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message 1: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments So I was thinking about this self-publishing business, and a mad thought occurs. Is there scope for a bit of skill swapping?

Incidentally that reminds me of a Dawn French joke. She said that she went to a wife-swapping party once. Everybody put their car keys into a glass bowl in the middle of the dining table. She had no idea who ended up with her moped, but she drove that fancy new Mercedes around for years...

Back to the plot - what I am thinking is this. We all presumably have different skills. I like to think that I'm pretty good at editing and proof-reading but I know I am rubbish at designing covers and marketing.

Rather than pay for someone to do the stuff I can't do, is there a way we can help each other out by doing swapsies? At the simplest this might be "you review mine and I'll review yours" - although it might look a bit false if we always give each other five star rave reviews.

Or I'll proof-read someone's book if they'll design me a cover.

Think of it like that Keith Chegwin in the Saturday morning swapshop thingie or that wonderful scene in Witness where everyone pitches in to build a barn and drink lemonade.

I suppose the biggest problem is that someone will end up getting a metaphorical moped in return for an equally metaphorical Mercedes, but I'm sure we can work a way around that one. Er...

Or does it happen already and I just don't get invited to the right parties? Writing skill swapping, that is.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Great thread, Will!

We already do skill swapping in our group, I think. Perhaps not as formally as you envisage, though.

We give advice on blurbs and covers n such when asked and several of us have helped out with beta reading.

I think we (as a group) take great delight in helping one another in every way we can.

I know that none of us review swap. We do make an effort to read our authors' offerings but not with the intention of writing glowing reviews. Those books that deserve them, get them.
More importantly, we tell others about great books we've read.


message 3: by Jim (last edited May 02, 2014 09:05AM) (new)

Jim | 22033 comments I think the skill swapping idea is a good one. It goes wider as well,I remember for one person I wrote a combat scene for her. She didn't use what I wrote (it's her book, she shouldn't) but reading it, tied in to her characters, gave her a feel for how things should flow.


message 4: by David (new)

David Hadley | 4873 comments I was only thinking the other day that I could do with some beta readers and could offer to do the same in return for anyone interested.

I was also thinking of doing reviews, especially of indie books. - but I'm a bit hesitant about a 'I'll review yours if you review mine' approach. I think there could be problems there.

However, cover design, proper editing and (spit) marketing, I'm as crap at those as - almost - everybody else.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments And you authors are great at sharing formatting tips and marketing stuff and all sorts.

I love how we celebrate our successes together and always welcome and embrace all newcomers as long lost friends.


message 6: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments I always envisaged the Author Zone as being exactly what you suggest. If you need help then you start a thread and everyone piles in. You extract what's helpful from the rest.

Maybe I got it wrong.


message 7: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments That's how I've viewed it since arriving here, Darren, and it has been a tremendous help. I like to think I'm giving back, where I can.


message 8: by Jazzy (new)

Jazzy Lemon (jazzylemon) I'm a photographer, I'll take photos for you if you want to clean my house! or is that not what you had in mind? :D


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Jazzy wrote: "I'm a photographer, I'll take photos for you if you want to clean my house! or is that not what you had in mind? :D"

I'm impressed no one has mentioned throwing keys in a bowl. ;)


message 10: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25093 comments I don't have keys. I've not been locked up. Yet.


message 11: by David (new)

David Hadley | 4873 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Jazzy wrote: "I'm a photographer, I'll take photos for you if you want to clean my house! or is that not what you had in mind? :D"

I'm impressed no one has mentioned throwing keys in a bowl. ;)"


Yet....


message 12: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments Kath wrote: "I don't have keys. I've not been locked up. Yet."

We only have your word for that.


message 13: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Oh, this could get very naughty. What would you want me to wear whilst cleaning your house?


message 14: by Jazzy (new)

Jazzy Lemon (jazzylemon) Will wrote: "Oh, this could get very naughty. What would you want me to wear whilst cleaning your house?"

Do you do cosplay? Could you dress up like Pikachu?


message 15: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments Cosplay... now there's a thought: If I could get a few hundred people to go to Comic-con dressed up as my characters........


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 36808 comments Tim wrote: "Cosplay... now there's a thought: If I could get a few hundred people to go to Comic-con dressed up as my characters........"

Unfortunately, I probably wouldn't do Ginger Lil justice...


message 17: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments Oh, in my head you would...


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 36808 comments Tim wrote: "Oh, in my head you would..."

Your head is a strange place!


message 19: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments Yup.


message 20: by Jim (new)

Jim | 22033 comments You know those places that no sane man would ever venture...


message 21: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Ahem ... has to slink away to google both cosplay and Pikachu.

Okay. Hm. Wasn't quite what I had in mind, but...


message 22: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments It's the little French Maid's outfit then is it, Will?


message 23: by S. (new)

S. Aksah | 152 comments I'd like to do a swapsie with anyone that would like to put my short stories on their to-read list? Anyone up for that ?


message 24: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments S - sure. Would you return the favour?


message 25: by S. (new)

S. Aksah | 152 comments Sure Will Sir


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