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Dear Book Family,

What a year we’ve had at PaperBackSwap. Those that have been with us from the beginning know that our growth has been explosive in the last six months. More importantly, the club has evolved into a national network of book lovers who value the ability to exchange books with others.

This site would not have been possible without the valuable input from all of you - our devoted members. You continue to offer ideas for new features and improvements that make the site better each day. Our sincere thanks and appreciation for your kind words of support and direction.

We’ve enjoyed seeing friendships forge and camaraderie blossom within the club. It warms our hearts to see members reaching out to each other beyond the realm of books. From birthday wishes to baby announcements to first days of school, you are sharing more than books. You share your lives with one another, becoming more and more like family each and every day.

We thank you for joining us on our journey as we all pursue our dreams of building the world’s largest virtual library and the best book club in America. Thanks for a great first year.

Richard and Robert
and the PaperBackSwap Team

A club like this is long overdue in the reading community. I love the clean and simple design of the website and the ease of the swapping system it sets up. Finally! I now have a place to get new reading material for myself and to send my used books to others...for worlds less money than the other used book websites charge. Thanks for taking a chance on such an incredible idea!
Rachel M. - Chicago, IL - 9/19/2005

With so much information to share in this month’s newsletter, you may want to consider printing it out and taking your time to read all the important items discussed.

While we have plenty of things to celebrate, we also have some challenges for our club to address. Let’s review one tough item first, and then get on to all the great things that are happening in the club!

Calling All Members . . . Policy on Cancellation of Book Requests
Book requests are a wonderful thing to receive. However, following through with them is even more wonderful. In order to maintain the integrity of the club we must enforce the club’s cancellation policy when rules are not kept.

It is important to note that any member that ships a book AFTER the specified grace period WILL NOT earn a credit for that book. While this may appear harsh to some, it is a necessary action so that we can be fair to all members.

Some members may not even be aware that we had a policy. Therefore, we want to take this time to enlighten all members on this important topic. Once a book request is received, a member has a 5 day grace period to respond. (If the request is from the Wish List, the timeframe is 48 hours.) After accepting a request, the sending member has a 5 day grace period to print the wrapper, mail the book and mark it as completed in their account. If any of these grace periods are passed without action, the book request is automatically cancelled and passed on to the next available member with the book. If no other member has the book, then it will automatically be placed on the requesting member’s Wish List.

Why do we do this? Because it is not fair to make members who want a book wait more than 10 days for someone to mail out a book. We think that this is more than ample time to wrap a book and mail it. And often times there are other members who have the same book who could also mail it in a reasonable timeframe.

Sending members should be aware that if they cause a request to be cancelled, the book is always removed from their bookshelf. It will need to be reposted in order for them to trade the book in the future. A requesting member can cancel a request up until the time the wrapper is printed by the sending member.

Thank you in advance for understanding the need for enforcing this policy.

Double Your Credits . . . Double Your Reading Fun
October is the last month for our ‘Double Credits for Referrals’ program. We’ve had lots of members take advantage of this rewards program. Don’t miss out on your chance to earn 2 credits for each referral that becomes an active member by midnight, ET, October 31st.

Hurricane Katrina Book Relief Shows Strong Support For Victims
We are continuously amazed at the compassion and caring our members have expressed for those affected by the recent hurricanes. Boxes of books have arrived at our door daily since our call to action. We will be distributing these books, on behalf of all of our members at PBS, to those areas hit the hardest in these tragic events. Look for future updates on this worthy cause.

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You !!! Birthday

The following is a recap of all the goodies and gifts wrapped up just for you this month to celebrate our 1st Birthday. If you haven’t had a chance to see them, then check out all these amazing new features. It’s like your birthday everyday at PBS!!

More Advanced Referral Options
We have added more options to help spread the word about PaperBackSwap. There are some new bookmarks and also a new flyer with pull tabs. Look for the word NEW next to these items. Remember all referrals between now and October 31st at midnight ET are worth 2 credits. This means more books for you! Visit the Advanced Referrals updated page for more info on this feature.

Top 50s
Ever wonder which books get swapped the most? Wished for the most? Posted the Most? Well, you don't have to wonder any more! Now, in addition to the Top Swappers List, you'll be able to view lists of all of these. The PaperBackSwap Team has been working overtime to compile Top 50s lists based on the last 7 days, last 30 days and all time. Check out this fun-fact feature today.

Wish List 2.0 The New & Improved Wish List 2.0 Has Arrived!
The Wish List feature has recently been updated to meet the growing needs of our club members. What we like to call it Wish List 2.0 which has many changes from the previous version.

When you are searching for a book and it is not available in the main library, you are given an option to add that particular book to your Wish List. Keep in mind that you should never place a book on your Wish List unless you are ready and willing to request it when it becomes available. This helps to minimize the disappointment of members when their books are wished for - but not requested. You can even select to automatically request any book on your wish list by turning on the auto request. Simply click ‘yes’ on the Auto Request option for each book you would like to automatically request when it is available. That way you won't miss your chance to get any book on your Wish List.

If you are the first person to wish for a particular book, then you will be first in line to be offered the book when it is posted. The next person who adds it to their Wish List will be second, and so on.

When a member posts a book to the system that is on the Club’s Wish List, the first person in line for the book will be notified and given first chance at requesting it. If they do not respond within 48 hours, then the book is passed on to the next person in line. This process is repeated until all members who have the book on their Wish List are given a chance to request the book. If none of the members who had the book on their Wish List request it, then the book is placed in the main library for any and all members to request.

Important Note: If you have a book on your Wish List, and you do not request it when it is offered to you, this book will be taken off your Wish List and placed on your Reminder List. Because you made a decision not to request the book at the time it was offered to you, you cannot add it back to your Wish List until the newly posted book has been requested by someone else. This policy makes sure that the member posting the book has the best opportunity of having another member request their book.

NEW Reminder List Feature Added to Enhance Your Wish List!
The Reminder List has been created to allow members to list books that they are interested in but not quite ready to request or add to their Wish List. This is an important distinction from the Wish List.

Books that go onto your Reminder List are books that may or may not be available in the system. If they are currently available, members will be given an option to order them directly from this list at any time. (Unlike Wish List books, these books are not placed on hold for members.) Books on your Reminder List can be ordered from this list as long as they remain in the system.

Keep in mind that you should not place a book on your Wish List unless you are ready and willing to request it when it becomes available. This helps to minimize the disappointment of members when their books are wished for, but not requested. If you are not ready to request the Wish List book when offered to you, please keep it on your Reminder List until you are ready.

My TBR Pile
Now you have an easy and convenient way to organize your ever-mounting To-Be-Read (TBR) Pile! This new feature allows you to list all the books on hand you've been meaning to read. Simply click on the TBR button and input the ISBNs of the books to include on your list.

Once you list your books, you can click and drag them in the order you want them listed. You can even sort this list by title and author. You can also leave notes about each book. Once you finish reading a book, simply click "Post Book" to place it onto your bookshelf. How much easier can it get? Sorry, we don't clean windows . . . Get started adding those books to your My TBR Pile.

Daily Digest (your 24 hour reminder) Now Sorted by Genre
The Daily Digest just gets better . . . and better. Now when you receive customized updates of all newly posted books, they'll be presorted by genre. No need to wade through the list looking for the different types of books you want. Your daily email of all new book posts will be pre-sorted according to the genres that you have requested. Spend less time searching and more time finding the books you want within 24 hours of their listing. If you haven't signed up for your 'daily dose', be sure to check out how this feature brings the best to you! Be sure to customize your Daily Digest settings today!

Book Transaction Stats
At PaperBackSwap, keeping up with things just gets easier and easier. Now you can keep track of all your transaction statistics. Simply go to your account and click on Book Transactions. In addition to having all your sent and received books listed, we now list the number of books sent and received and calculate the savings for you. Check out this feature and let the numbers speak for just how great this club is for all its members.

Advanced Search
Can't find that particular book? Have no fear - Advanced Search is here!

Sometimes searching for a particular book can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Not so at PaperBackSwap! We've created a search engine that will take you to the books you want - fast!!

Our Advanced Search offers multiple search criteria for a book. Now you can search by title, author and publisher using various word matches all at the same time. You can specify the binding type, publication date and reviewed versus non-reviewed books.

Do you ever find yourself remembering what a book is about but not remembering the title? Now you can search by typing in a description of the book as well. There are so many features now available with this search engine that you really have to try it out to believe it! Check out our Advanced Search and start finding all those books that have been "lost in the haystack."

Club Wish List by Sortable Genre
Ever wonder what everyone is really wishing for? With one of the new birthday presents this month, you can now see the club's Wish List sorted by genre. Sometimes wishes multiply and then we can't make sense of what everyone is looking for on the site. With the newest feature, you can make sense of the Wish List because it will be sorted by genre. Browse the genres that are important to you and see what others are wishing for. Members posting books can now click away and identify books from the Wish List that are also in their own libraries and post them. Just another one of the many ways that the PaperBackSwap team works to help you maximize your book lovin' life! Go browse the Club Wish List now.

Daily Wish List
Want to know what others are wishing for each day? Books, books and more books. Now you can receive a daily list of the books added to the club's Wish List. This daily update can be customized to meet your needs: you can receive the entire list alphabetically or it can be broken down alphabetically within genres. You can choose as many or as few genres that matter to you. Try this new feature and see what everyone is wishing for . . . you might have just the book to make their wishes come true! Go customize your Daily Wish List settings today.

Books Posted Today by Genre
Did someone say “Needle in a Haystack” . . . again?! Did you know there are more than 2,000 books per day posted into the club’s library? This means more titles for you to choose from and more books for you to enjoy reading. However, it can seem overwhelming to wade through all those titles searching for the ones you want. Let your Daily Book Postings by Genre do the sorting for you.

Now the club’s Daily Postings are available to you broken down by Genre. Let’s say you want to see all the Mystery books posted today. Simply go to Books Posted Today and click on the Genre bar to specify Mystery. A list will be generated with only the books that fall into this genre.

Don’t miss out on the new book postings that mean the most to you. Check out this great enhancement today!

List Syndication
This present is for all of our members that have their own website. (Sorry to the rest, but we have to do a technologically advanced birthday present to satisfy our techno-savvy members!)

So if you have your own website……How would you like to be able to display all of your PBS books for others to see on your website? And what if they could join PaperBackSwap and request one of your books? How cool would that be?

So cool, that we decided to create it just for you. Now you can display your PaperBackSwap books that you currently have posted on PBS onto your website! And to make it even better you can now show them your “Wish List”, your “TBR (To Be Read)” pile or your “Books I have Read” list.

Also, you can slide on over to the customization panel and change the colors to your liking. You can also choose any of the four lists to display. Pick and choose. You decide. These options can be found in your account in "My Account Settings" => "List Syndication". Hey, some of you asked for it – we delivered!

And for the really, really technologically advanced members, you can also get your updates through a RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feed. Simply subscribe to the URL http://www.paperbackswap.com/rss/index.rss for updates. This file is updated every 5 minutes with the most 15 most recently posted books. Now that is cool!

20 Questions
This present is a game for book lovers that we can all play over and over! You remember the childhood game called 20 Questions? Well, we have come up with our own version for all of our members at PaperBackSwap. The objective is to guess the answer to the question “Which - Book Title, Author or Character – am I?”

  1. The possible categories for the answer include: Book Title, Author or Character
  2. You can only ask Yes or No questions. If you ask a question that is neither Yes or No, then you will get a response of NA (not applicable or relevant).
  3. You can guess as many times as you want. You may submit multiple questions in one day if you so choose.
  4. Each time you ask a question, you earn a point.
  5. Questions are answered by the host of the game once per day; timing of the host’s answers may vary from day to day so keep a watchful eye.
  6. The person who guesses correctly with the lowest score wins.
  7. The contest will be held over a predetermined amount of time as determined by the host. Usually 1 to 4 weeks. You can join in at any time during the game.
  8. No results will be posted until the end of the game.
  9. The host is responsible for all prizes!

Any member can become a host and run their own game. Please see the instructions for HOSTING YOUR OWN GAME! Let The Games Begin!!!!!!!!

New York Times® Best Seller List
Everybody has an opinion, right? And the New York Times is no exception! So, by popular demand, we have added the Best Seller List from the New York Times®. We will be updating it on a weekly basis, as it is published every Sunday.

Going forward, we will be storing all the lists. So, in the future, if you want to review popular books from the past, we'll have it all right here for you. We hope you enjoy this new feature. All the best and happy reading!

Keyword Search
Have you ever wanted to just "do a search" without having to choose all the different search parameters? Well now you can!

We have updated our basic search to do just that. On the Search page you can enter any combination of a title or author to find results that apply to all the words you entered. Other fields for searching include: Author, Title, ISBN, Binding and Publication Date. The results from each search are sorted in order of priority that you selected. The results will be displayed in descending order for you to review.

Rate Those Books and Shoot for the Stars!
With all of the books in the club it is sometimes hard to tell which books other members liked from the ones they didn't. Well, with the latest improvement to the book rating system you will be able to rate a book easier than ever!

Any time you see stars next to a book on the site and you are logged in, you can just click on the stars to give it your rating. All ratings will be combined to provide an overall Member Rating for a book. Also, a new page has been added to your account so that you can see all of the books that you have rated. We're counting on all of our members to 'shoot for the stars' at PaperBackSwap!

Thanks Again for a Great Year
Let us close this month’s newsletter with a word that may be small but is very big on sincerity and meaning . . . thanks!

Happy Reading,
Richard & Robert
and the PaperBackSwap Team