Scotland's Wee Book Company to make it big in US debut

Scottish publishing house The Wee Book Company is on target to hit 50,000 book sales in its inaugural year of trading, as it gears up to ship its first export to the US.

Susan Cohen, a former lawyer, founded The Wee Book Company and pens many of its titles. Picture: Contributed

The independent publisher, founded by former lawyer Susan Cohen in 2018, produces comedy and children’s fiction “with positive motivational messages”.

Its first book, The Wee Book o’ Grannies’ Sayin’s, sold out in ten days in the run-up to Christmas last year, while its second title, The Wee Book o’ Pure Stoatin’ Joy, is due to be exported to the US next month.

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The Wee Book Company expects annual sales to reach 50,000 in its inaugural year and aims to produce 22 titles by the end of 2020.

Its offering includes Ma Book o’ Clarty Wee Secrets, The Wee Book o’ Cludgie Banter and Big Tam’s Kilted Wurkoots, which sold in some Waterstones and Blackwell’s stores.

The business has also published renowned entertainer Allan Stewart’s first book, Dear Aunty May, which is set to launch in Edinburgh at the King’s Theatre Goldilocks and The Three Bears pantomime in December.

'Our Scottish sense of humour'

Cohen, who has written many of the company’s books herself, said: “The success of my books, which has come as a huge surprise, is down to taking a completely different approach to a self-help book and making it a lot less ‘po-faced’.

“The way I’ve written them seems to appeal to our Scottish sense of humour. It’s not that we shy away from books of substance, far from it, but I reckon that we often don’t want to take ourselves too seriously.”

She credited support from Business Gateway Midlothian as playing “a major part” in the company’s expansion, adding: “Growing at such a fast rate has been overwhelming at times.

However, the one-to-one support has really given me the reassurance I needed to carry on with confidence.”

Ann Marie Macaskill, head of Business Gateway Midlothian, said: “Susan’s passion for writing really shone through at her first appointment with Business Gateway Midlothian when we looked at way to her to identify new routes of funding and marketing, including crowdfunding and trade fairs.”

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