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Topic: How many books do you mail out in a month?

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Subject: How many books do you mail out in a month?
Date Posted: 5/8/2008 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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For people who have been here awhile, I'm curious about how many books you mail out in a typical month. As you can see, I'm very new - I only joined two days ago. I've already mailed out 10 books (!), but I know it's likely to slow down a lot once the wishlist books on my shelf get snapped up. I'm interested to know what the average is once that initial rush is over - or is there an average?

(Edited to add a couple of omitted words)

Last Edited on: 5/8/08 10:45 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/8/2008 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Welcome aboard, Zoe!

I think it would be hard to pin down an average.  You're right that there is an initial "rush" when you first join, when all your WL books get snapped up, then it tones down, but it really depends on what's on your shelf, how often you add to it, etc.  I've been a member for about 10 months, and am down to sending out a couple of books a week, but I'm a fast reader and active trader, so your mileage may vary.

You might take a look at the PBS Top 50 and see how many the biggest swappers are swapping, how long they've belonged, how many books on their shelf, etc.  http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/top_50.php

Don't forget that if things feel out of hand, you can always put your shelf on a "Vacation Hold" for a breather.



Date Posted: 5/8/2008 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2007
Posts: 1,905
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I mail about a average of 7 a week, which comes out about $16.  Tomorrow I have to mail out 3, so that is nice for my wallet.

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 5/8/2008 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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I have a small bookshelf, but I tend to order things that have been recently popular, or are "classics," so I get decent turnaround. I've been here since 6 months and have mailed out 19 books (probably about half are books I ordered, read, and then somebody  requested).

Your bookshelf is larger than mine and has some classics. So I'd guess you'll average better than me.

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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It always seems to go in spurts for some reason.  I'll have a couple weeks of no requests followed by a flurry of requests.  I have a huge wishlist, so I have actually seen more books coming in than going out lately (yay!)  Get ready for your house to overflow with unread books.  It's not a bad way to be...but just get ready.  :)

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 5/8/2008 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,157
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It varies so much. It depends on how many books you list, what genres, etc. I just counted up my books sent and received in April for you:

20 Inbound

  • 7 were new releases by popular authors that I wish listed before the publication date. They're probably all on the best seller lists, and the wish list lines are moving fast for these books.
  • 7 were wish list books that were not new releases (all the authors have at least one more book published since these, but they're not best sellers and not currently available at PBS, a couple of them were only on my wish list for a few days before they were posted)
  • 6 were books I requested directly off existing bookshelves (I decided to read two series that already have several books published in each, so I ordered the ones that were available and added the ones that weren't to my wish list)

9 Outbound

  • 4 were wish listed new releases that I had just received, read and reposted
  • 4 were wish list books that are not new releases
  • 1 was requested from my shelf about 2 weeks after I posted it

Obviously I did very well with the wish list in April. I don't think I've ever gotten 14 wish list books in one month before. Most months I get 1 to 5 wish list books. I read them, repost them and resend them. Then usually there are 1 to 3 orders for other books that have been on my shelf for a while. So, I'm sending 7 or 8 per month and getting 3 to 5 in return. Then I have a month like April where I go on a credit spending spree.

Not included in these stats is a book that was requested on May 1 which had been on my shelf since December 2005. So take heart if you have some that sit around for a while. Somebody will want them eventually.

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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definitely goes in spurts.  I've been here nearly a year and mailed out about 150 books from 3 sites combined.  it really does depend on how many are in the system and how "new" they are.   although I've had some older books that were gone pretty quickly!

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think I mailed about 50+ books the first month or 2-I had a lot of WL books that I had piled up with the intent of taking to Half-Price books when I discovered PBS.  Now I mail out about 4-5/wk. But most of these are WL books I posted or  books for a Swap on the games forum.  I put my shelf on hold because I wasn't getting any orders from my shelf and needed to cut down on the WL books I was getting for awhile.  Mt TBR is way out of control.  So I'm keeping it on hold until I can get all these WL books read and mailed off.  I got a little addicted to trolling UBS & Ebay for WL books when I joined. 

Subject: 32 this week ALONE!!!!
Date Posted: 5/8/2008 12:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2008
Posts: 356
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Yikes, I've been a member for a month and a half and I think I have sent about 50-60 ish.  But yeah I logged in yesterday and I had 32 requests....WOW! I almost fell out of my chair!!  I guess I shouldn't complain, it's just more books for me to order from others now. 

You guys are SO right about a HUGE tbr pile, my boyfriend thinks I'm crazy for having so many books.  But hey, it's a cheaper hobby than VIDEO GAMES =0)

Welcome to the Family!!  I have enjoyed my time on this website, there are a lot of really great people that are on here that you can talk to about Books =0)  I'm currently a BOXER, so it's fun to go through bookshelves of other members and do a straight trade over.  It definitely saves money than going to the bookstore, or worrying about returning books to the library on time. 

Enjoy this place, it's AWESOME!!


Date Posted: 5/8/2008 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,373
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I think I mailed out 5-6 a month when my shelf was between 150 and 400.  I tended to have a spurt whenever I listed a new box.  

I expect that to drop for a while, since I sent one person nearly my entire shelf a bit ago. Dropped from 400 books to less than 20. I've added a few more back since then, but still less than one shelf on the physical bookshelf.  Nice change from having them on the floor!

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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So much depends on how many books on your bookshelf and exactly who those authors are. My bookshelf is usually between 370-380 books, and I usually send out 15 to 25 books a week. I have some mysteries and thrillers and a touch of chick-lit, but the majority are trade paperbacks -- not the blockbuster best sellers, just solid fiction.

I do supplement my own books with ones I have "rescued" from thrift stores and rummage sales in order to support my addition, ie MT. TBR! One can never have enough books waiting to be read! And I have discovered so many authors since becoming a member here...this is a great place to be!

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Somer - Call me request #33!!  You've got a great shelf, I just ordered a book from you.  :)

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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My husband used to complain about my books until I pointed out that I can resell mine when I'm done with them but once he smokes his cigars they're gone. Some of those cigars cost $10 and there's no resale value after he's smoked them.  At least with the books I can trade them here for other books, sell them to the UBS or Ebay. Even if I just donate them to a thrift store-I can get a tax write-off.  But the cigars are just waisted money. 

(ETA:-I want to point out that he only smokes them over his buddy's house or outside-no where near my books)

Last Edited on: 5/8/08 2:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/8/2008 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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As everyone else said, it really does depend and tends to go in 'cycles.' Sometimes I get no requests for a week  and other times I'm sending out 10 books in a week. A lot depends on what I'm reading too, and if those books happen to be wishlisted or not. Requests from my actual bookshelf are fairly slow, averaging maybe a couple a week.

Oddly enough, I still have about the same number of books as I had when I joined PBS (it'll be 3 years in August!) but now, 90% of my books are TBR instead of being books I'd already read.


Date Posted: 5/8/2008 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2007
Posts: 142
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I am fairly new (since late last year) and have only sent out a couple of books.  But I enjoyed spending those points and the free points and will gladly spend any new points I get.  I think the books I have posted are just not very wanted, but hopefully some people will want them eventually.  I am patient.  Many have been on my shelf for years already.  I am enjoying reading all the books I have and am posting the ones I have already read a few times and don't think I will read again. 

If things slow down for you you can post a "sale" on the book bazaar forum to get some new orders.  I enjoy spending my points at book bazaar offers since I have so few points to spend. 

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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It will really depend on the number of books you post and the genre you post them in. During normal months  I send around 20 books I think. During tax season I had my shelf on hold and read a lot less so I had less WL books to post.

Subject: Boxer
Date Posted: 5/9/2008 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2008
Posts: 356
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Hey Kristen,

You should sign up to be a boxer, it's awesome..especially if you are running low on credits.

Anna, thanks for the order =0)

Date Posted: 5/9/2008 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 1,883
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It varies for me. Some months I mail out hardly any and others I mail alot. Just this past month I mailed out 19. Really just depends :)


Date Posted: 5/10/2008 2:43 AM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
Posts: 1,046
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I think i want the secrets of those of you sending out 50 books a month! Holy crap! I've been here for maybe 9 months or so... i've mailed out 11 or 12 books! Total!

How do you figure who will go out the fastest (authors or genres)? I'm thinking i am naive or something. I thought 'I'm a good judge of books, i read good ones so i bet they'll go fast' and then... they sit there, lol.

Or the problem may lie in my keeper shelf... i am a (epic) series junkie, and i hate letting a good series out of my hands, haha.

Subject: Secrets revealed.....
Date Posted: 5/11/2008 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2008
Posts: 356
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My secret is that I go to thrift stores, book sales at the libraries ...etc.  Most of the ones that I find at the library are in excellent shape and are wishlisted, so as soon as I list them, they are gone.  It's good to do the thrift stores as well, because most people that I know of will just read it once and donate. ( I used to be like that until I wised up and found this site)  I find that most chick lits and teen reads request the fastest....(make sure they are trade size paperbacks, a lot of swappers are anti-MMP mass market paperbacks) The authors that fly off my bookshelf are: Jodi Picoult, Sophie Kinsella, Charlaine Harris, Jane Green, Christopher Moore, Laurie Notaro, Douglas Coupland, Nicholas Sparks(newer stuff), Candace Bushnell...and now since Twilight came out, a lot of teens are wishing for more supernatural reads =0) I hope this helps.

So there you are, try those tips out.  When I do get them at thrift stores or library book sales I buy them for .25,.50, or hardbacks I'll go up to 1.00.  Oh also, garage sales are excellent places to get great deals!  It's so much better than going to Borders or B&N and paying full price, reading it once and it just lays around. =0)

Good Luck!


Date Posted: 5/11/2008 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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I have been getting more books in than sent out myself. I have sent out 22 books so far. I had a few wishlist books when I posted them and then I think I have gotten several orders from posting it the forums. I am updating my shelf today and thinking about running a deal in the bazaar. I have ordered several times from the bazaar and it is getting time to make room on the shelf.

I have also begun trolling locally for new books to read and post. (Just got about 50 or so romance and another 25 or so misc to post.) I have started collecting a couple new series books to read and keep finding new authors to read here. This site is very addicting and fun. My TBR shelf has grown alarmingly and my DH just shakes his head.

Date Posted: 5/12/2008 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2008
Posts: 56
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I guess my books are too old, or something.  I just barely send out anymore.  It's like my shelf has frozen.  Is there a way to find which books are wishlisted?  I know you can get the top 50 or something.  My niece goes to the bookstore and writes down isbn numbers and then comes back and checks somehow if they are wishlisted and then goes back and gets them.  I'm not sure how she does that.  Any tips?

Date Posted: 5/12/2008 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
Posts: 1,046
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I found a very good Goodwill with a nice selection of books, and have found quite a few there lately. The bad part is, i seem to find the 'wrong' versions to post, ones that ARE WL'd but under a different ISBN, and it seems the one i have is not THE one they want, or will even settle for?

I found a lot of Animorphs there today, and i knew i'd seen a few WL'd on here, so i bought 17 of them for 25 cents each... and then i got home and 2 of them i posted and are waiting on WL'ers to say yea or nay... most of the kid or teen reads i have found WL'd that i could get my hands on seem to be favored in a Library Binding or a ... turtleback? I don't know wth a turtleback binding is, really, although i've seen them mentioned in the forums. I told my son he can have the remaining Aninmorphs series but BE KIND to them because i'll try a search on them again someday and see if any more are wanted.

I live in an area that is so small, the only thrifty stores we have are Goodwills and such. Do St. Vincent De Paul  stores generally carry books and thins too? There's one of those i haven't hit yet.

I am starting to get into some Chick Lit, which i never really went for before, but it's become so popular i will have to find more. I guess i need to just get out and see what's popular and start finding it. Thanks for your help, Somer!

Date Posted: 5/12/2008 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2007
Posts: 530
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I find that it varies for me. Some months I have a lot of requests, some months nothing at all. My shelf usually runs between 35 to 50 books.

I tend to pick up paperbacks that are on the W/L so if I am having a really slow month, then I will read and post those to get the requests.

Date Posted: 5/12/2008 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've sent out 49 books in the last 6 weeks.  And I've used most of my credits.  But I've found another possible source for books to trade - freecycle .org.  It will be in your local area so you join the yahoo group for it and then watch the lists.  I got several last week that way that were requested immediately.  I read history and science fiction/fantasy genres.  But  I'm sure it's about to slow down for my books to be requested because all the "good ones" are gone now.  I'll have to reduce my TBR mountain to get any new ones on my bookshelf!  I just wish I could get someone to take all the Left Behind books that my mom sent to me and the kids (everyone had to get his own copy of each book!).  I think everyone else's moms sent them to their kids who are members here!  LOL!!  ;D  I tend to like to mail mine in groups so this week I have 4 to send out.  I just wish that the book with DC that's been at the PO for about 3 weeks would get delivered to me!