Edinburgh International Book Festival Goes From Strength to Strength

Book Festival Directors Nick Barley and Janet Smyth with the 2015 brochure. Photo courtesy of Edinburgh International Book Festival

Edinburgh International Book Festival has enjoyed the most successful year in its history.

From August 15-31, Edinburgh International Book Festival welcomed over 800 authors from 55 countries, who took part in almost 800 events, with 225,000 visitors atttending the Charlotte Square Gardens venue, where ticket sales increased by 2% and book sales were up by 5% – the highest ever sales in the Festival’s 32-year-history.

Audiences enjoyed sessions with Reverend Jesse Jackson, Alan Cumming, Val McDermid, nine of the thirteen authors nominated for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, and 56 debut novelists including Celia Imrie, Chigozie Obioma, Jesse Armstrong and Anna Smaill. Performance poets Kate Tempest and George the Poet received standing ovations from sell-out audiences as did Scottish musician Edwyn Collins and his wife Grace Maxwell, who were interviewed by Ian Rankin.

The Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme featured Cressida Cowell, who previewed the last instalment in her How To Train Your Dragon series, Brenton McKenna’s first ever trip outside Australia, and comedian Julian Clary introducing his first children’s book.

‘A truly brilliant, exuberant and record-breaking festival’

“We’ve enjoyed a truly brilliant, exuberant and record-breaking festival this year – our most successful ever with record ticket and book sales,” said Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

“I wanted to look at Scotland’s place in the wider world and we invited an extraordinary range of writers to share this with us. Our audiences welcomed authors who have never been translated into English before, engaging in a series of unforgettable conversations. And the conclusions were always the same: Scotland is an outward-looking, open-minded nation.”

The Book Festival’s late night Jura Unbound events included Edinburgh hip hop artists Stanley Odd; Julia and Malcolm Donaldson, who persuaded their audience to join in a grown up Squash and a Squeeze; theremins and sitars, Italian dancing and readings from Man Booker Nominee Marlon James.

‘Yet another great success’

“You could really feel a buzz in the air in Charlotte Square Gardens,” said Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion.

“The 2015 programme has been yet another great success for the Book Festival. The Capital’s reputation as a thriving hub of literature is a key part of our culture and heritage amd every year, the team at the Edinburgh International Book Festival manage to build on that standing even more.”

The 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival will take place from Saturday 13 to Monday 29 August.

Vote Now!

56 debut novels and short story collections were featured in the 2015 Book Festival programme from as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Finland, Mexico and Iceland.


All of these books are eligible for the Festival’s First Book Award and readers and visitors to the Book Festival can vote for their favourite at the Book Festival website until Friday 16 October – just click here.