THE NORWEGIAN LITERARY SYSTEM

The book has a strong position in Norway. As much as 93 % of the population report to have
read a book in the past year, and more than 40% read more than 10 books a year. Book sales are
at a stable, high level. Each year we see a list of diverse new publications, characterised by high
quality and new ideas.

With only 5,3 million people speaking Norwegian, it is especially important that the literary field
stays strong and active. Therefore, we are pleased to see that Norwegian literature travels
world-wide.

The success of Norwegian literature outside our country is of course due to great authors
that write great literature. But it is also due to a literary system that fosters new authors,
and ensures publication and public access to  contemporary literature. A system rigged for
reading.

By autumn 2017 we found that the pillars of the unique Norwegian literary system is unique are: A scheme for purchase of new books, a fixed book price, no VAT on books, and collective agreements between rightsholders.

Purchasing scheme
The Norwegian Arts Council purchases up to 1500 copies of about 600 new titles every year.
These books are distributed to local libraries throughout the country. The scheme was
established in the 1960s and is still extremely important for both publishers, writers and,
eventually, the readers.

Fixed book price
The fixed book price agreement involves that publishers decide the price of a new book when
it is launched. The book sellers can only discount up to 12,5 % until May 1st the following year. This
makes it possible for readers to obtain books at a similar price all over the country, and ensures
predictability for both writers and publishers.

VAT-Exemption
No VAT on books is important to keep book prices at an affordable level, and makes books
more accessible to the readers.

Download
Download our folder about The Norwegian Literary System here.