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About Us

We are a small but enthusiastic team of highly dedicated bibliophiles who love everything bookish. We are proud to shout about our authors and their books and hope you will help us to spread the word. This is one of the best publishing lists in the country.
And we are keen to expand beyond the printed page - in the last two years we have embraced the eBook, grown our events programme and dabbled in merchandising (this area is growing all the time). Take a look at the Polygon, Birlinn and Arena pages and see what we do. Fiction, Biography, Poetry, History, Sports, Music and much more. Look now and keep coming back to see the latest additions. 
Birlinn Limited was established in 1992 by Managing Director Hugh Andrew, and is comprised of a number of imprints. 
Birlinn publishes Scottish and general UK interest books, from biography to history, military history, sport and Scottish Gaelic. Children’s books are also included in this list. The name comes from the old Norse word ‘birlinn’, meaning a long boat or small galley used especially in the Hebrides and West Highlands of Scotland in the Middle Ages. 
Polygon publishes literary fiction and poetry, both classic and modern, from Scottish writers such as Robin Jenkins, George Mackay Brown and the author of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith, as well as selected music and film titles. International writers including Jan- Philipp Sendker, Rita Monaldi and Francesco Sorti are also published under this imprint. Polygon was originally set up by students of Edinburgh University in the late 1960s.
BC Books – Bold Books for Curious Kids – is a new imprint from Scotland's leading independent publisher, Birlinn Ltd, designed to provide writing and illustration of the highest quality for young readers throughout the UK and beyond. Birlinn is dedicated to nurturing young readers and helping them discover a passion for reading that will last a lifetime. 
Arena Sport is Birlinn’s sport imprint and is designed for the general trade. The sport books range from football and rugby, to golf and cycling. These books have an international as well as national appeal. Arena’s first titles were published in June 2013.

Birlinn eBooks was launched  in May 2011 and it continues to grow. Most of our frontlist books are published as eBooks, as well as physical books, and we continue to convert our backlist titles. 

John Donald publishes academic books.