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Your Monthly Guide to What’s Happening at PaperBackSwap

Letter from the PBS Team:

Hi there! Richard and Robert here again to provide you with helpful news and updates. We want all our members to know that we are dedicated to serving the club as well as the best interests of our members. We will be online Monday August 1st at 9:00 pm ET chatting with members, answering questions and exchanging ideas for the club. Join us for a fun and informative evening.

In this month’s newsletter we’ve included a few updates to existing features as well as helpful hints on how to earn more credits.

As always, we encourage you to communicate with us whenever you have any ideas, suggestions or needs with the club. With our members’ help, we continue to stand on our belief that this is absolutely “The Best Book Club in America!”

Thank you,
The PaperBackSwap Team

This Month’s Quote from Our Testimonials Section
I absolutely love this book club! I have been a member for about 2 months or so, and I can't tell you how exciting it is to open a package and find out what book has come today. It is like Christmas all the time! I love that I can find books I wouldn't necessarily be able to find other places, and hear about books that I probably otherwise wouldn't be interested in.

Plus, there is also the fun of being able to chat with other people from around the country about books we find, and send to each other. It really is a great way to make friends!

This is the greatest book club ever, and I hope it stays around for a very long time!!

Katelin S. - Brockton, MA - 7/26/2005

Our Family Tree Is Growing!
Yes, we consider every member to be a part of the PaperBackSwap Family Tree. With each new member, a new branch is started. As new members refer others, the tree continues to grow. Many of you have so many members sprouting from your branch, it’s incredible! Thank you and keep using that Miracle Grow!!

Double Credits for Referrals
Just because the original contest is over doesn’t mean the Bonus Credits end here. Thanks to the success of our recent referral contest, the PBS team has decided that from now until midnight ET October 31st, EVERY referral is worth TWO credits. Yes. That’s right. Members will receive double credits for each referral that joins and list 9 or more books. Members, thanks and keep those referrals coming!

To paraphrase an old dance tune, “Ship It – Ship It REAL Good”
We have received several wonderful suggestions for packing and shipping books to other members. Our goal is to offer a simple solution that meets all the requirements of getting a book to another member at a low cost and with minimal effort. Our patent-pending labeled book wrapper meets these needs. We’ve had thousands and thousands of books successfully shipped through the system. However, some of our wonderful members have come up with various ideas and suggestions for wrapping and shipping a book safely. We thought we’d share some of these ideas with you:

Some members are beginning to wrap books in saran wrap before wrapping them in the club’s paper book wrappers. This really helps to prevent water from damaging the book while in transit. We think that this is a great idea and encourage you to try it!

Brown paper grocery bags are made of sturdy paper. As an alternative to the wrapper, some members have chosen to wrap books with these bags. The address label can be taped to the front of the bag, or the address information can be hand written.

Also, some members like to purchase bubble wrappers or other types of envelopes. There is no problem with doing this as long as you tape the printed "mail to" address on the outside.

It is very important to have the proper return address and Request ID on the label. This information is needed when there are problems with the shipment of a book. Please remember to include these on the package.

Please also keep in mind that lickable stamps sometimes do not hold up well, especially on top of tape applied to the book wrapper. PLEASE USE SELF ADHESIVE STAMPS. Be sure to place stamps on the book wrapper AFTER taping the book for shipment. If tape is on top of the stamps, the USPS will not mail the item because they have no ability to mark the stamps “cancelled”.

We highly recommend clear packing tape to cover the wrapper, as it holds up wonderfully. However, some members have gotten too liberal with their tape and used it to tape the wrapper to the cover of the book. This causes the book cover to become damaged when unwrapping the book. Please use ONLY one small piece of scotch tape to secure the wrapper in place before wrapping the book. Then you can use clear packing tape for the rest of the job.

We will continue to share ideas with you as they are offered. Thank you in advance for wraping all your books with care!

Who Knew PMS Could Feel So Good!
We’re talking our new Personal Message Service!! Doesn’t it feel great to go to your account and receive a friendly ‘thank you’ from a person you’ve never even met? We’ve had so many members enjoy hearing from the person that received their book. Not only do they find out that it arrived in great condition and timely, they also find out that the receiving member is sincerely appreciative of their efforts.

We’ve heard stories of how the Personal Message service has forged friendships, brought together people with common interests in books and created opportunities to share thoughts with other book lovers. By offering the Personal Message feature, we’ve created an environment where you can continue to grow closer and closer to book club members that we like to call “family”.

The Personal Message service is also a great way to promote your bookshelf. Many times someone orders a book from a member and begins corresponding with them to find that they have many more books of interest for them to enjoy. The two members can even enjoy discussing their mutually read books.

Just think of all the smiles that appear daily as members read those wonderful little PMS notes. I don’t know about you, but I feel that sending thank yous is like spreading sunshine.Smiling Sun

More Books = More Credits = More Books
It’s just that simple. The more books you post, the more books requested from you. The more books requested from you, the more credits you earn. Recently, a member posted in a forum about the way he increases his bookshelf with books of no real interest to him – yet these books earned him credits for books he really wanted. The forum is from Tony H. from Cordova, TN, and reads:

When I joined PBS, I had few books on my shelf that I was willing to part with. I just didn’t keep a lot of extras around. I posted what I had, some Stephen King books, and for weeks I received no requests. I wondered why. Maybe everyone had already read them. Maybe there were too many of them already listed. I wasn’t sure, but I knew that there were lots of books listed that I wanted to get. So I thought, “How can I get more credits without buying them and help the club at the same time?” The answer was simple. Garage sales! I got up one Saturday morning and hit a few garage sales. Around mid-day I came across a large box of books with a sign that said, “$1.00 each” in someone’s driveway. There were about 100 books in the box. Since it was getting on to noon I thought I’d help the poor garage seller out by taking the box off of her hands. I offered her $10 for the whole box. She was ecstatic. She told me that she thought she’d never get rid of them and that she’d have to throw them away. That, by the way, is a mortal sin in my book.

So I got around 100 books for about 10 cents a piece. Since then, I get requests for books almost daily. Most of the time, I get multiple requests for books. These books are finding good homes and are being used for their intended purpose: Reading! My credits are growing and I’m in Paperback Heaven! Imagine if we all “rescued” books from the certain doom of becoming garage sale leftovers. Imagine how much more we could grow our ever expanding library.

Thanks Tony for sharing such a creative idea for earning credits. Be sure to view additional posts on this forum topic for more ideas.

Other ways to increase your chances of having books ordered from you include:

Discussion Forums – the forums offer an opportunity for members to get to know you and to see your name on the site. As you post your thoughts, others become more interested in you and want to know more about you and what books you have on your bookshelf. As interest peeks, so do book requests.

Public Profile – This is fast becoming THE way to get known in the club. And, the more visibility you have, the more chances you have to receive book requests. Be sure to reserve your profile name before all the good ones get taken. You’ll be glad you did.

Where in the World is Waldo . . . and Ralph . . . and Susie . . . and James . . .
Receiving books can be so much fun. Many members equate it to being like Christmas every time they open their mailbox and find a book. Wouldn’t it be great to see where all your ‘presents’ are coming from? Now you can with our new Maps feature. Not only does it show where and who the books are coming from, the maps also show where your books have been sent and to whom. By clicking on the dots you can view more information about the members, including their list of books, their wish lists and their public profiles if they have one. Yet another great reason for every member to have a Public Profile!

In addition to tracking specific books, we’ve also plotted a map to show which cities in the United States have PaperBackSwap members. It’s amazing to see the growth of the club. We even have members in Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii. If you see an area without a dot, we challenge you to find a way to fill it with a new member.

As always, we encourage you to communicate with us whenever you have any ideas, suggestions or needs with the club.  As of this evening, we proudly offer 59,551 titles, and with our members' help, we continue to stand on our belief that this is absolutely "The Best Book Club in America!"

Best Wishes and Happy Reading,
The PaperBackSwap Team