Bonnier Books UK buys Edinburgh indie Black & White Publishing

Bonnier Books UK buys Edinburgh indie Black & White Publishing

Bonnier Books UK has acquired independent Scottish publisher Black & White Publishing as part of its long-term strategy for growth.  

The transaction was completed on 22nd July, for an undisclosed fee, and will see Bonnier Books UK further expand its footprint in the UK trade. Black & White Publishing will run as a standalone imprint of Bonnier Books UK, and continue to be led by m.d. Campbell Brown and publishing director Alison McBride. The team will remain based at Black & White’s offices in Edinburgh, with Brown reporting into Bonnier Books UK c.e.o. Perminder Mann (pictured). There will be no changes to staff numbers.

Founded in 1999, Black & White is one of Scotland’s leading book publishers. It had an annual turnover of £1.8m in 2020/21. With a focus on Scottish and Irish-interest publishing, Black & White publishes 30 to 40 books a year across biography, sport, humour, general non-fiction, fiction, YA and children’s. Authors include former rugby player Doddie Weir, YA author Estelle Maskame, "MasterChef" star Gary Maclean and "Great British Bake-Off" 2020 winner Peter Sawkins.  

Recent titles published by Black & White include Olive, Mabel & Me by Andrew Cotter, When the World Stops Watching by Damian Lawlor, as well as poetry collection Burns for Every Day of the Year, curated by Dr Pauline Mackay. It also issued The Glasgow Gruffalo’s Wean, a translated into Glaswegian vernacular of Julia Donaldson and Axel Schleffer’s book The Gruffalo’s Child (Pan Macmillan), by Elaine C Smith. The publisher also runs the award-winning Itchy Coo list, which publishes books in Scots for children, including translations of work by Raymond Briggs, Roald Dahl, Julia Donaldson, Jeff Kinney and J K Rowling. 

“I’m thrilled that Campbell and the team at Black & White will be joining the team at Bonnier," Mann said of the deal. "Their publishing is perfectly aligned with our long-term strategy for growth. We share a passion for publishing for everyone and see an exciting opportunity to invest and grow Black & White, while ensuring they continue to have the creative freedom that will enable their lists to flourish. Following the announcement of our wonderful new trade office in Bloomsbury, we’re also looking forward to having a new base in Scotland in the beautiful capital city of Edinburgh.” 

Brown said his team was "absolutely delighted to join the Bonnier family". He added: "After one of our best ever years, Alison and I are very much looking forward to working with Perminder and her fantastic team. They have built a reputation as a dynamic, forward-thinking publishing business and their lists have gone from strength to strength in recent years. Together we will be building on our strong recent successes and we are excited about the future. With some brilliant new books planned for the rest of this year and beyond, this new chapter will be hugely beneficial for Black & White, for our team and, most importantly, for our current and future authors.”