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Sep 6

How Did We Get Hear? (BookMachine Unplugged Live! 2023)

6 September, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm BST

£8 – £10
Unplugged Q3

Thank you to our event sponsors: Zebralution and Ingram Content Group


This event is kindly supported by our partner Publishing Scotland

Publishing Scotland 2line RGB



How did we get hear? A guide to getting a book from author to listener

We all have our favourite go-to authors, and there is so much choice in how you can read – or experience – their stories. But how does a book become something you listen to?


The UK achieved sales of over £150 million in 2021, up from £133 million the previous year (source). And this huge growth in audio has seen different categories of spoken word develop, from audiobooks to podcasts, live streaming and more.


Join us at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh (EH1 1SR) on Wednesday 6th September, 2023 for a lively, accessible and publishing-specific conversation and networking event all about producing show-stopping audio content.


Hear from our panel, including an author, narrator, publisher, platform expert and event partner Publishing Scotland, as we uncover the magic behind making an audio experience happen. The speakers will demystify what goes on behind the scenes, from page to AirPods. You can also grow your network and catch up with industry friends and contacts.


Images of audience members and speakers at previous BookMachine events



Please select either a digital or in-person ticket to this event.


Digital ticket holders will get access to the edited recording within 2-3 weeks of the event date via email. In-person ticket holders will also receive the link to the digital version of the session.


Please note that tickets are non-refundable but can be transferred to another person if you can no longer make the in-person event.


Tickets for in-person or digital are FREE for BookMachine and Publishing Scotland members.


  • If you are a BookMachine member, simply log into your account and your discount will apply automatically at checkout.
  • If you are a Publishing Scotland member, please email the team to receive your booking code to apply at checkout.


Disclaimer: These events are ticketed so we can pay our contributors. Everyone who speaks at a BookMachine Unplugged event is remunerated for their involvement.


Want to make a great saving across all our Unplugged events in 2023? Join the BookMachine Community from £10/month and grab a ticket to all four events, plus access to training, discounts and resources.


About BookMachine Unplugged


BookMachine Unplugged is here to bring you discussion and connection around the topics that matter the most to you. Together with guest speakers, we’ll provide plenty of tips and insights around the crucial topics and talking points that we as an industry are facing.


Explore the full range of BookMachine events.



The speakers


Vikki Reilly (host), Business Development Manager, Publishing Scotland

Vikki Reilly has over 20 years of experience in the book industry, first as a bookseller, then in the sales and marketing departments of Scottish independent publishers Mainstream Publishing, Mercat Press and Birlinn Ltd, where she was also on the editorial board. She currently works in Publishing Scotland, Scottish publishing’s trade and network body, and is responsible for developing and overseeing trade relationships for our member publishers, as well as offering training and guidance on best sales and marketing practice. In 2020, she published her first book, Beatles 101: A Pocket Guide in 101 Moments, Songs, People and Places. @PublishScotland




Laurence Howell, Audio Industry Consultant

Laurence Howell is a freelance consultant with over 30 years experience managing and leading teams in bookselling and audiobooks. He has worked for Waterstones, WHSmith, Amazon and most recently Audible where he was VP of UK Content.



Iain McKinnaIain McKinna, Director of Audiobooks, Offbeat Audio Ltd. (Offbeat Studio)

Audio Producer Iain McKinna has run Offbeat Recording Studio in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile since 1994 and has been involved in many award winning Film & TV productions as well as being a Producer and Director of Audiobooks for all the main book publishers through Offbeat Audio Ltd. He has been in the Recording Studio business since 1976 and worked for Major and Indie record labels as a Session Musician and Music Producer. He recorded Spirit Of The Glen which won a Classical Brit Award in 2009 for best album and The Eyes Of Orson Welles which was runner up for Best Documentary at Cannes Film Festival in 2018. With Director Mark Cousins he was part of the Story Of Film, An Odyssey production team. @offbeatscotland



JamieJames Crawford, Writer and Broadcaster

James’ first major book, Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of History’s Greatest Buildings was shortlisted for the Saltire Literary Award for best non-fiction. His other books include Who Built Scotland: 25 Journeys in Search of a Nation, Scotland’s Landscapes and The Edge of the Plain: How Borders Make and Break Our World. His most recent book is Wild History: Journeys into Lost Scotland. He has written and presented three series of the BBC documentary ‘Scotland From the Sky’ and in 2019 he was named as the Archive and Records Association’s first-ever ‘Explore Your Archives’ Ambassador. He lives in Edinburgh.



SaraSara Hunt, Founder & Director, Saraband

Sara is the founder and director of award-winning independent publisher Saraband, now approaching its 30th birthday. Sara worked in London and New York for both large corporate and smaller publishers before founding Saraband in 1994.

Saraband publishes literary fiction and narrative non-fiction, particularly in nature, place, environment, and memoir. The company has also been an innovator, embracing new formats and platforms early, and recorded its first audiobooks in 2013. Saraband’s authors have won or been shortlisted for prestigious literary prizes, from the Booker to the Wainwright, Desmond Elliott and Rathbones Folio awards, as well as many regional prizes. @SarabandBooks




Our event partners


Zebralution 1


From audiobooks to music and podcasts, Zebralution is your all-audio expert. As ‘pioneers of digital audio’, we provide artists, publishers and labels with a worldwide distribution network, as well as competent consulting, and innovative in-house solutions for production, marketing and analysis.



Ingram Color

Ingram Content Group

Books — printed ones, digital ones, in all their formats and the technology that keeps them moving across the globe are our passion and what we at Ingram Content Group have worked to perfect for more than 50 years. As a global wholesaler we offer a wide range of services to sell your print books, ebooks, and audiobooks to thousands of retailers and libraries around the world.



With support from:

Publishing Scotland 2line RGB

Publishing Scotland

Established in Edinburgh in 1974, Publishing Scotland is the network, trade and development body for the book publishing sector in Scotland. 

We are a membership body and a charity, and celebrated our 45th anniversary in 2019. We act as the voice and network for publishing, to develop and promote the work of companies, organisations and individuals in the industry, and to co-ordinate joint initiatives and partnership.

Publishing Scotland grew from the work of the Scottish Publishers Association (SPA), a trade association in existence for nearly 40 years. Representing more than 60 book and journal publishers, the SPA expanded its remit and changed its name in 2007 to reflect the changing nature of publishing.


6 September, 2023
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm BST
£8 – £10
Event Category:


Scottish Storytelling Centre
43-45 High Street
Edinburgh, EH1 1SR United Kingdom
View Venue Website

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