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Topic: feeling a little discouraged

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Subject: feeling a little discouraged
Date Posted: 6/13/2011 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2011
Posts: 27
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hi, folks. i'm new to PBS & am feeling a little discouraged. i've already mailed off about 10 books since I joined last week, and requested 5 books as well which are on hold; however, of the books I have on hold, no one has responded to my requests yet.

i'd love some tips on what to expect from this site, and any tips on how to make the most of my experience.

i feel like i've mailed off some really good, quality books, but finding the same caliber of books on the site has been a bit more of a challenge. (ie, i'm 657 of 657 in line for books that I now feel i'm unlikely to ever receive from PBS)

overall, i expect a lot of other new users feel the same frustration, so if you have any advice or words of wisdom on how to weather the initial disappointment, please please share. i'd love to better understand what's going on.

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,900
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Welcome to PBS!  Probably the best advice you'll recieve here is that patience is the name of the game at PBS.  Sometimes requests are answered right away and sometimes members take the entire 5 days before they respond.  Sometimes for titles that have lots of copies in the system it you won't get any response from the first couple of people at all and the request will roll over a couple of times before it is answered.  I know when you're first starting out this sucks because you're excited about getting the books and want them right away but once you start getting books coming in and already have some in the house to read the waiting game probably won't be so bothersome.

For those that you're really far down on the wishlist on, some of those tend to move pretty quickly if they're really popular.  I've had books where I've been #500 on the list and have been offered them in 2 months.  I've had others where I've been #1 on the wishlist for a couple of years now so it all depends on how popular the books are. 

A little more advice: read the help docs.  It has A LOT of good info in there that really helped me out as a newbie.  Also check out the forums-there are forums for just about every genre imaginable here and most of them have a book deals thread or a available wish list books thread in them. 

Please don't be discouraged!  Things should start to pick up soon and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the quality of some of the books that you end up receiving.  I've recieved many that looked like they were brand new never read copies.

Good luck!

Last Edited on: 6/13/11 1:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2011 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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Welcome to PBS; where patience is a virtue we all cultivate.  You've only been a member for about 4 days, so give it some time; things will pick up.  I just glanced at your WishList and noticed a lot of titles that are out of the ordinary, and don't get posted as often.  Also some of the other books you have on there are very popular and may take a little while longer to come you way.  In the meantime; check out the 5 million plus books that are posted; I bet you can find something you might be interested in.  One thing since I started PBS is that I've really expanded the boundries of my reading; picking up on titles and genres I never would have thought about buyin

Again Welcome to PBS!


Last Edited on: 6/13/11 1:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2011 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Welcome!!  I have to agree with the above posters- patience is a required skill here at PBS!  Also, one of the absolute best things about this site is being exposed to all kinds of new authors and books that you might not ever have heard of otherwise!  Take some time to browse through the genre forums to find suggestions and recommendations from other members.  When I joined, it did not take long before I found more books that I wanted than I had credits to order them!

Hang in there with your book orders- I know it can be frustrating to wait for someone to accept an order, but it will happen eventually.  If you are in need of credits right away, make sure to send your books out with PBS delivery confirmation- you will get your credits within a day or so, instead of having to wait for the books to be received.  Also, if you have several WL books to post, consider offering them in the WL Multiples thread in the book bazaar.  This will not only ensure than the books will be requested right away, but you can save postage money by mailing more than one book out at a time.  There are also WL threads in some of the genre forums for this same purpose.  Keep an eye on these threads even if you don't have any books to post in them, because you might be able to snag one of your WL books from them!

Please do give it a chance- it's a great site and a wonderful community!

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
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Welcome, Susie!

You said you "requested 5 books... which are on hold."  If it says "waiting for member", the member has 5 days to respond.  (Then 5 to 7 days to mail the book.)  If he misses either deadline, your request will be passed on to the next sender, as described above.  The only obvious thing you'll see change will be the request date, but you can look at your "credit registry", which is on the horizontal yellow bar on your My Account page, and follow the progress.  If the server passes your request to a new sender, you'll see the notation "passed on request."

And if a member doesn't respond to your request, the book will be removed from his bookshelf.  And the server will place his account on hold if he has failed to respond to previous requests and hasn't logged on in between.  It's a way of weeding out abandoned accounts.

If by "on hold" you mean that you added them to your wish list, Holly also described how that works.

And I can echo what Rob said -- I'm reading (and loving) books that I never would have sampled before joining this site.


Here is a list of deadlines associated with the PBS swapping process:

  • A sender has 5 days to respond to a request.
    • After accepting a request by clicking "I can mail in the next 2 days", a sender has 5 days to mark the book mailed. The deadline is at the end of the fifth day.
    • After accepting a request by clicking "I can mail later" and choosing an alternate mailing date, a sender has 2 days beyond the alternate mailing date to mark the book mailed. The deadline is at the end of the second day.
  • A requestor has 48 hours to respond to an offer of a book from her Wish List.
  • A book has 26 days from the "mailed" date to get to its destination within the contiguous US before it is declared "lost in the mail" at PBS.
  • A book sent outside the contiguous US (AK, HI, GU, VI, PR, APO/FPO/DPO, etc)  has 35 days from the "mailed' date to get to its destination.

Some of these deadlines may seem long to you when you are waiting for a book, but keep in mind that we have members who can only get online at the library once a week, as well as those of us who are on here nearly every day.  With patience, the site can work for all of us.

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I usually recommend that newbies hold off on earning a lot of credits if they are worried about not being able to get books they want here.  You don't have to post every book you own, send it out and rack up a bunch of credits right away. 

It's ok to put your shelf on vacation and autorequest your WL books and see what happens.

In my experience, the books with the super long WL lines are the ones that move the fastest.  They're usually the really popular books that people break down in buy, get from the library and become easy to find at thrift stores.  (I've passed up tons of copies of the Hunger GAmes,  Outlander & Twilight books in thrift stores-both of which used to have super long WL lines and may still for some books).  Anyway-those can move 50+ spots in a week and you can get them within a couple of months. 

Most of hte books that I've waited  really long time for are out of print, harder to find ones that had short WL. 

Cookbooks and non-fiction don't move very quickly because people tend to keep those or decide that they're to heavy to mail.

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2011
Posts: 27
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Hi, everyone. Thanks for the notes. It sounds like I might do best to forget about PBS for a little while & see what turns up from my wishlist over time, rather than be sad about the requests on "available" books I've placed that aren't being responded to!

Thanks for your advice & support. Crossing my fingers that I can be as patient as you obviously all have been! I'm so used to instantaneous response on websites, I felt sort of alarmed by all the waiting here & it made me feel like there's a lack of enthusiasm about sharing or something, but I understand it's probably just that members don't visit PBS every day.

I'll keep trying. Thanks again, all.

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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You are very right Susie, the feeling you have is one many of us had as new members. We mailed out some great books right away and then looked down the long lines we found ourselves at the end of. it passes quickly though when you change how your looking at it. We are used to going out and getting the books we love and reading them. However with this we need to use PBS to build a pile of books, and it does happen fast.

First, FILL UP your wishlist, you can have 200 books wish listed. Do It!

The next thing you know, you have books coming in ever week!

Second, find the writers you love and find out what books they have coming out next, often the ISBN will be published so you can search for it in PBS and get in line before the book is even released!

Third, get to know us! The forums are great, you can get deals in the book Bizaar, even wishlisted books you can get if you get more than one from the same person as there is a thread just for that, no waiting 8 months for those books! Check out the games forum, it is chance but there are some great wishlisted books in those games and you could win. It is a lot of fun!

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Susis- I did not read everyone's response but, I have found that looking at the CLub Member thoughts, posts help you see who is around alot and active. Most even have signuatures at the botton of the posts that say if they have deals going.. Great way to get some books for a few credits.

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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Welcome to PBS, Susie, it really is a great place to be. Check out the Daily Book List, the recently posted books on the Home Page, and the Top 50 most requested and wishlisted books. I have found a lot of books that way, that I never knew existed.

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2011
Posts: 27
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Great tips, all. Thank you again for the warm welcome & kindness. If the forums are any indication, sounds like PBS is a really wonderful community of thoughtful people. I'll try all of the above.

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Hi Susie. Looks like all the best advise has already been given, so I'll just say "hello" and compliment you on the lovely items in your Etsy shop.

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Susie!  Nice wishlist  yes   it's helpful to add your favorite authors when upcoming books are announced.  As already mentioned, some of the genre threads have 'new books to wishlist' threads...these are very helpful (thank you everyone who contributes).   Mainstream publishers are announcing new releases for March and April 2012...wishlist early!  Also Amazon, author websites, whever you can find an ISBN...bring it here and add to your wishlist.

BTW - posted a book to you, found one of your wishlisted books in my box to be posted  wink

Last Edited on: 6/13/11 5:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2011 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2011
Posts: 27
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Thanks so much, Lisa and Denise! Denise, just saw your post here but already PM'ed you to say thank you!! I'm so excited to get my first PBS book. Wow, the forums rule. Thank you!

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I have one of your WL books also. I'll offer it directly to you as soon as I get around to reading it. I'll make it next on my list.

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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It sounds like I might do best to forget about PBS for a little while & see what turns up from my wishlist over time, rather than be sad about the requests on "available" books I've placed that aren't being responded to!


Don't be discouraged, members have up to 5 days to respond to your request.     When you are looking at the request, you can see what date and time they have to respond by.   If you run your mouse over the (!) gray exclamation mark, it will tell you how much time is left on the request.  Every request has 12 days from the time you request until the member has to mark it mailed.  that is 5 days to respond, then 5 days from that to mark mailed, plus 2 buffer days for good measure.

When I order a book, I fully expect that it will take the full 12 days to get it mailed.  If it happens any sooner (and it often does) I consider it to be a bonus.  

When I first joined I was very impatient, but as everyone says, PBS will be a lesson in patience, LOL.   Now if I need a book right away I just buy it on Amazon prime.  Otherwise if I don't care that it can take 12 days to mark it mailed, I order it from PBS.  The books are cheap, that is the price you pay to mail a book or buy a credit.  The drawback is that can take time from  the start of the request to getting the book in your hands.   Sometimes it is really fast though.  Sometimes the person may mail it the next day and then 2 days later you get it.  You never know, that's why I just anticipate it being the longest available time, and that way I am never disappointed.


Welcome to PBS!!  I absolutely love it here!!!

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 37,932
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another  addicted  pbs member extending a  http://www.xcomment.com/g3/img/welcome060308093759.gif

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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Hey Susie!  Just adding my welcome and a word of encouragement.  As you're here a while, and if you watch for new book releases, you'll be able to get in on the wishlist pretty early.... but I know how frustrating it is to be 9,895th on the list!  The good thing about that is that if books are new and popular, a lot will soon start circulating and the numbers will move pretty quickly. 

Don't give up hope..... About six months after I joined PBS I had to buy a new bookshelf to hold all my "to be reads."  LOL  And it's SO exciting when a book does come in.... Like Christmas in June.  And that part never gets old!  Pretty soon you won't know which book you want to read first!


Subject: Welcome!
Date Posted: 6/13/2011 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
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Yep, patience is a good trait to have around here!  Go poking around in the books that are availabe ...not the wishlisted books. I pick ones that sound good, have interesting titles or any good dog book. I check out the  "what are you reading" as well as the hidden treasures. If I am poking around any book store website, I check out interesting sound books and then go order them at PBS...which would explain why I have 12 bookshelfs+ full of books-I got no self control!

Last Edited on: 6/16/11 7:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2011 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2011
Posts: 2,413
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Hi Susie!

Welcome to PBS. As soon as your ordered books do arrive, things will fall into place quickly. Like you, I came to the forums looking for advice and have never been disappointed, It took me a couple of monthes to discover them though, so you are way ahead of me. You have great books listed. I've shuffled my lists around a number of times as I've seen the lay of the land, to maximize the benefits. One thing I do is spend a lot of time scrolling through the "Books Listed Today".Click on that area and you will see things that are listed immediately after they are posted. I've scooped up some really unique finds. Also, sign up for "The Daily Digest". It is a listing of all the books listed in the last 24 hours in the genres you are interested in. I've found a few books that were similiar to my WL books, just under a different ISBN. One being a brand new CD of Eckert Tolle's A New Earth! I was so happy.

Happy reading, Lori

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 8:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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Susie - welcome to PBS forums.

I was looking at your wish list and have noticed you wish listed both sticky notes and stationary.  While these do have an ISBN, they are not swapable on this site.  I only mention this because they are taking up spots on your wish list that you might rather use for a book.

Animal Times Postcards

Animal Greetings stationary

Animal Adventure Sticky Notes     

Last Edited on: 6/13/11 8:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2011 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't think you should give up on PBS. Just maybe not rack up a bunch of credits until you start getting some return. I don't keep a high amount of credits.  I post WL books as I need credits. 

I have an active WL but have different reading tastes then you.  The books I WL probalby move faster.  And I could easily spend all my credits on books that aren't WL. I just have a huge TBR already and restrain myself.

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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Welcome, welcome! It won't be long before you're as addicted as the rest of us! And yes, this is definitely a great community of folks!


Date Posted: 6/13/2011 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2011
Posts: 27
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Thank you all, again! Cozette, great advice. I really appreciate the encouragement and tips. I was surprised I didn't see another recent thread like this, so hopefully any other new people on PBS are reading along and feeling a little better as they do! You folks are really so kind to take the time to welcome me & share your insights. Thank you!

Date Posted: 6/14/2011 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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"I know how frustrating it is to be 9,895th on the list!  The good thing about that is that if books are new and popular, a lot will soon start circulating and the numbers will move pretty quickly."

And the bad thing is that if the books one is wishing for are not new and popular, it doesn't matter if you're first or fiftieth--it's going to take a *long* time to get them.  I am constantly reading how people are getting books practically daily, etc.  I've been on seven months and have gotten eight books.  However, I will be the first to admit my WL tends toward the obscure.

Also, it would be nice if things that are not swappable are indicated as such so new people don't take up slots on their want lists with them. (along with the non-ISBN items that are still hanging around--shouldn't these be removed after they are sent out?).