” he said.’

Read more about the shortlisting here.

Jamie ByngCanongate Books returns to black

‘Canongate Books, the Edinburgh-based publishing house, has returned to profit in its latest financial year.

Accounts newly filed at Companies House show that the publisher, led by Jamie Byng, made a pre-tax profit of £119,470 in the year ended December 1.

It comes a year after Canongate posted a £1.26 million loss following what Mr Byng had called a “difficult and dispiriting year”.

Canongate’s “stand out” title during the year was Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive, a memoir about the author’s struggle with depression. The book, which spent 13 weeks on the bestseller lists, helped turnover at Canongate grow by 6.7 per cent to £8.5 million.’

Read more about the profits here.

EUPRevenue up 5% at Edinburgh University Press

‘Edinburgh University Press has reported a revenue rise of 5% in the year to end July, to “over £2.9m”.

The press attributed the rise to a “strong” performance in journals and a 39% rise in e-book sales, taking the latter to 19% of the total.

Chief executive Timothy Wright said it had been “a much better year for Edinburgh University Press in markets which continue to be challenging – particularly in North America.” He said: “Our decision to bring back control of e-book sales in-house has been vindicated and our ongoing investment in the journals business has begun to pay dividends.”‘

Read more about the revenue rise here.

Warrington Central LibraryUK’s first public library threatened with closure

‘Warrington Central Library, the first UK rate-supported library, is under the threat of closure.

In a bid to make £300,000 of savings, community interest company Livewire, which took over management of 11 Warrington libraries in 2012, has plans to close Warrington Central Library as well as libraries in Stockton Heath, Penketh, Lymm, Culcheth, Padgate, Burtonwood, Westbrook and Birchwood.

These services would be replaced by libraries inside large neighbourhood hubs and smaller wellbeing centres.

Warrington Central Library originally opened in 1848 as the first rate-supported library in the UK, before moving to its current premises in 1858. Rates were the local tax-raising system in place at the time.

A petition has been launched to save the libraries from closure. It currently has 5,801 signatures.’

Read more about the closure here.

Harry Potter Cursed ChildCursed Child clings on for a sixth week at number one

‘J K Rowling and Jack Thorne’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Little, Brown) has held on to the number one spot for a sixth week—by the tips of its fingers. It sold 26,547 copies— just 1,404 more than second-placed The Girl on the Train (Black Swan), according to Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market.

Still, Cursed Child has now racked up the third-longest run at the top spot for a Harry Potter book, with only Goblet of Fire (with 10 straight weeks) and Order of the Phoenix (with seven) spending longer at number one. In six weeks on sale, Cursed Child has already surpassed 1.2 million copies sold.’

Read more about the charts here.

Reading AgencyReading Agency launches £2.1m elderly reading project

‘The Reading Agency is launching a project to provide reading activities for older people thanks to a £2.1m grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Through the ‘Reading Friends’ project, the Reading Agency will organise reading groups, author visits and book chats for older people, including people with dementia and their carers.

The project will launch in July next year, with support from the Society of Chief Librarians and various charities and social enterprises.’

Read more about the project here.

Don’t forget about the SYP Scotland Mentoring Scheme

Want to work in publishing? If you want mentoring from someone in the publishing industry, then the SYP scheme is right for you!

Successful applicants will be paired with a mentor who will meet with you throughout the year for one-to-one sessions. Find out more about the scheme and apply here. Deadline is September 30th.


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