The Scotsman reports that Birlinn, best known for first publishing Alexander McCall Smith‘s #1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY, has bought Mercat Press, making the merged company the largest publisher of Scottish interest material. Birlinn’s managing director Hugh Andrew said the deal, signed on Friday, was a major step towards creating a very strong force in Scotland representing local interests. “It was something I thought was an obvious match for a long time. It is a very similar list to Birlinn’s in many ways and the author list is very compatible with ours.
“So there is a lot of synergy between the two companies and my absolute passionate belief is that if Scotland is to compete in the world of publishing it needs to create a critical mass and it’s not actually had that critical mass. It is only by doing this can we survive. We have already seen this week the closure of Fopp, so it’s not easy and we have taken plenty of knocks but we are still here.”