Letter from the Press 2023

We’re nearing the end of what’s been a very busy year for us here at the Press. Whilst we’ve only launched one title this year, there’s been much more going on behind the scenes which we can’t wait to share with you in 2024. In the meantime, here’s a letter from General Manager, Rob, recapping the past 12 months and looking to things to come. 

*

I’d normally say it’s about that time of year to look back at the last 12 months and reflect on what we’ve been up to, but, quite frankly, it doesn’t feel like there’s time for that – there’s still so much going on!

We started 2023 buoyed from an unprecedented level of activity in 2022 – something that was recognised at the British Book Awards, where we were announced as the Small Press country winner for Scotland. This year, One Man’s Legacy has been long-listed at the Banff Mountain Festival and shortlisted at the Saltire Society Literary Awards – fantastic news for debut author Mike Dixon and our editor, Deziree Wilson. Sadly, the book didn’t win at Banff, but we’re holding our breath for the Saltire Awards on 7 December. 

Working with Publishing Scotland, the Press has become increasingly involved in industry-wide activity to improve the sustainability of the publishing industry. This is set to run for the next four years and spans cultural change, education and engagement with wider UK initiatives, as well as running specific projects to help Scottish publishers along the way. Given the range of books we publish, we are delighted to be involved in such an important activity.

Creatives has gone from strength to strength, with a range of fantastic poems, fiction, nonfiction and visual art published, despite being run on a voluntary basis by Alex Marceau and the team. We’ve secured funding from various organisations for our first print publication, Mèinn, which will also be our first in Gaelic and represents an important departure from our current portfolio. The editor, Raghnaid Sandilands, is busy pulling together a range of fantastic contributions for this project as I write.

Although we’ve all been super busy, you’ll have just seen one title hit the shelves this year. Lowland Outcrops, featuring more stunning artwork by Christoper Smith-Duque, has been performing well and has been recognised by a range of reviewers as resetting the bar for our guidebooks in terms of quality, inclusion and accessibility. This is something we are really proud to have played a part in. Kat Bennett, who leads on PR and our social media (amongst much else!), has done a brilliant job getting the word out about this important book.

Personally speaking, the year has brought a big change with a move up to Inverness. It is paying dividends for work here at the Press and has enabled some fantastic days out with family and friends. Leaving so many good friends in Newcastle, but meeting more up north, got me thinking about the connections with people we make throughout our lives. I feel lucky to have been able to share experiences in the places I love with good friends, old and new, that will live long in the memory.

Next month you’ll be hearing more about what we’ve got planned for 2024. For now, I must get back to books we absolutely must get to the printer by the middle of December! 

All the best for the festive period, and we’ll see you in the new year.

Rob Lovell and the rest of the team at the Press


Images:
Photo 1: Wil Treasure enjoying the view on the Press team meeting © Rob Lovell
Photo 2: Rob climbing Ticket to Ride at Creag Dubh © Dave Cuthbertson