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  • Saint Andrew Press

    Mon, 06 Apr 2009 02:21

    Saint Andrew Press was founded in 1954 as a means of dealing with the prolific output of William Barclay, the highly popular Church of Scotland theologian. Barclay's New Daily Study Bible series remains a central part of the Press' publishing programme, but over 50 years, the range has grown to include books for children, biographies, popular history and humour.

    The Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?

    Saint Andrew Press: It would be fair to say that our core audience is made up of outward-looking Christians keen to explore their faith in today's world. That said, we publish plenty of books reaching well beyond that market, from biographies such as Reith of the BBC to the poetry of Kenneth Steven.

    The Book Depository: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?

    Saint Andrew Press: There are so many exciting opportunities available to get titles old and new to a wider range of readers through a multitude of platforms at the moment. The key challenges are keeping up (without alienating any of our loyal audience) and maintaining a focus on the quality of the end product -- it's always got to be about the content: not the package.

    The Book Depository: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?

    Saint Andrew Press: The roads to publication at Saint Andrew Press are many and varied, rarely following the route we initially planned, because the whole team is involved in the creative process. Primarily, it has to be something we want to read -- if we're not enthusiastic about it, how can we expect our customers to be? Secondly, does the book fit our market and are we able to provide that market -- it could be a great book, but if we can't do it justice, someone else should publish.

    The Book Depository: What books are you most proud of having published?

    Saint Andrew Press: I'm particularly proud of our new Insights series (The Lord's Prayer, Christmas and Easter) -- we've taken the work of William Barclay, which is still as fresh as it was when he wrote it 50 years ago, and made it accessible to a younger generation by breaking it into really attractive little books full of bite-sized and truly remarkable facts about the New Testament. Diane Louise Jordan said, "Thanks to Barclay, I'm now devouring my Bible in the same insatiable way some devour a best-selling novel. The Bible is brimming with texture and dimension and history and politics and romance and heartache and promise and love and more and, at last, it is coming into full focus for me." If we can engender that kind of reaction in just some our readers, then I think we've done a very good job.

    The Book Depository: What books are you working on right now?

    Saint Andrew Press: Kenneth Steven's beautiful new collection of essays, Making the Known World New, has just arrived back from the printers and is a thing of lovely wonder -- Robert Macfarlane gave us a brilliant quote summing it up as "gentle and fierce, local and global, metaphysical and tactile."

    This year is the 500th anniversary of the birth of Calvin, so we've got a fantastic and controversial book coming up from journalist and historian Harry Reid, Reformation: The Dangerous Birth of the Modern World. In a dramatic departure for us, we're also going to publish our first graphic novel: Marked is a violent, surreal and disturbing re-imaging of the Gospel of Mark.

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