Beyond Words is a specialist retailer of photographic books, founded by Neil McIlwraith in January 1998.  We ran a bookshop on Edinburgh’s Cockburn Street until the summer of 2010. Since then we have concentrated on selling online.

We scour the planet looking for the finest photographic titles from a wide range of publishers, often importing from Japanese publishers and from independent small publishers books that are not widely available.

We have a reputation as a source for limited editions and signed copies.  We also sell a range of the best photographic remainder titles at about a third of their published price.

We offer you:

  • at least 10% discount off the recommended prices of the majority of our titles
  • a constantly updated website with the latest information on new and forthcoming titles
  • a regular email newsletter. If you would like to be added to our emailing list, please enter your email address below
  • expert knowledge of photographic books and their availability - if you can’t find what you’re looking for on the website, phone or email and we will do everything we can to help you find what you’re looking for
  • personal customer service – you are always welcome to contact us by phone or email and we are willing to take time to help you identify the books you want or sort out any problems
  • careful inspection, handling and packing to ensure the books you buy reach you in the best possible condition
  • inexpensive delivery – see Shipping for details

Our office is 20 miles east of Edinburgh, not far from the A1. Customers are welcome to visit, but please contact us first so we can make sure one of us is here.

We offer to run bookstalls at photographic events and we hold book launches in Edinburgh. Please contact us if you wish to discuss either of these.

Beyond Words Proprietor: Neil McIlwraith

“In 1997, I decided I was bored with having a regular income and paid holidays. As a longtime photography and photobook enthusiast, I began to research the feasibility of starting a photographic bookshop in Edinburgh. I took the plunge and opened Beyond Words on Cockburn Street in January 1998. After twelve and a half adventurous years which saw transformations in the worlds of photography and of bookselling, I decided to close the shop and concentrate on selling photobooks online. The most interesting parts of my job are building relationships with the increasing number of specialist publishers; selecting which of their titles to feature on the website; and communicating with customers via the newsletter, blogs, social media and email.”

Beyond Words Assistant Manager: Sara McCarter

“I make sure that the books we send out to customers leave here in mint condition and pack them very carefully to make sure they reach our customers in the same condition. I take the lead in developing Beyond Words’ profile on social media. If you reply to any of our social media posts, it’s most likely me who will respond and I’m very happy to help.”

Phil Hunt, who many customers will remember working in the shop, uploads new titles to our website and designs our newsletter.

Beyond Words VAT number: GB 703 6218 63