Classic Scottish titles saved from obscurity with digital publication

Press Release   •   Oct 28, 2010 15:12 BST

Canongate Books has reissued over one hundred of its popular Classics series as e-books and via Print on Demand, bringing many out-of-print titles back into the public eye.

The scheme, partly funded by Creative Scotland, and in partnership with online retailer The Book Depository, unites both old and new by promoting Scotland’s rich literary heritage while embracing new technology. The list includes novels by some of Scotland’s best-loved novelists, such as Robert Burns, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Robert Louis Stevenson, Nan Shepherd and Alasdair Gray, as well as lesser-known authors including Catherine Carswell, Willa Muir, James Kennaway and William Soutar.

The availability of these books in the new formats is expected to combat the long-running problem of slow-selling books going out of print, making them available to a wider audience and giving readers access to a much larger range of classic literature.

The project was launched last month at Wigtown Book Festival, held annually in Scotland’s National Book Town. Information was given to every visitor who attended the festival, alongside details of a competition to win the entire set of e-books loaded on to a Sony e-reader.

The titles are for sale exclusively with web retailer The Book Depository, who have established a dedicated online shop in support of the project until March, when they will be made available to other retailers.

Canongate’s Head of Sales, Sophie Hopkin, says: ‘We are delighted to be working in conjunction with The Book Depository and Creative Scotland to give the Classics a new lease of life in both digital and physical form. The early sales on all titles have been really promising and having a dedicated shop with The Book Depository will serve to raise the profile of the list both home and abroad.’

Kieron Smith, Managing Director of The Book Depository commented, ‘We were keen to help this initiative in any way we could, it's a great way to get some fantastic titles back into the hands of readers.’

Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland said: ‘Creative Scotland is delighted to work in partnership with Canongate Books to bring the best of Scotland’s huge list of literary talent into the light of the 21st century. It’s fantastic that the wonders of classics such as Alasdair Gray, Sir Walter Scott and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are being made available digitally to be read, enjoyed and studied by generations of readers around the world forever.’

The Canongate Classics are available in both physical and digital editions at For further information please contact

Anna Frame, Publicist at Canongate Books, on 0131 524 9340 or,uk

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 Editor’s Note: The ebooks are compatible with epub format, meaning they can be read on a wide variety of different devices, including the iPad, Sony Reader, Macs and PCs, the iLiad, the COOL-ER, Blackberries and other mobile phones. The Print On Demand titles will in most cases be available for dispatch within 24 hours. A full list of titles is available on the document attached, or by contacting the publisher.