Best place to Publish a BookThe best place to publish a book
It is the best place in the world to become a novelist.
Go to Norway and you will immediately notice one thing: The sale of half a million scholarly book titles there, as Karl Ove Knausgaard did, is even more notable than it is. It' s hard to verify, but I would guess that his autobiographic show My Struggle Per Head has already achieved the same sales in Norway as The Great Gatsby in America.
Norway2s greatness helped to the My Struggle dispute and thus to its popularity. Catherine Sandnes, an editorial in my column, said she knew 20 or 30 guys who appear in the book, like herself. There is another way Norway can help explaining the Knausgaard phenomenon:
It is one of the most envious places in the wide web to be a novelist or editor. Norway's SWF is the world's number one. Of course, he had already been reading Knausgaard. Norway ranks first in the U.N. Human Development Index, a benchmark for standards of livelihood.
I saw a can of $6 worth of sodium carbonate in one store. All major open university courses are basically free. That may not seem entirely correct, but according to the CIA World Factbook, the adults' illiteracy rates in Norway are 100%. Mr President, I talked to a book reviewer called Trond Haugen at his place of work, the National Library of Norway, in Oslo.
I asked him to appreciate how many of the 80 or so who attended the Knausgaard Municipal Libraries Café listened, and he laughed: "Oh, 100 cents. The entire Norwegian publication is legally obliged to be kept in the National Bank and the Bank is currently digitising everything in its collections.
Anyone in the land can consult the materials free of charge on-line; in the case of copyrighted works, the sponsor has free text but cannot simply fetch it. As long as a new book has passed final inspection, Arts Council Norway buys 1,000 of them for distribution to a library - or 1,550 for a children's book.
The purchase program, I was informed, keeps many small publishing houses going that could not otherwise be there. A further effect of the program is that it subsidises authors while they are building a careers. There is also no VAT on VAT on books. The Economist, a leading player in Norway, said that Norway has some of the best paying handicrafts men and poorly paying chief executives in the game.
A commercial arrangement prohibits the low discount on new accounts, as is the case in a number of EU states. It also means that the gains from the blockbusters, which would otherwise be the cheapest, subsidise all other textbooks even more than here.
One could say that Knausgaard kept many authors in the shop. In addition to the purchase programme, the state also supports authors and other performers directly. This all contributes to securing Norway a place in global literary circles - a great challange when your own tongue is spoken by so few souls.
There is a small number of prospective purchasers for a particular book, so publishing houses have to ask a high fee for each copy to meet their cost, which can further restrict sell. It' s possible that a novelist like Knausgaard would have stopped before My Ctruggle was written if he only had to live on the demands of the Norwegian literature notion.
A disadvantage for the norwegian reader: Because of the small size of the local markets and high costs of translations, many large works are not available in Norse. That is a frustrating resource for Knausgaard. In order to meet his interest in Rimbaud, a Frenchman, he has a copy of a bio that has been released in the USA in English.
Knausgaard speaks English very well, but it's still a big issue. It' s also the case that many prestigious Norvegian titles are not available in America, where it' s difficult to break through them. Knausgaard fiction novel "Out of the World" is still not available in English. I would also love to have Knausgaard with Geir Angell Øygard's Baghdad Indigo if I could tell the language.
You may understand from reading about Angell Øygarden in My Struggle or in my resume that his working name was Against Better Judgment. "That could also be his slogan in life," Knausgaard wrote about him in Book Six of My Fight. In order to bring more plants abroad to Norway, Knausgaard co-founded a small Norwegian company, Pelikanen.
A lot of what they publish is in translation. They have released Katie Kitamura among the US authors and are planning to release Ben Marcus and Charles Jackson's classical The Lost Weekend. He said he had always regarded My Struggle as a novel, and it is recorded as a novel in Norway's issues.
The US hard cover publishing house, Archipelago Book, has decided not to write on it in one way or another. In his several replies, he said that Norway has no true history of memoirs as an artistic genre that differs from the autobiography of personalities in the world. It also said that he was never asked the kind of questions I asked until the ledgers were released in English.