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Topic: WELCOME TO THE L&R FORUM / Weekly release info!

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Subject: WELCOME TO THE L&R FORUM / Weekly release info!
Date Posted: 10/13/2009 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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I'm not a moderator or even a hall monitor. I originally posted this information for one new user but thought it might be useful to others.

I encourage other forum participants to add their own message of welcome and bump this thread from time to time until we can get it stickied at the top.

†Welcome to the PBS Love & Romance Forum!

We have a sticky topic at the top of the forum for announcing deals and new postings (labeled ***Book Deals, Offers, Bookshelf Promotions ***). Ours is the most active genre forum (and rightfully so) and we could really make each other crazy posting new topics with book deals. We would constantly be sending other topics to page 2. Please keep in mind that PBS has a policy about advertising your bookshelf and this thread is the only place for advertising in the forum that conforms with that policy.

If you wish to create a new topic to advertise your bookshelf or special deals you're offering, please do so in the Book Bazaar Forum.

While you're here, you might want to check out some of our recurring topics:

Is This On Your Bookshelf (new each month) - This thread is for posting books you're hunting for. Just searching and ordering through the PBS system (vs. ordering from a particular user's shelf) will get you the copy of the book that has been in the system the longest (FIFO - First In, First Out). Mentioning books you want to order here first is just a courtesy to allow forum participants a chance to fulfill your request and possibly offer a deal. Check this thread often if you think you might have books other forum participants want. NOTE: Please do not post searches for wishlisted books here! If other forum participants have WL'd books, they will advertise them in the "Is This On Your Wishlist" thread.

Is This On Your Wishlist (new each month) - Forum participants use this thread to announce wishlisted books they are about to post to the system (which means it will go to the first person in the queue - and those can get pretty long). It benefits the person with the books because they have a chance to ship 2 or more titles to the same person, saving on postage. And, of course, it benefits the recipient because they can step out of the WL line. Kinda like FastPass at Disneyland.

New Romance Books to Wishlist (long-running, ongoing topic) - I don't know how they do it, but some of the participants here find out about upcoming releases before they are announced anywhere else! Checking this thread allows you to get in the WL queue before it hits triple digits.

I suggest setting a "watch topic" on these threads so you'll get e-mail notifications when there are WL books available and when new books are announced.

And please! Join our discussions about books. We sometimes wander off topic but we always get back to our shared love of reading 'trashy novels.' As you can see if you continue to read the other comments in this topic, everyone has something to contribute!

†SUGGESTIONS FOR BEING A GOOD PBS SHIPPER† (TY, Jerelyn for the reminder).

There are no hard and fast rules about how books should be packaged, but experience with the postal service (my own and others here on PBS) leads us to make the following recommendations:

Wrap books in plastic. I buy the cheap gallon bags at the 99-cent store (the kind that come with twist ties) and the cheapest plastic wrap I can find (I'm not worried about cling - in fact, cling is bad).

Inside the plastic bag/wrap and facing outward, I include the recipient's address. This is particularly important if you use an inkjet printer. Inkjets don't use heat to melt the print into the paper like laser printers do. That means that water can melt away the address. It's also good if the book(s) get separated from the wrapping.

Using clear shipping tape, tape over the address information on the label (even if you're using PBS wrappers).

Tape over corners and edges to reinforce the packaging and prevent tearing when postal gorilla equipment abuses the package.

I have a HUGE plastic bag in which I store all the smaller plastic bags I get at stores. These are great for wrapping books. But with Christmas coming, y'all might keep in mind that they make great padding for boxes, regardless of what you're shipping. They're almost weightless (much more so than wadded newspaper) and compact easily to fit between box and object. Now that's recycling!

For shipments of multiple books and Box-O-Books swaps: If I'm sending too many books to use the wrapper, but not enough to justify a weight-adding box, I wrap the books together in plastic (bag or wrap), then tape in both directions around the books to make a solid "brick" (as Sarah mentioned below). Then I wrap in grocery bag paper (maps work too, as Emily mentioned below), taping around edges and completely over the PBS label.

Is all this a hassle? It used to be, now it's just a habit. And making sure the books I send arrive in good condition is worth it!



Last Edited on: 7/2/10 4:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 18
Date Posted: 10/13/2009 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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Ladies... Please help me keep this bumped and can someone tell me how we can get it stickied?

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
Posts: 2,463
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Hi Colleen,

Send in Feedback thorough the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page under "Company". Click on "Send us Feedback" and fill in the blanks. :)

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
Posts: 4,591
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You're so industrious, Colleen. ;-)

Great idea.

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Hey Colleen, you might want to specify in the description of the "Is this on your bookshelf" thread that it is for non-WL books only, so that new members don't get confused and think that they can ask for books that are WLed there.

I would also mention that the deals thread is the ONLY place in the L&R forum that it is OK to advertise or ask for deals, rather than making separate posts for those.  I know you're trying to keep a friendly tone, but I think the language needs to be a little bit stronger here, so that people understand the rules.  Maybe just add on to your first sentence about that and say "We have a sticky topic at the top of the forum for announcing deals and new postings where all deal and shelf advertisements and requests for deals should be posted.  Per PBS rules, this is the only acceptable place in this forum for deal posts, so please do not make a new thread to advertise your deals", and then the bit about this being the most active genre forum, etc.

Otherwise, this is very good information that I wish everyone would read and understand before posting in this forum.

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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TY, Gina. Industrious? Only in the little hours of the morning. Which was when I originally wrote this up in Mitz's thread. ;) Thought explaining a bit about our 'hood might help a newbie.

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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TY, Lesley for the suggestions. Editing OP forthwith.

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Good job Colleen!

Subject: this is waaaay helpful
Date Posted: 10/13/2009 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
Posts: 1,170
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Very useful info to a newbie like myself. 

 

Question about the packaging part.  My libarian mentioned plastic wrap, so I've been doing that part.  So, are you saying (as a sender) should I be using the plastic wrap-AND the cheapie gallon bags too? 

 

And how do y'all package 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 books?  So far, I've put the few that I've had in a bubble mailer.  But if doing mass quanities, that could get fairly expensive. 

 

TIA

 

Jan

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,540
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Jan, I would think one or the other.  As long as the books are fully wrapped in plastic someway to protect them from the elements.  Plastic wrap, ziplock bags, heck even plastic shopping bags or plastic bags the newspaper may come in will work.

If the muliple books are the same size, I make a book brick.  2 or 3 I will just stack and wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap first and then in brown kraft wrap.  If I want to drop them in a blue box, I'll stack the books side by side (3 or 4 per stack) and cut a piece of cardboard to fit (to help with stability) and wrap that whole thing in plastic wrap before the kraft wrap.  Lots of tape is the key to making sure the package hangs together.

I have recently invested in plastic mailers.  I got 150 of them for $20.  That's like 13 cents each.  Much easier than the PBS wrapper or kraft wrap.  I can tape the plastic mailer to fit the books.  Don't leave your book loose in any wrapper or envelope!  Make sure the whatever wrap you use is taped firmly around the book.

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2008
Posts: 741
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I use walmart bags for the water proofing ( I cut off the handles, the bottom and then cut the bag in half). When I mail 3-6 books, I use paper bags from the grocery store.  These paper bags are especially great with hardbacks.  They are really tough and the sharp corners from the hardbacks will not pierce the paper bag.  Then tape and mail.  I have been so lucky in receiving books in good condition and have gotten ideas from the way people mail books to me.   

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,471
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For hardcovers, I cut up a used padded envelope to put on the corners.  That overhang just rips envelopes and wrappers.  I used to use paper bags.  Now I have a number of old road maps and an outdated road atlas.  The paper is thinner but is designed to be sturdy.  I have pretty packages that hold up better than the bags when wet. 

Please, no books loose in an envelope.  Fold and tape the envelope to be snug around the book.  Otherwise the sorting machines rip them open.

As I have an inkjet printer, I always put a piece of tape over the address.

A seam ripper works great for opening books. 

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I think even if this were a sticky t hat we'd need double-sized font and flashing letters and a couple of Mary's hot pics on each side for anyone to notice :)

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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I'm going to add a comment about plastic bags. I don't know why I didn't think of it before (prob'ly has something to do with the insane hours I keep).

For those of you who hit the "Go To Last Post" as soon as the page showed up...

I have a HUGE plastic bag in which I store all the smaller plastic bags I get at stores. These are great for wrapping books. But with Christmas coming, y'all might keep in mind that they make great padding for boxes, regardless of what you're shipping. They're almost weightless (much more so than wadded newspaper) and compact easily to fit between box and object. Now that's recycling!

For shipments of multiple books and Box-O-Books swaps: If I'm sending too many books to use the wrapper, but not enough to justify a weight-adding box, I wrap the books together in plastic (bag or wrap), then tape in both directions around the books to make a solid "brick" (as Sarah mentioned above). Then I wrap in grocery bag paper (maps work too, as Emily mentioned above), taping around edges and completely over the PBS label.

Colleen

Date Posted: 10/14/2009 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Bumping this great post!

Date Posted: 10/14/2009 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 3,291
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Colleen,

You might want to mention the first red sticky in this forum *** Book Deals, Offers, Bookshelf Promotions ***  is the place to advertise book deals or show off your bookshelf.  People can also go to the Book Bazaar but if the books they are offering are romance the red sticky is a great place to advertise.
 

Date Posted: 10/14/2009 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2008
Posts: 462
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Recycle!  Recycle!  Recycle!  I am really big on this.  If I can re-use anything that comes in - bubble wrap, bubble envelopes, boxes...  I do!  My husband is always bringing home things that I can use to mail.  He came across a roll of contractors paper at a yard sale and thought that I might be able to use it.  I also have come across another roll of mailing wrap that I love to use.  At office depot it cost, at least, $30!!! 

When I mail a single book, I wrap the 2nd page of the label around the book, than wrap the book several times with the wrap.  That way if the outer wrap gets torn or (god forbid) the wrapper gets torn off the books are safe and the mailing info in still showing.  If there are several books, I fold the 2nd page so that the mailing info shows and wrap the entire set of books several time with the wrap and then finish it off with the outer layer (what ever that may be).

Date Posted: 10/14/2009 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Arica, that is in the very first line of the post, but it doesn't say what it 's called. That is the thread that the link goes to though.  Colleen, I agree that maybe you should change that to read the exact title of the thread, and maybe even put it in red so that it is recognizable in the forum thread list.  Too bad we can't do like Susannah said and put extra large fonts, strobe lights and naughty pictures next to it to draw attention, lol.

Date Posted: 10/14/2009 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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TY to Arica and Lesley for pointing out that the sticky promo topic needed more clarity. I've edited the OP per your suggestions.

*sigh* I can't use strobes and nekkid men, but I did put the subject in ALL CAPS and dontcha y'all like my little reader specs?

Still haven't heard back from the PBS team and it's still not sticky. :/

Date Posted: 10/14/2009 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 3,291
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Ok I thought of something else.  Right now the Is this on your links go to October's threads which is great but it would require Colleen to edit the links every month.  That might be a bit of a hassle after a while.  It might be a good idea to change that somehow so Colleen wouldn't have to edit the links every month.

Date Posted: 10/14/2009 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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ARICA - I had already thought of that, too. I could add a tutorial program about how to search for the current month within this forum, but...

As a former computer instructor, I can say that most folks HATE reading on the computer screen. If they see lots and lots of text, their eyes glaze over (like yours might be doing now?) and they click the Back or Close buttons. My OP is already teetering on the edge of too much. I've tried to add color and vary font attributes to draw eyes to the important stuff without getting too cutsy or distracting.

The only way to create static links for the "Is This" topics is to make them continuous, not setting up a new topic each month. I'D HATE THAT! The reality is that there has never been nor will there ever be information that can remain current without someone maintaining it. That applies to newspapers, books, and websites (anybody remember the discussion some weeks ago about outdated author websites?). Soooo, I don't mind maintaining this topic. 'Tis a small thing. I'd much rather do that than watch while newbies are scolded for not knowing how we do things 'round here.

Colleen

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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Things go BUMP in the night...

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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It's been 48 hours since I submitted my request for sticky status to PBS... I've just submitted a 2nd request. *sigh*

Colleen

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2008
Posts: 311
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Great work, Colleen, thanks!!

-Lynn

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 2,164
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I don't know about you guys but I don't even look at the sticky threads.  My eyes just skim right over them.  So I'm not sure making this thread a sticky thread would do any good.  Just a thought.  Course I imagine it will be a pain to keep bumped up. 

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