Before, I had thought to make this a mandatory check-in in order to keep participating. Then I realized that if I did that, someone coming along in a month or two who wanted to play would not get to participate. So, I am NOT making this a mandatory check-in, but I AM making note of some additional rules and regs that one will have to follow if they want to join up late.
Why the check-in? Several reasons, really. One is just to see how everyone’s shaping up. Who are our leaders? Who are the underdogs?
Whose cuisine reigns supreme? It’s only halfway through the year, so it’s really still anybody’s game. Another is to make sure that everyone is following the rules correctly, so that we don’t end up with a mess on our hands come December 31, 2012 (if the world hasn’t ended by then, natch!). If you get to the end and win, and then realize you’ve been counting graphic novels or poetry books toward a substantial part of your page count, we’re going to have to go through the whole verification process again with someone who followed rules, and that will not make me a happy panda.
#1: Check out the new rules.
So, we said that we might have to update the rules a tad depending on what kinds of questions came up. The spirit of the contest is still the same, we basically just had to spell a few things out for fairness.
When counting ebooks that do NOT have a paper book associated with them, please use the estimated page count (which can often be found on Amazon and probably other sites). If you have NO estimated page count but you have a word count, which is often given on Smashwords, please use this word to pages conversion tool with the setting of Times New Roman at 12 pt type and single spaced. Based on my research, that will give a very close estimate to actual page numbers.
I got a lot of questions about, “If I started this book before 2012 but I only read x amount of pages, can I still count it if I read it this year?!” I’ve been taking this on a case-by-case basis, but from this point going forward, I would like to standardize the answer to this question just so that people don’t have to check with me: if you read 10% of the book or less prior to 2012, you can count the book except for the pages you’d already read. For many books, I imagine that’s going to be within the first 25 pages or so. Prologues and stuff count toward this total.
AUDIOBOOKS. I have decided to allow audiobooks. Why? For one, I didn’t want to be discriminatory toward those who may choose to listen to books because of physical impediments. For another, it takes longer to listen to a book than it does to read a book, so I really don’t see any instance in which someone could use audiobooks to artificially inflate their word count. When counting the audiobooks, use the page numbers for hardback if possible, then trade paper if that’s not available, then mass-market if nothing else is available.
Tweeting reviews: I saw that someone wanted to tweet their reviews. I know I said that you could post them anywhere that’s public, but I’m going to draw the line at Twitter and Facebook (unless you put your reviews in FB notes or something where they are easily accessible). Why? Because there’s no way of tagging or organizing your tweets or FB posts, so I’d have to scroll through an entire year’s worth of posts in order to find every single tweet or post about the books. So, I’m going to be clearer on my parameters: your reviews need to be 1) on a blog of some sort (WordPress, Blogspot, Livejournal, self-hosted, any kind of blog software) and preferably tagged or categorized as a book review so I can find them all in a not-terribly-ridiculous amount of time, or they need to be on a review site of some sort (Goodreads, Amazon, Shelfari, etc) where I am able to access your profile to read your reviews. I will make an exception for Twitter if the participant 1) Storifies all of the book tweets for me and 2) tweeted enough about the book that I can tell that they had read it.
Unpublished work: A lot of people make their living off of reading through slush piles of fiction or scripts and some have asked me if these count. Unpublished work does not count toward the totals unless it becomes a published work within the year, and you have to have read the whole thing and reviewed it somewhere. Understandably, you will not want to review the book on Goodreads or Amazon if you were involved in production, but you could review it elsewhere, including a post in our Goodreads group under the 2012 End of the World category. A lot of people are keeping track on individual threads there, and you can pop the review right into your own thread.
Textbooks don’t count. I don’t know many students who actually just sit down and read textbooks cover to cover; I don’t really consider it “reading” as much as “studying”: you’ll tackle a chapter here, a chapter there, skip some chapters altogether. Textbooks also usually include a lot of illustrations, graphs, charts, pages of discussion questions, pages of study guides–a lot of things that aren’t strictly “reading” but would puff up the page count. If it’s like, a regular book that you’re reading as part of a class–even if it’s non-fiction–that doesn’t have a textbook format, you can go ahead and count that.
Graphic novels, comics, and manga do not count toward this challenge for the same reason that books of poetry don’t count: it’s too easy to zip through and say that you’ve read it. While I know that people who are serious about reading graphic novels would not be zipping through, it would be too easy for someone to pad their page count that way. I’m sure there’s another challenge out there for graphic novels.
Children’s books don’t count for much the same reason. If it’s mostly pictures, or has HUGE font as some kids’ books do, please don’t count it.
#2: Review the old rules.
Please, please, please, please, please go over the old rules again. Even if you already read them. Even if you already read them twice. Then look over your list and whatnot to make sure you are in compliance.
#3: Tally up your page numbers.
Pretty self-explanatory, this.
#4: Post your page count in the comments on THIS post, along with where you’re posting your reviews.
Also? If you haven’t been reviewing these as you go.. you might want to catch up on it. I mean, if you actually want to be eligible to win. Like I said before, it doesn’t have to be critical excellence, just enough to indicate that you actually did read the book. You can catch up whenever you want, I just feel like writing a bunch of reviews at the 11th hour might be stressful. “It’s all for you, Damien!” as Amy would say.
Check-in will end June 30 at 11:59 pm Eastern, at which time . . .
. . . . we’re going to do a prize drawing! I told you guys we would do some random prize drawings, and this is one of them. The prize is a t-shirt from our shop. Or a $20 gift card to Skreened if they’ll accept my Skreened credit as payment for a gift card. To be eligible for this prize, you need to be entered into the contest and also check in here. You can follow the directions on the challenge page and on this page to make sure you qualify.
Note: The prize is a drawing, it is not awarded to the highest page count. So it can go to anybody who checks in!
Ready, set, CHECK IN!