Gummerus bought by the audiobook giant Storytel

One of the four stakeholders of Helsinki Literary Agency, Gummerus Publishing, has been acquired by Swedish company Storytel, focusing on selling audiobooks and e-books. Gummerus is the third largest, as well as one of the oldest Finnish publishers. Gummerus releases ca. 200 Finnish and translated titles a year; among the most renown of its authors are Minna Rytisalo, Sisko Savonlahti, Pauliina Rauhala (all represented by HLA), Jojo Moyes, Clare Macintosh, Nora Roberts and Michael Connelly.

Gummerus continues running as an independent member of Storytel under the leadership of the current CEO Anna Baijars.

Storytel is a leading audiobooks service in the Nordics, and it also operates in several countries in Europe, Asia and South America. In addition to Gummerus, Storytel owns several other significant nordic publishers; in 2016, the company drew attention by buying Nordstedts, the oldest publishing house in Sweden.

Mrs C. nominated for the Botnia Prize

Minna Rytisalo’s novel Mrs C. has been nominated for the Botnia Prize. The nomination is Rytisalo’s second in the three-year-history of the competition: Rytisalo was awarded with the prize for her debut novel Lempi two years ago.

The jury’s statement of Mrs C. is as follows:

“Minna Rytisalo’s Mrs C. narrates the life of a young woman, little by little maturing with years and experiences, and its passions, desires, pains and sorrows. This life, put to pages, is the one of Minna Canth, one of the most significant Finnish authors. Mrs C. reshapes the solidified and dusty national icon, put on the pedestal by the literary establishment, to a woman in flesh and full blood, to an exciting and intriguing person with unfeigned and sincere thoughts. The reader starts to value the national author in a totally new manner as a person worth knowing. The fictional life story, created for the novel, does a favour to the reading public and to the public image of the author Minna Canth.”

Read more about Mrs C. here and about Minna Rytisalo here.

In addition to Mrs C, there are seven other books nominated for the prize. The head of the jury, professor Sanna Karkulehto, stated that “the toplist of the quality literature with international level seems to get longer each year”.

Botnia Prize is a literary award given to the best book of the year written by an author from North Ostrobothnia. It is one of the biggest Finnish literary awards (10,000 euros), and it recognizes no genre nor language limitations.

Piia Leino’s Heaven sold to Turkey!

HLA is thrilled to share that the winner of this year’s EU Prize for Literature, Piia Leino’s dystopian novel Heaven, has been recently sold to A7 in Turkey.

Though established only in 2017, A7 has already managed to create a strong list of fiction, nonfiction and children’s titles, keeping a good balance between literary and mainstream books. About a third of them have copyrights from Wooden Books, which is a respected international organisation in the publishing world for its quality and popular titles.

A7 has a beautiful mission to “contribute to a community consisting of people who are spiritually, intellectually and socially strong, cheerful, happy and hopeful individuals turning the reading into a feast and internalising it as a joyful way of life”. The publisher also emphasises the importance of books that help people create liberating relationships “based on love and solidarity, not on power”, as well as enhancing reading culture – a vital part of a free and democratic society.

We couldn’t be more happy that Heaven found its Turkish home at A7! It was sold with the help of our partners, Kalem Agency.

Leino’s Heaven has previously been sold to Bulgaria (Perseus), Hungary (Scolar), North Macedonia (Artkonekt), Serbia (Kontrast), Ukraine (Astrolabe).

Interviews with writers!

We are continuing our creative literary interviews series with HLA’s writers! Here’s one with Minna Rytisalo, the author of the bestsellers Mrs C. and Lempi. Learn about the inner contradictions of protagonists in Minna’s books and why happy stories are not as simple as they might seem. And of course, the entertaining questionnaire!

(Photo: Marek Sabogal)