Canongate Books

Canongate Books is an independent publishing firm based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
It is named after the Canongate area of the city. It is most recognised for publishing the Booker Prizewinner Life of Pi. Canongate was named the British Book Awards, Publisher of the Year in 2003 and 2009.


Canongate was founded in 1973 by Stephanie Wolfe Murray and her husband Angus Wolfe Murray. Originally a speciality press focusing on Scottish-interest books, generally with small print runs, its most major author was Alasdair Gray. In 1994 it was purchased from the receiver in a management buyout led by Jamie Byng, using funds provided by his stepfather Christopher Bland and his father-in-law Charlie McVeigh, and began to publish more general works, including the Pocket Canons editions of books of the Bible, as well as the Payback Press and Rebel Inc. imprints. Byng is now the Publisher and Managing Director of the company.
In June 2010 it was announced that a "living archive" of Canongate Books was to be established at the University of Dundee in collaboration with the , which will be used for teaching and research.

Partners and joint ventures

Canongate once had a sister company in Australia, Text Publishing; Canongate's majority interest was sold in 2011. It also has joint venture operations with the children's publisher Walker who will publish selected titles for their young adult fiction list. Grove/Atlantic, Inc. publishes under the Canongate U.S. imprint, also under a joint venture arrangement. In March 2010, Canongate and Dirtee Stank announced a joint venture agreement to publish Dizzee Rascal's memoir, although this agreement later fell through.
Canongate is part of the Independent Alliance, a global alliance of 10 UK publishers and their international publishing partners. In 2009, the Alliance was the UK's fifth largest publisher.
Enhanced Editions and Canongate also work in partnership in the production of selected books enhanced for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The titles that have been released are: Dreams From My Father, The Audacity of Hope, The Death of Bunny Munro and The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ.

Notable authors and works

Before 1994

Alasdair Gray
Charles Palliser
  • The Quincunx
Irvine Welsh'
Julian Assange
The Mighty Boosh
Noel Fielding
Nick Cave
David Eagleman
Michel Faber
Matt Haig
  • The Radleys
Steven Hall
Miranda July
  • No One Belongs Here More Than You
Yann Martel
  • Life of Pi, the first Scottish-published book to win the Booker Prize or to sell a million copies in its first year. An illustrated hardback edition was published in 2007.
  • Beatrice and Virgil, an allegory of the Holocaust using a donkey named Beatrice and a howler monkey named Virgil.
James Meek
Barack Obama
  • Dreams From My Father
  • The Audacity of Hope was acquired after a series of emails between Byng and then-Senator Obama and his team.
  • Change We Can Believe In
Dizzee Rascal
  • The Dizzee Rascal Story
David Shrigley
David Simon
Martin C. Strong
  • The Great Rock Discography, 1st ed.
  • The Great Rock Discography, 2nd ed.
  • The Great Rock Discography, 3rd ed.
  • The Great Rock Discography, 4th ed.
  • The Great Rock Discography, 5th ed.
  • The Great Rock Discography, 6th ed.
  • The Great Rock Discography, 7th ed.
  • The Great Metal Discography, 1st ed.
  • The Great Metal Discography, 2nd ed.
  • The Wee Rock Discography
  • The Great Alternative & Indie Discography
  • The Great Indie Discography, 2nd ed.
  • The Essential Rock Discography
  • Lights, Camera, Soundtracks
Scarlett Thomas
  • The End of Mr. Y
  • PopCo
  • Our Tragic Universe
Simon Tofield'
In which contemporary authors re-imagine ancient myths from a variety of cultures