About this time last year, we came up with a reading challenge called Beat the Backlist. The idea was to read books that were published prior to the new year (i.e. for this year, anything published before 2017). We wanted to show those books some love just as much as the new releases. In our planning we had all sorts of fun things planned. Monthly instagram challenges and twitter chats, points for reading and reviewing to go toward your Hogwarts House, etc.
And we were too ambitious.
For the most part, it was just one person trying to run all of this (that’d be me, Austine ^_^). And for a while that was fine. But I am currently in graduate school to become a teacher and I quickly learned that it became too much to handle the challenge and blogging and working 2 jobs and school and life. . . you get the idea. And between me and Tia, we ended up bailing a bit on the challenge because we were pulled in too many directions which I’m sure left many of you participating wondering why you should even bother with the challenge if the hosts can’t pull it together.
For that I am truly sorry.
We set out for a singular purpose of getting more people reading backlist titles. That was the one and only guideline for this entire challenge and all the extra stuff became too overwhelming and we lost that. Nor did we expect the number of people participating and the challenge took on a mind of its own that we just couldn’t keep up with.
We are SO happy that so many of you wanted to tackle this challenge with us and we hope to keep that rolling into the new year but with some slight adjustments to make it easier on y’all as well as on us to manage this challenge.
If you’d like to give us feedback on the challenge this year, click the link below. All submissions are ANONYMOUS. Thanks!
There will be an official sign-up post coming soon that outlines everything that will be happening with Beat the Backlist in 2018 but to give you an idea of what’s staying/changing…
Points. Many of you indicated that the points really worked as an added motivator to read more this past year. Points will be staying but they won’t be the same as before. You’ll be able to visually see your team’s points at all times and keep track of who is in the lead.
Teams. Y’all also mentioned that you really liked the teams/houses and wanted to see that again but perhaps with more specific challenges for each team to complete on a monthly basis. I’ll say that the teams are staying, though they will be randomly assigned to avoid one team having too many people and therefore an unfair advantage.
Instagram challenges. These are sticking around too! All prompts will be announced before the year begins so you can plan out your posts and instead of having a week of posts once a month, there will be one day each week for you to share your post on. This will just be a fun challenge and won’t count for points.
Book reviews = points. I’ve narrowed down what’s counting for the “points” to make it much simpler for everyone. The reason reviews were initially added was because it’s really helpful for authors so now only retail reviews will count and those can be any length on any retail website. This will be a part of the Rafflecopter (see below).
Adding monthly giveaways. As a way to publicly track those points y’all love, I’ll be using Rafflecopters! You’ll be able to see how many points each team has. You’ll get points for signing up for the challenge and for every book you read. It’ll be honor-system based and you can gain up to 3 extra entries for posting retail reviews. You DON’T have to review a book to submit it for an entry.
As added encouragement for everyone to participate, I’ll be drawing a monthly winner from the team with the highest amount of points to get a book of their choice from the Book Depository/Wordery/other bookseller that has free worldwide shipping.
This coming year, everything is going to be much simpler than before so that you can focus on what’s really important with this challenge and that’s reading those backlist books. Stay tuned for the official sign-up post and I look forward to seeing what y’all read next year!