Help Center - How much does it cost to mail a book?

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Postage is determined by package weight.  A typical paperback (weighing between 5 ounces and up to one pound) costs $2.69 to send by MediaMail postal rate.  A heavier book (a large hardcover) weighing between 1 and 2 pounds will cost $3.17 to send by Media mail.  A light book (weighing less than 5 ounces) will cost up to $2.68 to send by First Class mail (or just $2.09 - see FAQs about Printable Postage for information about discounts for printing First Class rate with Printable Postage).

Media Mail and First Class postal rates do not depend on distance--it will cost the same to send a package to any address served by USPS (including AK, HI, PR, GU, US Virgin Islands and APO/FPO/DPO addresses)* using either First Class or Media Mail.

First Class postal rate is less expensive if your package weighs 5 ounces or less (and with First Class you save a significant amount on postage if you use PBS Printed Postage); Media Mail is less expensive if your package weighs over 5 ounces. (If you are  using PBS Printable Postage, the "cutoff" is 7 ounces, because of the USPS discount for Printable Postage.)   When you print the PaperBackSwap wrapper, the system will calculate the least expensive postal rate for the estimated weight of your package.

  • See the table of Current Postal Rates for Media Mail and First Class Parcel rates.
    • Summary from that table: First Class Parcel rate is the best rate for packages not weighing over 5 ounces; Media Mail is recommended for packages weighing over 5 ounces. If you use Printable Postage you can use First Class for packages up to 8 ounces.
  • See the USPS full information for Media Mail rates and FIrst Class rates
  • See more details about postal rates here.

*There is an exception for members who live in the Federated States of Micronesia - those members will NOT be able to use Media Mail to mail OUT books.  They will be able to accept books mailed with Media Mail rate.  Media Mail cannot be used to mail FROM the FSM, but it can be used to mail TO the FSM,

If you choose to print your postage (by choosing the printable postage option on the Wrapper Settings page), the best postal rate will be figured out for you:

  • First Class or Media Mail postal rate will show on the Wrapper Settings page before you print; the wrapper will print out with the appropriate postal class marked on it.
  • Everything (55-cent PBS printing fee + postage) will be deducted from your PBS Money.
    • An itemized list of costs will appear on the Wrapper Settings page before you print.
    • A confirming box will show after you select Print Wrapper Now, to confirm package weight and postage
  • You can mail the package with Printed Postage from any mailbox or dropbox - since the postage is "trackable" you do not have to mail from a US Post Office counter.

If you use PBS Delivery Confirmation Only to send a package, you will need to add postage to the wrapper.

  • The PBS-DC fee of 30 cents will be deducted from PBS Money when you print the wrapper with PBS-DC only.
  • If the book is being sent Media Mail rate, you will also need to add 23 cents to the postage amount on the package, to pay the USPS electronic Delivery Confirmation fee.
  • If the book is being sent First Class, you will NOT need to pay the 23 cents extra in postage.

If you choose to use no added services, you need apply only the correct postage to your package.

Remember that packages weighing more than 13 ounces that bear STAMPS for postage will need to be taken to the Post Office and mailed by being handed to a USPS employee, due to USPS National Security regulations.  This regulation does NOT apply to PBS Printed postage or any other metered or printed postage.


Related items:

Media Mail regulations
What materials can be sent by Media Mail postal rate?
Do I have to mail from a post office?
I forgot the postage!
Is it OK to reuse uncanceled postage stamps?
What is PBS Delivery Confirmation?
What is PBS Money?
Is the postage amount shown on the PBS wrapper always correct?
Does the postage print out on the wrapper?
The *recommended postage* on my wrapper is/was wrong!
I received a book postage-due!
Can I use First-Class 'Large Envelope' Rate to send my book?
Using an APC for mailing books

 


Related items:

Media Mail regulations
What materials can be sent by Media Mail postal rate?
Do I have to mail from a post office?
I forgot the postage!
Does the postage print out on the wrapper?
Is it OK to reuse uncanceled postage stamps?
What is PBS Delivery Confirmation?
What is PBS Money?
Is the postage amount shown on the PBS wrapper always correct?
Does the postage print out on the wrapper?
The *recommended postage* on my wrapper is/was wrong!
I received a book postage-due!
Can I use First-Class 'Large Envelope' Rate to send my book?
Using an APC for mailing books