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Strong list of outdoor books helps to build success story for Inverness-based publisher Sandstone Press

By Ian Duncan

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Bob and Moira accepting The Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year award. Picture: Graham Clark
Bob and Moira accepting The Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year award. Picture: Graham Clark

A career change was the key to what has become a successful and award-winning Highland publishing venture.

Robert Davidson (71), who is originally from Glasgow but has lived in the Highlands for many years, left the Scottish Water Authority and set up Sandstone Press in 2002.

As managing director of the company he has since worked closely with a number of non-fiction authors to produce successful books such as Cairngorm John, by John Allen, about mountain rescue, and The Secret Life of the Mountain Hare, and The Secret Life of the Cairngorms, by Andy Howard.

He has since been joined by published author Moira Forsyth who is Sandstone’s publishing director and as the firm expanded, it relocated last June from Dingwall to Stoneyfield Business Park in Inverness.

“Sandstone publishes around 20 books a year, roughly half fiction and half non-fiction,” he said. “Sandstone has always had a strong outdoor list, publishing work by iconic hillwalker and writer Hamish Brown and many others, including a successful series of books about fell walking by Steve Chilton.”

Mr Davidson said there was a strong interest in books in the Highlands, adding: “We have excellent relationships with Highland bookshops which are very supportive of us.

“We have successful Waterstones branches in Inverness and Aviemore, and many wonderful independent bookshops across the area.”

Sandstone Press has picked up a number of publishing awards over the years including the Booker International Award for Celestial Bodies, by Jokha Al Harthi, which was translated from Arabic by Marilyn Booth, in 2019.

He said they had a terrific list of books for 2021 and looked forward to seeing them in shops next year.

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