Literature A fairy tale that sleeps children made a self-published writer a millionaire – the enduring hit became Finland’s best-selling book in 2020

For the first time, Finland’s best-selling book was an audiobook. The rabbit who wanted to fall asleep defeated Barack Obama’s memoirs.

Of the year The best-selling book in Finland was an audiobook for the first time in 2020, according to statistics from the Finnish Book Trade Association and the Finnish Publishing Association.

From a self-published writer to a global success Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlinin A rabbit who wanted to fall asleep sold even more in Finland. It was listened to in 68,100 songs.

It is a lasting hit. In 2019, the same book was also in the top three of Finnish audiobooks with 36,400 copies sold.

Ehrlin the goal was to make it as sleepy as possible for the children. He published the fairy tale as a Swedish-language self-published a decade ago. Dreamy parents were immediately fascinated by the book’s promise to offer “a new way to make a child fall asleep”.

The book included Reading Instructions: a slow rhythm, monotony, and yawning in the middle of reading could soothe a child listening to a fairy tale in just a few minutes to the lands of sleep.

In the background of his method, Ehrlin had, for example, studies in psychology but no experience with his own children.

In 2014 Ehrlin translated his book into English and published it as a self-published on Amazon’s CreateSpace platform. It became your first self-published item, becoming number one on Amazon book sales in the U.S., the UK, and several other countries.

“It’s very hard to put boredom at just the right level,” he said The New York Times in an interview.

“It shouldn’t be too interesting, but still interesting enough so that the child’s attention doesn’t slip elsewhere.”

Eventually Ehrlin entered into an agreement with the Swedish Salomonsson, which in turn signed a million-dollar deal with the giant publishing house Penguin Random House. Translations increased and in Japan, for example, more than 800,000 copies of the book were sold in the year of publication.

Not everyone in Finland was excited. Already in 2015 HS literary critic Suvi Ahola considered Ehrlin’s book to be “questionable attentionWith the “promise” to stun all the evening flowerers ”. Ahola recalled that “the purpose of an evening tale is hardly just to get a child to sleep as suddenly as possible, even then by suggesting”.

The contract also covered two more monotonous sleeping tales. They Ehrlin has written about an elephant who wanted to fall asleep – and a tractor who wanted to fall asleep.

Finland on the sales lists, the best-selling printed book of 2020 had not been published until mid-November Barack Obaman biography Promised land (50,100 copies) which may therefore still exceed the fairy tale book in total sales in Finland.

The best – selling printed book in Finnish fiction was Ilkka Remeksen Eagle’s Nest (44,300 copies) and the best-selling of domestic non-fiction books was Ulla-Maija Paavilainen biography Kirsti Paakkanen: Biggest of them is love.

Publishers’ sales of electronic materials grew the most, by 37 percent, but sales of printed books also grew by two percent.

In learning materials, sales of electronic materials increased by 35 percent, but overall, sales of learning materials decreased by two percent towards the end of the curriculum cycle.

Online sales increased during the pandemic year and stone foot shops suffered.


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