Publisher of the Month: Argyll Publishing
Argyll Publishing was established in 1992 and from its base in Glendaruel, Argyll produces a general list of titles. Books include local interest titles, books of general Scottish interest, biographies, history and some health and nutrition titles. We have a fiction/poetry imprint, Thirsty Books. Books are distributed throughout the general book trade are available from BooksfromScotland.com.
Unlike most of the books business that is corporately owned, Argyll Publishing is a fully independent sole trader operation. We think this offers certain advantages to the books that are produced and to their readers.
Indeed, it is this status as an independent that distinguishes Argyll and other publishers like it from the main tide of book publishing. The background and perspective of the publisher and founder, Derek Rodger, is also an influential factor in the output of Argyll.
It's illuminating to look at some of the books.
Recent titles this year include Current Affairs books like Grasping the Thistle by Dennis MacLeod and Michael Russell – this widely publicised book seeks to advance an open discussion on whither Scotland in the post-devolution era.
Britannia's Sceptre by Brian Jamison is a study of nuclear missile installations in Scotland and some likely scenarios on the replacement of the Trident system.
Boyling Point by Edinburgh Evening News cartoonist Frank Boyle shows the observations of a creative mind on political affairs – just how can you get a laugh out of Iraq? Impossible, but you sure can lampoon the instigators of that madness.
History and biography are represented in the last year by titles like Handful of Rogues – Thomas Muir's enemies of the people by distinguished playwright and historian Hector MacMillan.
Award-winning author James Kelman prepared an introduction and edited Born Up A Close – Memoirs of a Brigton Boy by the late Hugh Savage. These books point up Scotland's often neglected radical history and Hugh MacMillan and James Kelman have been invited to talk about them at places like the National Library of Scotland, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh Independent and Radical Book Fair and Glasgow Caledonian University.
Following the successful Celtic Minded, edited by Joseph Bradley of Stirling University, a new edition, Celtic Minded 2, has just appeared. This covers not just the kicking of a football and on-the-pitch successes by Celtic Football Club, but the important issue of identity. Much of Celtic's following is of Irish origin and an impressive list of contributors present amusing, curious, lively, yet trenchant and thought-provoking essays on the Irish in Scotland. It has a resonance in contemporary discussion of multiculturalism – it looks at Scotland's major immigrant group and their gathering round Celtic.
Sure to be big sellers are new titles like Pet Hates – Josh Artmeier hilariously exposes the British obsession with small animals and makes a serious point about animal care. And The Story of Glasgow's Botanic Gardens is a lavishly illustrated hardback, sure to appeal to the gift and gardening market alike.
In 2005, two Argyll books under the Thirsty Books imprint were shortlisted in the Saltire Awards. Whit Lassyz Ur Inty, a book of lively and challenging vernacular poetry by Alison Flett and John Aberdein's first novel Amande's Bed. The latter won the Saltire First Book Of the Year Award and is now in its third print run.
Argyll Publishing are also contract publishers and in recent times have done books for Fife Council, Butterfly Conservation Scotland (the informative and beautiful Butterflies of South West Scotland) and the Crofters Commission.
Argyll are also publishers of Scottish Review of Books, Scotland's prestigious and much respected books magazine. The magazine is probably the biggest circulation books magazine in the UK with all 100,000 copies in its quarterly print run going out every issue. For those in the books business and for readers of good books it's a must.
To contact Argyll Publishing:
tel 00 +44 (0)1369 820229
fax 00 +44 (0)1369 820372
- Add to BasketAmande's Bed - - Paperback
It is 1956 and post-war Scotland is reeling - with sex, Americans, storms, the news from Budapest and fish. Young Peem is hankering, trying to find his legs in that reel - what with Miss Florence, his mother, Haze, Bridget Amande, Dinah, plus the girls in
- Add to BasketBorn Up A Close: Memoirs Of A Brigton Boy - - Paperback
'Born Up a Close' is a memoir of growing up in 20th century industrial Scotland where the politics of social inequality were every day evident. Hugh Savage recounts his early years in Glasgow's Brigton and paints a touching yet realistic picture of tenement life and the physical hardships of the world of work.