Jolabokaflod Book Campaign: the first crowdfunding project


This is a guest blog from Christopher Norris. Chris is editor and development executive for the Insight Film Festival and founder of the recently launched Jolabokaflod Book Campaign. He also freelances at CopyGhosting Editorial Services.

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

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 Icelandic authors to add to their lending stock.

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 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. There is plenty of space left, but not much time, so please do sign up.

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.

Email Christopher with ideas, suggestions, questions and/or contact leads, or get involved via the website, FacebookTwitter or Tumblr.


Christopher NorrisChris has been actively involved in several general book promotion campaigns in his 25-year career, notably serving on the steering community for the inaugural World Book Day and acting as consultant producer for the ITV book series, You’re Booked! Chris was a member of the influential ginger group, Booksn, which pressed for generic book promotion within the book trade.

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