[What follows is a snippet from an interview with Hugh Andrew, founder and managing director of Birlinn, published today on the Herald Scotland website:]
On setbacks to growth, Mr Andrew says: "Every time a book fails it is a setback, there is no legislating for the market. You can produce something you think is the most wonderful book and it bombs."
But there are welcome surprises too, like The Tobermory Cat, one of Birlinn's biggest successes though with the unwelcome surprise of a lawsuit alleging creative ownership of the "concept" of the island's real-live cat. Mr Andrew notes how the inspiring Calum's Road based on Raasay made a significant contribution to island tourism, and says the cat's tale has promoted Tobermory round the world. He says: "We brought out the defence case for Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi and received no legal injunction or comment but the cat has caused me more legal difficulties than anything I have ever published."
[The books published by Birlinn include John Ashton’s Megrahi: You are my Jury (2012) and Scotland’s Shame: Why Lockerbie still matters (2013). It is utterly shameful that the shocking disclosures in these books have provoked no reaction other than stonewalling from the Crown Office and the Scottish Government.]