The News

Representing Scotland's creative industries during the Olympics

We are excited that Creative Scotland have invited us to participate in their Scotland House Celebration of Scotland's Creative Industries as part of a series of events during the Olympics. We have been asked to showcase our Burns Night app (which will be updated with new features for 2013) and a forthcoming app, Pandacademy, on their "iPad pods", whilst other attractions include a fashion show and whisky tasting. We'll be going to present our apps at a special evening for various industry guests at the Army & Navy Club in Pall Mall on 31st July.

Handbook of Scotland's Wild Harvests: pre-publication launch at the Big Tent Festival

Be amongst the first to find out why Scotland's only 2-Michelin starred chef, Andrew Fairlie, and Scotland's chef of the year 2011 are so excited about our new foraging manual. It's due for an early launch at the Big Tent Festival, Falkland Estate, Fife on Sunday 22nd July at the Big Tent Festival. The Scottish Wild Harvests Association and Reforesting Scotland will be jointly staging an event at noon. There are plenty of other opportunities at the festival to explore the topic, from guided foraging walks to local, sustainable food at the Fife Diet talk.

If you can't make the Big Tent, you can see editor Fi Martynoga at Blackwell Bookshop, Edinburgh South Bridge on Thursday 26th July at 6.30pm – and Fi will be cooking up a recipe from the book for guests to sample. See you there!

**New** World premiere of Whisperbook format

Since the digital revolution gathered momentum it seems there’s a new format of book every day, but it’s rare that any publisher gets to announce a genuine innovation. We’re delighted to reveal a ground-breaking concept. Our debut Whisperbook™, which is released today, is the world’s first audiobook specifically designed for listening at bedtime, to help lull the listener off to sleep.

To launch our Whisperbook™ series, we hired May Nötjet, the UK’s foremost whisper-specialist voice-over artist, to record an unabridged version of Laura Marney’s recently reissued best-selling novel No Wonder I Take a Drink. Listen to the preview and see what you think!

Why the Whisperbook™? After extensive research with focus groups and industry experts, we determined not only that there’s a gap in the market for today’s stressed, sleep-deprived, information-overloaded readers, but that the Whisperbook™ brings added value that other digital book innovations lack. Several leading psychologists have endorsed the product, commenting that the experience of listening promotes REM sleep and general mental health – perhaps because it evokes the sound of our parent preparing to put down the book and kiss our infant selves goodnight.

The Whisperbook™ comes with all the convenience readers expect: it can be downloaded instantly; it is available from all reading and audio e-tailers; it is device agnostic, so it can be played on any smartphone, iPod, mp3 player, sound-enabled e-reader, tablet or computer; and it works offline, so no connectivity is necessary once it’s downloaded.

Author Laura Marney has been enthusiastic about the experiment from the start: “I’m thrilled to be part of this exciting new project, and also somewhat amused that I will be known to a new generation of readers via the whisper, when I’ve so far been better known for speaking up at full blast.” Publishing Scotland CEO Marion Sinclair added, “The Whisperbook concept demonstrates how Scotland's publishers punch well above their weight when it comes to innovation, creativity and business ambition. We look forward to seeing this format rolled out to our other member publishers and beyond.”

Producing a new audio format has entailed many tests and technical stages. We are grateful to our generous sponsors, Horlicks and Whispa, for their support during the R&D. With their help we have been able to launch our debut title at a price in line with the other formats for the book.

No Wonder I Take a Drink will also be released in standard audiobook format this summer.

So: listen, enjoy and zzzzzzzzzz….

Additional information