Are you an author in Scotland trying to navigate your way around the different book publishers that have a presence in the country?
Are you trying to get an understanding of what book genres Scottish publishers publish and whether they accept unsolicited manuscripts, or not?
This article will help you.
Continue reading to learn about 19 top book publishers in Edinburgh.
1. Floris Books
For non-fiction and children’s fiction authors, Floris Books may be “the one" publishing to get them closer to making those writing dreams come true.
An award-winning publishing – the largest in Scotland when it comes to children’s books – Floris has been in operation for over 40 years, their catalogue filled with the works of children’s literature giants, such as Astrid Lindgren or Elsa Beskow. The other area of Floris Books – non-fiction titles – is very diverse in categories, ranging from health and parenting, to religion, spirituality and mindfulness.
Although they’re only a small team, their long history of publishing and plenty of experience mean you’d be working with true experts in their fields, who are dedicated and love to collaborate with authors on creating literature that simply can’t be put down.
You can learn more about the advantages of working with Floris Books here. If you’re thinking of submitting material but it’s your first time, take a look at this handy diagram, which explains the whole process. Lastly, familiarise yourself with the company’s Submission Guidelines and get writing!
As the name suggests, this independent publisher is happy taking up-and-coming authors and their debut work under their wings – after all, they had to start somewhere too. For Edinburgh writers, who need their voice to be heard, this might be the perfect option.
Fledgling Press was founded 19 years ago by a psychologist Zander Wedderburn, who made it the publishing’s priority to offer new writers a quick, effective promotion and a book release that wouldn’t break the bank.
Publishing more digital titles than print copies, they were able to still offer quality while reducing the costs. Since the company was established, they’ve been publishing a variety of genres, including historical fiction, crime, biographies and poetry.
Fledgling does not limit themselves to Scottish writers – although that’s the largest group, international talent is also more than welcome. What you can expect from their small team is personal attention, plenty of flexibility and that drive to get your words to every shelf or Kindle as soon as possible.
Bear in mind that until the 1st of July 2019 no submissions will be accepted, as the publishing is currently sifting through the work that’s been previously sent to them. Mark the date in your calendars, and make sure your masterpiece is polished by then! You can find additional information here.
3. Luath Press
Edinburgh truly is a haven for not yet published authors and writers in general; no wonder this historic city is where J.K. Rowling wrote “Harry Potter"!
Luath Press is yet another established publisher, boasting a history of nearly 40 years and many successful releases to vouch for their professionalism and quality of services. Based in the heart of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the company’s focus is first and foremost on “well-written books that are worth reading."
The mammoth list of different genres published by Luath, which includes fiction, folklore, lifestyle, young adult and more, means you’re only limited by your own imagination. One on the unique new releases is Norman Bissell’s “Barnhill" – a thoroughly researched story of George Orwell’s life during the dramatic “Nineteen Eighty-Four" period.
Only paper submissions sent in traditionally will be considered. Your proposal must include a short synopsis, the genre you consider your work to fall in, some sample chapters, as well as your bio. As Luath is extremely busy, allow at least six months for them to reply.
You can find further information in the Work with Luath tab of their beautifully designed website.
If you’re familiar with the publishing industry in the United Kingdom, you have most likely heard of Canongate. Their books and authors, including Matt Haig, tend to attract bestseller titles and awards, so if you want to dream big this is the best possible place to start.
With connections in both Edinburgh and London, as well as nearly half a century of experience, you can trust Canongate publishers to smell a good book from miles away. They publish both fiction and non-fiction, and generally have no genre boundaries – as long as you have something life-changing to say, it will fall into place.
Independent and innovative, Canongate can give you the efforts and guidance of a small publishing with the marketing prowess of a big one, all combined into one, unforgettable experience. Do you wish to double the success of titles such as “Life of Pi," Obama’s “Dreams From my Father" or the globally recognised “Simon’s Cat"? Learn how to make the first step here.
Unfortunately, due to the popularity of Canongate, unsolicited manuscripts and submissions will not be accepted. More tips and advice can be found via the link above. Fingers crossed we see you on that authors’ list one day!
Not all children excel at reading, and this special publishing not only recognises the problem, but also offers fantastic, accessible solutions. Sounds like something you’d like to get into? Keep reading.
Barrington Stoke has been publishing dyslexia-friendly books for children with reading difficulties or so-called “fussy readers" for a long time, and is real a pioneer in this unique genre. For over 20 years now, they’ve been designing and publishing books where every typeface and colour matters in the young reader’s journey to becoming fully literate and enjoying it.
Their efforts to increase readability have been awarded with numerous prizes, and are equally appreciated by teachers, parents, librarians and carers – all of the adults, who have children’s best interest in mind. The beautifully illustrated books are categorised by age and can be enjoyed by children from under five years old, all the way up to the often difficult teenage years.
As for now, Barrington Stoke remains proactive when it comes to enlisting authors, therefore they do not accept unsolicited submissions. You can read all about their reasons here and try your luck some other time!
Another name that has a great reputation within the independent publishing circles in Scotland is Birlinn Ltd – a company of many imprints, and therefore many possibilities for authors to develop. The winner of 2017/18 Saltire Society Publisher Of The Year, Birlinn proves after years of publishing words, they still find something new to say.
It’s nearly impossible to name them all, but most of Birlinn’s imprints specialise in Scottish general interest books, modern fiction and poetry, high quality children’s literature, academic books and digital forms. If the diversity is not obvious enough, take a look at Birlinn’s new releases: on one hand, there’s Tom Doyle’s book on Elton John’s wild years; on the other, Gillian Galbraith’s new mystery novel.
Birlinn is currently looking for new fiction and non-fictions authors, as well as poets. If you think you’ve got what it takes and it suits Birlinn’s vast catalogue, send a concise synopsis along with three chapters/six poems over to the address listed here. Bear in mind, romantic novels and science fiction, as well as short stories, are not sought after at the moment.
This publishing, specialising in guides to Scottish secondary education, has only been established 11 years ago, but they’ve already been showered with awards for their exceptional work in the education sector.
Directed both at students and teachers, the colourful, clearly mapped-out guides are a brilliant teaching and learning aid when studying for exams – but also when studying for life! The impressive range of subjects offered is constantly being improved by the small, yet mighty team at Bright Red. They’ve even created an interactive learning platform Digital Zone, where additional materials can be found for even more efficient studies – and they’re not done for sure.
If Bright Red Publishing sounds like a place where your teaching methods and knowledge could be used to create powerful learning tools for Scottish students, do not hesitate to get in touch. You are welcome to use the contact form and someone will get back to you soon. The staff at Bright Red are waiting for passionate teachers!
Everyone knows the Edinburgh academia to be one of Britain’s and Europe’s most renowned and distinguished. The Edinburgh University Press, a true leader among university presses in the UK, promotes current debate, meticulous research and worldwide exchange of scholarly knowledge.
The main two subject areas published by EUP are Humanities and Social Sciences, but they include numerous niches: history, culture, linguistics, literature, and many more. From an established printing institution like this one, you can only expect excellence in the editorial and printing processes. Many more EUP titles are now also available in digital form, giving you the possibility to expand you horizons and your work – a global reach.
The EUP, which is celebrating a 70th anniversary of visionary publishing this year, accepts submissions for new books, series, as well as additional elements to series that already exist. Generally, the editors are looking for clear, concise proposals of maximum 10 pages, which will thoroughly outline the project, including details such as the readership, title ideas and key qualities that will make your book like nothing that’s been published before.
Specific submission guidelines, which differ depending on the genre and the type of publication you’re writing, can be found here.
Another academic press to join the list is Dunedin. Progressive and constantly moving forward, this renowned publishing could open doors to not only national, but also global recognition.
As oppose to university presses, which prioritise scholars on a level not lower than PhD, at Dunedin undergraduates and postgraduates are welcome to submit proposals also. First time authors will be happy to receive individual guidance that’s typical of a small publishing, as well as plenty of opportunities for further growth and development in the field of academic literature.
Subject areas currently sought after by Dunedin include geography, geology, environmental sciences, health and society, as well as children and young people protection. Any projects outside of those guidelines, however brilliant, may not simply be needed at the moment.
A ‘blurb’ summary of your project, as well as a detailed course of action are required to submit a proposal. To make it easier for inexperienced authors, a questionnaire has been created – that way, you’ll know exactly what the publishers expect of you at this stage. After your proposal is completed, simply send it to the publishing’s address, which can be found on the contact page.
Let’s face it – the publishing world can be cruel and lack empathy at times, judging the work of our hearts harshly or not compensating the writers adequately. Stirling strives to defend the publishing industry’s good name and provide authors with a great book deal they truly deserve.
Stirling accepts most genres, prioritising the ones the editors are currently enjoying the most. It’s often tough to fish out real diamonds from piles of manuscripts, so to know the editor’s personal preferences can only be an advantage!
Stirling has two separate imprints, which main focus remains thought-provoking fiction (Stone Cold Fox Press) and chilling thrillers (Skiddaw Books). If you’re wondering the quality expected of you, you may wish to know the second book in Dawn French’s trilogy “House of Cogs" will be released this year by no other than Stone Cold Fox Press. Can you beat that?
Good news – due to the company’s equality policies, both solicited and unsolicited authors are welcome to submit a proposal. A bit of bad news to balance it out, is that Stirling Publishing is currently experiencing a strong flow of applications and has sadly closed submissions for the foreseeable future.
Check back with them every now and again, you never know when opportunity might strike.
Are there any other book publishers in Edinburgh that need to be on this list? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!
Zofia Filipowicz is a freelance journalist living in Poland. She has graduated from De Montfort University in Britain, with a first class degree in Journalism and English Literature. Since then, she’s worked with different print and digital publications. Currently open for commission.