Publishing Scotland to launch digital fund for indies

Publishing Scotland to launch digital fund for indies

Publishing Scotland has launched a "Go-Digital Fund" to support Scottish-based book publishers looking to develop their digital programmes and bring their books to a new digital audience.

Scottish arts body Creative Scotland will bankroll the £20,000 fund. It will be spread over two rounds in November 2011 and February 2012, and it is anticipated the fund will run again the following year in 2012/13. Publishers can apply for costs up to £2,000 per company, with applications to be judged by a panel of representatives from both Publishing Scotland and Creative Scotland.

The fund is intended to help publishers in accessing training or consultancy in digital matters, attending digital events in the UK and overseas, and in marketing their digital books and content. It is a sister fund to the organisation's "Go-See Fund" which enables publishers to make trips to book fairs around the world.

Publishing Scotland chief executive Marion Sinclair said: "To me it seems like a really obvious thing to do and for us to do. I think the small- and medium-sized companies are anxious to play their parts [in digital publishing] and are often casting about for ideas. There is a lot of digital expertise out there but it costs money to tap into that.

"Because the digital world is happening on a global scale, it can be difficult to get a handle on it, so the idea of the fund is to say there are consultants, there are events out there, and as we know times are tough, training costs and marketing are often the first to go."

She added: "What's important is for companies to learn and plan a clear path through the digital landscape, so for example, if someone had an idea for a series of apps, that is expensive both in terms of costs and time, and it's important to get an idea of where to start . . . £2,000 can make quite a bit of difference."

Meanwhile, Waterstone's m.d. James Daunt will be visiting Publishing Scotland headquarters in Edinburgh tomorrow [6th October] to meet with publishers and answer their questions about his new ideas for the chain and how it will operate.