Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guest Post: Samantha March on The Chick Lit Reading Challenge





Last year around November I started seeing posts about reading challenges appear everywhere. From certain genres to a number of books to only reading debut authors or eBooks, it seemed you could join any challenge you wanted. As I was browsing through the different options, I noticed that I couldn’t find a chick lit challenge. Was there probably one out there? Maybe. But I couldn’t find one so I decided to give hosting a challenge a try. Since it was already near December, I had to scramble to put one in place. I asked some author friends if they could donate books, slapped up a few ideas – 12 books throughout 2011, two from a debut author – configured a button and threw everything up. I did not think my challenge would be very successful since I rushed everything, but to my shock – over 100 people signed up!

Then came the bigger challenge – continuing to run this thing. Hosting a challenge was a lot more work than I thought. First are the emails. I get emails almost on a daily basis – either a question, someone alerting me what they are reading, or someone simply saying they posted a review. Then I have to make sure I have a prize for each month, have the review pages posted, and deal with any technical issues that come up – such as my Mister Linky gadget disappearing for no reason. Which has happened. Multiple times. I have to monitor reviews and comments and help if a challenger has troubles linking their reviews. Then, I comment on each and every review that is left – which on average is fifty a month. Oh yes, then I draw winners and email them too. Now that I’ve typed everything out, I’m exhausted!

Though running a reading challenge might be a lot of work, there is also a lot of reward. Readers are connected with other readers and authors, and I think that is the best part about being involved with a challenge. Sure, you can possibly win a prize, but I think it is more than that. And I also love helping authors get more exposure, which comes from the reviews, my debut author posts, and spreading the word about what challengers are reading. I decided to host the challenge again in 2012, same rules, same principle, but with more knowledge and understanding about what I will have to put into this year. I’m thrilled to report that over fifty people have signed up already for the challenge! If you would like to join the challenge, there is still time! Just head over to the sign up page – no need to have a blog to join! Or if you are an author that has a debut novel coming out this year, email me so I can add you to the list. Or if you have any prizes you would like to donate, please let me know!

Thank you Emily for letting me stop by and talk about the Chick Lit Reading Challenge! Hope everyone has happy, healthy, and successful 2012!

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