Tuesday, July 15, 2008

SWAP PARTIES By Morgan Mandel

I love my husband. I lead a somewhat normal life. When I’m not working, I spend a lot of time writing, reading, watching TV and movies, going to garage and rummage sales, arts and craft fairs, neighborhood festivals. My biggest vices are playing penny slots and occasionally letting slip one of the naughty words the late George Carlin made famous.

So, why am I considering a swap party? Am I bored with the status quo?

Okay, before your jaws drop at the idea of my being one of those decadent suburban wives, I’ll let you in on a bit of news. Contrary to the old-fashioned notion of trading husbands and wives, today’s swap party is much different.

Swap parties these days are parties where people get together and swap items they don’t need or care for in exchange for items they really want. They’re kind of like interactive garage or rummage sales. The idea is to not only save money, but also to protect the environment by not cluttering up the landfills. It’s another way of going green, which is very popular lately.

As a lover of garage sales and an owner of a cluttered basement, I think swap parties are a great idea. I’m not sure if I’d like to run one myself, but I would love to go to one. Until I find one in my area, I just might try out one of those sites on the Internet for trading goods, such as http://freecycle.org or http://www.swapthing.com.

I have no idea of the reputation of these sites, but they’re among the first ones that came up when I Googled about free swapping.

You might ask, as you probably do when reading my blogs, what does any of this have to do with books and my being an author? Well, in a way I’m part of a swap party already. I offer books in exchange for reviews. Also, some of my best friends, relatives and acquaintances are already swapping my books amongst themselves and others, some even to the extent of carrying them along on vacation to different states and letting others read them poolside.

Of course, one of the biggest book swapping places is the public library, where patrons can check out books, and if they wish, donate others.

I try not to wince at the thought of all those royalties lost. Instead, I look at the positive side.

While swapping practices among an author’s relatives, friends and acquaintances or patrons taking advantage of the library system seem destructive for a career as an author, in fact the opposite is true. Word of mouth is still the best sales tool to get my brand out, and getting known is very important to me. The more buzz about my career and my books, TWO WRONGS and GIRL OF MY DREAMS, whatever the means, is good publicity and I welcome it.

So maybe one of these days I’ll participate in a modern swap party, but in the meantime until I can find one, I’ll settle for getting my books circulated and my name known.

Morgan Mandel

1 comment:

Bob said...

another good option is http://www.SwapAce.com to buy, sell and swap stuff for free.