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Q is for Quantum Fiction #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I'm discussing different book genres/categories. Each day, I will give a few details about th...

March 28, 2024

To Do or Not to Do the April #AtoZchallenge

by Donna Huber

I'm debating on doing the A to Z challenge this year. It's been a few years since I've done it but I'm not sure it's worth it.

Looking for community

Several years ago the whole Girl Who Reads team participated which made it more bearable but was sometimes difficult scheduling-wise as we had tours already on the schedule and we often had to be creative in making our reviews fit the letters. Then I did an Instagram version for a couple of years which was fun but didn't really produce any momentum on that channel. 

I started blogging because I liked being part of a community. Years ago there were a few different book-related events, such as ArmchairBEA, Bloggiesta, and weekly book marketing chats, that connected me with other book bloggers. But many of those events have fallen off as people got busier, stopped blogging, or changed the focus of their blogs. Triberr kind of filled the gap, but that site seems about ready to fold. Our blog posts are only being pulled in once a week and only a handful of people are still connected.

So I thought maybe I should do the A to Z Challenge this year in hopes of rekindling or making new friendships. 

Are you a book blogger who will be doing the A to Z Challenge in April?

Time is a consideration

If I do the challenge I will still have to keep up with our regular editorial calendar as the review team members have already submitted reviews and committed to blog tours - including me. So most days would have 2 posts - the A to Z Challenge and the scheduled review. That would increase the time I have to spend on the blog each week.

I have a long list of review books publishing in April (9 books!). More time I spend blogging and commenting means less time for reading. I'm already falling behind on the my reviews this year since I accepted more books than I could read this month. Do I want to get further behind?

Also, April is a busy month at work so there are days when I don't want to look at a screen after clocking out at work. But part of the challenge is to visit other blogs and leave comments. 

In the past, I've tried to visit 10 blogs a day but maybe if I do it this year I will set a goal of 1 a day and do more if and when I have time. In addition to the time element, I've also been disappointed that I would visit/comment on several blogs but few seemed to leave comments on my blog.

I know some people will only comment on a blog if a blogger has first commented on their blog.  I don't really think that is in the spirit of the challenge. If it was no one would comment because someone has to be the first but if everyone is waiting for someone else to comment then who starts? (That sounds confusing - I just mean that if I only commented on blogs that had first left a comment on my post and everyone did it then no one would be commenting).

If you participate in the A to Z challenge, how do you handle comments?

The theme

I missed the theme reveal day, but I actually put together a list last year when I was faced with several days of not knowing what to post when the other reviewers took time away for the holidays. I thought it would be a good idea to have something to fall back on. So far I haven't had to use the list so I could use it for the April challenge. 

If I do the challenge, then my theme would be book genres/categories. Each day would feature a genre or category, such as adventure stories or historical fiction. I would give a brief description of the genre/category highlighting what is unique about it (I'm thinking 3 - 5 bullet points) and then give 2 or 3 examples of books that fit it.

Do you like that theme? Is it something you are interested in reading about? 

What will I do?

I guess we will find out on Monday, April 1 if I decide to do the challenge. Even if I decide that this is not the year to do the challenge, I would still like to support book bloggers who are participating. 

Drop a link to your blog in the comments.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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