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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Publishing Scotland Enters its Golden Jubilee Year

By Medha Godbole Singh

When a handful of trade professionals came together in 1974 and formed the Scottish General Publishers Association (SGPA), they may not have envisaged that the association would go on to celebrate its golden jubilee in 2024. Robin Lorimer, the Founder of the publishing firm Southside, was the first SPGA chairman. Since then, much water has flowed under the bridge, and the Scottish General Publishers Association eventually became Publishing Scotland in 2007.

To commemorate the special occasion, a showcase on the Publishing Scotland website has been created to offer a glimpse of events from the past five decades. The showcase includes a myriad of materials, including old photographs, marketing materials, archival documents, and anecdotes from the current and former staff of Publishing Scotland.

Since 2007, despite a slew of challenges, such as the global pandemic, financial crisis, and Brexit, Publishing Scotland, helmed by CEO Marion Sinclair, has weathered many storms and prevailed.

Undeterred by the turbulence of the present, Publishing Scotland remains resolute in its vision for the future. CEO Marion Sinclair envisions a more sustainable publishing environment, a goal their new Policy Development Manager will guide. This goal demonstrates the organisation's forward-thinking approach and commitment to tackling environmental and sustainability issues.

The organisation also plans to enhance its international reach with a collective Scottish stand at book fairs, an author international travel fund, a fellowship to attract a group of international publishers to Scotland during the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and a translation fund to bring foreign titles into English, Gaelic or Scots⁠ will be undertaken in the next couple of years or so.

These aims notwithstanding, Publishing Scotland wants to ensure its members can navigate the complications of Brexit, AI, the European Accessibility Act, and more. Publishing Scotland has seventy-five member publishers currently, but this number has generally fluctuated between seventy and eighty over the last twenty years. There are roughly forty non-publisher network members, including the Booksellers Association, the National Library of Scotland and wholesaler Bookspeed.

Moreover, as Sinclair points out, Publishing Scotland has evolved into an international promotional vehicle for Scottish publishers and books, a role that underscores its importance and influence in the industry. Thus, Publishing Scotland's golden jubilee is not just a milestone but a beacon of optimism and a testament to the vibrancy of the Scottish publishing industry.




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