The country’s literary scene will today receive a welcome boost with the launch of the first ever dedicated online collection of Scottish books.
The site, Books from Scotland, is a curated portfolio of nearly 7,000 Scottish titles. From fiction and poetry through to graphic novels and children’s books, it seeks to champion the best writing produced from these shores over the centuries.
Publishing Scotland, the network body for the book publishing industry in Scotland, has spent months building and fine-tuning an extensive database which forms the spine of the relaunched site.
Whereas consumers looking for Scottish works are constrained by the search engines of major book retailers such as Amazon, which show only books with “Scotland” or “Scottish” in the title, the new site, www.BooksfromScotland.com, allows user to search by Scottish authors, publishers and even themes.
Although the site has been around since 2005, it is hoped the major revamp will turn a new leaf and bring Scottish writing to wider UK and international audience.
Along with details of books and authors, the site provides links to independent retailers and established online booksellers. It also allows online visitors to leave reviews, share details of what they have bought on social media networks and check whether a title they are interested in is available at their local library.
Marion Sinclair, chief executive of Publishing Scotland, said: “The Scottish publishing market is a mature one, but it is also one that needs to develop on an international scale.
“We have established several initiatives to help the industry promote itself to the international market over the years and we are starting to see positive effects. BooksfromScotland.com is a showcase for the best of Scottish books”
To mark today’s official launch, leading Scottish authors such as Janice Galloway, Christopher Brookmyre and Kirsty Logan have provided articles for the site detailing their top ten Scottish books.
The website’s magazine style format also has features on authors and publishers. The inaugural edition features a profile of William McIlvanney and independent publisher Saraband.