Johan Almqvist – Founder & Literary Agent
With a deep love for storytelling and a degree in Literature, Johan started out in the book industry as a clerk in the oldest bookstore in Oslo, Norway. He graduated to a literary agent for the prominent Norwegian publisher, Aschehoug, followed by moving to the literary capital, London, where he fed his passions at Kingfisher and then Random House. In 2008, Johan crossed the pond to Chronicle Books in San Francisco where he played an instrumental role in increasing their global presence by building lucrative strategic partnerships with foreign publishers. During that decade he and his team cemented Chronicle Books’ award-winning children’s list on the global map.
In early 2018, Johan became the Senior Global Rights Sales Director for the VC funded, data driven startup-publisher, Callisto Media, where he built and led the global rights sales team from scratch, and rapidly scaled Callisto Media’s international business.
Fast forward two years, in the midst of a global pandemic, and Johan founded Tapir Literary Agency in February 2020. After decades in the international book industry, he felt an urge to use his experience and vast network to create a home for individual artists and illustrators, as well as independent publishers, in need of global representation.
Just like the tapir is an endangered species, Johan has observed how creative thinking and original expression in publishing is losing the battle against algorithms and a streamlining business mindset. Tapir Literary Agency was born out of a desire to sustain human creativity and to promote a more diverse outlook on the world.