Archive for November, 2006
Well, we’re over 825,000 books now! We’ve added many new members recently, thanks to the Kim Komando radio show, the New York Times mention, and the nice blurb on Lifehacker.com, among other media notices. A hearty welcome to all of the new bookswappers among us! Thanks for joining and we know you will love the club. We are so glad to have you here.
Turkey Day. When we sit down to our dinner on November 22, we will be offering our thanks for all our wonderful PaperBackSwap members. You have made us the biggest and best bookswapping site in America, and we appreciate each and every one of you! We hope every member of our PBS bookswapping family has a wonderful holiday!
‘Tis the season….The season of giving and sharing is fast approaching! Whether you will be celebrating Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Eid al-Adha, or winter solstice, we applaud your generous spirit and want to help you celebrate. In the spirit of giving, PBS will be giving a service to our members: gift wrapping and shipment of selected PBS Kiosk items directly to the loved-one’s home! There will be no additional charge for giftwrap! It’s our gift to you.
We think BookMates are perfect presents for every reader, young or old, male or female. All BookMate orders between November 15 and December 15 can be gift-wrapped by the PBS elves and bear a gift card endorsed with your message, for free! Your words will guide us in the selection of the appropriate giftwrap and card.
Use your imagination to gift-up a PBS item–why not a PBS Mug for that co-worker or helpful neighbor? You can fill it with an envelope of flavored coffee or cocoa, candy canes, and a gift certificate for books (credits) at PBS. Or enclose a PBS mousepad with that CD of computer games you are tucking into a stocking. A PBS tote bag filled with goodies for your mother! A PBS keyring for the keys to that new Maserati….well, maybe that’s a bit much. But you get the idea.
New item–Fleece Blankets They’re here! So soft and comfy, in beautiful royal blue with the PBS logo on them. They make great “lap robes” while you sip cocoa and read your latest PBS book. It’s not too early to start dropping hints to spouses that you’d like to receive one for Christmas. (Maybe slipped into that PBS tote bag….)
Clearance Sale. They’re out of season now—so stock up for summer (yes, it will come again—we promise)! PBS T-shirts were a most-requested item before we opened the store, and we laid in a big supply. The shirts have the PBS logo on the front and an ISBN and barcode on the back, and they have been popular, but we have a lot left! So we are discounting the price to our cost to clear these out of the warehouse to make room for new items. So give us a hand here. Everyone wears T-shirts sometimes, and the XLs make great nightshirts. Order them for your friends, your children and grandchildren, your softball team, and everyone in the office!
You spoke, we heard. Many members wanted a one-page option so that they could print out the address on adhesive labels, and we have provided this. You will see the option in your Wrapper Settings page the next time you go to print the address to send a book.
This feature has been very popular already, and after introducing it we worked hard to smooth out any “wrinkles” in the programming. Now, when a Book Journaler gets a request for a book, the location of the book (which “space” the book has been entered into in the Book Journal) shows on the request itself! So you can easily go and find the book immediately. You can import your lists from other files into the Book Journal, and can assign books individually to “spaces” (for example, “bedroom bookshelf” or “box in guest room”) by title, OR by clicking the link to your TBR Pile, Books I’ve Read or Bookshelf list, and then clicking the button there to journal the book. You can try it out for a week for free, and it costs only 8 dollars a year to subscribe (in the Kiosk). Take a tour, try it for free for a week, and see what you think—and do let us know (by sending in Feedback) if there is a feature you would like added or changed. We are always looking to improve the site!
By now, many of you have received books and encountered the new PBS Mini-Survey, which is an optional portion of the process of marking a book received. This survey allows you to tell us more about the transaction: was the PBS Wrapper used to wrap the book (this means, did the book’s external wrapping consist of the PBS Wrapper alone; if the address portion was cut out and taped onto alternate packaging, or the information printed onto a label, the answer is “No”), what was the postmark on the book, was the address hand-written on the package, how much postage was affixed. There is also a text box to share any further comments you might have. This is an optional part of the procedure; we thank those who are taking the extra minute or two to answer these questions, as this information will help to improve the site. Members have asked for a way to indicate if a book was mailed late, or arrived with insufficient postage; here’s your chance!
Tape, tape, tape…but not to the book itself! If you reuse bubble envelopes or other packaging to send your PBS books, good for you! PBS is all about giving used things new life. But be sure to tape the worn places on the packaging (always with shipping, not Scotch, tape) so that your books get where they are going safe and sound. And again, don’t tape to the book itself—this often results in damage to the book cover when the package is opened.
Don’t include “extras” with your books. USPS Media Mail rules are quite strict about what can be included in a package in order to qualify it for Media Mail postal rate. The second page of the PBS wrapper counts as an invoice, so that is okay, of course; so is a note saying “Happy Birthday” or “Enjoy your book”. But non-media items, letters or cards, and all promotional material are not permitted. USPS opens Media Mail packages randomly for inspection. Don’t risk having a book returned to you (or destroyed!) because of this. You can read the Help Center item “Can I include anything with my book?” under the heading “Sending a Book” for guidance, and more details.