Monday, August 14, 2017

Bout of Books 20 Schedule

Psst. Tell your friends:
Bout of Books 20 is coming!

For Bout of Books 20, all challenges will be hosted on the Bout of Books blog. Here. Right here. So keep your eyes on this site to see what's what for the day!

**This is the overall list for the challenges offered during Bout of Books 20. Make sure you check the blog each day of the read-a-thon for instructions and details on how to complete the daily challenges**

Monday 8/21
Introduce yourself #insixwords

Tuesday 8/22
Synopsis rewrite

Wednesday 8/23
Book spine rainbow

Thursday 8/24
If you like this, try that . . .

Friday 8/25
Leave a book review

Saturday 8/26
Love to hate

Sunday 8/27

Twitter Chats
(chats last approximately one hour)
TZC = Time Zone Conversion

Monday: 8pm CST (TZC)
Saturday: 10am CST (TZC)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bout of Books 20 SIGN UP!

Are you ready to SIGN UP?


Here's what you have to do:

1. Post on your site, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, YouTube, Instagram or Facebook account and declare your intentions to join us. It's EASY. We ask you share info to help spread the word. Please link back to us so others can find us here.

If you're posting on your blog, grab the official blurb (below) and our button (in the sidebar) and create a post. (Need an example? Check out Kelly's (incredibly simple) Bout of Books 20 post!)
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Want to post on Twitter? We've written a tweet for you.
 I'm participating in Bout of Books 20!

2. Add the direct link to your sign up post to the linky in this post. You have until Tuesday, August 22nd at 11:59pm CST to sign up. (If the linky is closed, you're too late.)

3. On August 21st, READ!

Official Sign Up

Remember: you must post a DIRECT LINK to your sign up post. 

If you're only participating on Twitter/YouTube, link up your "I'm participating in Bout of Books!" tweet/video, NOT your Twitter/YouTube profile.

No direct link = no Grand Prize

A direct link is...


Please note: To reduce confusion about where your sign-up link goes, comments have been closed on this post. If you have a question, tweet us @boutofbooks or email us at boutofbooks [at] gmail [dot] com.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Call for Bout of Books 20 Experts

We need YOU.

Bout of Books has attracted more participants every time we've held it. And as it grows, we're limited as to how many people we can reach and interact with.

That's where Bout of Books experts come in.

What makes a person a Bout of Books expert, you ask?
  • You've participated in AT LEAST four Bout of Books prior to Bout of Books 20
  • You love Bout of Books and want to make sure everyone knows how awesome it is
  • You're willing to commit some of your free time to helping us
  • You love connecting with fellow book lovers and cheering them on
If you're chosen as an expert, you get to visit #boutofbooks-ers' blogs and comment on their posts--tell them how awesome they are and how well they're doing. WHO DOESN'T LOVE SPREADING LOVE?!?!?

We will be closing this form on August 7th. If you're interested in helping us, make sure you get on our list before then!

Want to help spread the Bout of Books love?
Bout of Books 20 is coming!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Call for Bout of Books 20 Challenge Ideas

Bout of Books 20 is August 21st through August 27th

Like us on Facebook
and follow us on Twitter & Instagram 
to join the social media fun.
 Bout of Books 20 is COMING!

We need YOUR help. This post is ONLY for people who want to help plan a challenge.

Please note: if you are chosen, you will be required to provide all pertinent information for your challenge idea before the beginning of the read-a-thon.

Challenges information
  • For Bout of Books 20, challenges will be hosted on the Bout of Books blog with credit/link to the site/person who provided the idea.
  • Challenges run for 24 hours and run from midnight CST to midnight CST.
  • There will be a limit of two challenges per day.
  • Challenge sign up will close July 30th at 11:59pm CST.

Things to keep in mind:

Preference will be given to challenges that are NOT genre specific. You will be turned down or asked to change your challenge so it's not genre specific. We want to include EVERYONE. For an idea on what we look at, visit Kelly's post on this topic: The Challenge of Challenges

For those applying, PLEASE keep a copy of both your challenge ideas. We won't retrieve your challenge if you're chosen as a host.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tips and Tricks - What about reading sprints?

This week's tips and tricks are a slight departure from what we normally talk about.

Reading sprints

We get asked about those A LOT.

Officially, Bout of Books doesn't host any reading sprints, BUT participants are more than welcome to put together an impromptu sprint using the #boutofbooks hashtag.

How do you do this?

Throw out a quick tweet on the #boutofbooks hashtag asking if anyone is interested in a sprint. Don't get any responses? Don't despair! Sometimes people see the tweets after the fact, but still end up joining in. Set a time you'll check back in and sit down and read. When time's up, come back and let everyone know how you did.

(Incidentally, for the writers out there, this is a good way to do writing sprints as well.)

Doing multiple sprints in a row -- for example, three fifteen minute sprints with a few minutes downtime between each -- gives other Bout of Books-ers a chance to see the tweets, clear their schedule, and join in.

Obviously, there are other ways sprints can be done. If you have a tried and true strategy that's worked for you, let us know!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Tips and Tricks - Using the hashtag vs using the handle

Today's topic is one that's near and dear to our hearts...

Twitter hashtag vs handle

Let's start by taking a look at what each of them do.

The #boutofbooks hashtag

Essentially, the hashtag acts as a search function. ANYONE can follow the hashtag and see any tweet tagged under it without following the individual person tweeting. Considering how many people participate in Bout of Books, this means you don't have to waste time following several hundred people just so you know what's going on.

Seriously, which would you rather do: Take an hour or two to hunt down everyone's handle so you can follow them all or just tap into that magical hashtag and see what's what in the Bout of Books world?

I'd rather spend that hour or two reading, so I'm going to go with the hashtag option.

The @boutofbooks handle

The handle directly connects you with us. As in, me and Amanda. Us. The people behind the read-a-thon.

We do enjoy interacting with everyone, but...we strongly encourage using the hashtag vs the handle for several reasons.

Reason 1:

If you start your tweets with @boutofbooks, only your followers who already follow @boutofbooks will see them. Adding #boutofbooks instead lets all your followers PLUS anyone following the hashtag see it.

You know, it's the old "You tell one friend and your friend tells one friend and then your neighbor tells one friend and suddenly everybody's talking about #boutofbooks!"

(What? I'm 100% certain that's how the saying goes!)

This is one of the key ways we get the word out about Bout of Books. Without people hashtagging and talking about the read-a-thon, we wouldn't have any participants. And if we have no participants, what's the point?

Reason 2:

If you use the @boutofbooks handle in your tweets, our notifications start to look like we're throwing a no-parents-home-for-the-weekend house party. Which sounds fun, in theory, but quickly becomes overwhelming.

Especially when we're trying to sort through them to see if we have any questions that need to be answered.

So take pity on your hosts and hashtag, hashtag, hashtag. Save the @-ing for chats or if you have any burning questions you need answered.

Hey, guys. You might have heard this before but... YOU GOT THIS!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tips and Tricks - How to direct link

Hoo-boy! Today's post is all about how to grab a direct link so you can do your thing without any muss or fuss.

What's a direct link?

A direct link is a link that goes directly to a page or tweet, NOT your homepage. In other words, when we click this link -- Dates for Bout of Books 20 -- we want it to pull up the tweet about when Bout of Books 20 will take place. We DON'T want to end up on Bout of Books twitter homepage and have to search for the tweet.

Easy, right?

How do I find the url so I can provide a direct link?

There are several different ways to get the information you need. Pick the one that's easiest for you and go to town.

Option 1:

First off, find the status you'd like to link. I'm going to use the Bout of Books tweet I mentioned above as an example.

Next, click on the date for that tweet (or status update).

This will take you to a post that is JUST the tweet you want to link.

Highlight the url in the address bar.

Right click and copy the highlighted text. This is the link you will be adding to the linky. When someone clicks on that link, it will take them directly to the tweet we want them to see.

See? Easy.

Option 2:

As with everything in life, there is more than one way to get the desired result.

This time, we're going to click on the little arrow to the right of the date:

A pop-up screen will appear. Click "Copy link to Tweet":

If the internet gods smile upon you, you'll get a pop-up that looks something like this:

Right click on the blue highlighted area and choose "copy." The url is now happily waiting for you to paste it somewhere. (Hopefully the url section in the linky!)

Option 3:

And finally, you can also get the direct link if you right click on the date and choose "copy link address" (or some variation of that depending on the browser you're using). Like option 2, the url is now waiting for you to paste it into a lucky linky box!

No matter which option you choose, you now have the url to provide a direct link to anyone who needs it.

For blog posts, tumblr posts, etc, you can click on the title of the post in lieu of clicking on the date and get the same results.