Home » Books & Literature » The Finnish government recently invested €98 million in a new central library. Finnish writers receive library royalties—they are almost as much per borrowed book as the royalty for each paperback sold.

The Finnish government recently invested €98 million in a new central library. Finnish writers receive library royalties—they are almost as much per borrowed book as the royalty for each paperback sold.

How Finland Rebranded Itself as a Literary Country

Here’s the thing about us Finns: we haven’t traditionally been very good at branding. In fact, seeing the brand-led global success stories originating from Sweden (IKEA, H&M, Spotify, Skype, Absolut Vodka, ABBA, Stieg Larsson, etc.), we’ve been overcome with jealousy. In Finland, we’ve been known only for Nokia phones. Engaging in excessive promotion doesn’t suit the quiet, self-effacing Finnish spirit; in Finland, you’re expected to do your job well and then let the work do the talking. In some cases, that’s worked for us: you bought a Nokia phone not because it made you cool but because you could drop it in the toilet or throw it across your apartment and somehow, miraculously, it still worked. But then Nokia went down the drain.

Noki… Continue Reading (8 minute read)

7 thoughts on “The Finnish government recently invested €98 million in a new central library. Finnish writers receive library royalties—they are almost as much per borrowed book as the royalty for each paperback sold.”

  1. nantes1705

    In Belgium writers get € 0.03 per book lent. I don’t know if that enough but given the number of libraries…

  2. DenjellTheShaman

    Might be something to consider in Norway aswell, but we have something called **innkjøpsordningen** , about 800 books or 1600 childrenbooks are bought when they are published in norwegian and given to the libraries, almost all books are accepted. There even is a rule for a limited purchase of translated or foreign language books. we also have a similar system for music and there is even talks about adding one for videogames.

  3. syoejaetaer

    That’s a strange way to put it. I don’t know where they got that paperback figure. The 2020 royalty was 26 cents (€) per loan, but only if the combined royalties exceeds 10 euros. Meaning if a book (with all it’s copies) was only borrowed once during the year, they aren’t going to bother sending the 26c. Upper limit was 30 000 euros per author.

    That’s still really good! And maybe there’s a different royalty for selling books, that is a different figure than the actual price for the customer. I just think the title is worded in a misleading way. I know I read that like they were paying ~10 euros for each loan and that’s obviously not the case.

  4. twiggez-vous

    The royalties-per-loan system is more widespread than Finland. For instance, in the UK, each author receives £0.085 per individual loan. Finland’s compensation does seem to be a lot higher though.

    > [A Public Lending Right](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Lending_Right#:~:text=In%20the%20United%20Kingdom%20authors,8.52%20pence%20per%20individual%20loan.) (PLR) is a program intended to either compensate authors for the potential loss of sales from their works being available in public libraries or as a governmental support of the arts, through support of works available in public libraries, such as books, music and artwork.

    > Thirty-five countries have a PLR program, and others are considering adopting one. Canada, the United Kingdom, all the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Israel, Australia, Malta and New Zealand currently have PLR programmes. There is ongoing debate in France about implementing one. There is also a move towards having a Europe-wide PLR programme administered by the European Union.

    > In the United States the Authors Guild began a campaign in support of the PLR in 2018.

  5. Sikkas

    One can also borrow sporting equipment from the library and use machines like 3D-printer and sewing machines inside the facilities. [Best libraries in the world!](https://youtu.be/rVz82UMWR_E)

  6. VB_bandit

    1. Be Finnish
    2. Write book
    3. Borrow book from library
    4. Profit

  7. Landlubber77

    The librarians however have removed the last page from every single book, ensuring that no one who visits will ever be truly Finnished reading.

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