Birlinn are a publishing house, based in Edinburgh. They’ve provided us with some intriguing data, detailing information about the various authors (& books) they publish as well as the events that said authors are speaking at.
You can download slices here (csv).
We’ll be making author images and scans of book covers available during the 24 hours of Culture Hack.
What is Birlinn?
Birlinn Ltd are Scotland’s foremost independent book publisher. We take pride in producing truly great books for both Scottish and global markets. The company is composed of a number of imprints:
Birlinn, which publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. The name comes from the old Norse word birlinn, meaning a long boat or small galley with 12 to 18 oars, used especially in the Hebrides and West Highlands of Scotland in the Middle Ages.
Polygon which publishes literary fiction and poetry, both classic and modern, from award-winning writers such as James Kelman, Robin Jenkins, Agnes Owens, Norman MacCaig, and the author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith. In addition we take great pride in nurturing new writers and in recent years have been delighted to introduce (among many others) Sam Meekings, Helen Fitzgerald, and Monaldi and Sorti to a reading public. Polygon was originally set up by students of Edinburgh University – including a young Gordon Brown – in the late 1960s and became part of Birlinn Limited in 2002.
Mercat Press, founded in 1970, was acquired by Birlinn in 2007 and focuses on walking and climbing guides.
Academic books on all aspects of Scotland are published under the imprint John Donald.
Birlinn Limited Editions, which publishes full-colour limited editions of some of the greatest works ever published, including the Blaeu Atlas, Robert Burns’ Tam o’ Shanter illustrated by Alexander Goudie and The Baronial and Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland by RW Billings.
With such a diverse range of imprints, the title output is equally wide-ranging. More than 100 titles are published every year – lavish collectors’ editions alongside local history titles, Gaelic language books, literary fiction, collections of poetry and short stories, and biography. As a result, Birlinn regularly hosts nearly 200 book events a year as well as supporting its authors at book festivals all over the UK.
Birlinn Limited currently has over 1000 titles in print, available across the world.
What are Birlinn interested in?
We want to explore ways that we can communicate what we – and our authors – are up to throughout the year. How do we use digital tools to engage more effectively with the people who read our books? How do we draw links between our authors and their activity?