Educational and nonfiction books make up two-thirds of sales, e-book downloads are increasing, 34 new publications in English expected to appear at Frankfurt Book Fair.
Helsinki/Frankfurt, June, 10th 2014. In 2013, Finland brought about 5,000 new literary publications (excluding educational books) out on the market. 71.3 percent of these were first editions, including 340 translations from the fiction genre, 577 children’s books and 98 books for teenagers. Finland as the Guest of Honour at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair is going to introduce 34 new releases translated into English to Frankfurt.
With a total turnover of EUR 253.6 million net in 2013, the book market in Finland slightly decreased by -3.6 percent compared to the previous year (2012: EUR 263.0 million). The lion’s share is assigned to printed products; approximately seven percent are digital products (+ 1.7%). Roughly one third (34.7%) of these are educational books with a sales volume of EUR 88.1 million, another third (33.1%) are nonfiction books at a sales volume of EUR 83.9 million. The final third of is light fiction and is split into fiction EUR 40.9 million (16.2%), children’s and youth books EUR 30.9 million (12.2%) and comics EUR 9.7 million (3.8%).
The approximately 5,836 operating publishing houses in Finland produced approximately 20.3 million books last year (-11%), including educational and audio books. This book production is for a population of 5.4 million Finns.
The Finnish bestsellers of 2013 were, amongst others, the Finnish-Swedish author Ulla-Lena Lundberg with her novel ”Is” (Ice), for which she was awarded the Finlandia price 2012. ”Ice” remained in the Finnish Top 10 bestseller list for more than six months. The new novel about Finnish superintendent Maria Kallio ”Rautakolmio” by Leena Lehtolainen held its place for more than five months on Finland’s bestselling fiction lists. Also popular in Finland: the new novel by bestselling Estonian-Finnish author Sofi Oksanen “Kun kyyhkyset katosivat” (When the Doves Disappeared) which is set around the resistance and collaboration during the time of the Estonia occupation during and after the Second World War. Also highly popular in Finland is “Kätilö” (The Midwife) by Katja Kettu. Her novel is set during the time of the Second World War in Lapland and has become a literary phenomenon. The novel has sold over 80,000 copies in Finland. The Finns also regard their comic artists with a high level of interest. According to FILI, two of the ten commercially most successful books in Finland in 2013 were comics.
The interest in reading with e-readers is increasing in Finland even though the market for e-books and mobile reading devices is in its infancy. Over the past year 1,138 new e-book titles were published (2012: 678) which is an increase of 67.8 percent. 848 e-books are in the category of literary works, a further 290 are education materials.
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