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.

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)

Pelliccioni’s wordless book gains attention in the international research community!

Sanna Pelliccioni’s wordless children’s book We Had to Leave has been a subject of research within the international community.

The book has been chosen to “DIALLS: DIalogue and Argumentation for Cultural Literacy Learning in Schools” research project, led by the University of Cambridge and ongoing in several European countries, to research how children engage in discussions where they may have differing viewpoints and how wordless books can help to grow awareness of their own cultural identities.

The book was also recently presented in the five-day conference of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature in Stockholm. The conference gathered over 500 participants from ca. 50 different countries. One of the participants has commented that Pelliccioni’s book has received a spontaneous “Wow!” among the usually rather critical audience.

University of Helsinki researcher and teacher Jaana Pesonen, who held the presentation about the book (‘We Had to Leave‘– Voicing the refugee experience in a wordless picturebook), was glad to see that it received so much interest from the academics, among others, from Evelyn Arizpe who was named the new president for the IRSCL board. Arizpe mentioned Pelliccioni’s book in her own presentation.

We are very proud that Finnish children’s titles are considered to be the etalon of quality and have a notable role in the education research and practice around the world. Congratulations to Sanna Pelliccioni!

(Photo: Loviisa Kangas)