How To Host A Neighborhood Book Swap

Neighborhood Book Swap

How to Host a Neighborhood Book Swap

Do you get the eye roll when you ask your kids to go read? Do they whine because they’ve read the books in your home library at least twenty times? Are you going to scream if you have to read the same bedtime story one more time? I’ve been there. It’s a struggle. What can you do about it? Well, you could go purchase a whole new home library, but that’s a little out of reach for most of us. The next best thing to do is host a neighborhood book swap.

What is a neighborhood book swap?

What is a neighborhood book swap? Well, it’s quite simple. You and your neighbors get together and trade books. Then you all go home with a new set of books. Great, right? It’s a fast, easy, and inexpensive way to get new books. The kids love picking out new books!

So how does it work?

  1. Advertise your book swap.

Let your neighbors know what it is, when to bring the books, and when to pick up the new books. Click HERE to download your free copy of this flier:

Neighborhood Book Swap Flier2. Collect the books on the planned day.

There are two ways to do this.

1. The really easy way where everyone brings the books and you collect them. You don’t keep track of anything; they need to remember how many books they brought and pick up that same number of books. This works, but I have found that people will bring 10 picture books and pick up 10 chapter books, so there aren’t enough chapter books for the people who brought chapter books.

2. Print off two colors of Book Bucks (One set on red paper and the other set on blue paper). Those who bring in picture books get one color and those who bring in chapter books get another color. You get one Book Buck for one book. The hardest part is cutting out the Book Bucks, but kids are great helpers. It’s ok if they aren’t cut perfectly. Click HERE to download your free copy of Book Bucks. 

Book Bucks

3. Lay out all the books.

On the pick-up day, lay all the books out on tables, chairs, or even the dry cement. I’ve found it best to put picture books together and chapter books together.

4. Collect the Book Bucks as people choose their books.

Collect the Book Bucks as people choose their books. Just make sure they have the correct number and kind of books.

5. Have fun chatting with neighbors and discussing books.


That’s it! Easy Peasy! If you want to have a treat like popsicles or cookies you may, but it’s not necessary. To make it really easy for later, save the Book Bucks. You could all take turns hosting too–just pass the Book Bucks around. I hope you have a fun Neighborhood Book Swap!

Paper or Ebook?

I have a question for all of you today! 

What format of book is your favorite? 

Do you like paper copies? Do you like reading on your Kindle or your Nook? Do you like reading on your phone or a tablet

I’m curious to know how many people are old school like me and definitely prefer a physical copy of the book, or if I’m just a dying breed. Am I alone in my preference? Why do I like to read paper copies instead of ebooks? Well, I know they’re heavier and they take up more space, but I love holding the book. I love turning pages. (Am I weird? Please tell me someone else loves turning pages…) I like that I can flip back and reread sections or find my favorite quotes. I have yet to figure out a good way to do that on my Kindle. I have a Kindle because many of the books I review are only published as ebooks. However, if I have a choice, I always ask for the paper copy. Another reason I like paper copies is because I can share them. If I enjoy a book then I like to recommend it and loan it out to friends and family. I also like to read books and then hand them over to my kids to read. You can’t do that with ebooks, and it’s frustrating to me.

So, what do you think? What’s your preference and why? Please vote in the poll and tell us why you like that choice in the comments! I can’t wait to hear from all of you!

What Is My Biggest Piece of Advice For New Authors?

First-time authors quite regularly ask me for my advice. What do they ask? They want to know what they can do to make their books better. They want to know what they can do to improve their writing. They want to know what I recommend. I have two standard answers I give all first-time authors, and I wish more of them would listen! It makes a huge difference, and I can almost immediately tell if they have taken my advice or not. If I can tell then I promise them readers can tell too. 
What is my advice?
1. Hire An Editor
Please, please, please hire an editor!! I know it costs a lot, but I promise it is worth it! Spelling and grammatical errors are an immediate turn-off to readers (and reviewers). I knock my ratings way down for spelling and grammatical errors; they are VERY annoying! Editors can also help with other aspects of your book. Please! I promise it is worth it!
2. Hire A Good Artist Or Graphic Designer

Once again, I know it costs a lot. And I know that “You Should Not Judge A Book By Its Cover,” but people (and reviewers) DO judge books by their covers. I have received books from first-time authors that I didn’t even want to open because they looked so cheesy, cheap, and unprofessional. Unfortunately, that knocks my ratings down as well, and it gives me a bad taste in my mouth before I even open the book. Please don’t let your uncle’s neighbor’s best friend’s cousin design your book cover! Please hire a professional; it’s so worth it!