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The Gresham Publishing Company Limited is an independent Scottish book publishing company, based in Govan, on the south side of Glasgow, Scotland UK.
G&G was established in 1988, and ten years later became part of DC Thomson.
Now, just over 25 years after it was started, G&G is back as part of a new independent Scottish company. In October 2013 Ron Grosset and Liz Small bought Geddes and Grosset (G&G), and Waverley Books from the DC Thomson Group.
G&G’s story began in 1988 when Ron Grosset left William Collins Sons & Co. to start a publishing business with David Geddes, based in the World Heritage Village of New Lanark, Scotland.
G&G’s first major non-fiction success was gaining an order from Proctor and Gamble for 2.5 million copies of a book - House Plants.
In 1989 G&G created their first dictionaries and focused on the USA where the 'promotional' market was well-established. Two years later G&G won a Scottish business award for export sales. The idea of promotional books is to produce books that are affordable, accessible and within the weekly budget of most people to help with homework, or have a simple reference book in the home or school. They provide essential information but do not have a high street name or brand attached to them. The aim was to produce reference books – English grammar guides, English dictionaries, French-English dictionaries, crossword dictionaries and children’s books – at affordable prices for the mass market.
In 1992 Mike Miller joined the company from publisher Blackie & Son, where he had been Publisher and CEO. Mike Miller became the G&G co-publisher on David Geddes’ retirement and in turn retired in 2010. Liz Small took over the reins from Mike upon his retiral.
Blackie had sold its dictionaries and English guides all over the world, and had offices in London, Glasgow and Bombay. The Blackie connection remained through a strong association with Mike Miller with The Gresham Publishing Partnership, which led to the Gresham Publishing Company name being re-introduced.
Mike Miller enjoyed but a few years of retirement and very sadly passed away in 2021 after a lengthy illness.
The original Gresham Publishing Company was founded in 1898 by Blackie & Son Ltd , publishers in Glasgow, Scotland. Blackie & Son had started subscription and instalment selling in the late 1870s – works such as Kerner's Natural History of Plants and Davis's Natural History of Animals. The Gresham Publishing Company was formed in order to take over the subscription trade of Blackie & Son Ltd and also to introduce the publication of scientific and technical books. Titles included The New Popular Encyclopaedia (1900) and the Gresham Dictionary and Gresham Encyclopaedia (1910s). The firm was incorporated in 1917 as Gresham Publishing Company Limited and had its head office London with branches in almost every major British city as well as branches in Canada and India. The original company continued trading for fifty years until 1948, and now, sixty-five years on, the Gresham name is once again to the fore as a Glasgow–based publisher.
Today, operating within Gresham, G&G, operating under the ownership of Ron Grosset and Liz Small, is an established brand for publishing and exports popular, affordable and useful books such as dictionaries, bi-lingual books, English grammar and usage texts, for language learning as well as books on Self-Help, Diet & Health and Mind, Body & Spirit.
G&G celebrated 30 years in autumn 2018 and has published and sold more than 75 million books since 1988 and has created dictionaries, reference and puzzle material for many publishers such as Readers Digest - Canada & USA, Cassell, Orient Longman and for the mass-market imprints of Random House, Penguin Books and Hodder.
In 2007 G&G developed a second publishing list called Waverley Books, which focused on Scottish titles.
The list enjoyed success with flagship projects – the graphic novel versions of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped and Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, adapted by Alan Grant and illustrated by Cam Kennedy.
The creation of Maw Broon’s Cookbook – the fastest selling Scottish book of all time, team sparked a whole licensing programme for DC Thomson around The Broons – a newspaper comic-strip family of characters (similar to the American-owned The Simpsons), that has run since 1936.
Waverley continues with a general publishing programme that includes children’s, and non-fiction, home and leisure –including cookery, nostalgia, and pastimes. You can see our Waverley list here.
Thanks for visiting our site, and reading about our history. If want to find out any more about Waverley Books please contact us.