Directory Swap or Biographical Swap
This is a group effort to create a yearbook of stampers in a particular community or list to get to know each other better. This is done in some groups every year, and others every few years and sometimes not at all in some groups cause it is a huge swap to hostess. This is a great reference as an RAK tool also.
Sign ups are for a time (about a month) then there is a cut off date (last day to sign up) and a due date of several months, usually 3 months, later. Expect a month for the hostess to complete swapping and mail out.
At the cut off date, the hostess emails every participant how many people signed up and you create that many pages to mail to her by the due date.
When all pages are in, she puts them together so you get a copy of every one’s page. Number of people in a swap like this can be high if the group is large.
You create a page, a stamping resume of yourself. You can include any information you wish about yourself, hobbies, work, family, pets, birth date, anniversary, name and address if you so desire. You may include your favorite technique or a sample if you are industrious. Some people scan a picture of themselves or attach one to the page. Some people stamp their favorite images to decorate the page in between all the information.
You can type out your information and paste it up along with stamped images (credits are nice) to create your work. You can do one side or both sides of the paper, just depends on how much time and effort you want to put into it. Take it to a copy center and select your paper. Regular copy paper is not recommended as that can bleed if stamped on so use a heavier weight like resume paper or card stock.
Some people have the page text made up and allow for hand stamping/embossing on the pages. This is time consuming if you have to do nearly a hundred.
Samples of pages: newspaper style, resume style, information in shapes (like scrapbook cutouts/stencils) with stamped images alternating a page, do two columns and have one with information and the other with stamped images or photo’s.
Important: Keep a one inch margin on the left hand side so it will not interfere with a binding, whether it is done as part of a swap, or if you do it yourself. Keep the margin so that any binding will not cut off any information.
Cost of this swap is your time, and paper you print on, photos you add, or any scanning of pages you do.
Postage to mail to the hostess and back to you.
Also, if the hostess is actually going to bind the pages, you may have to pay for the binding and covers. Some pages are loose but you can put them in a notebook yourself, use page protectors, or have them bound at Kinkos or another print shop for a small fee. Advantage of loose pages is the fact you can arrange them to your heart’s desire, alphabetically, paper texture/weight, best buds in the front, vendors all together, etc.
Some groups require you to put a deposit down as a commitment. This cost varies on how the group agrees to it. It sometimes includes in the fee, take out dinner for all those who attended the putting it all together to mail it out party.
Postage costs on the return are usually the cost of flat rate priority which is $3.95
If you are thinking of hostessing this sort of swap:
Be clear and specific on cut off and due dates as well as costs.You will have drop outs, so have a back up list of participants willing to create a page and mail to you.
EX: You have 100 players signed up initially, that is how many you tell everyone to make at the deadline sign up date.
However, things happen and people drop out, lets say before the closing date, you have 15 people drop out, that means some people have already mailed you 100 copies, this means you can ask people in your back up list to contribute.
You may have 100 players after all, but maybe not, so you will have to mail back extra pages to participants so they do receive 100 pages even if includes their own back. People like to receive back the amount of pages they sent in, they paid for them and may have the opportunity to recycle them.
Keep a swap list and check off and date all mail your receive. Acknowledge receivership.
Have participants enclose a mailing label with the +4 zip code digits, along with the postage money or postage in a separate envelope.
You may want them to buy postage confirmation also. You will have to pick these up and fill them out to apply to the mailer. This is an added expense but worth it.
Keep your group in order. Some groups have used a YahooGroup for such a swap to help others help the newbies. A large group is too big to hold all names in your personal email account and also, some free email accounts do not hold more than 50 names (Hotmail) or have character limitations (Mail.com) or just don’t hold more that 20 addresses at a time.
Optional: a content page with names and emails. You may have someone in the group do this for you then email everyone the page to copy off themselves or you pay the expense to copy the page and insert into the book/pages themselves.
Hostessing a swap like this can be very messy and confusing. Be extremely organized.
When the swaps begin arriving into your home, have on hand, all the priority flat rate mailers from the PO. Slap on address labels and postage and your return address label. Keep them in a crate file.
Set aside the actual date you will swap them out. It will take you several hours, possibly a whole day depending on the number participating, to do this.
The post office does pick up priority mailers so give them a call (800 number on mailers) to come and fetch saving you a trip. In order to do this, you need to be extremely organized. (update — need to check this info out as I think it has changed 8/08)
Sample to come.