Very popular. Not for a novice hostess. Can be expensive to participate in if money is a factor.
Typically done in a set community or a few. To keep everyone informed in the swap, create a YahooGroup where people can help one another. Prevents clogging up a list.
Lots of work for hostess and players. Everyone must be extremely organized and determined.
All work should be original and not copied off websites, books, magazines, shop instructions or any form of copyrighted material. Put all work and instructions in your own words. You can interpret any copyrighted instructions in your own words creating your own body of work and avoiding copyright infringements.
Number of players determined by the sign up cut off date. I have been in some where there were 100 people and some with a limited amount of players where a quality product was the goal.
Each player is responsible for creating a page and a sample of the technique they wish to contribute.
Some hostesses request a written up technique and actual sample submitted to them within a couple of weeks of signing up. Once they receive that and deem it quality work, you are in and will have at least your instructions ready, you only have to make up all your samples to attach.
Hostess should keep track of a list of what each participant will contribute to avoid duplications.
Amount of time to create a page is approximately 3-5 months. One hundred sign ups means 100 samples to create, one per swapper. You must pace yourself.
Pages are sent in by deadline and swapped out. This can take up to a month for a return.
Swap is for personal use only. If the hostess wishes to have the swap, (whole or part of) submitted to magazines, she must get signed permission from all players to do this. This should be clearly stated in original swap details with forms going out before the swap begins. You own the intellectual copyright to your original work.
Swap hostess should also have a back up list of wannabee players for potential dropouts as replacement players. One swap I was in had many drop outs and the end result was 20 pages less than sent in. Extra pages were not returned although players like to have their excess pages (= swap dropouts) returned to use as RAKs or for another tech swap at another time. If a hundred pages were sent in, that is how many you should get back even if it includes your own due to the drop outs.
It is good hostess ethics to return any unused pages to the swappers if there were drops. Remember that each participant PAID money to create their page and samples. If each page and sample costs the participant a dollar a piece, the hostess keeping them is taking from them (put nicely) without permission. As stated above, in the swap I was in, 20 pages not returned was like the hostess took $20. from me. It does bother me that I have no knowledge what she did with them. My pages were for that swap only and not for a free give away determined by the hostess. (Meaning: if 100 people did not get their 20 pages back (most did not according to messages and felt cheated), the hostess now has 20 more swap returns at her disposal/distribution.)
One other problem: no mailer participants. These people, who have not notified the hostess they were no longer a player throw the swap off. Please inform a hostess if you cannot play as soon as you know this is the case. It is the noble, honest and ethical thing to do.
Players pay out for the materials for samples to create and their page of instructions.
Some swaps ask for card stock pages only increasing the cost to the players but creating a solid professional book as an end result.
Double stick tape is best to attach samples to the page. Make sure they are firmly affixed.
Binding costs but some swaps send them loose so you can arrange them or put them in plastic page protectors, or have them bound yourself. Binding is not so costly when the hostess owns a binding machine, otherwise, it may be easier to get them loose, arrange them, then you take them to KINKOs to bind yourself.
Self addressed mailing label with your zip plus 4 code on it.
Postage to mail these to the hostess and return swap usually Flat Rate Priority. No one really knows how much considering all the samples.
Some hostesses ask for a set amount in a money order (checks can bounce) as an estimate of return postage and binding and covers combined.
Sample Cost of a one Tech Swap I was in:
Cost of printing my page both sides on card stock as dictated by swap details: $11.00
Cost of 50 samples: $20.00
Sending to hostess my heavy box of 50 techs plus samples: $9.00
(postage includes, confirmation and insurance costs also)
MO to hostess for return mail, covers, binding and confirmation/insurance: $10.00
Total cost: $50.00 spent here and there. It does add up and that did not include my time spent (hours) putting it all together!
Similar Swaps discussed on this site: