2018 Beat the Backlist

Welcome to the 2018 edition of Beat the Backlist!

This reading challenge is focused on knocking off titles that have been on your TBR for a while, or even ones that get pushed aside for new releases. While we LOVE new releases, we also want to show some of those older titles love too.

YOU set your own reading goal. YOU pick the books. YOU read at your own pace.

Whether you’re a casual reader looking to work on your TBR list with a bunch of people, or a competitive reader seeking a bit of extra motivation this year, Beat the Backlist is for you.

Table of Contents

Guidelines || Challenge Overview || The Teams ||  #Bookstagram Challenge || FAQs || Contact



The challenge will run from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. You have an ENTIRE YEAR to complete your goal!

Books must be released prior to 2018 to count for this challenge. Although we love new releases too, this isn’t the challenge for them.

That’s it!


What counts as a “book” for this challenge?

Any novel, novella, graphic novel, manga, or anthology bind-up counts for this challenge. They can be in any format as well (print, eBook, audiobook, etc).

I started a book in 2017 and finished it in 2018. Does it count?

No. Only books started and finished in 2018 will count for this challenge but don’t let that stop you from finishing any books started prior to 2018! This is to make it fair for everyone participating.

Do re-reads of backlist books count?

Yes! As long as you started re-reading the book in 2018 it will count for the challenge. But remember, this challenge is about knocking books of your TBR so don’t forget about the books you haven’t read yet!

Get Social!

I HIGHLY encourage you to post your reading updates throughout the year on your social media platform of choice using the hashtag #BeatTheBacklist!

You can also tag the official @BeatTheBacklist account on Twitter!

Join the Goodreads Group!

Join the BTB Newsletter Listserv!

Don’t miss out on important updates and weekly reminders about the challenge!

Subscribe to the Beat the Backlist Listserv
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How does Beat the Backlist work?

Post your goal for this challenge somewhere on the interwebs (blog post, Goodreads shelf, Twitter thread, etc.)

Read books and earn points for your team and yourself!

Win prizes and knock those books off your TBR!


Sounds simple, right? If you still have questions, check out the FAQ section!



Want to join the 2018 edition of Beat the Backlist?

Share your sign-up post online then fill out this form!

This form will remain open until December 31, 2018



Everyone who signs up for the Beat the Backlist challenge will be placed on a team at random. Whether you choose to participate with your team or not is up to you.

This year, the teams are themed around the NovelKnight blog!

Why should I care what team I’m on?

Your team will be competing against the other teams to see who can get the most points by the end of each month. One person will be drawn as a winner from the team with the most points to receive a book of their choice (open internationally).

How do I know what team I’m on?

Once you officially sign up for the Beat the Backlist challenge, your team name will appear next to your entry! Click the button below to see!

Find My BTB Team!

Download your team’s icon to put on your blog!

Novel Knights: White Background | Transparent Background

Dewey Dragons: White Background | Transparent Background

Story Sorcerers: White Background | Transparent Background

Book Bards: White Background | Transparent Background



Get involved with the book community on instagram! Every Thursday there will be a new prompt and all you have to do is post a picture based on that prompt and tag it with #BeatTheBacklist!

This is just a fun part of the challenge and doesn’t count for anything but I encourage you to get involved with the community!

For a full list of the prompts for the entire year, CLICK HERE. You can also see the individual months below:



If you participated last year, you’ll notice a few changes to the challenge this year to hopefully make it easier for both you as a participant and me as a host! Please note that all of this is OPTIONAL and the main point of this challenge is to read backlist books!

Included in this section:

Signing Up for the Challenge // Teams // Earning Points

Signing Up for the Challenge

How do I sign up for the Beat the Backlist reading challenge?

Post your declaration to tackle your backlist TBR to the interwebs! You can write a blog post, make a Goodreads shelf, do a thread of books on Twitter, whatever you want! Everyone will be able to see your sign-up so pick a platform you want to show off!

Once you’ve shared your sign-up post, FILL OUT THIS FORM.

You can sign up at any point in the year and jump right in so if you heard about this challenge after January 1st, that’s okay! You can still sign up!

What should I include in my sign-up post?

That’s completely up to you! It’s just about declaring your intent to join the challenge! Some things you COULD include (but don’t have to):

  • How many backlist books you want to read this year
  • A potential TBR list of books you want to read
  • Any other goals (so many books in a certain genre, series you want to finish reading, etc.)


What are the teams?

There are 4 teams and when you sign up for the Beat the Backlist challenge, you will automatically be assigned to one:

  • Novel Knights
  • Dewey Dragons
  • Story Sorcerers
  • Book Bards

Each team has their own Rafflecopter that you can submit points to. Make sure to submit your points to YOUR team.

What team am I on?

To see which team you were assigned, CLICK HERE. Your team assignment will be next to your sign-up submission.

Earning Points

What are points?

As extra motivation to read more backlist titles this year, you earn points for your team for every book you read. It doesn’t matter how long the book is, the genre, the author, etc. The only guideline is that it has to be a book that was published before 2018. When you read a book, you can submit it through your team’s rafflecopter to earn a point.

You can earn additional OPTIONAL points by posting a review of a backlist book to retail websites (NOT Goodreads).

What counts for points?

  • Reading a backlist book
  • Posting a review of a backlist book to a RETAIL website
    • You can submit reviews you’ve written for books that you read before the challenge started as long as you didn’t post the review before Jan. 1, 2018.

Do I win anything for earning points?

Yes! One winner will be drawn from the team with the MOST points at the end of each month. The more points your team has, the better the chances are that the winner will come from your team. The more points YOU submit, the better YOUR chances are of winning.

The winner will receive a book of their choice from the Book Depository/Wordery/other retailer (if free shipping is available). This is open INTERNATIONALLY.

How am I supposed to keep track of all this?!?!

Good news! You don’t have to! Everything will be automatically calculated by a Rafflecopter. Each team will have their own Rafflecopter where you’ll be able to see how many points each team has as well as submit your own points.

How do I submit points?

Fill out your team’s Rafflecopter! Each day you can submit a book you’ve read as well as up to 3 review links, and it only takes a bit of copy and pasting! Everything is in one place, the points will be totaled automatically so you don’t have to worry about it and you’ll instantly be able to see your contribution to your team!


Still have questions? Fill out the form below!