Wednesday, May 16, 2012

B is for Barter

Barter: a method of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money.

"Okay Jessie, you big ol' bullet using B-Word, what does this have to do with writing?" you ask.

Well, let's just imagine the "bread" girl A is giving to girl B is her manuscript. And the flower that girl B is giving to girl A is her query letter. Starting to make sense now?

Don't we all do this in the writing community? We barter with our friends not only to get what we need from them, but also to return the favor. Here are some more examples:
  • beta read for a synopsis critique
  • three chapter review for new blog header
  • sidebar button for a free spooning :)
  • whatever
It can be all sorts of things. Heck, when we leave a comment on each other's blogs, it's a roundabout barter because we expect the return of services, right?

In my life I've bartered a lot. I give away free legal work regularly for the most prized service I can imagine: BABYSITTING :).

So what have you bartered for?

And btw, anyone want to barter with me for a new blog header?


  1. I totally agree - babysitting is a higly-prized service! :)

  2. Babysitting IS the most prized service! And it would have been a lot cheaper then paying the lawyer all the big bucks for our kids adoptions...just saying. :) Actually, paying the lawyer for that was so worth it.

  3. I barter for beta readers for sure. :)

  4. Wish I could help you with the blog header. I barter mostly in writing via critiques and beta reads. I typically don't expect the person to return the favor for me but it sure is nice when they do! And I would definitely barter for babysitting services!!!!

  5. I barter babysitting all the time. And query critiques.

    So if I spoon you, you'll make me a blog button?

  6. I used to trade for tennis lessons when I was a poor college student for stuff. It was fun! These days, I'm not sure I have any desired skills to barter with.

  7. Oh, I see how it is. I offered to make you a blog header yesterday, but you would rather push your spooning talents on the streets!

    ...Okay, I just figured you didn't see my reply. ;) Shoot me an e-mail sometime!


  8. I'm bad at bartering. I tend to give it away for free. No, not like that! Dirty mind :)

    1. True dat Angie. You are very generous. It's good to not always expect something in return.

  9. Cool! Another tennis player. I played for Southeast Missouri State University, and a year after I decided to redshirt, the program got disbanded (for all kinds of illegal activities). Glad there was no blood on my hands.

    Do you still play?

    I don't play as much as I'd like to, but for an old man, I still give the young guys a run for the money.

  10. I'm with Angela. Bad at bartering. I live near the world's foremost expert on bartering.... I should try to talk her into teaching a seminar or taking on an intern or something.

  11. What do you need? I'm willing to barter.

  12. I don't really have anything to barter so I haven't tried it, per se. Although, now that spooning seems to be on the table...I'm more of a, rub my back and I'll rub yours, kind of gal. If you beta read for me, of course I'll return the favor. But maybe that's bartering. I'm confused.

  13. I'm not so good at bartering myself. Living in a desolate area of sagebrush and dirt means very few other people live here as well to barter with. Okay, it's not as bad as that maybe but all the stuff I'd be looking for doesn't seem to be offered by anyone local anyway. Maybe I'll have to do some online bartering one of these days.

  14. I'm married to a contractor - we barter all the time! For me, I tend to just let people pay me for favors in Diet Coke and cinnamon bears - it works really well with my students. Writing bartering tends to be straight across right now with my CP's but I imagine that will change in the future a bit.

    Great post :)

  15. I never thought of my writing as bartering, but you're right. I guess I do barter with my beta buds and cps. And like you I am a major babysitting barter woman:)