Financial struggles force liquidation of Scottish publisher Sandstone Press

Financial struggles force liquidation of Scottish publisher Sandstone Press

Scottish book publisher Sandstone Press has entered liquidation and appointed Margo McLenan, of McLenan Corporate, as liquidator due to strenuous trading conditions.

Founded in 2002, the Dingwall-based firm, known for its diverse collection of fiction and non-fiction titles, has twice been named Publisher of the Year by the Saltire Society. Among its roster of accomplished authors are Scottish novelists Zoe Strachan, Daniel Shand, Peter Ross, and Jokha Alharthi, who won the Man Booker International Prize in 2019.

Sandstone Press gained attention for its compilation of speeches by Nicola Sturgeon titled Women Hold up Half the Sky: Selected Speeches of Nicola Sturgeon, published in May 2021. Featuring a foreword by crime writer Val McDermid, the collection was edited by Sandstone’s co-founder, Robert Davidson.

Throughout its operations Sandstone Press has received substantial financial aid from agencies like Creative Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The challenging trading environment in the publishing sector, including rising costs and financial pressures, had been flagged by Mr Davidson earlier this year. He expressed concern about the ability of smaller publishers to remain competitive against larger counterparts that can maintain lower prices due to larger print runs for highly popular authors and television series, The Times reports.

Sheffield-based Vertebrate Publishing has acquired all of Sandstone Press’s assets and book stock for an undisclosed sum. Jon Barton, managing director of Vertebrate, said: “I hope that the Sandstone authors will settle into their new home and we can continue to give them the excellent service provided by their previous publisher.”

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