Northern Stories continues to grow!

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Northern Stories increased its revenue from 8.4 to 10.2 million Norwegian kroner last year. “We are very pleased to perform so well in a tough market,” says Astrid Dalaker.

Apr 18, 2024

Northern Stories marked its seventh operating year with yet another record: last year, the agency reached the 10 million mark for the first time. The annual turnover of 10.2 million represents an increase of over 20 percent from the previous year’s 8.4 million.

As a result, the bottom line amounted to just over 300,000 kroner, up from 130,000 in 2023.

“We are definitely Norway’s largest independent literary agency, with a positive development in markets that are struggling—this applies to both the film/TV industry and the book industry, both internationally and domestically. Therefore, we are especially pleased with the 2023 figures,” summarizes Astrid Dalaker.

Thinking broadly

Northern Stories now represents 43 authors and 15 screenwriters, and expanded with Mira Mack Omdahl as a new agent in 2023. The key to success remains the same:

“We think broadly about our authorships and heavily invest in developing them across publishing platforms. This means that, for example, film and TV have become much more important for us and our authors,” says Astrid Dalaker, owner and founder. “We always consider the stories our authors want to tell and work differently. A screenwriter can write a book, and an author can write a good film or TV series.”

So far, the agency has sold 85 film and TV rights, over 35 of which were sold just last year. Additionally, there are numerous book deals and theater rights.

Breadth and visibility

“There was no shortage of warnings when we started the agency. It was, and still is, almost an established truth in the Norwegian book industry that it is not possible to create profitability in an agency. Therefore, it is especially nice that we show that it is possible and that we grow from year to year. We have let very few through our doors, and precisely because of that, we can do a good job, because all our authors and screenwriters are equally important and visible. Establishing author voices abroad, or working with film and TV, requires many years of diligent work,” says Dalaker.

“Last year particularly brought some new non-fiction voices to the agency. Torkil Færø’s book ‘Pulskuren’ has been on the bestseller list for over 60 weeks and has so far been sold to five countries.

“Equally pleasant is highlighting professional experts like Peder Kjøs, Ellen Viste, Geir Selbæk, and Bjørn Berge. Anders Totland found success with the fantastic book about Jacob Juul, which travels to several countries and will be made into a film.

“Instruction books still sell well abroad. We represent Norway’s definitive knitting queen Linka Neumann, and we also welcomed Une Cecilie Oksvold on board with her ‘Colorful Hiking Knits,’ which has already been sold at auctions to both Denmark and Germany,” says Dalaker.

Among the best in the country

“Our screenwriters are among the foremost in the country. We are proud to represent, among others, Christopher Grøndahl (‘The Battle for Narvik’ and ‘Sulis 1907’), Thomas Moldestad (‘The Gold Transport’ and ‘Dirty Snow’), Terje Solli (‘Side by Side,’ ‘Perfectly Perfect,’ and ‘Heart to Heart’), and Line Fougner Christensen (‘Best Before’ and ‘Heart to Heart’),” Dalaker says, adding:

“Several in our stable are strong voices both in film/TV and in books. Anne Elvedal has had great success with the ‘Game of Death’ trilogy and also works internationally with film—while new books are being written. There is much to look forward to in 2024. Christopher Pahle has written a number of children’s books and is also a screenwriter for ‘Dummedag’ and ‘Lauritzen Company.’ His new book about Milo will be released in May. Towards the end of the year, we also welcomed Harald Rosenløw Eeg, with a long list of young adult book successes, but also well known for films like ‘The Wave’ and ‘The Quake.’ He also co-wrote ‘The Wave’ and ‘The Quake’ with John Kåre Raake, another of our fantastic book and screenplay writers.”

Continued growth

Northern Stories’ revenue has steadily climbed over the past few years, from 4.5 million in 2021, through 8.4 million in 2022, to last year’s 10.2 million.

“Now we are starting our eighth year, and the good trend of significant revenue growth seems to be continuing in 2024,” concludes Astrid Dalaker.