Read All About it--Thanks to everyone who provided media contact information! As you have probably already heard, we are contacting newspapers across the country to tell them about our club. One of those contacts has already resulted in an upcoming article in the magazine Popular Science. An article on PaperBackSwap will appear in the July 2006 issue, which will be coming out in mid-to-late June. If you have any media contacts for us, please submit them at http://www.paperbackswap.com/press_media/contacts/. Remember, the more members we have, the more books for everyone to trade!
Hurricane Katrina Book Relief--We have been in contact with the libraries in the areas hit hard by Hurricane Katrina and they are nearly ready for your generous contributions of books! The libraries that we are working with still do not have storage space and the buildings are still under repair. Until the restoration work is completed, we will not be able to deliver any books. Hopefully they will have the work completed soon. We will provide details (including where to send your books) when we have them, at http://www.paperbackswap.com/misc/hurricane_katrina/, accessible by scrolling down to the bottom of any page on the site and clicking the link for "Hurricane Katrina Relief." Thanks again to all those who have expressed interest in helping out—you make us very proud.
Book totals are climbing steadily--Can you believe we are almost at 500,000 books? Keep an eye out for the Half-a-Million Books Contest, which will be announced on the site very soon. Anyone who guesses the exact time that the 500,000th book is posted will win a prize compliments of the PBS team!
TIPS & TRICKS
For all you (temporarily) who are out of credits, -- and you just have to have some more books, you can STILL order books without credits! If you are subscribed to the Box-O-Books feature, you are able to conduct one-on-one "creditless" swaps. So, if you are a Boxer who runs low on credits, you can search for your books in the Box-O-Books area (instead of the regular Search). If any Boxers have the books you are looking for, you can offer to swap your books for theirs. Click here to learn more about this great program.
Banish those bugs with Firefox! If you have intermittent trouble navigating (or even logging into) the PBS site, the problem may well be your browser. Not that there is anything wrong with other browsers , but it's just that there's so much right with Firefox. It is the most stable, bug-free browser Robert could find, and it is free! You can download Firefox at www.mozilla.com. There are versions for PC and Macintosh (Mac owners should be sure to get the LATEST version, so that they are able to post to forums), and you can even import your bookmarks from your other browser if you like. Firefox users get to see some features of the PBS site that users of other browsers (ie, Internet Explorer) never get to see. So download Firefox, and improve your PBS experience today!
Just the Books, Ma'am! We have had a "rash" of inappropriate postings to bookshelves on PBS—DVDs, computer games, music CDs. We have even had some topics offering non-book items for credits in the Discussion Forums. This is a gentle reminder that PBS is a bookswapping site only—the kind with pages, and the audio kind (originals only, on cassettes or Audio CDs). Other items will be removed as we discover them. If you notice an inappropriate item being offered for credits on a bookshelf or in a Forum topic, please report it in the thread in the Questions about PBS Discussion Forum at http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/view_topic.php?t=9603.
Your List of Lists. Did you know that you have access to nine different kinds of lists from your account page? Here is a list of those lists, what they do, and where to find them:
(1) Active Transactions (books outgoing from you or incoming to you)
located on your Account page. Just log in and scroll down.
(2) Completed Transactions (books that have been received by you, or sent by you and received by others), accessible from the right-hand side of your account page. Just log in and click Completed Transactions on the right.
(3) Books I have Read (books you have read), accessible from the
right-hand side of your Account page. Just log in and click Books I
have Read on the right.
(4) TBR Pile (= Books To Be Read; books you have received from PBS and have yet to read), accessible from the right-hand side of your Account page. You can repost books to your bookshelf directly from this list; the big red W by any book means that another member is currently wishing for this book—you might want to read it sooner, so that you can send it out!
Just log in and click TBR Pile on the right.
(5) Wish List (books you want to order that are not currently available
in the system), accessible from the right-hand side of your Account
page. Just log in and click Wish/Reminder List on the right.
(6) Reminder List (books you are considering ordering, whether
currently available or unavailable), accessible from the right-hand side of your Account page. Just log in and click Wish/Reminder List on the right, then click the Reminder List tab.
(7) My Bookshelf (books you are offering for swapping), accessible
from the right-hand side of your Account page. Just log in and click My
Bookshelf on the right.
(8) Books Lost en Route to Me (books that were not marked received by
the System Action Date for the transaction), available from a link at the top of your Completed Transactions page. You can, and should, mark "lost" books received from here, if they arrive (and they often do). Just log in and click Completed Transactions on the right, then click the link at the top of the page, "Books Lost en Route to Me."
(9) Canceled Transactions (all cancellations, coming to you or going
from you, associated with your account for the past 45 days), accessible from a link at the top of your Completed Transactions page. Just log in and click Completed Transactions on the right, then click the link at the top of the page, "Canceled Transactions."
Keeping up with the times—Media Mail postal rates changed on January
9th, 2006. Now it takes $1.59 to send a typical paperback. That's 4 first-class (39-cent) stamps PLUS one 3-cent stamp. Don't risk your books being delivered Postage Due, or returned to you for insufficient postage. (If a media mail book is returned to you, it will probably cost you another $1.59 for the return postage, plus the postage due, just to get your own book back!) Stock up on stamps today, and make sure your postage combination "adds up" to carry your book safely to its destination!
PBS and USPS: a winning combination! Most local Post Offices are happy to let you put up a PBS flyer advertising the site. You can print out these flyers from the Spread the Word area, accessible from the left-hand menu of any page on the site. If you are logged into your account when you go to this area, you will be able to "personalize" your flyers (and bookmarks, and clickable links) with one click. This means that anyone using your link to register and post 9 books will earn you a credit! Ask your post office if you can place a flyer there. It's good for USPS, and good for PBS, and good for YOU. More members means more books—and more referrals for you means more credits in your account! It's all good.
Dear R&R--I have belonged to the club for a while, and at first I got a lot of requests, but now they have slowed down How come nobody wants my books? I need credits! How can I get more requests to my bookshelf? Sincerely-- Bookshelf Getting Dusty in Houston, TX
Dear Dusty—Don't despair! There are many things you can do to get your books "moving" again.
The number of requests you get depends on how many books you have posted, how in-demand the books you have are, how many copies of those books are already in the system, AND how visible your bookshelf is to other members.
As our membership grows, each new member brings a new set of interests and 3 initial credits to spend. You may have just the books she/he is looking for! However, how can they find them, if they can't find YOU? First and foremost, you should consider making a public profile. Did you know that having a public profile roughly DOUBLES the number of requests to your bookshelf? Having a public profile means you are searchable in the Member Directory and can easily be added to another member's Friends--Friends often keep an eye on each other's bookshelves. To make a public profile, log into your account and click My Account on the right, then select Account Settings. Click the link for Public Profile at the top of the page. Don't forget to click Update Profile when you are done to apply the changes to your account!
Another good idea is to get involved in the Discussion Forums. Members who see your posts can click the Book List button on your posts and look at what you have to swap. The more members who get to see your bookshelf, the more likely your books are to be ordered. Members can order directly from you by clicking the Order This Book button next to the title on your shelf (clicking the Order button from any other place in the site will send the request to the next member in the FIFO 'line' with a book; the only way to circumvent FIFO is to order using the Order button *on a member's bookshelf*).
You can also try "advertising" your books in The Book Bazaar Discussion Forum. Start a topic describing the contents of your bookshelf: 'Gothic Romances!' for example, or 'Mystery/Thrillers and How-To Books!' In the messsage area in your post, you can 'spotlight' particular titles with descriptions and reviews. You can also start topics offering ‘2-for-1’ (2 books for 1 credit) deals if you like. Or try the Hidden Gems Forum, where members discuss favorite authors or titles. Members whose tastes match yours will click the link to your bookshelf on your post to browse your books. You can get to the Discussion Forums by clicking Discussion Forums on the left-hand menu of any page on the site; scroll down to see the different forums.
The very best advice we can give you is to POST MORE BOOKS. Whenever someone finds a title they want, they are given the opportunity to order more books from the same member. This means that if you post a title that catches someone's eye (in the Books Posted Today, for example), that person might add one of your earlier-posted books to their order. Don’t have any extra books lying around? Do as many of our members do, and hit the yard sales! You can scoop up a pile of books to share—some of them may be on Wish Lists. Other sources: Friends of the Library sales, Salvation Army/Goodwill stores. As long as the books are in good condition, not water- (or other liquid-) damaged, not Advanced Reader Copies and not missing their front covers, they are welcome at PBS—maybe even yearned for!
So get busy, Dusty, and before you know it, the requests (and the credits) will come pouring in!—Sincerely, R&R.
PBS Delivery Confirmation with Instant Credits--By now, many of you may have already clicked the green checkmark at the top right of the PBS banner on the site and read about PBS Delivery Confirmation. Robert has been working very hard with the USPS, and is putting the finishing touches on the programming now. It should be available shortly. We are very excited about this new feature, and from the feedback we are getting, we know that many of you are too!
The PBS Store!--We have heard all of the requests for PBS goodies! Your beverage of choice will taste so much better out of an official PBS mug, won't it? You'll be supporting the site with every purchase, AND proclaiming to the world how much you love swapping books at PBS. What's not to like? Come one, come all! Buy for your family, your friends, for perfect strangers! We hope to be able to announce the Grand Opening on the store very soon.
The Club is Growing. And not just in membership. PBS will have be expanding VERY soon in a way that we think you are going to love! That's all we'll say for now. Keep an eye on the site for details!
All the best!
Richard and Robert
The PaperBackSwap Team