[academic fall] NRK's Jon Almaas sets himself up for new friendly-minded attacks from his buddies in New again when he comes up with his difficult third book in September. The big Norwegian TV book, with the subtitle Everything You Didn't Know About Norwegian Television Celebrities (and a little more), is typical of the academic fall, where the writers get a clear lead if they have a background from television.
- Since this is Jon, it is probably both deep and well-founded, and not least a necessary release. I look forward to reading it, says New on new colleague Knut Nærum, who himself is up to date with the children's book Kalle Komet og skreklingene.
- Children's literature, on the other hand, is of fascinating little interest.
Almaas and Nærum will receive competition from several colleagues this fall. Rune Gokstad also delves into the NRK archives with Laughing Moments, Tore Strømøy writes about genealogy, Noman Mubashir releases the book version of En Noman in Pakistan, and NRK reporter Olav Viksmo Slettan debuts fiction with the youth novel The Remarkable Story of Dingo. In addition, Ellen Ørnes (Antiques and Lingerie), Toppen Bech (Lecturer), Lise Finckenhagen (Breakfast TV), Henry Notaker, Ingrid Espelid Hovig and former NRK reporter Jahn Otto Johansen all come with books. P2's voices will not be any worse. Both Language Owner Sylfest Lomheim, Myth Calendar's Terje Nordby and travel guru Jens A. Riisnæs release books this fall.
Via TV 2 Finn Schjøll with the autobiography On life comes loose. A florist's confessions, while We must dance competitor Terje Sporsem publishes Terje's dance school. Øyvind Mund takes the TV series Golden Times into the bookshelf, and TV 2's newly hired breakfast host Arill Riise publishes the Sunnmørre report Herring and Grandiosa, while Gutta, on tour manager Arne Hjeltnes, uses her experiences from the work in Hong Kong for the Export Committee for Fish in Alt for Norway. From the West to Elleville Austen. Also, let's not forget Extreme, the autobiography of Sharon Osbourne, updated through MTV's reality series The Osbournes. Among the publishers, Kagge and Damm are leading the television autumn.
- For us, this goes a bit in waves. This year we have several TV-related books, while last year there were almost none. Previously, such books were about sports quotes or reports from NRK's foreign correspondents, but it no longer holds up in today's market. Our sales experiences, on the other hand, vary, and if I had known the recipe for success, we would probably have published far more TV-related books, says Erling Kagge, publisher at Kagge Forlag.
Knut Nærum made his book debut with Å in 2000, after being a fixture on the TV screen on Friday night for a year. By then he had written for the stage and released several albums with comics before, but he did not really want to become a writer.
- I was invited to become a writer, by two different publishers in the same week. But when the book came out, I was most surprised that it sold worse than the collections with the cartoon Bloid. I got little traction from being on TV, and at the same time was a little happy that Norwegian book buyers do not bite on anything just because it is on TV.
Nærum does not underestimate the TV effect, but believes it is far more important to have a clear premise for the book than just a familiar snout.
He thinks this was the reason for the breakthrough in 2001 with Norwegian literary history – free
- Veterans like Haagen Ringnes and Rolf Kirkvaag were out early to earn on TV
the effect. Visible people are often more than usual talkative and like to show off, while publishers like to publish debutants who are already known, says Nærum.
Erling Kagge believes that there is no automaticity in this.
- It is quite possible that it helps with an author who is known from television, but it depends on who you are. There are quite a few profiled people who have approached us to write a book, but who have never been anything of the sort.
Ane Farsethås, literary critic in Dagens Næringsliv, believes the trend is about more than just TV celebrities. If we read through the autumn lists of Gyldendal, Aschehoug, Cappelen, Damm, Kagge, Tiden and Samlaget, we find over 20 high-profile Norwegian journalists with both textbooks and novels, and then we have not included all columnists, critics and nationalists.
- Most people who speak in the media or write in the newspaper have probably been asked to write a book one or more times. This is an expression of the publishers' hunger for new author names, and they are good at vacuuming the market for people who have made a name for themselves.
Farsethås points out that publishers today work to a greater extent on the basis of their own editorial ideas and Norwegianisation of foreign books, than submitted ideas.
- Assignment writing is very widespread and probably growing in Norway. At least if you judge from everyone you hear about, who are asked to write books on topics they barely know anything about. The challenge in such cases is to be able to say no, she believes.