Good year for Nesbø

2014 saw continued major sales figures for the Norwegian best-selling author

Photo: Wikimedia Commons Jo Nesbø at Gothenburg Book Fair, 2007.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Jo Nesbø at Gothenburg Book Fair, 2007.

Michael Sandelson
The Foreigner

Some 863,000 English-language copies of Jo Nesbø’s books were sold worldwide in 2014. This equals 2013’s sales figures.

The U.S. accounted for a third of these sales in 2014—more than 300,000, a 50,000-plus increase on the previous year.

Some 383,000 copies of Nesbø’s books were sold in the UK in 2014, publication Dagens Næringsliv also reports. His two top-selling books there are Police (Vintage, 2014), the 10th in the Harry Hole series, and his 1998 work Cockroaches (Vintage, 2014). The Son (Vintage, 2015) is out now, while Nesbø’s newest, Blood on Snow, is due for release in April this year.

Other books in the Harry Hole series are The Bat (Harvill Secker, 1st Edition 2012), Redbreast (Vintage, 1st printing, 2009), Nemesis (Vintage, 2009), The Devil’s Star (Vintage, 2009), The Redeemer (Vintage, 2009), The Snowman (Vintage, 2010), The Leopard (Vintage, 2011), and Phantom (Harvill Secker, 1st English Edition, 2012).

Nesbø has also written Headhunters (Harvill Secker, 2011), with his four-book children’s series Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder doing well too. Over 41,000 English-language copies were sold in the UK in 2014.

• Novels published in 40 countries.
• Nesbø’s worldwide English-language copy sales have averaged 500,000-a-year since 2005.
• Some 5 million copies in Norwegian sold in Norway in the same period.
• Born 29th March 1960 in Oslo.
• Played football for premier team Molde, wanted to play for Spurs until a knee injury forced him to stop playing at 18.
• Served three years in the Norwegian military.
• Educated as a siviløkonom (a four-year program in economics and business administration, now phased out) at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).
• Formed pop band Di Dere (‘Them There’) in 1990.
• A combined career of economics by day, music at night—second album topped the charts in Norway.

Additional sources: and the author’s English website.

This article was originally published on The Foreigner. To subscribe to The Foreigner, visit

It also appeared in the Feb. 6, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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