So the public is looking for the next great Nordic writer, eh?

So the big pubs are scouring the Nordic countryside looking for the next great Nordic writer.  The one who will be as wildly popular as Stig  Whatshisname.


Really?  I mean . . . really?  Or is, maybe, the other way around?  The big pubs are trying to create an artifical demand for the next big Nordic writer.  Accidently find someone that create's a niche--and then load that niche up as much as you can with clones who write essentially the same thing.

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Yes, this is very disturbing.  It has nothing to do with quality, but rather with creating a brand. As long as the author is Scandinavian, the book will be bought and heavily promoted.  Mind you, there have been some fine Scandinavian mystery writers (Henning Mankell, Arnaldur Indridasson, and Karin Fossum among others), but that is absolutely no guarantee that all Scandinavian writers are good. I have, in fact, encountered another Iscelandic writer, a woman, who was below mediocre in my opinion. She did not place for the Shamus Award.


It really only proves that publishers don't care about quality. They only care about sales. While they are "scouring" Scandinavia, U.S. writers are being ignored.

Talk about fallout, there is STILL heavy snow pack here in Minnesota. And we're set to get more this weekend.

wherein the lips are so puckered people have to talk with their mouths closed


Probably they aren't drinking enough aquavit! :) That stuff is like antifreeze! Like? I think it is antifreeze!

If they want, I can be Albert Tuchersson.

This does show that the pubishers don't really know what it is about books that gets people to buy them. Well, we've always known it was a crapshoot.


Now there's some interesting technology. A few years ago Netflix realized that many of their customers signed up and were very active for a few months and then cancelled their subscriptions. One of the maon reasons given was, "too much selection, too hard to find something I like." Then Netflix introduced the "Recommended for you," feature and since then have been refining it as much as they can. To do this they need to collect a lot of data on each movie - beyond just category and stars and director. It worked well for a while but then seemed to plateau so they had something the called The Netflix Prize ( to, "to substantially improve the accuracy of predictions about how much someone is going to enjoy a movie based on their movie preferences," and gave a million bucks to the team of BellKor labs for their algorithm.


Last week Netflix announced their first original series so they're going to be using this kind of data when picking future projects.


I suppose we'll see Amazon doing this kind of thing, too, once they figure out how to data mine past, "Scandavian serial killer."

Laughing again.  Scandinavian serial killer.  Scandinavian Serial-killing Vampires?


Amazon already has recommendations for "Books you may also like".  I never do, but it may work for other people.  I'm just an ornery reader.

They are already trying to make Jo Nesbo sound like a Stig clone.


Record companies and publishers have done it for years. Merseybeat, Madchester, Seattle's grunge. Everybody looks for the next big 'version' of the blueprint.

As I recall, Jo Nesbo is much better than Stieg Larsen.
Unfortunately, I.J. that has failed to prevent Jo's UK publisher from slapping huge 'The Next Stig Larsen' stickers to the covers of all his books.

He is. Besides, he had written five novels pre-Stieg Larsson.

These marketing stunts are silly, and don´t think Scandinavian writers like the clone idea more thsan you do. Scandinavian crime fiction is as varied as American novels.


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