Here’s how much Sweden’s highest-earning authors make

Here's how much Sweden's highest-earning authors make
It was a good year for the likes of Jonas Jonasson (left) and Camilla Läckberg (right). Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT & Henrik Montgomery/TT
The stereotype of the struggling writer pursuing their noble endeavor despite little hope of financial gain may persist, but a new ranking of Sweden’s highest-earning authors shows that if you get it right, the written word can be big business.

Swedish news agency Siren has detailed the 50 authors in the country who reported the highest profits in their most recent annual financial reports, and no less than 40 of them earned more than one million kronor ($116,523).

At the top of the pile was Jonas Jonasson, author of hit novel 'The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared', who made 41 million kronor ($4.77 million) in 2015 alone.

He was followed in second place by Jonas Gardell (14.5 million kronor/$1.68 million), then in third by Fredrik Backman, who raked in a tidy 10.5 million kronor ($1.22 million) last year. Backman’s 'A Man Called Ove', which is now a New York Times best seller, no doubt helped.

Though Sweden is often thought of as one of the world’s most gender equal societies, the top ten was overwhelmingly dominated by men, with only two women present. The highest-earning woman was Nordic Noir icon Camilla Läckberg, author of hits like 'The Ice Princess' and 'The Hidden Child', who placed fourth overall and made 10.2 million kronor ($1.18 million).

The other female entry in the top ten was Kristina Ohlsson, the eighth highest earner with 5.1 million kronor ($593,960).

In an Instagram update, Läckberg said that though she doesn’t like to talk about money, she was proud to do her bit to break the male dominance of the writing world.

“As a woman I have always been inspired by successful women, and I hope I can be one of those who can inspire other women to dare to risk everything for their dream,” she wrote.

The full top ten highest-earning authors in Sweden in 2015 were:

1. Jonas Jonasson: 41 million kronor ($4.77 million)

2. Jonas Gardell: 14.5 million ($1.68 million)

3. Fredrik Backman: 10.5 million ($1.22 million)

4. Camilla Läckberg: 10.2 million ($1.18 million)

5. Jerker Eriksson and Alexander Sundquist: 10 million ($1.16 million)

6. Jan Guillou: 7.5 million kronor ($873, 455)

7. David Lagercrantz: 6.1 million kronor ($710,429)

8. Kristina Ohlsson: 5.1 million kronor ($593,960)

9. Fredrik Lindström: 3.9 million kronor ($454,208)

10. Hans Rosenfeldt: 3.7 million kronor ($430,984)

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