Mackay joins Edinburgh festival

Mackay joins Edinburgh festival

Simon Mackay has been appointed the new head of book sales and retail for the Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF). 

Mackay starts on 12th March, replacing James Shaw who stands down this October.

The festival owns and operates two large pop-up shops within Charlotte Square Gardens, including the largest speciality Children’s Bookshop in Scotland. It last year also created a new outlet on George Street for the first time as part of the festival's expansion out of the Gardens. Together the bookshops achieve average sales of over 60,000 books across  the 18 days of the festival each August, according to EIBF. They along with Hay Festival are the only two independent festival bookshops tracked by Nielsen Bookscan.

Mackay, who currently leads a nationwide programme of events for W H Smith focused on non-fiction lifestyle authors, has been a bookseller for high street and independent retailers for 15 years. He is also a member of the World Book Day executive committee and involved with other literary charities.

Nick Barley, director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said: "Simon started his career as a bookseller in Edinburgh and it's great that he's returning to Scotland's capital city to take up one of the most unusual and stimulating jobs in British bookselling. He inherits an exceptionally well-run operation from James Shaw; and I'm confident that Simon will inject thrilling new ideas and initiatives that catapult the Book Festival's retail operation to even greater success."

Mackay said: "I am delighted to be joining the team at Edinburgh International Book Festival. It's a privilege to be working in such a vibrant and audience-centred part of the books world, and I cannot wait to get started."

Mackay can be reached on