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Jolabokaflod: Give the Gift of Books and Win Student Traffic

Posted by Liz Schulte on 11/1/17 1:00 PM
Topics: bookstore events, MBS Monthly Marketing Plans, Marketing to Students

December is an especially busy month. Although finding a time for an event can seem impossible, an end-of-the-year boost in sales is too important to pass up. This year, why not try a simple event that is a little bit different than what you have done in the past? Jolabokaflod.

Jolabokaflod: Give the Gift of Books and Win Student TrafficWhat is Jolabokaflod?

Download: Marketing Kit
Download Kit

Jolabokaflod (pronunciation) is Icelandic for the Christmas book flood. On Christmas Eve, Icelanders give books to their loved ones and spend the night reading. This peaceful, decades-old tradition inspires this month’s monthly marketing plan.

Keep the event simple and easily managed. Set up a box in the store for students, faculty, staff and the community to donate their used books. In December, host a holiday gift sale and give every interested customer a wrapped, previously owned book in honor of Jolabokaflod. Any leftover books can be donated to your local library. 

The event

Step 1:

Decide when your sale and Jolabokaflod celebration will be held.

 Pro tip:

If you hold the sale before buyback, advertise when and where students can sell back their textbooks.

Step 2:

Take up a collection of books on campus. Make sure what you are looking for is clear. For this event, you need novels and non-academic books to be donated — books that are generally considered to be light reading. Create a box in the store where people can leave off their donated book. Spread the word about what you are doing and why, and invite the people who donate to come back for the sale and their free Jolabokaflod gift.  

Step 3:

Wrap the donated books.

 Pro tip:

Include a store coupon to inspire a return visit and a buyback advertisement with each book.

Step 4:

On the day of the event, set up a table near the cash registers with a treat (hot chocolate, apple cider, cookies, etc.) and display the wrapped books. Include a sign that reads, “Wish us a happy Jolabokaflod to receive a free book.”


Promote the sale as you usually would. Hang the included flyers around campus, let customers know the event is coming and help spread the word on social media with post like these (marketing materials included in the kit):

Facebook and Instagram:



If you have a budget for advertising, consider setting up a geofilter on Snapchat to help spread the word about the sale as it is going on. The design will need to be uploaded to Snapchat at least 24 hours before the event for review. Use the included filter or create one of your own.

If using the filter image included in the marketing kit:

  1. Go to the Snapchat geofilter page.
  2. Under “Create Your Own Filter” select “Submit Now.”
  3. Upload the design.
  4. Select your sale day and time frame.
  5. Draw the geofence on the map around your store or campus.
  6. Snapchat will give you the cost of the filter.

Read: Marketing in a Snap to find out how to make the most out of your Snapchat marketing.

We would love to see pictures of your Jolabokaflod celebration. Remember to tag us on social media. 

Featuring a range of in-store events and online promotions, our customizable  marketing plans come with step-by-step instructions to help you increase  customer loyalty and drive interaction. Check Them Out

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