Little Wizard – an uplifting, arty book about the one little wizard who finds a friend in an unlikely place
The Littlest Bear – we’ve all seen the photos of Highland Safari Park’s newest baby polar bear cub, now here’s a beautifully illustrated story about what happens when a little bear wanders off and meets a baby wolf!
Having sold out for a short period early this year, we’re pleased to have back in stock one of our exclusive Lomond publications, Scotland’s 100 Best Walks.
In this paperback edition of a walking classic, renowned outdoor writer and television personality Cameron McNeish presents his favourite one hundred walks across his homeland, celebrating the uniquely beautiful and varied landscape of Scotland.
‘By leaving the car behind and walking along a track you begin to appreciate the detail that turns a pretty countryside into a living, vibrant landscape – but leave the track for a faint footpath and you come even closer to the feel of the land.’
Cameron describes himself as someone for whom ‘walking is a way of life’ and there are few people better placed to compile Scotland’s greatest rambles, hill walks and mountain trails than him. Scotland’s 100 Best Walks covers a wide geographical spread of routes from the Solway Firth to the Shetland Isles. Divided into chapters by region, the book is an ideal guide for any avid walker or visitor to Scotland. Each of the walks is detailed in a route summary with Ordnance Survey references, hill shaded maps, access points, distance, approximate time and difficulty grading. There are also Gaelic pronunciations and translations for hill and place names where appropriate.
Yet this is much more than a factual guidebook – though this is a function it serves well. The main feature of the book is Cameron’s descriptive text, which includes his own anecdotes and experiences while acting as guide. His passion for Scotland’s natural landscape is abundantly apparent in his words and it is clear that in focusing his mind on choosing the best walks in Scotland, he has included some his favourite places in the world.
‘The hills of home still harbour that single element that isn’t to be found in the mountains of the greater ranges, or the varied landscapes of Europe or North America. Put simply… it’s the Celtic love of a homeland, passed down from father to son since time immemorial.’
Cameron’s chosen walks range in length from 3 kilometres to 50 kilomtres and though he may be known first and foremost as a mountaineer, he has included routes to suit any walker and explains that over the years he has come to appreciate that shorter, low level walks can be ‘as rewarding as big hill days’. The result is a mixture of inspirational adventures up famous mountainsides and relaxed rambles through woodlands and open spaces – as much a joy to read as they are to walk.
Richly illustrated throughout, Scotland’s 100 Best Walks features the breath-taking photography of Colin Baxter, one of Scotland’s foremost photographers. His images capture the drama and awe of the Scottish mountains, the tranquil calm of lochsides and coastal waters, and the lush greenery of the Scottish lowlands. His photographs are the perfect accompaniment to Cameron’s fond and evocative descriptions of these most spectacular walks.
We’re pleased to have added a new product range to our wholesale offering this year and it’s off to a truly flying start.
Running Press produce this range of Mini Kits – tiny boxes that really pack a punch with their products! These have been on the market for 25 years and sales of the original Mini Kits and books are stronger than ever.
They make the perfect impulse purchase and are the ideal size as an add-on gift for any occasion. There’s something for everyone, from officially licensed movie merchandise, to desktop sports, to those kits that are just utterly whacky!
In the licensed merchandised range, there are tie in kits for Game of Thrones, Star Trek, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Seasame Street, Superman, Doctor Who, Wonder Woman, Pokemon, Pusheen, Hello Kitty and lots more.
Some of the best-selling Mini Kits are those associated with Harry Potter. There are wizard’s wands, the Sorting Hat, character figurines, even a Quidditch set! The perfect purchase for a Potter fan.
Also in the range are a variety of lifestyle kits – kits like The Mini Bonsai, Desktop Terrarium, The Felt Succulent and By Hand Lettering will appeal to crafters everywhere. There are also kits for book lovers, belly dancers, embroiderers and meditate-rs.
And in addition to these there are a huge variety of retro kits and humour gifts. There are lots of desktop sports to try – football, tetherball, golf, volleyball – as well as desktop BBQs, disco balls and more. There are some cheeky toys in there as well, like the Bob Ross Bobble Head, the You Are a Badass Button and the Brain Fart – for those days when you’re brain just can’t quite keep up.
All in all, there’s something for everyone in this range. We can provide a variety of point of sale units to really boost sales, from a 6 pocket cardboard pack to a 120 pocket floor spinner. And remember, with these mini kits you will make more money on a small foot print than on virtually any other product in the same space!
Towards the end of this month, it’s National Stationery week… prepare your hole-punch confetti and sellotape streamers!
Now, as lovers of stationery at Lomond, we’re all for this celebration of everything post-it and paperclip, but we’ve decided to declare April ‘Stationery Month’ and we’ll be telling you all about some of our fantastic stationery products on the blog and on social media.
We’ve found that a few well-placed and well-selected stationery lines can really enhance a range, and attract those valuable add on sales from visitors and locals alike.
So follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages (whichever is your preferred platform!) throughout April for highlights of the range.
If you’ve received our mailing this month you’ll know a bit about our featured books for April – a range of great value guidebooks from Guidelines.
We’ve carried these regional guides for a number of years now and year-on-year they are strong sellers. For just £2.99, visitors can acquire a wealth of knowledge about a tourist hot-spot, condensed into an easy to read, accessible format.
New for 2018 are Visiting Shetland and Visiting the Scottish West Coast Islands: Coll – Ailsa Craig.
Visiting Shetland starts with the Mainland and its capital Lerwick. It then moves to the North East, Northmavine and the West before taking in Central Mainland and then the South. It is richly illustrated with photographs including Jaalshof and Scalloway Castle.
The smaller islands of Bressay and Noss are then featured, along with photographs of some of the native wildlife. There follows sections on Fetlar, Out Skerries, Papa Stour, Unst, Whalsay and Yell.
Visiting the Scottish West Coast Islands provides all the information an island hopper might need for a jaunt along the West Coast. The islands covered are Mull, Iona, Ulva, Gometra, Treshnish Isles and Staffa; Coll, Tiree, Islay, Jura, Colonsay, Oronsay, Lismore, Kerrera, The Slate Islands, Gigha, Gigalum and Cara Islands, Arran, Bute, Great Cumbrae and Ailsa Craig.
Throughout these guides there are helpful hints on getting there, places to visit, events, walking and guided tours, facilities and accommodation. They really area great pick-up item for shoppers that add value to any retail offering.
Today – 2nd of April – is not only Good Friday but it’s also International Children’s Book Day!
This celebration of children’s books is facilitated by the International Board on Books for Young People, and every year on April 2nd a different National Section is nominated to the day’s official national sponsor.
2018’s sponsor is Latvia and their chosen theme is ‘the small is big in a book’. In a message from renowned Latvian author Inese Zandere, the focus of the celebration is that in books, small is a relative concept. With courage, belief in our ideals, foresight, perseverance, and the power of talent we can make literature and the art of books significant and meaningful.
Here are a couple of extracts from Inese’s message about what children’s books can be:
“A children’s book is a miraculous force that promotes the small person’s great desire and ability to be. It promotes his or her courage to live”
“A book is a mystery in which something unsought can be found, or something beyond one’s reach”
“A picture book can function as a treasure chest of wisdom and culture even for adults, just as children can read a book intended for adults and find their own story”
“A children’s book signifies respect for the greatness of the small. It signifies a world that is created anew each time, a playful and beautiful seriousness”
At Lomond we adore children’s books and it’s one of our strongest categories – no matter how the market is, children’s books always outperform expectations and it seems that their resonance and appeal is unending.
We’ve just taken delivery of three fantastic new books into our Lomond Guides range – these are great quality, superb value guide books perfect for visitors and cover a range of Scottish heritage topics.
In a lightweight, compact format and at just £2.99 retail price, these guides are excellent souvenirs for visitors from around the world.
The first of our new guides is Scotland’s Kings & Queens. While a few of our more famous monarchs – Macbeth, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots – are well known, a total of 48 kings and queens have sat on the throne since Scotland’s emergence in the 840s. This guide reveals the story of all of Scotland’s dynasties – MacAlpin, Canmore, Bruce and Stewart – in a richly illustrated and accessible form.
Also new into the range is Scottish Clans and Tartans. For many people the clan system is a vague concept, associated with colourful tartans and tragic battles, and in particular with the defeat of Prince Charles Edward and his gallant army at Culloden in 1746. But it was the clan system that provided the economic and social structure of the Highlands for some 500 years. The bond of kinship was so strong that for those of Highland descent even today, their clan is a worldwide family that engenders a pride in their past and a unique sense of belonging.
Our last new addition is all about Scotland’s bard, Robert Burns. Perhaps one of our most famous sons, Robert Burns is one of Scotland’s best loved poets. His remarkable genius is preserved by the wealth of poems and songs that he bequeathed to the world. His enduring popularity remains to this day, with many of his lines now part of everyday speech. No writer has been more widely translated, and gatherings around the world end with the pledge to meet again, which is Burns’s ‘Auld Lang Syne’. This illustrated celebration of his life and work reveals the man behind the achievement.
One of our hotly anticipated new releases in March is this stunning photography book from one of our favourite photographers, Allan Wright. Most of you will be familiar with Allan’s work as it features heavily in our postcard, magnet and greetings card ranges and, of course, in all of our Lyrical Scotland calendars.
Allan’s latest project is a celebration of one of his favourite parts of the country, the Isle of Arran. Ahead of the book’s launch, Jenny grabbed a few minutes with the man himself to find out more about the book –
Jenny: Tell us a bit about how this new book, ‘Arran: Sixty Best Views’ came about – why Arran? Allan Wright: The previous title, Arran, which I co-authored with Tony Bonning has been out of print for many years now, and since that time I have built up a new collection of images from the island. I have started a programme of new book titles to address the increased demand for photography on the printed page, or in ‘hard copy’.
J: Is this book the result of one particular visit to Arran, or images collected over a period of time? AW: Most of the images were taken within the last five years, but there are a handful that go back much later – these are the images that I haven’t been able to improve upon since!
J: How long did it take you to edit your selection to just sixty images? Were there many more that you would have liked to include? AW: An hour here and there over a period of a week I drilled into my files and created a shortlist of about a hundred. From there, I whittled down to a core sixty images. Editing is one of the hardest parts of this kind of photography.
J: If you had to sum up ‘Arran: Sixty Best Views’ in a tweet, how would you describe it? AW: The unique character and beautifully diverse landscape of Arran distilled into a tidy little soft back.
J: What makes this book different from other collections of photographs of Arran? AW: Inevitably each collection is a subjective view. ‘Arran: Sixty Best Views’ is my take which I hope is representative of my work as a whole and one which shows the island at its best.
J: You’ve been working in Scotland for a number of years – what do you enjoy most about photographing the country? AW: The infinite variety of colours, textures, light quality, topography and heritage – both natural and man made – probably has few equals anywhere in the world.
J: How do you find the seasons change the Scottish landscape? AW: The range of challenges and opportunities that our seasons offer is absolutely vast. In fact, it’s difficult to overstate the differences the seasons make to the landscape’s character.
J: Tell us a bit about how you work as a photographer – do you plan a day around capturing particular shots or do you go out take what the day brings you? AW: I am tied to the logistics of a shoot in a big way. Weather is huge of course, but so is travel, access issues and time of day. Expected demand for certain subjects also influences my decisions, but in general it is a straight split between planned shots and ad hoc encounters.
J: Did you always want to be, or think you would become, a professional photographer? AW: It was a hobby whilst I was working abroad as an oilfield engineer. I discovered my fascination with the power of an image while traveling in third world countries and I have never lost the passion.
J: Do you still enjoy working as a photographer now as much as when you started? AW: Yes, although the experience is different now. Perhaps a little less excitement, more quiet satisfaction.
J: Photography is a hugely popular activity and many of us fancy ourselves as an amateur photographer. What advice would you give as a successful photographer in so many genres? AW: Follow your passion and get a broad grip of the process, but then specialise if you want to gain recognition in one field.
J: Do you prefer more traditional methods of photography or digital techniques and gadgets? AW: I shoot all digital although I try to keep it simple and avoid over reliance on technology to enhance the end product. Nature and fine architecture is simple and beautiful, the challenge is to do it justice without deception.