Privacy Policy

Edinburgh International Book Festival is committed to ensuring the privacy of its customers. This Privacy Policy explains how we use your personal information. It may change occasionally so please check this statement from time to time.


Who we are

We are the Edinburgh International Book Festival, a registered charity in Scotland SC010120. We are a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. This Privacy Policy encompasses the activities of Edinburgh International Book Festival.


What information Edinburgh International Book Festival collects

We collect personal information from you through you creating an account with us and buying tickets to Book Festival events, subscription to our newsletter(s) or membership schemes, competition entry and any other forms that you may complete, as well as any emails that you send us.


Website data and cookies

Our website, like many others, uses cookies to provide the best experience.

What are cookies and how does the Book Festival use them?

Cookies are small files that are saved on your device to allow this website to remember your interactions and preferences when you visit. Cookies do not tend to hold personal information that identifies a user but personal information you provide us may be linked with information from cookies. No sensitive information, such as physical addresses or passwords, are stored in cookies we use. 

Essential cookies

Some cookies are essential to allow the Book Festival website to operate. We set cookies that are visible only to the Book Festival which allow us to:

  • Keep track of whether or not you are logged into your account
  • Store the content of your shopping basket while you are making a purchase or donation
  • Capture the result of actions you take so that we can show the correct success or error message
  • Anonymously log activity associated with the device you are using so that we can investigate and fix website errors and provide you with effective support if you encounter problems
  • Record your cookie preferences so that you do not have to provide them on every visit

If you open the website checkout then our payment provider, Stripe, will also set essential cookies that are required to manage the flow through credit card processing and for fraud protection.

If you visit a page with a 3rd party YouTube or Vimeo video player, these may also set their own cookies to provide an enhanced experience.

Optional cookies

If you give us permission, we may also allow the following 3rd party services to set and retrieve additional cookies:

  • Google – to allow us to understand our audiences and their behaviour on our website, evaluate the success of Book Festival advertising, and advertise events that may be of interest to you or other users.
  • Meta – to allow us to serve adverts for Book Festival events that may be relevant to groups of Meta (Facebook/Instagram) users, and to evaluate the success of that advertising.
  • Other 3rd Party Advertisers - to allow us to serve adverts for Book Festival events that may be relevant to visitors of the Book Festival website, and to evaluate the success of that advertising.

Setting your cookie preferences:

When you first visit our website, you will be prompted to set your cookie preferences. If you would like to update your preferences, you can do so here.

You can also change your cookie settings or remove cookies from your device in your browser. However, removing or blocking all cookies may break some functionality on our website including the ability to login or book tickets. To find out how to allow, block, delete and manage the cookies on all standard web browsers, go to and select the browser and version you are using.


Links to other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites. If you follow a link to any other website from, please be aware that the 3rd party websites and services are not governed by this Privacy Policy. Please check 3rd party website policies before submitting personal data or using their services.


What Edinburgh International Book Festival does with your personal information

We use personal information that you give us to answer your enquiries and provide you with information you have requested. We also use this information to better understand website usage and audience attendance so we know what areas of our website and what activities and events customers prefer. Website data is stored in log files and is used for aggregated and statistical reporting but cannot be attributed to you as an individual.

We may use your personal information to keep you informed about the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s events and activities and may contact you from time to time about these. If you have given us permission to do so, we may use your information to email you ebulletins, programme updates and alerts.

We also hold information about you so that we can respect your preferences for being contacted by us.

We may also contact you to send you survey and feedback requests to help us improve our services to you and where we have a legitimate interest to do so – for instance, if you have attended the Book Festival and we are seeking your views about your visit.

We will not share any information we store about you with any 3rd party.


Legal basis for using your information

In most cases, we will only use your personal information where we have your explicit consent (for example, signing up to our email bulletins) or because we need to use it to fulfil our contract with you (for example, you have booked tickets with us). We may also need to collect and process your personal data for a legal obligation (for example, when investigating criminal activity).

The Book Festival may also process your data when it is in our legitimate interests to do so, and when these interests do not override your rights. This means your personal data may be used to help us continue to run the Edinburgh International Book Festival. For instance, we may provide you with information about our launch dates, programme content and other events we may put on, inform you about our membership schemes, advance booking options or fundraising activities.


Legitimate interests

We use several legal bases for processing your personal information including ‘legitimate interest’. Legitimate interest means we may process your information if we have a genuine and legitimate reason and it is not harming your rights and interests. It applies to us using your data in a in a way you would reasonably expect and that has a minimal privacy impact.

For instance, if you have recently booked a ticket to the Festival we may use your data to send you useful information relating to your visit; if you attended the Festival last year, we may send you a copy of the programme this year; if we have a long-standing and on-going relationship with you we may send you information about new event or fundraising activities. Before we use your personal data in this way, we will balance our legitimate interests against your rights and freedoms.

We may inform you about future Book Festival events, changes to the Festival programme and fundraising activities – all of which help to support and develop the Edinburgh International Book Festival and allow us to continue to programme events and put on the Festival in its current form. You have the right to object to this at any time.


Festival authors and participants

If you are participating in our August Book Festival programme or in events at other times of the year, we may use your information to:

  • Contact you regarding your event
  • Invite you to participate in future events
  • Contact you in case of emergencies or last-minute alterations to the festival programme
  • Carry out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into by you and us
  • Seek your views and comments regarding the Book Festival and our services
  • Process your ticket bookings

Information regarding your nationality and country of residence is optional, and is anonymised for statistical reporting, monitoring purposes and for funding applications.


Job applicants

If you apply to work at the Edinburgh International Book Festival or are employed by us, we may use your information to:

  • Process your job application
  • Issue a contract
  • Carry out legal obligations from any contracts entered into by you and us
  • Seek your views or comments regarding the Book Festival
  • Contact next of kin in case of emergency
  • Create a Festival staff identification pass
  • Undertake equality and diversity monitoring and reporting (information is anonymised)

Where we want to take up a reference or obtain a disclosure from Disclosure Scotland, we will not do so without informing you beforehand. We will not share your information with 3rd parties except to meet a legal requirement.

Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for 12 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed, after which it will be destroyed, unless you have asked us to destroy it earlier or allowed us to retain it for longer by written request.


Children’s privacy

Many children are interested in information about the Edinburgh International Book Festival and their privacy is of the utmost importance to us. Any child under the age of 14 should always ask a parent or guardian for permission before making any type of online enquiry.


Compliance with law

We will release personal information where we are required to by law or by the regulations and other rules (including auditing requirements) to which we are subject. We may also exchange information with other companies and organisations for fraud protection and credit risk reduction.


Your rights

You have the right to:

  • be informed about how we use your personal information
  • require us to correct any inaccuracies in your information
  • withdraw your consent at any time (if you have given consent)
  • obtain and reuse your personal data for your own purpose
  • not to be subject to a decision based on automated processing (automated decision-making and profiling)
  • be forgotten and have your personal data erased (in certain circumstances). You can make this request verbally or in writing and we will respond within one month
  • object to our processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground
  • object to our processing of your personal information for marketing and communication purposes


Updating your personal information and preferences

There are several ways you can update your details:

  • Click unsubscribe in any email communication that we send you
  • Log into your Book Festival website account (if you have an account) and visit the ‘My Account’ area. You may update your name, contact details, password and change your preferences at any time
  • Contact us directly, in writing to: 121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN, by email or call us 0131 718 5666.


Retaining your information

We will only keep your personal data for as long as is reasonable and necessary. Some retention periods will be determined by legal or professional guidelines and others by our internal policies. At the end of a retention period we will review and delete data as required.


Use of photographs

Each year we commission a photographer to take images of people at the Book Festival. Some of the resulting images are used on this website and in our printed materials to promote the Book Festival, its services and activities. We take every measure to ensure the subjects of the photographs (or a parent/carer) grant permission for the image/s to be used by us to promote the Book Festival at the time the photograph is taken. Should you believe that an image should not be used for any valid reason please contact us and we will remove it.


Where your data may be processed

All the personal data we collect and handle is processed by our staff in the UK however for website hosting and maintenance your information may be situated outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). Any transfer of your personal data will follow applicable laws and we will treat the information under the guiding principles of this privacy notice.


Further information

If you need any additional information or explanation, or have any concerns about the information we hold about you, please email us at or contact us by phone 0131 718 5666.


Last updated Jun 2024