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Ceris Jones the campaigns manager of Highland-based publisher Sandstone Press wins at the Scottish National Book Awards in Glasgow

By Margaret Chrystall

The campaigns manager of Highland-based Sandstone Press, Ceris Jones, has won the Saltire Society's National Book Awards in the Scottish emerging publisher of the year category, jointly with a fellow shortlistee.

Ceris Jones, joint winner of the award.
Ceris Jones, joint winner of the award.

Jamie Norman, campaigns executive at Canongate Books, was named as a joint winner of the category with Ceris.

Ceris coordinates all of Sandstone Press's marketing and publicity activities, working with journalists, bloggers, bookstagrammers, and the publisher's authors.

The other publishers in the shortlisted category were Bethany Ferguson, rights executive at Canongate and Louise Hutton, assistant editor at Edinburgh University Press.

Ceris explained that the judges wanted to know what people have been doing in response to the pandemic as working conditions in the industry have been affected, how they approach author care, how they work with others and how they are embedding themselves in the industry as emerging publishers.

“Sandstone is based in the Highlands and we had an office in Dingwall, then Inverness though now we work from home. But we have always had to use social media quite actively – the publishing industry uses Twitter a lot – and we do a lot by phone and email.”

Ceris explained how the impact of Covid has affected the publishing industry over the past two years.

“Reaching readers has changed quite a lot, bookshops were shut and we had to set up our own online shop.

“A huge part of my job is working with booksellers and journalists and so many were furloughed that we had to rethink the way that we reached people.

“I think people are more open to online events and I think we would like to keep hybrid events, much as I miss in-person events, and I'm excited to get back to them. It makes things more accessible and as a Highland publisher we get that that is important.

“With bookshops open again, and with a lot of journalists back at their desks, it’s beginning to look a lot like it did pre-pandemic," said Ceris, speaking yesterday.

“I am going to the first live event tonight with Sandstone writer Lesley Kelly,” said Ceris, who moved to the Central Belt in March to be better situated for some of her work for Sandstone.

The emerging publisher award and the seven other Scottish National Book Awards was announced at Waterstones Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

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