Publisher Spotlight: Saraband

As part of #ScotLitFest, we’re hoping to shine a spotlight on not just the authors, but the publishers in Scotland with a five point guide. Today, we’ll be looking at Saraband.


The who, where, what and why.

Saraband are creative independent publishers of beautifully written and distinctive, well-produced books. They work in non-fiction – specialising in nature, history, arts and creative memoir – and fiction, including crime, mystery and thrillers under the Contraband imprint. They are also leaders in digital innovation.

You may know them for publishing…

Nature writing, including Jim Crumley’s much-loved ‘Encounters in the Wild‘ series; the ‘Handbook of Scotland’s … ‘ series of sustainable and ethical guides including foraging, trees and Scotland’s coasts; titles by strong and inspirational women; and for exciting emerging authors including Graeme Macrae Burnet.  

Barn OwlWhat’s unique to them?

Saraband have been repeatedly praised for their innovative use of digital platforms with their apps – Burns Night, Pandacademy, Bookspotting, and more – and they were early into the digital marketing sphere, with creative use of video, audio and animations. Contraband was also Scotland’s first dedicated imprint for eclectic crime and thrillers, and garnered impressive award shortlistings in its first years, in a genre almost entirely dominated by the Big Five publishers.

Claim to fame.

In 2013 Saraband was named the Saltire Society’s inaugural Scottish Publisher of the Year, with author care, creativity and production quality highlighted as three particular strengths. In its first two years Contraband achieved consecutive shortlistings for the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award.

The future.

Saraband continues to produce high quality books and break significant debut voices into the UK market, as well as finding international markets for authors across several genres. Contraband will continue to develop, with exciting new authors, while the core non-fiction areas remain at the centre of the publishing programme.

Where you can find them… | Twitter | Facebook 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *