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How to Readathon, #24in48 Style
First of all, there is no one right way to readathon. Let’s just get that caveat out of the way up front.
But as 24in48 reaches maturity (insert cheek pinching here) and there are more prizes to win and places to participate, several ‘thon-ers have requested a bit more guidance in advance of this summer’s event. Hopefully, this will be good for any newbies joining us for the first time or veterans who want to level up. For some of the basic questions, like how to sign up, what is the 24in48 anyway, and what counts for reading time, check out the FAQ post.
- Signing Up
- A lot of people (more than you’d expect) participate in the readathon without signing up because they don’t think they’ll come close to reading for 24 hours. Here’s a secret: the vast majority of people who participate don’t come close to reading that much. In fact, I don’t even really think the point of the event is to read for a full 24 hours. Sure it’s a good goal, but really the intention is to set aside some solid reading time over the course of a weekend, hang out with your bookish friends online, and maybe win some stuff. That’s it. It is literally the most low pressure readathon ever. There is no “failing” at readation. Did you read during the weekend? Congrats! You didn’t fail.
- So there is zero reason to not sign up. Which you can do over here.
- You must provide your email, your name (even if its your online persona), and at least one place where you’re participating.
- Please please please don’t choose a platform from the dropdown and then leave the “handle or URL” field blank. Telling me you’re going to be on Facebook without linking to your FB profile doesn’t help. Same with putting Litsy and not listing your handle (you know, that name after the @ sign). If I can’t find you online, I have no idea if you’re actually participating or if you just signed up to try to win prizes. So you won’t be able to win anything.
- If you need to go back and edit your entry, you should have gotten an email on the account you used to sign up that will let you click through to change your sign-up info.
- If you DIDN’T get an email, send me a message at email@example.com and tell me what you’d like to change and I’ll update it for you. (Don’t abuse this, please.)
- Pro-tip: if you listed a bunch of places where you think you’ll be participating and realize that you’ll only be using one, like Twitter, edit your entry to reflect just the one. You don’t have to be everywhere to get credit.
- Tracking Time Read
- In order to be eligible for prizes for participants that read a full 24 hours, you’ll need to keep track of your time read.
- There are a number of ways to do this, but the most popular/successful is by using the stopwatch function on your smart phone or by Googling “stopwatch.” (The Bookout app is also great, but I don’t know enough about it to include instructions here.)
- Every time you start reading, hit start, then pause when you stop to take a break. It doesn’t have to be exact, but because this is on the honor system, please don’t abuse the clock (like letting it run while you nap).
- Pro tip: Take a screenshot (esp. if you’re using your phone) every time you stop the clock, just in case you accidentally reset it. You can use multiple screenshots to prove your reading time if need be.
- Challenges and Check-ins
- Every three hours a new post will publish on the blog, alternating between challenges and check-ins.
- The Hour 0 challenge will always be an intro survey and the Hour 48 post will always be a closing survey.
- Challenges: every six hours (Hours 6, 12, 18, 24, etc.), you’ll have the opportunity to do a fun little task (usually photo- or comment-based) to be entered for a prize.
- Check-ins: If you entered your info on the sign-up post, you’re automatically entered to win a random check-in prize, as long as you’re actively participating on one of the platforms you entered in the sign-up form (i.e. Twitter or Instagram, etc.)
- The best way to keep up with these posts is to subscribe using the Follow button in the bottom right corner of the blog, which will push an email to you every time a new post is published.
- Pro tip: Even though you are free to participate in the full 48 hours (midnight Friday to midnight Sunday) using your local time zone, following Eastern Time in the US (the official readathon time zone) is the best way to ensure you’re catching as many of the challenges/check-ins as possible. Posts are labeled by hour number, not by time (Hour 6 vs. 6:00am on Saturday), so if you start Hour 0 in concert with the readathon, you’ll have an easier time catching all of the challenges. If you need help figuring out what that translates to in your local time, check out this world clock conversion tool. (The downside of course is that if you’re on the opposite side of the world, your reading weekend might spill into Monday or start on Friday instead. If you decide to use local time, you won’t be penalized for having not started or starting early re: prize drawings).
- Adding Social Media to Comments
- Often the challenges will ask you to take a photo and link it in the comments. You can do this by posting the photo to your social media of choice and dropping the link into a comment (your entry won’t be counted unless its in the comments.)
- For Instagram: click on the date of the post (see below) to go to a direct link to the image (https://www.instagram.com/p/BPnWz65AlBh/). Your account must be public (or the @24in48 insta account needs to be following you already) in order to enter.
- For Litsy: share a direct link to your post by clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the post and selecting how you want to share it (I usually email the link to myself in order to comment from my computer, but if you’re using your phone to comment on the blog, you can just copy and paste the link from the body of an email or wherever you’ve shared it to and add it to your comment). For the below post, this is the direct link: http://litsy.com/p/eGlZMm9PZGYw.
- Due to the number of participants, comments that only include a handle (i.e. @24in48) and directions to go look for the entry will not be eligible. You must include a direct link or the actual image in order to enter for prizes.
- Pro tip: tagging all of your social posts with #24in48 to cheer on your fellow readathoners is great, but make sure your accounts are public (at least for this weekend) so others can cheer you on too.
- Winning and Claiming Prizes
- You MUST be signed up on the original sign up form in order to be eligible for prizes,. You can sign up even after the readathon begins, but you can’t win anything unless you’ve signed up. And your sign up information MUST include not just the platform you’re participating on but the actual place I can go to find you, be that the URL or the handle. (If you’ve already signed up, you can edit your entry by going to the email you received and clicking through to edit.) You can’t win anything if you don’t provide me a way to find you during the readathon.
- Even if your readathon weekend doesn’t contain much social media or regular check-ins (which is a perfectly fine way to participate), make sure you post something about the readathon when you start the weekend on one of the platforms you entered when you sign up so we know that you actually are participating. You’re still eligible for check-in prizes as long as we can see that you’re reading along.
- If you are staying away from social for the weekend, don’t forget to check the blog periodically or at least once at the very end to see if you won something during a check-in or challenge. Prize winners will be announced throughout the weekend, so scroll through all the posts to check for your name.
- As soon as you see that you’ve won a prize, hop on over to the prize page (which is being updated as prizes are added) and select your first, second, and third choices. If you live in the US, please do not select any of the international prizes unless that is all that is left. The sooner you claim your prize, the higher the likelihood you’ll get your first choice. The prize page will be updated periodically throughout the weekend so you’ll have a good idea of what’s still available.
- Pro tip: Make sure that the name you use to comment and the one you use to sign up are consistent. If I can’t match your comment to an entry on the participant list, you’ll lose out.
I hope this helps as you’re prepping for the ‘thon. If you have any follow-up or additional questions, leave ’em in the comments below.