Bel Currency

The BEL Price,

for example Bel ‽-3

Bel stands for barter exchange levy

Where an author or publisher has agreed to a BEL price, it is indicated with the Bel currency symbol  and a number 1 to 10 and appears at the price point.

Bel is concerned with publication of books, art, music etc. Using books as the template sometimes an author just wishes his work to be read and have feedback. And no money. Sometimes the reader just wishes to read and has no money. A person in say Laos can download but simply has not the means to spend £5.00 on a book let alone postage but on the other hand may have a small tea tree. They can, if the tea grower is happy to participate in Bel pricing offer a packet of tea in exchange for the book.

Thus Song of the Wild Swan – in agreement with its authors has introduced Bel – barter exchange levy – in which an author indicates they are part of the Bel Concept Association. This means anyone can contact the author or their agent and offer a barter or bel in exchange for the book.

Bel levels only go to 10 and each person according to their own value sets their Bel level. It is a symbolic and not exchange levy since for one person a product or service may have a different level – so for some a packet of tea or book might be a bel level of 1 for others the same item might be 5.  So exchanges of Bel 1 with bel 10 is perfectly acceptable.  Song of the Wild Swan as publisher has arrangements with each author regarding such exchanges. 

Bel levels are based on value not price, which is in a sense incalcuable and arbitrary and fluctuates. As such they are symbolic only and veering more towards an interest in something, a gift rather than a barter.  

We use the small letters as in bel me ie to call as well. Bel stands for barter exchange levy or barter exchange level.

The interrobang symbol is used as the symbol for this currency of ‘human exchange’ as one really is excited in creating/ reading a creative work, drinking a tea; in a sense then as it is a non currency currency,  questions are rhetorical on price -as one never really knows the price – (or even disbelief – you asking what? J.

The first book priced in Bel was Ndilapa Nkosi, a poem by orde published by Song of the Wild Swan ltd in 2013. Bel ‽-1

Please contact us if you wish to join the Bel Association or use our bel symbols


Frequently asked questions

(in order in which they have been submitted)

6. Who runs bel

Bel has a slogan “email bel and talk to tel”  Tel administer’s Bel. Tel is sometimes the authors themselves or not – depending who is administering for that year and at that time. At the moment it is only email related and administered by the Song of the Wild Swan Ltd

5. How do we know who is part of bel.

Bel association keeps a list of participating authors and when a request comes in forwards it to the author to negotiate.

4.  Why not just give your services books etc away free – why use bel.

There is a difference between charity and gifting and patronizing and its difficult sometimes to tell which is which and which might even be business in another disguise or an inappropriate forcefeeding.  Bel is none of these or has attributes perhaps of all of them. Bel is simply a means of gifting your work in a simple exchange out of passion or love or care. As sort of Keatsean throwing open of the window and letting the warm love in.  Bel relies on trust, never been certain – Keats’ negative capability – and respect for the other.

3. Surely publishers will not allow a Bel currency system as they would receive no income

This only applies to books – which is the focus of bel at the moment – As the decision to bel something is left to the author they would have to meet the cost of an item bel’ed. As authors get a small number of free compies from a publisher they would have to meet the sales price of it so the publisher does not lose out at all.

2. Why do you use the term currency and not money

Currency to us is a means of payment or an exchange of services. Money is a form of currency. Historically there have been mean such forms such as tulips, cow shells etc. Bel is the latest type of currency in which each person controls his own currency.

1. Who invented Bel and when

The Bel concept and currency was created by orde, who is also the founder of Song of the Wild Swan Ltd. It was created in 2013