April 2014, October 2013

That’s a Wrap on October 2013!



Read-a-Thon hangover? Why, yes! I believe I still have one! But it is SOOOO worth it!

  • We had 484 people sign-up to participate this October.
  • 229 of those participated in the Introduction Meme.
  • 127 participated in the Mid-Event Survey.
  • 132 of those participated in the End of Event Meme (so far!).
  • 504 books were entered into the Books Read Database (there’s still time to add yours)
  • We had 38 cheerleaders sign-up.
  • We had 21 Mini-Challenge hosts.
  • We had readers participate via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, their blogs, and everywhere else imaginable!
  • Hundreds of Instagram photos were uploaded!
  • We TRENDED on Twitter for all 24 hours!
  • We had over 200 prizes donated!
  • We had 5 generous individuals who helped us “warm up” with guest posts!
  • We had 4 cohosts (Courtney, Deb, Dana, Kate) in addition to our hosts/organizers (Heather and Andi).

Isn’t that amazing!!! We’re blown away every time we look at it! We’ve also been doing a bit of assessing as we’ve worked through this Read-a-Thon, and there are some things we think we’re doing pretty well, and there are a couple of areas we want to work on, and we want to share them with you!

Happy With…

Hourly mini-challenges and co-hosts! We feel like these have been smooth sailing for the last few Read-a-Thons, so while we might be tweaking, there won’t be any major overhauls in this area.

Working On…

Cheerleading! We had an AMAZING group of Cheerleaders and I don’t FOR A MINUTE, want to take away from their accomplishments! We’ve gotten lots of direct comments,  and we’ve seen in the closing surveys that many of you felt like the cheerleaders ROCKED! The only problem? There are 38 of them for 484 blogs/channels. OMG, right??? I don’t even know how they make a dent! We’re considering some options to make blog/channel comments more plentiful in April, but this really comes down to the cheerleading manpower we have. If you’ve ever thought of volunteering to cheer, we really need you!

Prizes! I’ve seen the question pop up: “Why do you guys have so many prizes but you give so few away?” Quite simply, the bulk of our donations come from US publishers who do not ship internationally. We hate to limit the pool from which our international participants choose, so that means those of us behind the scenes have to cover the cost of international shipping. Roughly half of our winners are international and only SEVEN individuals have offered to help us cover international shipping costs. OUCH! Right now we could be spending as much as $210+ shipping prizes, so that’s why we have limited the number we give away. Going forward we hope to…

1. Attract more “angels” to help ship international prizes — US residents who will receive a prize and forward it to the international recipient (email deweyreadathon@gmail.com to volunteer to help with October 2013 shipping!)

2. Attract a larger pool of international publishers who can donate and ship their own books (this is the ideal!)

We take your feedback seriously, and that’s why we’re asking you to fill out this quick survey (6 questions, totally anonymous) to help us prioritize and make some decisions about these areas!

Lastly, we really want to thank EVERYONE involved!  This was an especially spirited Read-a-Thon full of genuine excitement and community warmth.  Even if you only got to read for a few hours… or a few minutes, you were still a part of something AMAZING!

Without further ado, go ahead and put it on your calendar. The Spring 2014 Read-a-Thon will take place on April 26th! Be there or be square! Put in for your days off and book that babysitter. It’s ON!

We’d also love it if you could indicate your volunteer interests for April in the form below. We’ll be in touch!!!

25 thoughts on “That’s a Wrap on October 2013!”

  1. Do the publishers send their books out direct? In some cases, if they hold the rights outside the US, they might be able to get a colleague at the UK office to post a copy out.

    I don’t want someone to spend more than the book is worth shipping it all over the place, I’d rather just skip on the prize. Perhaps we could organise some pre-event fundraising before April? I am happy to try and get UK publishers involved for next time, but that doesn’t solve those not in UK/US (some might stretch to sending to Europe/Canada I guess).

  2. Ellie, that’s a great point about contacting their sister offices outside of the US. I HOPE that we can persuade more US publishers to do something like that, but we’ll just see how it goes before April. We’re definitely starting a lot EARLIER with our prize collecting for April.

    We certainly don’t mind fulfilling the wishes of our international participants, but with the growth of this event, we have to come up with a trustworthy long-time fix. We would love your help in recruiting some UK publishers! The more help the merrier!


  3. Felecia, I appreciate it! I think we’ve felt kind of weird and “ooky” about putting out the ole PayPal symbol. Not sure why. It just feels so blatant! lol


  4. I love Felicity’s idea of a fundraiser prior to the Readathon to cover shipping/admin costs. As you all get bigger in scope, it might become necessary and I’m willing to bet there are some peeps out there who have some serious fundraising skills.

    I also think, as you get bigger, that you might want to think about some mini-challenge guidelines for those hosts, for continuity if nothing else.

    Anyhoo, just a thought, lol, I’ll head on back to my reading cave now! 🙂


  5. Thank you for your feedback, Michele! I think they’re all great ideas. I’m surprised by how many folks are suggesting a fundraiser. I really haven’t been sure how that would be received. Thanks again, for everything!

    And yes, you may be right about mini-challenge guidelines. This year we were actually very light on those as well. I had to do three myself! Ack! Hopefully that won’t be the case next year.


  6. Perhaps if we had some volunteers to create small donation “gifts”, so people get something tangible when they donate? Even something as simple as a bookmark for donating $5 would be something I’d be willing to do. I love crafting so I wouldn’t mind helping with something along those lines. I’m the kind of person who loves t-shirts and tote bags so some kind of store would be cool, too.

  7. Hmmmmm, Becca. You genius, you. You have my gears turning now. I don’t feel so guilty as a host/organizer if I’m giving someone a nugget of awesome for a donation. Perhaps we could entice one of our pubs to give us giveaway totes (they seem to be pretty free with them). Hmmm. You’re onto something.


  8. I know this isn’t ideal, but perhaps we can ask for donations of new/extremely good condition books from participants. It’ll means there’s more prizes for intetnational participants.

  9. Sam, we do actually get quite a few donations from readers, but for the most part those have been coming from the US without international shipping included. Perhaps we can make a bigger push, with the help of some international bloggers, to offer more donations/shipping within other countries. Great idea!

  10. Love all the ideas so far, so this is just me brainstorming…
    – ask for donations of ebooks – no shipping charge
    – ask international read-a-thoners to find local publishers who’ll donate (I’ve got some Danish ones I might try to ask)
    – offer some sort of bonus for angels. Perhaps they get to choose a prize too for sending one on to somebody else.
    – sell “knickknacks” the month preceeding the read-a-thon… Small bookmarks, pins etc. Use the proceeds for TBD gift cards – again, no shipping 🙂

    Thanks for all that you do!

  11. Lol loving all the ideas. Just filled out my survey. Not very anonymous. I’ve got NZ plastered all through it.

    Hey Andi, I’m gonna see what I can do about YouShop by New Zealand Post. That way you’d just need to send NZ prizes to a US address & I’d pay the postage from there. I also wonder for many other countries offer a similar service? Will flick ya an email if I get an account set up.

  12. Once again I won’t be here for April (birthday week, we usually travel) or at least that’s the plan for now.

    I like the idea for the PayPal button. $5 isn’t much for me and I may be able to do it every month. The $30 doesn’t hurt as much when you break it down. Getting a Dewey’s RaT bookmark for $5 would be awesome. I wouldn’t put a year on it in case you have leftovers . . . wait, what about a pretty Angel-type design on the front then something like “Thank you for donating to Dewey’s Read-a-Thon, April 2014” on the back when they’re gifted?

  13. For next time, about the prizes: I’m an international participant, from Denmark. But I have family in the US. Could you just send the prize to them, if I was lucky enough to win? 🙂

  14. Thanks for another great event! Those numbers are awesome!!

    I actually love the idea of a Dewey’s RaT store! That could be pretty darn fun!

  15. Re the Relentless Reader, readathon t-shirts and memorabilia would be amazing!

    You guys do such an amazing job, hats off to all of you. 🙂

  16. OMG! I am shocked that my wrap up question has turned to into all of this. WOW!
    1. Love the RAT shop idea. You could even do a shop on Cafepress or Zazzle. It would be cool to have a “I Completed a 24 Read-A-Thon” t-shirt or hat too!

    2. Gifts for Angels is a WONDERFUL idea. I was an angel last RAT and I could have done more than one book. I just sent it from the Book Depository and it was done. Easy!

    3. What about a RAT for money? Once a year, have a 12 hour read-a-thon were everyone that participates donates a $1.00 for every page read.

    4. I love all the above ideas. (Paypal button and all)

    I think the biggest thing I am getting from this and all the comments…with 400+ participates we can figure it out. 🙂

    You guys ROCKED it this year! One of the best!
    Let me know what you need.

  17. Oh no! I missed it! I was so preoccupied that I completely forgot it was last weekend. Shoot. Well… I guess I’ll have to wait for the April 2014 one now. 🙁

  18. I love these ideas…I think we have a fantastic team and really have been in the groove the last few years! I think readathon merchandise is a great idea as is updating the website. We’ve really grown and with that does came a bit more structure but let’s make it work…we have until April! Congrats to all on a great readathon!

  19. I’m way late to this conversation (I just popped by to see if the April 2014 date was up yet!), but I just wanted to chime in to say that I would totally buy 24 Hour Read-a-Thon merch from a store on CafePress or something like that! Being able to both financially support the read-a-thon and score an awesome t-shirt that brags about my reading prowess sounds like a sweet deal to me!

  20. I am getting a group together for the April Read-A-Thon. I would love to be able to get some posters, book marks or Hoodies to show people we are busy reading and not to bother us.

    So a store to help raise funds would be a great idea.

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