Edinburgh Festival book sales 'highest in history'

Edinburgh Festival book sales 'highest in history'

Book sales at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival were up 5% from the previous year – the highest ever sales in the festival’s 32-year history.

The festival’s two bookshops sold more than 60,000 books over the course of the 17-day event.

Four children’s and YA books featured in the top 10 bestsellers for the festival, which also contained two memoirs, a poetry collection, and a collection of essays.

The top 10 bestsellers were Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here (Walker Books); Kate Tempest’s Hold Your Own (Pan Macmillan); Cressida Cowell’s How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury (Hachette Children’s Group); Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive (Canongate); Alexander McCall Smith’s The Revolving Door of Life: A 44 Scotland Street Novel (Berlinn General); Alan Cumming’s Not My Father’s Son: A Family Memoir (Canongate); Francesca Simon and Tony Ross’ Horrid Henry’s Cannibal Curse (Hachette Children’s Group); Peter May’s Runaway (Quercus); Shifting Sands, an essay collection, edited by Raja Shehadeh and Penny Johnson (Profile); and The Scarecrow’s Wedding by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Scholastic).

Ticket sales for the festival increased by 2% in 2015, on a comparative capacity to 2014.

The festival welcomed more than 800 authors from 55 countries taking part in almost 800 events.

Nick Barley, director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said: “We’ve enjoyed a truly brilliant, exuberant and record-breaking festival this year – our most successful ever with record ticket and book sales.  After the referendum in 2014 I wanted to cast our gaze a little further and look at Scotland’s place in the wider world. It is an important time for us to look at our relationships with other cultures, languages and countries and we invited an extraordinary range of writers to share this with us. Our audiences have embraced this, welcoming authors who have never been translated into English before, and engaging in a series of unforgettable conversations. And the conclusions were always the same:  Scotland is an outward-looking, open-minded nation.”

The 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival took place from 13th to 29th August.