The Fairy Book Swap: How it Works for Book Fairies in Isolation

As part of our #bookfairiesinisolation we launched a Fairy Book Swap on our worldwide instagram page – and here’s how it works!

What is the Fairy Book Swap?

The Fairy Book Swap is an opportunity to share your books with book fairies around the world, and also a chance to get a new book!

Those who have a book to offer can answer the initial question in the story, saying what title they have and where they are happy to mail it, and then we will post all the offers one by one. We invite people to respond to the offers and then we match them up!

When is the Fairy Book Swap?

Currently, we are running it once a week, starting every Friday at 12pm BST. We leave the ‘offer’ question open for 24 hours, and we share and match all the offers over the course of the weekend.

Do I have to be a book fairy to be involved?

You don’t have to already be a book fairy to be involved – we are welcoming people and fans who may only recently have heard of us! Of course if you DO want to join in and hide books later in the year, when we are out of isolation then here is the page to get stickers!

How does it work?

  • At 12pm BST We post a ‘question’ on our worldwide instagram story @bookfairiesworldwide, something like Which book have you got to send another fairy, and where are you happy to send it to?
  • We leave the question open for 24 hours, so that fairies in all timezones can get involved
  • We share the ‘offers’ that come through. We do this by posting this information on our instagram story with the title ‘BOOK OFFER!’ and the information about the title and the area that it can be sent to, for example To Kill a Mockingbird, USA. We add a question box for those who would like the chance to get the book – one where you have to include your full name and full address.
  • Over the course of the weekend, we match up offers to people who would like the books. This is done randomly, however there are notes below that will help you improve your chances.
  • If you have offered a book, we will DM you the full name and address you are to send the book to. Feel free to send the book on it’s own, however we have been delighted to see the little notes, book fairy stickers and ribbons that people have been adding to their packages!
  • If you have claimed a book, we will DM you to let you know that you’ve been successful, and we will also give you the instagram handle of the person sending you a book. Please message them with any questions as we are unable to act as a go-between after the initial match!
  • And then the fun part! The person offering the book will put it in the post, and books will appear all around the world! You are more than welcome to send them a thank you or even start up a penpal exchange etc – it’s all up to you from there on in!

If you offer a book:

If you answer our instagram story, you need to have the book already in your possession. This is because once we post the offer, lots of people will be excited about it. We have had a few instances where we have had to disappoint people who thought they had claimed a book, when in fact the person who offered them did not have access to the book they offered.

If you claim a book:

If you send your name and address, we will only share this information if you are the successful claimant of the book – and even then, only with the person sending you the book. If you are unsuccessful, we probably won’t have time to let you know. But please do keep trying! We try to be as fair and communicative as possible but we are only human 🙂

Improve your chances of being featured:

If you are offering a book, or books, please answer the offer question with the title of ONE book followed by the area you’re happy to send it to. If you have multiple books to offer (thank you! you’re super generous!) please complete an answer for each book and don’t forget to include the location each time.

If you want to claim a book, please make sure you’re replying to an offer that covers where you live. Then write your full name and full address (including ZIP/post code) in the answer box.

Please make sure you follow us and if we request to follow you, it’s because we are unable to message you otherwise – so please allow that too.

Please note: we have a beautifully overwhelming response to our Fairy Book Swaps. We cannot feature every book that is offered, and we cannot get a book to everyone who wants one. It’s done on a randomised basis.

Another note: Instagram is often unable to manage the sheer volume of responses. If you are attempting to claim a book and the address box isn’t working DO NOT PANIC – we are used to this. Please REPLY to the story with your full name and full address. Please only do this if the answer box is not working.

The enjoyment of the Fairy Book Swap

It’s been wonderful to see not only a tonne of books winging their way to new readers, but also the thought that has gone into so many of the packages! Fairies have added ribbons, messages, postcards and even a handmade doll!

Ok so it’s not technically a “book swap” but the idea is that you offer a book, and you also claim a book 💚

So! Head to our instagram stories on a Friday to offer up a book you’re happy to send. If you don’t have one, that’s ok! Just keep checking the stories to see if a title pops up for you to claim!

We love finding books for new readers. We love sharing secondhand books and helping people discover new authors. This is our fourth #fairybookswap and the response so far from this generous and beautiful community has been phenomenal.

We are planning to do this every week while there are still #bookfairiesinisolation – and possibly beyond!

Happy book swapping ☺️

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