Nightingale Editions: an imprint of Blackbird Digital Books

We are delighted to announce the launch of Nightingale Editions, a brand new imprint of Blackbird Digital Books, a growing and innovative independent publisher. 

Our launch title, Sara Bailey's haunting and lyrical novel Dark Water, is now available here on Amazon and from all good bookshops.

A psychologically intense portrait of adolescent yearning and obsession. 

Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun, Winner of the 2016 Wainwright Prize writes:

"I couldn't help but be fascinated by this book. It uses the Orkney setting beautifully, and the islands are intertwined with the story of a woman facing the past she'd evaded for years: both in the clarity of the light and the roughness of the sea. It uses suspense and structure with skill... The final scene was brilliantly described. Suspense, sex and selkie girls: irresistable!" 

Further praise for Dark Water:

‘A haunting tale of teenage obsession and betrayal where things are not quite as they first seem... In Bailey’s hands, Orkney becomes a character in its own right. The very particular light, the constant wind and unpredictable weather, and the savage beauty of the landscape form a dramatic backdrop to her story... a slow-burn, psychological study that is both gripping and emotionally involving. ’ –  Shirley Whiteside, The Herald, Scotland

‘The tension and unanswered questions in this beguiling novel are sustained to the very last page. But when answers finally come, there remain moral ambiguities that will keep readers and book groups discussing for a good long time.’ –  Alison Miller, The Orcadian

 ‘This evocative, gripping novel is full of mystery, atmosphere and outstanding writing. I loved the setting, and the sense of memories swirling around like a sea fog. So accomplished for a debut - I want to read more from Sara, and Orkney is now on my must-visit list.’ –  Kate Harrison, author of 'A Batch made in Heaven' and 'The Secret Shopper's Revenge'

‘With the island of Orkney as the most dynamic of backdrops, author Sara Bailey lures you into a story of intense teenage friendship, first love, and family ties, keeping you spellbound until the very last word.’ – S.E. Lynes, author of Valentina

‘Deliciously claustrophobic. Bailey’s scenic portrayal of Orkney is masterful. I was reminded throughout of Olive Kitteridge’s Maine – the harbour, the fishing boats, the harsh lives, the cramped front rooms.’ –  Diane Chandler, author of ‘The Road to Donetsk’, Winner of The People's Book Prize 2016

‘Extremely well written. One of the best I've read this year.’   Linda Strong, top #200 reviewer, Goodreads

‘A haunting debut. Full of atmosphere, wrought with tension and decidedly chilling, Sara Bailey has written an exceptional first novel.’ –  Bibliophile Book Club

‘The prose is alive, vivid and fluid, making the reader literally fly through the pages.’ – Relax & Read Reviews

‘An incredibly compelling read. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened.  And I wasn’t disappointed!  The ending is just brilliant.’ –  Jo's Book Blog

‘Beautifully written and deeply emotionally charged... you will marvel.’ –  The Addiction of Books

JK Rowling encourages Sara Bailey

 Sara Bailey's notebook, inscribed by JK Rowling

Sara Bailey's notebook, inscribed by JK Rowling

Dark Water, set in the beautiful Orkney Islands had a wonderfully auspicious start to life when Sara Bailey had an unexpected encounter with JK Rowling in the setting of Orkney Library. Sara Bailey writes about her meeting with JK Rowling and describes their quiet exchange when she revealed her book deal with Nightingale. Rowling asked:

"Do they know you're a writer? You must tell them?" I hushed her and went even redder. This is Orkney, we don't shout out things like that in public. She signed the notebook and wished me lots of luck.

Read the full story of what happened that day in Orkney Library here. Find out more about Nightingale and what we stand for in publishing here.


Find out about our launch novel Dark Water