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Norfolk book company expands; demand for regional titles grows
 Norfolk book company opens new chapter

Bittern Books’ expansion follows growing demand for specialist regional books and maps

A Norfolk book company has doubled its capacity in order to keep up with demand for regional books and maps about East Anglia.  Bittern Books is based at Scottow Enterprise Park, formerly RAF Coltishall, and has seen continuing growth in sales of its printed books and maps as it expands its customer base and product range.  The specialist company works with small publishers and self-published authors as well as mainstream publishers, distributing their books to a growing number of bookshops and other retailers, such as gift shops and museums. 

Steve and Elizabeth Haines own the company.  “Many people thought printed books and maps would become obsolete, with e-readers, mobile phones and sat navs taking over,” says Steve.  “But that’s definitely not the case, especially since Covid.  Print is  regaining popularity – just look at the growing number of independent bookshops.” 

With the increase in sales and product range, Bittern Books has had to take on more space at Scottow Enterprise Park.  “We now have a range of around 900 product lines and over 20,000 books in stock,” says Steve.  “More stock means we are able to respond more quickly to customer orders and deliver the best possible service.” 

The move is partly fuelled by rising demand for local interest publications – and not just factual ones.  “Some of our biggest sellers are novels, with stories based in Norfolk and Suffolk,” says Steve.   These include successful crime thriller series by authors like Heather Peck and David Blake, both of whom were originally self-published and, after working with Bittern Books, are now distributed by the company. 

“I spend a lot of time seeking out new books from small publishers and self-published authors,” says Steve.  “They don’t all work out, but sometimes we find great books that haven't been widely available in print.  The easy option for authors now is to publish through Amazon, but that doesn't get books into shops.  That’s where we come in!

“Many bookshops like to have local books and to support local authors.  But many of them, especially the larger high street names, don't want to deal with individual authors, they find it easier to work through a distributor like us.” 

Steve and his team are delighted with their new home.  “Our old store room was crammed to the rafters and it had become difficult to work in there.  The new store, roughly double the size, makes it easier to manage.” 

And the future for Bittern Books?  “We have some lovely books in the pipeline from some of our established authors, and we’re currently talking to a couple of new writers.  It’s very exciting.  Luckily the new store gives us plenty more space for expansion!” 

Bittern Books specialises in East Anglian books and maps, both as a wholesale business, distributing to retail outlets throughout East Anglia, and also selling direct through our website. For further details, call Bittern Books on 01603 739635, visit or email


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