Why skill swapping can create opportunities during the lockdown

Why skill swapping can create opportunities during the lockdown

Skill swapping can open new doors and is a way to keep actively working when budgets are tight. From next week BookMachine, a vibrant community for industry professionals, will be hosting online skill swap sessions on Mondays. This isn’t to encourage people to work for free. Everyone deserves to be paid for their skills. However, whilst purse strings are tightening in light of the pandemic, we think this is a great way to keep the industry innovating whilst allowing individuals to create lasting connections.

Across the publishing industry there will always be people who have the skills you lack and might be able to help you right now. Perhaps it’s a new website design in return for a lesson in finance; or a blog post edited in return for advice on running virtual events. Skill swapping can also take the shape of long term partnerships – taking charge of someone’s Amazon SEO in order to receive regular team management tips.

Finding a way to reach others and make skill swaps happen should be easy. You could, for example, post an opportunity on Twitter - but this might not reach the right people at the right time. There are also a number of online skills exchange sites, but these aren’t publishing specific and are less likely to prove a good match. 

So we have decided to create a space on BookMachine for this creative exchange. The idea is to help our publishing colleagues discover and offer opportunities. If you would like to get involved, you can do so on Mondays, starting next week. To participate, all you have to do is log in to BookMachine and use the hashtag #skillswap to share your ideas on the Community Home feed. This is the main communication stream on BookMachine for members. Perhaps you need help with Amazon ads, social media management or SEO; there will be individuals within the community who could manage all of these areas for you in exchange for your editorial skills, InDesign expertise or online event management.

The BookMachine Community Home feed is accessible for all BookMachine members. Membership starts at £5/month.

Bio: Laura Summers runs BookMachine, the fast-growing community and agency specialising in book publishing. Their mission is to provide every publishing professional in the UK with knowledge, ideas and connections to help them to progress in their careers.

BookMachine: Started in 2010 as a handful of colleagues talking shop in the backroom of a bar, BookMachine is now the community for experienced book publishing professionals. BookMachine provides thousands of individuals across the UK with knowledge, ideas and connections that enable them to progress in their careers. Members can watch regular expert interviews, attend monthly online events and training courses, and be part of a wider-industry discussion. The team are now based in incubation at Ravensbourne, a digital media and design university in London. For more information, visit www.BookMachine.org