Monday, October 1, 2012

All Hallow's Read--Book Blogger Style!

You all know I love Halloween, book bloggers, and having the pants scared off me in a completely safe environment (read: my home, via a book), right? I've always wanted a more fun way to celebrate this spooky holiday with my blogging friends so when Ana approached me about this super fun idea to do an All Hallow's Read swap, I was instantly game!

All Hallow's Read with a book blogging twist derives its origin from Neil Gaiman's encouragement to give someone a scary book at Halloween! This isn't some sort of stuffy bookish thing to should still dress up in a costume and go party or take your kids trick or treating or bake me your friends yummy pumpkin treats. You might just also get excited about sharing the joy of deliciously spooky books. And because book bloggers are, let's face it, some of the most fun people to share the joy of books with--we're organizing this little swap with book bloggers in mind. Oh! Also, Ana was inspired by a comment left on her blog to this effect and you can read all about it at her blog because she's better at explaining her own history.

Ana has LOTS of experience with organizing these kinds of swaps because she created the book blogger holiday swap. I helped with that a couple of years as well, so we kind of know what works and what doesn't. And for that reason we've decided to keep this particular swap small scale...but that doesn't end up limiting anyone! Confused? Don't be! It's actually going to make so much sense and you'll wonder why we haven't thought of something like this before.

Here's how it works:

  • Sign up using this Google form or the one over at Ana's blog.

  • Signs up will be open until Friday or until the circles reach twenty participants, at which point they'll be closed.

  • If you miss signing up here or at Ana's, never fear: we're encouraging anyone interested to start swap circles of their own, so if the idea takes off there will be plenty of chances.

  • At some point next weekend, you'll get an e-mail from either Ana or me (depending on where you sign up) with the name and address of the person you're sending a spooky book to.

  • To make it easier for people to get their books in time for Halloween, we'll try to match them within the same continent whenever possible. It would also be helpful if everyone could send their book as soon as they can. If you're willing to send internationally, you could always send directly from bookshops like Better World Book or The Book Depository, which have free shipping worldwide. This option is a little less personal, but we understand that international shipping can be quite pricey, and your recipient will really appreciate the book and the nice gesture anyway.

  • Want to start a swap circle of your own? Great! You can do this even if you have already signed up for mine or Ana's: as a circle host, you can be a participants in your own circle, but in that case the identity of the person sending you a book won't be a surprise.

  • If you want to host your own circle, get in touch with one of us and we'll send you a duplicate of the sign up form. It's important not to link directly to either my form or the one at Ana's blog, though, because then participants would be joining our circles instead of yours.
It makes sense right? It's kind of like basic discipleship principles, we can't handle 7,000 people signing up but we can start small circles everywhere and the fun and joy spreads!


This is a great idea! But I'm broke :/ Do the books have to be brand new?

No, they do not! Gently used books are fine. We're asking if you're okay receiving one in the sign-up form.

Is the person I'm sending a book to the same person who's sending a book to me?

No! We think it's more fun to spread the spooky zeal around with a few different people. You'll be a surprise to the person you're sending a book to in the same way the person sending a book to you will be a surprise. This gives you a chance to connect with more people.

Who can participate? (copying Ana word for word here because she says this all so well)

Our All Hallow's Read swap circles are open to book bloggers (we're defining the term loosely, of course - if you blog about other things too but are a part of the community, you're more than welcome to participate). If you're not a blogger, please feel free to start a swap circle of your own in whatever online communities or real life social circles you belong to. Consider this a CC-licensed event: the goal here is to have fun and to spread All Hallow's Reads far and wide, so we're encouraging anyone to take the idea and make it their own.

We do have one request, though: that authors don't sign up for our circles with the intent of sending a blogger a promotional copy of their own book in the hopes that they'll review it. This should go without saying, and we also know that the thought wouldn't even cross the minds of 95% of authors, but unfortunately our experience with the Holiday Swap have shown us that someone will always be the exception.

Can I send my partner extra goodies, like Halloween treats?

We know it's hard to contain your enthusiasm for this most creeptastic of all celebrations so absolutely! You can find some goodies to add to your package here.

How will I know what kind of scary book my recipient wants?

We're asking in the sign-up form! You can also access their blog to get a better feel for what they enjoy. If you're at a loss for ideas, you can check out the recommended books at All Hallow's Read or peruse the R.I.P sign up lists.

Ana made some awesome buttons as well, and you should feel free to make your own as well. If you have any questions, please ask! Mostly I'm just really hopeful you'll sign up or start your own circle and we'll have loads of fun with this.

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