Finnish literary exports grew by four percent in 2021. This can be considered a true victory in a pandemic year. Revenue from literary exports reached nearly 3.7 million euros last year. Every year, FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange commissions a report on the value of Finnish literary exports.
According to the report commissioned by FILI, translation rights to Finnish literature were sold to more than 40 different countries last year.
“An average of 300–400 translations of Finnish literature are published abroad every year, in about 40 languages. Last year, a record number of translations were published – no fewer than 500 translations of Finnish literature, in 46 languages. At the same time, more new translation rights were sold than in previous years”, says Tiia Strandén, the director of FILI.
The greatest number of translation contracts was made for children’s and young adult literature: they made up as much as 61 percent of contracts. Correspondingly, almost half of export revenue was from children’s and young adult literature. The next largest number of contracts was made for fiction.
Based on the report, the greatest revenues were earned from English-speaking countries.
“That the English-speaking market is a growing share of Finnish literary exports can be considered a major accomplishment, as this market is highly competitive. Gaining a foothold in England and the United States has required determined, long-term investment”, Strandén says.
In terms of quantity, the greatest numbers of book translation contracts were made in the United States, England, Russia and Germany.
“Finland’s literary exports have clearly reached a permanently higher level. Before 2018, gross revenues were in the two-million-euro range. Since then, they have been over three million, and steadily increasing. We are especially pleased that the pandemic did not stop growth, even though trade events such as book fairs were cancelled, and bookstores were closed in many countries. Interest in Finnish literature is strong, and we have professional literary agencies and excellent literature. This is a good foundation for setting new, ambitious goals for the coming years”, says FILI director Tiia Strandén.
For further information, please contact FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange:
Hannele Jyrkkä, communications manager, tel. +358 (0)40 534 7526