The Business of Books

Whether you are an established publishing professional or an avid reader with a curiosity about the book trade, The Business of Books is the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s programme of free events dedicated to all those interested in the business of the book world.

The Business of Books offers people from all areas of the publishing industry and wider literary sector an international platform to share best practice and expertise. Bringing together publishers, publicists, booksellers, distributors, editors, literary agents, writers, illustrators and arts professionals, this programme of events aims to challenge, inform and inspire. Including masterclasses, workshops and discussions on issues facing the industry, The Business of Books promises something for everyone from those just starting out in their career to the experienced professional. Read on for event details.

Amplifying Voices

The 2021 Business of Books programme offers a special strand of events entitled Amplifying Voices, intended to raise the profile of a range of voices in the publishing and literary world. From championing Scotland’s independent publishers and spotlighting initiatives to benefit writers and audiences of colour, to creating experiences which are accessible to those with learning disabilities, each event promises an in-depth panel discussion followed by a Q&A session.

 

Scottish Publisher Showcase

Tuesday 17 August | 11:00 (90 mins)
Hybrid Event: Sculpture Court, Edinburgh College of Art
Book via edbookfest: https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/scottish-publisher-showcase

Get a taste of the breadth of Scotland’s vibrant publishing landscape from the shores of Leith to the Isle of Lewis. With 100-plus publishers in our small country, we celebrate and amplify the voices of both established and debut publishers who, despite the odds, continue to find and bring fresh voices to readers. This showcase event is chaired by Scottish broadcaster and author Sally Magnusson and you’ll also see some familiar literary faces making an appearance. Featuring everything from graphic novels, children’s and young adult books to literature in translation, we spotlight the latest brave and bold literature emerging from Scotland’s publishing scene.

In partnership with Publishing Scotland.


Rethinking 'Diversity' in Publishing: Lasting Change

Thursday 19 August | 10:00 (75 mins)
Event Format: Online
Register via Eventbrite: https://rethinkingdiversity.eventbrite.co.uk

Rethinking ‘diversity’ is the first step; action needs to follow. (Rethinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing report pub. 2020)

“Rethinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing” was the first academic study in the UK that questioned how cultural production itself might disadvantage writers of colour. The study strongly encouraged professionals in the publishing industry to reflect on their practices, challenge their assumptions, and change their behaviour to make the publishing industry fairer for all.  

One year on since the publication of this report, this event spotlights actions and initiatives which have been adopted to manifest real change for the benefit of writers and audiences of colour. It invites industry professionals to discuss what needs to be done to ensure these changes are longstanding, sustainable and part of a new structure.

Chaired by Editor-at-Large at Canongate and Chair of the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing, Ellah P. Wakatama OBE with contribution from the author of the Rethinking Diversity Report, Dr Anamik Saha and delivered in partnership with the Society of Young Publishers Scotland, this event offers a forum for discussion and invites everyone in the publishing industry from Scotland, the UK and beyond to join the conversation.

With Margaret Busby CBE, Hon. FRSL (Allison & Busby), Crystal Mahey-Morgan (Own It!), and Samantha Williams (Founder of BookLove)

Full bios for each participant are available on the Eventbrite booking page.

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Society of Young Publishers (SYP) Scotland Post-Event Discussion

Society of Young Publishers (SYP) Scotland will be hosting a free networking/discussion session on Zoom for aspiring publishers/those within the first 10 years of their publishing careers following this event. For more information and to book your free (but limited) spot, please visit: https://syp-post-event-discussion.eventbrite.co.uk


Opening Up Books: Creating Book Events for People with Learning Disabilities

Thursday 19 August | 14:00 (75 mins)
Event Format: Online
Register via Eventbrite: https://openingupbooks.eventbrite.co.uk  

Books, whether novels, factual or picture books, can open up the world to people with learning disabilities, but in many ways the literature sector, and book events in particular, are lagging behind other art forms in creating experiences which are accessible to those with learning disabilities. Join us today for an open discussion into how authors, publishers and arts organisations can make their work more accessible to this audience, as well as involving them in artistic creation. Featuring examples of best practice from across artforms including Paragon Music, PAMIS, The Arts End of Somewhere, My Kind of Book and Battersea Arts Centre, as well as discussion from author Alexandra Strick and illustrator Steve Antony, who are taking part in our Learning Disability Friendly event on their wonderful book, You Can.

Full bios for each participant are available on the Eventbrite booking page.


Cover Design Masterclass – Judging a Book by Its Cover

Friday 27 August | 11:00 (75 mins)
Event Format: Online
Register via Eventbrite: https://coverdesignmasterclass.eventbrite.co.uk

In a highly crowded marketplace, a book cover has only seconds to grab a reader’s attention. How do you create that showstopping design that stands out against the competition and draws the reader in?    

In this cover design masterclass, Guardian's books reporter, Alison Flood talks to some of the UK’s leading Cover Designers including Creative Directors Donna Payne (Faber & Faber) and Suzanne Dean (VINTAGE). Joined by Scottish Buying Manager, Angie Crawford (Waterstones), the panellists will share their expertise and take a closer look into what makes a compelling cover design that instigates sales.   

Whether you are an aspiring cover designer, publishing professional or someone with a genuine interest in book jackets, this event promises to explore how to design a book cover that sells.

Full bios for each participant are available on the Eventbrite booking page.

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