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Help Center - Box-O-Books Tutorial

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~Box-O-Books Tutorial~


click any step below to be taken to that step immediately

if you have questions about Box-O-Books swapping, Click here

1. Finding books, making a Box-O-Books offer to another Boxer

2. Getting a Box-O-Books offer and Responding

3. Boxer Negotiation/Adjustment

4. Agreeing on a swap

5. Printing and Mailing a Box-O-Books

6. Marking a Box-O-Books received and leaving feedback


Step 1: Boxer Jack finds Books and makes a Box offer

  • Jack places his cursor over Community on the main toolbar at the top of any page on the site, and clicks Box-O-Books in the menu that drops down.
  • He is taken to the Box-O-Books area.  On this page:
    • Jack can search all Boxer bookshelves by title, author or ISBN in the first field
      • he can limit his search results by Large Print, binding type and genre
    • He can browse all Boxer books by genre in the Browse by Genre field (choose a genre from the dropdown menu, and select from subgenres that open to the right)
    • He can choose a specific Boxer by entering his or her first name or Nickname in the Boxers field
    • He can check out new Boxers' bookshelves from the links under the Boxer search field
    • He could also find a Boxer in the Forums (there is a Boxer icon on each Boxer's Forum Post)
  • Jack decides to check out Boxer Jill T.'s books (he met Jill in the Discussion Forums earlier that day in a discussion of suspense and mystery books):
    • Jack enters "Jill" (her first name) in the Boxers field
    • He clicks her name in the list to bring up her bookshelf. 
  • This is what Jack sees:

  • He can see (on the upper right of the page) that Jill has never gotten any Boxer Feedback, and she has no Boxer Ratings.
    • This does not surprise him, because she told him she just joined.
    • Once Jill has sent a few Boxes, the Boxer Rating will let other Boxers know more about her Boxing
    • Jack doesn't have any ratings himself; this is his first Box
  • Jack chooses books he wants. 
    • He can browse Jill's bookshelf using the buttons at the top of the page; he can
      • browse by genre  or
      • search for a particular book or author, using the buttons at the top of the page
    • He clicks next to each book he wants
    • This adds the book to his Box on the right
    • He clicks the X next to any book in the Box to remove it
    • He finally comes up with 3 books he wants from Jill.
  • This is what Jack sees now:


  • Jack decides to offer this swap to Jill.
    • He clicks under his Box
    • This sends an email to Jill notifying her that she has been offered a Box-O-Books
  • Now Jack has to wait until Jill responds.
    • There is no time limit for a Boxer response to an offer
    • The books are not removed from either Boxer's bookshelf until the Box swap has been accepted on both sides
  • Jack looks at the swap in his Pending Boxes list in his Box-O-Books area
    • He clicks the Pending tab on the Box-O-Books area page to see the list
    • and then clicks Jill's (or his own) name to see the swap details.
  • This is what Jack sees in his Pending Swap details:


  • He can see from the Details that Jill has no Requestor Conditions
    • If she had asked for books from a house with no pets, he would click now; Jack raises chinchillas
If he were to click Decline, this would cancel the offer, and Jill would get an email telling her the Box-O-Books swap had been DECLINED

Step 2.  Jill gets a Box-O-Books offer and responds.

  • Jill gets an email in her inbox saying "OFFER: a Box-O-Books has been offered to you..."

    • She clicks the link in the email to take her to the Box-O-Books area
  • She sees Jack's Box offer:

    • She could click if she wanted to send him a Personal Message
    • She could also click this would cancel the swap completely, and send Jack an email from PBS saying the offer had been DECLINED
  • But she wants to Box! 
    • First she checks: Jack has no Requestor Conditions listed (if he had she could click to view them)
      • "Good!" she thinks (Jill has pet ferrets, and doesn't send books to members who declare animal allergies in their Requestor Conditions)
    • She clicks under her empty box to go to Jack's bookshelf.
  • This is what Jill sees now:


  • She clicks next to books that she wants
    • She doesn't have to "match" book-for-book, but this is the norm
    • It is customary to give two bound (paperback or hardcover) books for an audiobook you request
    • Many Boxers decide to do "uneven" Boxes (one Boxer sends more books than the other); this is arranged in Personal Messages
    • She chooses 3 books though, to match Jack's 3 books
    • She notices that Jack has put Digital Fortress into his Box although it is also on his bookshelf and wonders about that
  • This is what Jill sees when she is done choosing books:


  • She clicks   
    • this sends an email to Jack letting him know she has updated the Box-O-Books swap
    • Now she has to wait for him to respond: there is no time limit for this
    • The books in both Boxes still appear available on both Jack's and Jill's bookshelves
      • they also appear available to other Boxers
  • Jill goes back to Box-O-Books area and clicks the Pending Boxes tab there
  • This is what she sees:



  • She clicks and types a message:
    • "Hey, did you know you already have Digital Fortress on your bookshelf?!?!  You just ordered it again from me!"
    • She sends the PM
  • Now she waits for Jack's response.

Step 3: Boxer Negotiation/Adjustment

  • Jack gets the email telling him that the Box-O-Books has been UPDATED
  • He also gets the PM from Jill in his Message Center (under My Account) and reads it
    • He goes to his real bookshelf and looks at his "PBS Books".  There is Digital Fortress!
    • "Wow, I must be losing my marbles," he thinks.
    • He replies to Jill's PM "I'm sorry, I will remove that book"
  • He goes to his Box-O-Books area and clicks the Pending Boxes tab
  • He clicks the X beside Digital Fortress in his Box to remove it
    doing this sends an email to Jill telling her the Box has been UPDATED
    • If he was feeling generous (and if he had more books!) he could put some more books in Jill's box, offering them to her, by clicking under her Box ("Books Jill Wants")
    • He could also remove a book from Jill's Box by clicking the X next to it
      this would also send an UPDATE email to Jill
      • He might do this if he had gotten a for-credit request for one of the books she had chosen and wanted to send it out for credit this would be perfectly okay--until a Box swapis accepted on both sides, it is each Boxer's choice how to swap a particular book (for credit or in a Box swap), or
      • He might do this if he had found out that his copy of one of the books she had requested was damaged (all books in Box-O-Books swaps come from regular PBS bookshelves, and have to meet PBS criteria for swappability)
  • This is what Jack sees when he is done:


  •  Jill gets the UPDATE email and Jack's PM

    • She goes to her Box-O-Books area and clicks the Pending Boxes tab
    • She clicks Jack's name to go to the swap details
    • She clicks the X beside the book "A Painted House" to remove it from her Box this sends an UPDATE email to Jack

  • Jill waits for Jack's response


Step 4: Jack and Jill agree on a swap.

  • Jack gets the UPDATE email, and goes to the Box-O-Books area
    • He goes to the details of the swap with Jill
    • He clicks
      • this sends an OFFER ACCEPTED email to Jill
      • If he had clicked Decline, this would have canceled the Box swap completely
    • He waits for Jill's response


  • Jill gets the ACCEPTED email
    • She goes to the details of the swap with Jack
    • This is what she sees:




  • Jill clicks 
    • this sends an ACCEPTED email to Jack
    • it also removes all the books from both Boxers' bookshelves
    • it also removes the option to remove or add books to the Boxes
  • Jack gets the ACCEPTED email
    • He goes to the Box-O-Books swap with Jill
    • This is what he sees: 




  • The Print Address button has appeared, and the Boxer Feedback has been enabled.
  • Now both Boxers can print the address and mail their Boxes
    • there is no deadline to do this, although it is customary to mail Box swaps within a week of both sides having accepted.

 Step 5: Printing and Mailing


  • Jack, who initiated the swap, clicks this sends a UPDATE: PRINTED email to Jill
    • The Box Label Settings page comes up
    • He chooses not to use PBS Printable Postage
      • He scrolls down and clicks Print wrapper Now
      • This downloads a .pdf file with Jill's address to his hard drive, which he can print
      • this also removes the Decline Offer button from Jill's view; Jill can no longer cancel the swap
  • This is what Jack sees now on the pending swap:

  •  Note that Jack can still click
    • He might do this if he spills water or otherwise damages the books while packaging them
      • there is no way to remove books from the boxes now that the swap has been accepted on both sides
      • If only one book is damaged, he can cancel the whole swap (and start again) or tell Jill in a PM that this happened, and she can send one fewer book in the Box he has asked for
    • He might do this if Jill tells him she can't send the Box he wants after all (if her ferrets chew up her books before she packages them, for example)
    • He might do this if he decides he doesn't want this swap after all
      • Jill has not even printed Jack's address yet, and cannot have mailed the box to him, so he can cancel now, and this would be okay
  • Jill cannot click anymore
    • this is because Jack has printed Jill's address, and now can mail the books
    • When an address has been printed by one Boxer, the other cannot cancel the swap.
  •  Jack is on his way out to the Post Office, so he clicks
    • he wraps his Box and takes it to the PO
    • multiple-book shipments will usually need to be mailed from the PO due to USPS regulations regarding stamped packages weighing more than thirteen ounces.
  • Now this is what Jack sees:

  • All that remains is for Jill to print Jack's address the same way and mark her box mailed also
  • Jill gets the UPDATED: PRINTED, MAILED emails and goes to the Box swap with Jack
    • She also clicks
      • this sends an UPDATE: PRINTED email to Jack
      • this also removes Jack's button; he can no longer cancel this swap
    • She will be mailing on her way out the next morning, so she clicks this sends an UPDATED: MAILED email to Jack
  • Now all they have to do is wait for the Boxes to arrive and mark them received.

Step 6: Marking a Box-O-Books Received

  • Jill gets Jack's shipment first

    • She opens the box and finds that all the books are in good PBS-swappable condition, and that they are the correct books.
    • She goes to her Box-O-Books area, to the pending swap with Jack
    • This is what she sees:

    • She clicks to place a checkmark in the box next to "Add Books to my TBR Pile"
    • Then she clicks this sends a BOX RECEIVED email to Jack
    • Then she clicks and writes him a thank-you message:
      • "Thanks for the books!  They got here so fast, and they look great!   You packaged them very well.  Thanks for using a bubble-mailer.  The books were really protected from the rainstorm today. All my other mail is wet!"
      • Then she adds a P.S.  "My ferrets are very interested in the bubble mailer.  Do you have animals?"
      • Then she clicks in the Boxer Rating area and chooses "Positive" and types her message:
        • "Great swapper! The books arrived fast, well packaged, and they are in great shape."
        • She reviews her message to be sure this says exactly what she wants to say
        Boxer Feedback can't be amended once it is submitted, so be sure that you have chosen Positive/Neutral/Negative appropriately, and that your comments say what you mean to say.
      • Jack will be able to add a response to her Boxer Feedback about this swap.

The End: Jill sits down with a cup of tea to read Angels and Demons

Related Links:

What is Box-O-Books?
Finding Books for a Box-O-Books swap
Making a Box-O-Books offer
Responding to a Box-O-Books offer
When is a Box-O-Books book removed from my posted bookshelf?
How long does a Boxer have to respond to an offer?
Can we swap books for books directly with other members on this site?
How to Use the Boxer Rating/Feedback System
Can I suspend/turn off/pause my Box-O-Books?
Requestor Conditions and Box-O-Books
Declining/Cancelling a Box-O-Books Swap


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