Saraband wins first Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year

Saraband wins first Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year

Saraband has won the inaugural Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year Award.

The award, given to the company with the most exciting and progressive developmental story to tell over the previous year, was announced by culture secretary Fiona Hyslop on Friday evening (23rd August).

Saraband, which has transformed itself from a book packager, picked up the accolade alongside £4,000 in prize money.

A commendation was also given to Floris Books.

Saraband, led by Sarah Hunt, was said to have taken "huge steps" in changing the focus on its publishing list and formats in response to industry changes, and to have continued during 2012-13 to move Scottish authors to the heart of its business. Saraband was selected to represent Scotland's creative industries at the Scotland House showcase during the Olympics.

The judging panel said: "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. Their move to new approaches still has the interest of authors at its heart." The company was said to punch impressively above their weight, "typical of many SMEs in the industry".

Floris Books meanwhile received a commendation. Floris, which features an extensive list of Scottish fiction for children, and in 2012 launched a new range of Kelpies Classics, "revitalising classic Scottish children's novels and authors for a new generation."
The judges said: "Among many impressive attributes, the panel noted the way that—arguably—the company had revolutionised Scottish picture books producing work of exceptional quality in the process of reinventing themselves." It added that Floris has "a strong and visible presence in the literature and education sectors and an impressive record of supporting writers and illustrators."

Also shortlisted were BackPage Press, Barrington Stoke, Edinburgh University Press and Freight Books.

Jim Tough, executive director of the Saltire Society, said the society had been "encouraged" by the number, range and quality of applications for the award. Creative Scotland chief executive Janet Archer said: "Saraband and the other shortlisted publishers represent a Scottish publishing industry in very good health."

The judges were literary agent Jenny Brown, Main Street Trading Company's Rosamund de la Hey, Claire Malcolm of New Writing North, Publishing Scotland c.e.o. Marion Sinclair, Professor Claire Squires of the University of Stirling and Aly Barr of Creative Scotland.

The award is supported by Creative Scotland and Publishing Scotland.