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The Edinburgh International Book Festival announces partnership with Waterstones


The Edinburgh International Book Festival announced a new partnership with Waterstones, the UK’s leading book retailer.

With 29 bookshops in Scotland and a total of over 300 shops across the UK, Ireland, Brussels and Amsterdam, the bookseller could not be better placed to help support the Book Festival as it manages the transition to a new site at the Edinburgh Futures Institute in 2024. The agreement is for 2023 with a view to a longer partnership.

“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 have 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.”

Nick Barley, Director at Edinburgh International Book Festival

In 2023 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 stunning fire station building at the entrance to the Festival Village.

Highly trained members of 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 and will draw on a network of knowledge that has led to her being one of the most respected buyers in the country. Meanwhile the Waterstone’s national event team, which has experience of delivering book sales for a number of other UK literary festivals, will oversee operations.

“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.”

James Daunt, Managing Director at Waterstones

In 2023 the Edinburgh International Book Festival runs from the 12 – 28 August at the Book Festival Village at the Edinburgh College of Art.

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