Retailer's support

Book Festival signs partnership with Waterstones

Nick Barley
Nick Barley: hugely impressed

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has announced a partnership with Waterstones, the book retailer. 

With 29 bookshops in Scotland, the company will support the Book Festival as it manages the transition to the Edinburgh Futures Institute in 2024.

The agreement with Waterstones is for 2023 with a view to a longer partnership.

Nick Barley, who steps down as director of the festival in September after delivering 14 events, said: “We are excited to be partnering with such a well-established organisation as Waterstones, and we’ve been hugely impressed with the local knowledge of the Scotland-based team, especially now that the much-loved Blackwells shops have been integrated into the Waterstones family. 

“This knowledge is matched by the passion and professionalism of the head office team and I have no doubt this will be a fruitful partnership that’s good for readers, writers and publishers who love the Book Festival.

“As we enjoy one more year at the Art College before moving to our new home next year, it is reassuring to know that book signings and book sales will be in the hands of such skilled partners.

“Waterstones has a passion for books and bookselling – and I’m especially pleased that key members of the Scottish team will be on hand to help us create a shop that’s suited to Edinburgh’s unique literary heritage.”

This summer, and while at its interim home of the Edinburgh College of Art, the Book Festival book sales and book signing set up will remain as it was previously, with signings in the Signing Tent after events and an onsite bookshop housed in the fire station building at the entrance to the Festival Village. 

Trained Waterstones staff from across Scotland will be given the opportunity to work in the Book Festival shops this August.  

Angie Crawford, Scottish buyer for Waterstones, will play a key role in the partnership, while the Waterstones national event team, which has experience of delivering book sales for a number of other UK literary festivals, will oversee operations.

James Daunt, managing director at Waterstones, said: “We are thrilled to be able to support the Book Festival. It is the highlight of the bookselling calendar in Scotland and our Scottish booksellers could not be more delighted with this partnership.”

The Edinburgh International Book Festival this year runs from the 12 – 28 August at the Book Festival Village at the Edinburgh College of Art.

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