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Jhalak Books to Readers

Jhalak Books To Readers Programme

The Jhalak Prize is not only a literary prize but a strategic intervention and a pressure group with a clear aim of motivating the publishing industry to take action on issues of representation, diversity and equity. As part of this goal and strategy, the Prize seeks not only to encourage the publishing industry to do better, but to get books by writers of colour to as many readers as possible. To achieve this, the Prize works with publishers, agents, writers, booksellers, advocacy groups, literacy organisations and community and school libraries.

Rationale for our Books to Readers programme: 

The Jhalak Books to Readers programme aims to boost sales for writers of colour, making a commercial case for publishing diversely. Partnering with independent bookshops ensures that sales are made at a reasonable retail price, benefitting the full chain of actors involved including publisher, agent, writer etc as well as moving resources into communities served by these local retailers. Moreover, the sales – unlike through some specialised programmes – are recognised by NielsensBookscan, again helping the commercial case for publishing diverse books. Finally, the books reach readers who may be otherwise denied access to diverse books, either by their location or by socio-economic factors impacting their communities. 

The Jhalak Book to Readers programme was soft-launched in June 2020 with a low resource, high impact, multi-pronged strategy that aimed to: 
•    Maximise visibility of books by British writers of colour in bookshops and online.
•    Boost sales of a wide range of books by writers of colour, starting with the Jhalak Prize longlists and expanding to our curated recommendations by guest writers of colour at our blog, Books We Love.
•    Get books by writers of colour to as many readers as possible.

If you would like to support bookshops and purchase of books for our Books to Readers programme, please email us.


Jhalak Prize Partnership with National Book Tokens

For our fifth anniversary celebrations, the Jhalak Prize has partnered with National Book Tokens (Gift cards for book lovers, accepted in bookshops everywhere) to increase overall awareness and promotion of the 2021 nominated titles among booksellers. 

National Book Tokens support will include providing all Booksellers Association members with social media assets at each prize phase to promote the titles online, in addition to instore POS for shortlist displays and advanced shortlist information. They will also help the expansion of the Jhalak Books to Readers programme, which aims to increase the visibility and sales of books by writers of colour while also ensuring those books get into the hands of communities who might not be able to access them. Books to Readers matches donors with local bookshops who then purchase Jhalak-curated titles to gift to a local community or charity of their choice. Bookshops who would like to request materials or take part in Books to Readers can contact

National Book Tokens
National Book Tokens gift cards have been inspiring book lovers since 1932. National Book Tokens are the only gift cards accepted in all major bookselling chains and independents across the UK and Ireland, including WHSmith, Waterstones, Blackwell’s, Easons, John Smith and Foyles, as well as all good independent bookshops. They can also be spent online and on eBooks.

Available to buy online now – including personalised and e-Gift card options – or in your nearest bookshop, National Book Tokens offer flexibility, convenience and choice with a range of eye-catching designs to suit all ages and tastes and loading amounts of anything between £1 and £250, or €1 and €250 for Euro cards. National Book Tokens are produced on FSC-certified card since 2018 and have an expiry of 8 years from last use.

For more information visit National Book Tokens

Find your local bookshop here

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