New imprint for Merchiston Publishing


First children’s book for Merchiston Publishing

MSc Publishing students at Edinburgh Napier University, and Merchiston Publishing – the publishing arm of the Scottish Centre for the Book and Edinburgh Napier University – are excited to bring you a new edition of a Scottish classic, The Kelpie’s Pearls.

Students are involved in all stages of the project from choosing the title and identifying the audience to editing the text, marketing the book, and arranging a launch event. They develop key skills needed to work in publishing as well as finding out which area they want to work in.

The books produced by Merchiston Publishing and Msc Publishing students aim to promote the pleasure of reading and, in particular, to play tribute to Scottish authors by bringing their work to new audiences.

Among the most successful projects produced by students have been The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg or The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan.

2011 will see the publication of The Kelpie’s Pearls, by award-winning Scottish writer Mollie Hunter. We are very excited and proud of this project as it will be Merchiston Publishing’s first children’s book. It will be launched within the next few months and distributed to local schools.

You can keep up to date with our progress and learn more about the book and the launch on our website or by joining our Facebook group.

If you want to support us and fancy a pub quiz with great prizes, see our Facebook page for details!

One Million Books, One Million People, One Night

by Paula Igoe, Anna Murray, Monika Ciska, Stacey Wadsworth and Benedicte Soteras

The first ever World Book Night will take place on the 5th March, two days after the World Book Day.

The Night aims to be a ‘celebration of reading, writing and sharing’ (Antony Gormley, Patron) through a collaboration between publishers, writers, booksellers and libraries. However, the readers are the real drive behind this.

In 2009, Jamie Byng of Canongate came up with the idea that others from the industry, such as Random House, Faber and Faber and The Bookseller, quickly adopted.  Since then it has been set up as a charitable company.

On the night, 20,000 volunteers will give away a million books, from twenty-five fiction and non-fiction titles selected from major publishers like Penguin and Bloomsbury as well as Independent Publishers such as Profile Books and Sceptre

There has already been coverage from the BBC and national and local newspapers, helped by support from The Publishers Association, The Reading Agency and various famous figures.

There is still time to get involved and become a giver by applying online at

Winter With A Thief

©Doubleday Publishers

It was the winter of 2010 and the snow arrived.
It might have been the weather, or my state of mind, but rarely have I come across a book that has touched me so much that I feel the need to share it.
You may not think that a book set in Nazi Germany narrated by death sounds like an appealing read during the cheery festive season, but after my last read I needed uplifting. Having been recommended to me by numerous friends, I picked it up and began to read. Written by Australian author Markus Zusak, The Book Thief was published in 2007 and received critical acclaim on an international level.
As the snow thawed, the tale of a little girls survival while the bombs fell kept me engrossed and I couldn’t help but be uplifted by how the human spirit triumphs in the most adverse circumstances.

By Gemma Greig, Amy Gooda, Zuzana Hajasova and Eva Barton

Warning: Haggis on the Loose!


For many centuries the haggis has stalked the Edinburgh countryside, terrorising locals and unsuspecting tourists alike.

Noted sightings describe the creature as having the beak of a duck, three legs to cope with the Scottish terrain and the shaggy fur of a highland coo.

The haggis is notoriously elusive, so for the less-experienced haggis hunter there are several organised haggis hunts that you can still register to participate in at:

But you must hurry! Only 5 days left to secure your haggis before Burns Night Supper, which takes place on 25th January. Take care, though — the haggis is a tricksy foe; known conspirators include neeps and tatties, who have had roots in the underground for centuries!

Despite this, the haggis remains a much-loved Scottish resident. This national treasure even inspired Burns to write the famous ‘Address to a Haggis’, traditionally recited before eating.

Happy Hunting!

By Emma Stubbs, Kristen Susienka, Amanda Fisher, & Stephen Gaskell

The Perfect Book

Shutterhacks on Flickr. Shared under a Creative Commons Licence

As a reader, the perfect book has to begin with the words. It must be elegant and eloquent. It’s addictive – I can’t help but keep reading. It draws me in and opens doors to new ideas.  I take the characters wherever I go and sometimes they take me with them. Years later I will find something that wasn’t there before. It will be beautiful to treasure, to hold and to own.

But during working hours, I have a different perspective. I see a book written by an amenable, productive author who understands the business. It is topical but timeless. The artwork is a masterpiece in its own right and will become synonymous with this modern classic. It is met by a receptive audience and critical acclaim. It sells. But more than that, I am proud of this book. It will be beautiful to treasure, to hold and to own.

Oliver: Can We Have Some More…(Sales that is!)

Source: Wiki Commons

This year’s Christmas top 10 bestseller list was dominated by celebrity titles. Jamie Oliver showed that he wasn’t just a flash in the pan with a record-breaking 1.2million sales of 30-Minute Meals. Industry professionals have attributed its success to discounts of up to 50%, though it has been the Amazon bestseller ever since it was launched in September. Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen also opened for business at sixth in the chart.

Comedians Michael McIntyre and Stephen Fry were caught bubbling under with sales of their respective memoirs: Life and Laughing and The Fry Chronicles.

Alan Sugar will have been kept sweet and not had to deliver the infamous catchphrase (and pointing finger of doom) to his publishers Macmillan, after achieving a healthy figure of almost 300,000 sales.  Doubtless, he was not pleased that his memoir’s sales dipped be low those of a fictional, car-insurance advertising meerkat.