Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

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Let’s get the Icelanders to come for World Book Night

Map; IslandiaLet’s do this!

You have until World Book Night to get stuck into The Icelanders Cometh and help to make it happen.

We need to raise at least £2304.16 by 23 April 2016 as a gift to UK libraries to spend on books by Icelandic authors published in English.

Here’s how you can get involved …


Give us your money in exchange for a range of rewards, that range from virtual hugs to advertising opportunities.

If you have a project or company to publicise, or you would simply like to get your name out there (e.g. to a future employer), there are plenty of digital marketing perks as reward for your financial contribution.

Donating to The Icelanders Cometh could be your breakthrough, a change to get yourself or your project to the next level.

Simply click on the ‘Contribute’ button at The Icelanders Cometh page at CrowdPatch, choose a reward and send your money via PayPal.

All the money you contribute – 100 per cent – will be spent on books for libraries. Neither Jolabokaflod nor CrowdPatch receives any fees for running the crowdfunding campaign

Thank you in advance for your contribution!


We’d love you you to help in practical ways to enthuse people about being a part of making The Icelanders Cometh happen.

We’d be delighted for you to do any of the following – and anything else that comes to mind – to help us to raise as much money as we can and to get the buzz going:

  • write a few emails
  • make some suggestions
  • use your skills and talents
  • develop your experience

We’d love to hear from you. Simply click on the ‘Volunteer’ button at The Icelanders Cometh page at CrowdPatch and tell us what you would like to do.

Get stuck in!


We hope you love The Icelanders Cometh enough to spread the news about the project via social media.

Simply click on the ‘Share’ button at The Icelanders Cometh page at CrowdPatch and then tell your world.

Like to learn more?

Read full details about The Icelanders Cometh in this press release written for the London Book Fair 2016.

If you’re a journalist, blogger, teacher or researcher, please check out the Press area to find what you need.

If you have any questions, please get in touch:

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The Icelanders Cometh

Call to action for Jolabokaflod Book Campaign’s first crowdfunding project

Iceland is a land in love with books and literature. Ever since the country gained independence from Denmark at the end of World War II, the Icelandic tradition of Jólabókaflóð (Christmas Book Flood) has encouraged citizens to buy books to give to family and friends for reading at Christmas.

Endorsed by senior Icelandic diplomats and by literature organisations in Iceland and the UK, I launched Jolabokaflod Book Campaign at the RSA in November 2015, to extend the reach of the Icelandic literary tradition to the UK and the rest of the world. The Jolabokaflod Book Campaign encourages people everywhere to Buy books to Give as gifts to be Read at or after festive occasions.

The Icelanders Cometh at CrowdPatch

The Jolabokaflod Book Campaign has teamed up with CrowdPatch, the social enterprise crowdfunding platform, to offer anyone in the world with a great idea for championing the buying, giving and reading of books the chance to manage a book-related project to benefit their local and/or online communities.

In order to get the ball rolling, as an example of how you could run a project, I am launching the first Jolabokaflod Book Campaign crowdfunding project on 24 March 2016 to finish at midnight on World Book Night (23 April 2016). Called The Icelanders Cometh, this project is raising money for UK librarians to purchase books in English by chosen Icelandic authors to add to their lending stock.

The Icelanders Cometh is live already, but will launch to the world on Maundy Thursday. The target figure is GBP £2304.16 (the date of World Book Night), but the more money raised, the more books can be bought for library collections. Every penny raised will be spent by UK libraries on the featured books; CrowdPatch does not take a percentage fee.

The Icelanders Cometh is an opportunity for everyone to get involved right now in the following ways:

  • Contribute By donating to the project, you will receive a reward that will benefit you and/or your projects and businesses (e.g. many types of digital marketing promotion are on offer)
  • Volunteer You can help the project to reach its goals by committing to spread the word face-to-face and online with people in your networks (e.g. engage with schools, libraries, friends, family, bloggers, avid book readers)
  • Share Following this option allows you to tell the friends and followers in your social media networks
  • Thunderclap I need as many of you as possible – 100 or more – to sign up to The Icelanders Cometh Thunderclap campaign – register here – so that a burst of social media messages about the project are sent at 8.00 am on 24 March to get the project off with a bang.

Get in touch

The Icelanders Cometh is just the beginning; starting from now, the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign will champion many crowdfunding projects and will publicise as many book-related marketing and reading initiatives as possible.

If you would like to contact me with ideas, suggestions, questions and/or contact leads, please do so in one of the following ways:

New content will be uploaded regularly at the websites supported by an integrated digital marketing campaign.

You can also subscribe to a regular Jolabokaflod Book Campaign newsletter comprising news, opinions, events, training opportunities and job vacancies: register here.

Welcome aboard!

Map; Islandia

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Let’s celebrate Jolabokaflod


Today is the last shopping Saturday before Christmas and tomorrow is the last day for making purchases at online retailers for delivery before the holiday period begins. In preparation for the inaugural Jolabokaflod book campaign in 2016, let’s get alongside our Icelandic friends and celebrate Jolabokaflod this year, too.

✶  Buy  Books are high in emotional value. Buy books for your friends and family to build relationships and create positive memories.

✶  Give  Give books to your loved ones to celebrate the festive season, whatever your faith or belief. Download the Jolabokaflof bookplate to show your friend or family member how much you love and value them.

✶  Read  Encourage your loved ones to find time over the holidays to read the books you have given them

Also, commit to asking your friends and family how the are getting on with reading the books you give them. Are they enjoying the book? How does the book make them feel?

Use Jolabokaflod in 2015 as a way of strengthening bonds and showing how much you care about books and about your loved ones having great reading experiences.

This blog will publish items to keep you informed about Jolabokaflod news and about how you can get actively involved in the grassroots, interactive book campaign next year.

Merry Jolabokaflod.

Bauble; gold; green


Merry Jolabokaflod – get involved with a new grassroots, interactive generic book campaign

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … at least according to the book trade calendar, with Super Thursday already in distant memory. But how do we pay tribute to the festive season as an industry in the UK, apart from the publication of the Booksellers Association Christmas Books Catalogue, the giving of National Book Tokens as presents, and the marketing efforts of individual companies (such as Quercus for Christmas 2014)?

We can learn to celebrate Christmas (and other ‘Festivals of Light’) the Icelandic way, and help to promote books into the bargain. With more books published and read per citizen than anywhere else in the world (BBC News Magazine), our friends in the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’ clearly know how to get people reading!*

This is where Jólabókaflóð comes in.

Every year, virtually all the new books in Iceland are published in a narrow window in the run up to Christmas. The season starts with the autumn publication of a new books’ catalogue – the bókatíðindi – and ends with the giving of presents on 24 December. Tradition has it that everyone in Iceland spends Christmas Eve reading.

How fabulous is that!

The whole festive rush, from publication dates to getting books into readers’ hands, is called Jólabókaflóð, which translates roughly in English to ‘Christmas book flood’.

There is no reason why the Jólabókaflóð phenomenon should remain a well-kept secret in Iceland. A series of digital platforms were launched on 16 November 2015 to make it happen here, too, via an article at BookMachine and via an RSA Bounce event in London

Here is the plan to start to make an Anglicised version – ‘Jolabokaflod’ – a fixture in the hearts and minds of book lovers like us in the UK and beyond. We can have fun at the same time.

In the run up to the festive season in 2015, join in pledging to get into the spirit of celebrating Jolabokaflod by doing the following:

  1. Buy books to give to your nearest and dearest as presents.
  2. Encourage your loved ones to start reading your gift books during the Christmas holiday season.
  3. Copy and paste the Jolabokaflod name and slogan – as shown below – into your email signatures between now and Christmas:
    Jolabokaflod | Buy * Give * Read | Books are not just for Christmas
  4. Mention Jolabokaflod in your emails and on social media. Use the hashtag #Jolabokaflod whenever you chat about the campaign online. Name-drop Jolabokaflod liberally at Twitter (@Jolabokaflod), Facebook (/jolabokaflod), etc., ‘Like’ the campaign wherever it exists online, and encourage your family, friends and followers to do the same.
  5. Download and print out this Jolabokaflod bookplate PDF to insert into the books you give as gifts over the Christmas period this year.

The core message of Jolabokaflod is a three-stage invitation for everyone to ‘Buy’, ‘Give’ and ‘Read’. Jolabokaflod is a generic retail and reading campaign rolled into one.

For Christmas 2016, here is how you can play an active part in taking Jolabokaflod from a trickle to a flood. Take control and be a star in your local community and networks:

  1. Run a crowdfunding campaign, join one as a volunteer and/or donate money at the Jolabokaflod CrowdPatch for an event or project to help disadvantaged people and vulnerable groups in your local neighbourhood.
  1. Champion Jolabokaflod in your place of work or study to encourage everyone to get involved. This is a campaign where everyone can join in.
  1. Tell me your Jolabokaflod news, write for the various branded websites, add comments on blogs, make contacts, and share stories on social media.

Here are the places where you can find Jolabokaflod online:

Join in the conversation, get actively involved and share your enthusiasm for Jolabokaflod both online and face-to-face.

Get in touch with Jolabokaflod via email at to share your news, stories, photos, videos, suggestions, comments and opportunities about the campaign.

Let’s have fun with the Jolabokaflod campaign this year and next – as has already been said, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.