A Bibliophile’s Christmas Fantasy

December 18th, 2017 by Madalena Cardoso | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on A Bibliophile’s Christmas Fantasy
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Winter is here. There are magical light displays on the streets. Christmas markets are open. There is mulled wine and cinnamon treats, and large crowds of people wearing colourful reindeer jumpers shopping for presents. Snow has already made an appearance, with gentle snowflakes covering everything in white in Stirling.

Indeed, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go. And everywhere includes bookshops. For our Marketing Management and Communication module, we were asked to look at current bookshops’ practices, and so I went to Edinburgh and did a small tour. It was during my trip that I noticed how retailers have really outdone themselves this season by employing creative strategies and introducing sensory elements to entice customers, from decorations to special offerings and fun events.

In Princes Street Waterstone’s, in Edinburgh, a gigantic Christmas tree has been set up. Green garlands are everywhere. Book displays showcase a selection of interesting themed titles – classics, crime novels, new releases, and more – and there are many promotions taking place. Other chains such as Blackwell’s, in South Bridge, have devoted great attention to their store windows, immediately capturing a passer-by’s interest.

Independent bookshops, being smaller in size and naturally more flexible, manage to design more unique and memorable experiences. At Golden Hare Books (established in 2012 and located in the Stockbridge area), for example, there is relaxing jazz music playing in the background, free delicious mince pies and tea, and a wood-burning stove is on to keep customers warm. There is a pleasant incense aroma in the air and you can buy already-wrapped books with mysterious labels to surprise yourself for Christmas. There is also a Christmas “book tree” on one of the tables. Touch, smell, sound, sight and taste. The interplay of the five senses is quite clever, contributing to shape a cosy, familiar and welcoming atmosphere.

Booksellers are finding innovative ways of remaining operational in today’s extremely competitive environment. Although online book shopping is perhaps more convenient and cheaper, it is only in physical venues where one can experience such wonderful things. There’s quite nothing like browsing in a bookshop, especially during Christmas time. But, it must be said that, as a Publishing student, my opinion might be (slightly) biased.




Children’s Christmas Books 2016

December 2nd, 2016 by Rachel | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Children’s Christmas Books 2016
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The Christmas period provides publishers with the opportunity to capture huge Christmas market sales since so many people buy books as presents. Bookshops are quickly filled with snowflake covered book designs and the Christmas spirit is suddenly in full swing. It’s safe to say that the Christmas spirit is captured most successfully in children’s books, as they effortlessly transport us back to our own childhoods. Children’s books are selling better than ever and the publishing industry has produced quite a few charming titles this year.

The Girl Who Saved Christmas – Matt Haig 

the-girl-who-saved-christmasPublished by Canongate, The Girl Who Saved Christmas was written by Matt Haig and is a follow up to his last Christmas book. It’s about a girl called Amelia who starts out wanting to ask Father Christmas for a specific wish but ends up with the mighty task of having to save the spirit of Christmas. Last year Haig published A Boy Called Christmas and his new title is part of a two book deal he now has going with the publisher. A Boy Called Christmas was nominated for Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards. The success of Haig’s first Christmas book will likely encourage people to buy The Girl Who Saved Christmas and signing on the author to write a follow up this year was a pretty clever move made by Canongate. The book will also be available as an audiobook and will be narrated by Carey Mulligan.

The Christmasaurus – Tom Fletcher

the-christmasaurusThe Christmasaurus was published by Penguin Random House and written by Tom Fletcher. Fletcher already had a huge online presence before turning his hand to writing children’s books. He was a former member of the band McFly and has a YouTube channel, which he used to promote the book to thousands of his fans. Fletcher was essentially a publisher’s dream, and was heavily involved in the book’s promotion and consequently, its success. The Christmasaurus is about a boy called William Trundle and his magical Christmas Eve adventure involving a dinosaur. It has been well received so far by critics and parents, and is likely to guarantee Fletcher’s place as a prominent figure in the future of children’s fiction.

Ollie’s Christmas Reindeer – Nicola Killen

ollies-christmas-reindeerPublished by Simon & Schuster Children’s, Ollie’s Christmas Reindeer is possibly one of the most endearing children’s books that’s been published for the Christmas market this year. It’s aimed at younger readers and was illustrated by the author herself. The narrative follows a young girl with a love for reindeer who just so happens to encounter one in the story. It is beautifully illustrated, mainly in black and white with specks of red throughout, giving the book a unique visual appeal. It also has cut-out sections to make it more of an interactive activity for the child reading it. The picture book market has seen a significant rise in sales this year and Ollie’s Christmas Reindeer will likely do well this season given how attractive and unique it is.

Beautiful Gift Books

January 12th, 2015 by Leia Forster | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Beautiful Gift Books
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Something that has always caught my attention in book shops is books with wonderful production value; thick paper, glossy images and gold embossing. If a book has gold embossing, I need it in my life. While run-of-the-mill paperbacks can be great purchases if you’re an avid reader, when it comes to giving books as gifts I feel there’s a need to choose something a little more special. If like me you are at a loss for what to buy someone this Christmas, read ahead and behold the beautiful gift books of my choosing.

The Barnes and Nobles Leatherbound Series



An affordable and wonderfully produced collection of books. Ranging from the classics to science fiction and non-fiction, you can tell a lot of thought has gone into the cover designs for each individual book. With an extremely reasonable RRP price of £25 a book, there’s no reason not to have several of these on your shelf. Many of the editions have several books within their pages, and the quality of production almost makes you feel bad for paying so little. The image to the right is just one example of the illustrations that can be found in these books. This particular one is from Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination.


Mister Finch, Living in a Fairytale World

 mr finch 5For anyone interested in quirky art, this is the book for you. Mister Finch is a textile artist from Leeds who creates fabric fairytale creatures ranging from huge bees to dead canaries. Have you ever wondered what it might be like to have cat sized moths in the world? Mister Finch has.

This book showcases the best of his work with wonderfully photographed, glossy full colour images, and the cover could be considered art itself with the intricate metallic embossing.

mr finch 3mr finch 2










 Folio Society & Gollancz H.G.Wells Classics

H. G. Wells Set [3 Vols] Classics of Science Fiction The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds - Folio SocietyThe Folio Society prides themselves on their extremely high standards of book design and production. Amongst my favourites is this collection of H.G.Wells Classics complete with illustrations. This lovely edition is however out of print, but can be still be found through online retailers with a price tag of around £65.

If that’s a little over budget, Gollancz published a series of cheaper but equally as charming H.G.Wells books. This edition of The Shape of Things to Come was recently featured in the hit TV show, The Walking Dead.

 classic collection hgwells

These are just a few of the many particularly special books in circulation that could make fantastic gifts. If these aren’t quite what you were looking for, I hope this post gives you the inspiration to find something suitable for that book-loving friend or family member.

This year’s round-up of the best literary gifts for Christmas 2014.

December 1st, 2014 by Hannah Elizabeth Roberts | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on This year’s round-up of the best literary gifts for Christmas 2014.
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Do you have someone in your life who is obsessed with books, reading and anything literary related but have no idea what to buy them for Christmas except from a book or gift vouchers? Then this might be the list for you. I have searched the internet for the best literary gifts around and have come up with a selection that is sure to please any book fanatic this holiday season:

  1. Literary T-shirts: Buzzfeed have compiled this rather impressive list of book themed clothing that are sure to light up your loved one’s face on Christmas morning. My favourite is the ‘Atticus Finch’ To Kill a Mocking Bird t-shirt. I have definitely noticed a rising trend for book or literary themed clothing in the past couple of years so these are a must buy!

Publishing tshirt



2. Literary Mugs: It’s rare that you will find a book lover without a mug of tea or coffee in their hand. Why not treat them to the Literary Gift Company’s selection of adorable mugs?

matilda mug



 3. Fancy Book Shelves:

Buzzfeed have again come up with a list of brilliant book-related gifts. How does a wall of floating book shelves sound? Find them online!



book shelves




4. Literary Jewellery: If you’re like me and love jewellery and books then these should be on your Christmas wish list. Either for yourself, or for someone special. The Literary Emporium have a fantastic selection of themed jewels for you to choose from! The Ernest Hemingway ‘Cat Lover’ necklace is on my wishlist.


cat necklace



5. Unusual Bookmarks: For those of you like myself, who have a mountain of half-read books on their bedside table, these bookmarks are just the thing you need. Practical and cute! You can find these on Amazon.



book mark



6. Your/ You’re set of teacups: Need I say anymore? These are available via Etsy.





So, there you have it, my selection of alternative book related gifts for you to give to someone special this Christmas.

All you have to do is decide what to buy!

  • Hannah Roberts, M.Litt in Publishing Studies, University of Stirling, 2014-15.