Announced close to the end of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the first ever Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year Awards have recognized “the company who has the most exciting, progressive and developmental story to tell over the previous year of their activity,” with an Award to Saraband, a former book packager that has transformed itself into an independent publisher, and a Commendation to Floris Books, a house with a strong focus on children’s literature, and a very individual and innovative approach to commissioning and encouraging authors and illustrators.

The Saltire Society exists “to improve the quality of life in Scotland and restore the country to its proper place as a creative force in Europe,” with initiatives “to preserve all that is best in Scottish tradition and to encourage new developments which can strengthen and enrich the country’s cultural life.”

Candidates for the Awards are expected to exhibit qualities including “innovation and boldness,” successful market entry and development of new products; “initiating and successfuly managing change,” and “supporting and nurturing writers.”

Saraband, according to the Society’s release on its Award, over the past five years “has taken huge steps in changing the focus of their publishing list, the formats in which they publish, how [they bring] books to market, in response to changes in the wider industry and economy. During 2012-13 they continued to move Scottish authors to the heart of their business … “This is a company that has shown shrewd and strategic business thinking in a shifting context. They are collaborative, innovative and are distinguished by fresh thinking in their use of digital technology.”

Floris, meanwhile, was commended for “their extensive list of Scottish fiction for children … arguably-the company had revolutionised Scottish picture books producing work of exceptional quality in the process of re-inventing themselves. They have a strong and visible presence in the literature and educational sectors and an impressive record of supporting writers and illustrators.”

Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP, presented the Awards, praised “all of the short-listed finalists – the level of innovation shown by each one makes them all exceptional ambassadors for the publishing industry both here and across the world.”


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