Sandstone Press

​Dingwall-based Sandstone Press features again on prestigious awards shortlist

The Saltire Society Publisher of the Year Shortlist 2015

Two past winners and three Edinburgh-based publishing houses feature in this year’s shortlist for the Saltire Society Publisher of the Year Award, unveiled today.

The shortlist includes last year’s winner, Dingwall-based Sandstone Press alongside 2013 winner Saraband, based in Glasgow. Also featured on the list are a trio of Edinburgh based publishing companies including Black and White Publishing, founded in 1999, children’s book and adult non-fiction specialists Floris Books and Luath Press, originally established in 1981 in the heart of Burns country but more recently relocated to the capital. The list is completed by Glasgow-based Freight books, a relative newcomer to the Scottish publishing market, set up in 2001.

Established in 2013 and supported by Creative Scotland, the Saltire Society Publisher of the Year Award is dedicated to encouraging and supporting the Scottish publishing industry. Organised by independent charity the Saltire Society as an integral part of its annual programme of awards and events, the Award aims to recognise and promote the work of Scottish publishers as a critical component of Scotland’s modern literary landscape.

This year’s winner will be announced as part of the Saltire Literary Awards ceremony on the 26th November and will receive £4000 to assist their business in its further development. The judges also have the option to award a commendation to a second shortlisted publisher, accompanied by prize money of £500.

The shortlist was drawn up by a judging panel including representatives of Creative Scotland and Publishing Scotland alongside a number of stalwarts from the Scottish publishing industry.

The panel commended Black and White for their strong editorial focus and good digital marketing practices and were particularly impressed by Floris Books’ commitment to developing a diverse range of books for younger readers, from babies to young adults.

Freight Books were described by the panel as being clever publishers who produce beautiful books while the judges also noted the efforts made by Luath Press to engage with their audiences over the past year by holding author events at a variety of festivals throughout Scotland.

Since winning the Saltire Publisher of the Year award in 2014, the panel recognised the ongoing commitment of Sandstone Press to expanding diversity in Scottish literature via the publication of translated titles and its use of new marketing methods. Meanwhile, the inaugural winner of the Publisher of the Year award in 2013, Saraband’s excellent author care and ability to consistently produce high quality books were particularly noted by the judges.

Commenting on the shortlist, Saltire Society Executive Director Jim Tough said:

“The purpose of this award is to celebrate and support the recent achievements and future ambitions of Scottish publishers. We are looking for companies that can demonstrate innovation and boldness, strong relationships with authors and readers, a successful and effective business strategy, proven success in entering new markets and high production values.

“Once again, this year’s shortlist is very strong and demonstrates the huge diversity within the Scottish publishing industry in terms both of scale and style. My congratulations to everyone shortlisted for this year’s award and I wish them all the very best of luck as we await the announcement of the winner later this month.”

Leonie Bell, Director, Arts and Engagement, Creative Scotland, said:

“Congratulations to each of the shortlisted publishers. Publishing is critical in the development of the careers of most writers and creating access to literature. These awards are important as they celebrate and encourage the work of this important industry.”

Sandstone Press Managing Director Robert Davidson commented:

'All of us at Sandstone Press are delighted to be shortlisted again as Saltire Society Publisher of the Year. It has been a particularly difficult year in the book trade generally, but we have managed to stay ahead of the curve with such brilliant books as Keith Partridge’s The Adventure Game and Ronnie Browne’s autobiography, That Guy Fae the Corries. Almost as I write we have Clifton Bain’s The Rainforests of Britain and Ireland going out of the warehouse, to be immediately followed by Jennifer Morag Henderson’s biography of Josephine Tey. Since both Jennifer and Josephine (actually Elizabeth McKintosh) are (or were) residents of Inverness, this books works for us both locally and internationally. The Saltire Society has been doing great work for the country with these awards for many decades. For us to be listed in consecutive years is a signal honour for us and serves to increase our enthusiasm and energy in the service of readers everywhere.'


About the Saltire Society

  • The Saltire Society seeks to encourage everything that might improve the quality of life in Scotland. It works to preserve all that is best in Scottish traditions and to encourage new developments which can strengthen and enrich the country’s cultural life. It acts as a catalyst, celebrant and commentator through an annual programme of awards, lectures, debates and projects. Founded in 1936 is a non-political independent charity with membership branches throughout Scotland.
  • Membership of the Saltire Society is open to all individuals and organisations that support the aims of the Society.
  • For further information about the Saltire Society please visit www.saltiresociety.org.uk.

About Creative Scotland

  • Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com. Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

Background to the Saltire Publisher of the Year Award

  • Established in 2013, the Saltire Society Publisher of the Year Award is dedicated to encouraging and supporting Scottish publishers. The Award aims to recognise and promote the work of Scottish publishers as an important element in the Scottish literature ecology. The winner of the Award will receive £4000 to assist their business in its further development. The judges will also have the option to award a commendation of £500.

Publisher of the Year Shortlist 2015

The panel have shortlisted 6 publishers for this year’s award. They are:

Black and White: Founded in Edinburgh in 1999, Black and White have become one of Scotland’s leading independent book publishing companies. The panel commended Black and White for their strong editorial focus and good digital marketing practices. The panel also noted that Black and White had a good understanding of their target readerships and audiences.

Saraband: The inaugural winner of the Saltire Society Publisher of the Year Award in 2013, Saraband has continued to thrive in the past year, making impressive developments in its digital marketing and establishing the crime fiction imprint, Contraband, in Spring 2014. The judges commented on Saraband’s excellent author care and the publisher’s ability to consistently produce high quality books.

Floris Books: This year Floris are recognised for their high quality production values and their distinct ability to find gaps within the Scottish literary marketplace and fill them with beautifully produced and well considered books. The panel were particularly impressed with Floris’ commitment to developing a diverse range of books for younger readers, from babies to young adults.

Freight Books: Freight Books were described by the panel as being clever publishers who produce beautiful books. Although one of the youngest publishers on this shortlist, Freight Books have become a major player in the Scottish publishing industry, offering a platform for new and emerging writers and well established voices alike.

Luath Press: A stalwart of the Scottish publishing scene, in the past two years Luath have shown their ability to maximise on key contemporary cultural events, producing high quality, purposeful and commercially successful titles. The judges noted how Luath have also maximised engagement with their audience in the last year, holding author events at a variety of festivals throughout Scotland.

Sandstone Press: Having won the Saltire Society Publisher of the Year Award in 2014, Sandstone have spent this year developing and consolidating the successes of their previous year. The panel believe Sandstone have shown their commitment to expanding the diversity of Scottish literature through the publication of translated titles and have effectively embraced new marketing methods.

About the Judging Panel

The Judging Panel for the 2015 Saltire Society Publisher of the Year Award comprises the following:

Aly Barr, Creative Scotland

Professor Claire Squires, University of Stirling

Jenny Brown, Jenny Brown Associates

Rosamund de la Hey, Mainstreet Books, St Boswells

Claire Malcolm, CEO, New Writing North

Marion Sinclair, CEO, Publishing Scotland