Scottish Books International Targets New German-Market Opportunities

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With its new Scottish Books International support for Scottish authors’ appearances, Publishing Scotland held its German-market kickoff at Frankfurt this month.

Publishing Scotland’s Lucy Feather and Scottish Books International’s Sasha de Buyl at Frankfurt. Image: Publishing Scotland

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

 ‘Facilitating Cultural Exchange for Writers’
During Frankfurter Buchmesse this month, Publishing Scotland expanded a relatively new program called Scottish Books International to include partnerships with German organizations and publishers—in part, in support of a German cultural season that’s to take place in Scotland next year.

Publishing Scotland is observing its 45th anniversary. In 1974 the Scottish Publishers Association was born, when 10 small publishers worked together in Edinburgh to set up a publishing body for joint promotion, exhibiting at book fairs, and training.

The association today has more than 100 members; a Glasgow distribution company that warehouses and distributes for more than 90 companies; an International Publishing Fellowship; and now the Scottish Books International program.

Scottish Books International is run by a third-party company and is a partnership of the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Creative Scotland.

Scottish Books International acts as “a connecting force for Scottish literature overseas,” according to its media messaging, “fostering partnerships with organizations, facilitating cultural exchange for writers, and supporting publishers to develop a stronger presence in foreign markets.”

It’s meant to act as a key point of contact for the Scottish sector, building relationships with Scotland and other territories.

The pilot initiative of Scottish Book International is its Author International Travel Fund, a grant supporting Scottish authors invited to festivals and events overseas. The fund has so far supported Scottish writers with travel to:

  • New Zealand
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Australia
  • The United States
  • Indonesia
  • Portugal
  • China
  • Poland
  • Japan

In a prepared statement, Marion Sinclair, Publishing Scotland’s CEO, says, “It was a real privilege to celebrate our 45th year at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

“Many of our publishers, such as [Jamie Byng’s] Canongate, have been with us for the entire life of this organization, and we take seriously that vote of confidence in us as a collective body to support, promote, and train both established publishers and the publishers of the future.

“Membership is at an all-time high, and we continue to look outward for new opportunities for our members, their books and their authors, to reach new audiences. A sincere thanks goes to our funding body, Creative Scotland and its predecessor, The Scottish Arts Council, for their financial and invaluable support over the years.”

Publishing Scotland has been attending the Frankfurt Book Fair every year since 1974 and hosted the national stand with the following Scottish publishers and agents—BHP Comics, Black & White Publishing, Canongate Books, Floris Books, Handspring Publishing, Jenny Brown Associates, Luath Press, Moonlight Publishing, Muddy Pearl, National Galleries Scotland, Saraband and Sandstone Press.

Publishing Scotland at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2019. Image: Publishing Scotland


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Scottish market is here, and more on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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