PaperBackSwap Blog

Archive for April, 2008

Dear Members, Newsletter – April 2008

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

We wish this were an April Fool’s joke, but it’s not: one of the co-founders of our sites, Robert Swarthout, is leaving PaperBackSwap.   PaperBackSwap was co-created by Robert and Richard Pickering back in 2004, when Robert was fresh out of college; from there we launched SwapaCD in 2006 and SwapaDVD in 2007.  Robert did a great job helping us run these clubs and he will surely be missed.    We had hoped he would stay with the sites as the clubs continue to grow, but he has been offered an opportunity that he doesn’t want to pass up and has decided to take it.   We are very sad to see him go, but we were lucky to have him as long as we did.  We wish him well in his new endeavors.

Spring is a time for new beginnings.  We prefer to think of it that way rather than as an ending.  Rest assured that the remaining programmers on the Team will be there for the club and carry out that vision of Internet swapping that all started here with PaperBackSwap.  As always, we welcome our members’ ideas which have contributed so much to make this the best book club in America; your continued input will help us grow in the future and is sincerely appreciated.

We wish all of our members a wonderful Spring!

and the PaperBackSwap Team

2,000,000-book Milestone Contest: Newsletter – April 2008

Monday, April 7th, 2008

So many of you participated in the contest to guess the exact minute that the PBS library of available books would reach 2,000,000.   The time was 8:53 AM ET on 3/24/2008, and the 2,000,000th book was Mr. Timothy,  posted by Vikki C. (Vikki). Vikki got an easy 5 free credits for posting the milestone book!

Our grand prize winner (of 100 Book Credits, 1 Year Box-O-Books, 1 Year Book Journal,  $10.00 PBS Money, $10.00 SwapaCD.com Money and $10.00 SwapaDVD.com Money) was  Michael T. (flopp), who has been a member since 12/10/2007.    Michael was bowled over by the news that he had won!  The second place winner (of  25 Book Credits, 1 Year Box-O-Books, 1 Year Book Journal, $5.00 PBS Money, $5.00 SwapaCD.com Money and $5.00 SwapaDVD.com Money) was  Angela T. (rubyred) 1/19/2008.  She plans to share her credits with her dad–March 24th was his birthday!  The third place winner (of 10 Book Credits, 1 Year Box-O-Books, 1 Year Book Journal, $3.00 PBS Money, $3.00 SwapaDVD.com Money and $3.00 SwapaDVD.com Money) was Tiffany M. (beangirl), who has been a member since 11/5/2007.  Tiffany was totally psyched.  Congratulations to all the winners!  For quotes from these winners, please see the Contest Results page on the site.

We also had 8 members who guessed within half an hour each way of the winning time, and got 1 Book Credit each: Shai G. (LoveBeingMOM), Kimberly T. (HeartsongChica), Wendy B. (wendytomereader), J. H. E. (J. H. E.), Kate M. (kinare), Emily W. (Emily W.), Christine L. (claro) and Dawn A. (eyebright13).

We would like to thank all who participated in the contest.  This was really fun, and we look forward to the next one!

Follow-up for Problem Swaps. Newsletter – April 2008

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

This feature allows requestors to give follow-up on any problem swaps they have had.   Providing follow-up will allow the system to screen more effectively for those accounts that are sending problem books and NOT resolving the problems, and also allow us to avoid penalizing senders who might have made a mistake, but who do resolve the problem.  For information about how to use this new feature, see the Help doc “Follow-up on Problem Swaps” in the Help Center under What’s New > New Features.

A heartwarming message: Newsletter – April 2008

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Stephanie P. (dastephan6) wrote in to us to say: “I absolutely love the PBS family. Not only is this a great site to swap books on, but it’s also a way to come together in a time of need. back in september of 2007, my house burned down. i lost everything, including over 400 books. I made a post in the forum just letting members know that…if someone had requested one from me, I might have to refuse… Immediately, I was contacted by several members sending their thougths and prayers. But the members didn’t stop there. A member took my address and gave it to other members who were interested in helping me and my family out. By the end of september, I [was] back on my feet. That was i really noticed that this site was for more than just trading books, it is a place to become friends.”

We are so glad you are doing better, Stephanie!  This is not the first time, nor the last, that PaperBackSwap members prove that the PBS bond is more than just a shared love of reading.   Our members are a caring group, and never cease to humble us with their kindness to one another.

Member of the Month – April 2008

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008


As many of you know, Ani is the Co-Coordinator of the Games Moderators, and keeps Games running smoothly for the club.  She is also a Tour Guide, and she has been an active member of PBS since 7/25/2005.  Some of the comments we received along with nominations of Ani were:

As the hostess for the tea swap, she runs one of the largest swaps on the boards, and it’s kept up with brilliantly. And for me, as a new swap hostess, she has been wonderful both for moderating my swaps and just generally showing me the ropes and encouraging me. She is a great person on the forums and for the site overall.”

“Ani is always ready to help in any way possible…. She is positive, fun and a great person.”

Ani, we think you are great, no April-foolin’!  You have swapped a lot of books at PBS and you manage the Games Mods with conscientiousness and kindness.  Tour Guiding on top of that is a tall order, but there seems no end to your energy.  Thanks, Ani, for all you do to make PBS fun for new and old members alike!  You are our Member of the Month for April.

If you have any nominations for Member of the Month, submit them to us here.  Your nomination will not “expire”–anyone you nominate will have a chance at getting Member of the Month if enough nominations accumulate over time. Each month the person who has the most votes accumulated gets to be Member of the Month and gets a newsletter mention and a nifty MoM icon to wear on profile and forum posts with pride. So go for it! Tell us who’s helped you in the Forums, who’s been a great swapper, who in your opinion is a credit to PBS.  We are keeping a list of all the nominated members.  Who knows–one of them might be YOU!

DEAR LIBRARIAN: Newsletter – April 2008

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Dear Librarian–I ordered books from a member in a 2 for 1 deal advertised in the Book Bazaar: I ordered one book from her bookshelf, and she was supposed to include a freebie.  But then I got only one book, no freebie, and when I sent a Personal Message to the member she said she was never running a deal at all!  What the heck happened?  –Feeling Bamboozled in Boston

Dear Bossy,

One of two things could have happened here.  (1) You could have requested the book from the wrong person; or (2) your request was passed along from the original person to a new sender.

(1) means that you were not on the specific member’s page when you submitted the request.  You have to click Order This Book on the specific member’s bookshelf (nowhere else) in order to be sure that request is submitted to her.  You can read more instructions in the Help doc How do I direct my request for a book to a specific member? in the Help Center.

(2) means that you submitted the request to the correct person, but if you had Requestor Conditions the book didn’t meet, she may have declined your request.  Or she didn’t mark the book mailed in time, and the request canceled.  In both cases, your request would have passed to a new sender, who could not know that you had arranged to get a “freebie” book from the other member.

To prevent (1) from happening, be sure to follow the instructions in the Help doc linked above.  To prevent (2) from happening, you can make your Requestor Conditions clear when you discuss the “deal” in PMs before submitting your request, or simply toggle your Requestor Conditions to “off” (and click Update) in your Account Settings before submitting that request.  It is harder to make sure the sender marks the book mailed in time (that is up to her), but you can remind her by PM if you are concerned, and also keep an eye on your “deal” requests on your My Account page.  The deadline to mark a book mailed is 2 days after the mailby date that shows in the Request Details (or 5 days after the accepted date, if that is what shows in the details).  If a “deal” book is not marked mailed by the deadline (if you do not get an email telling you it was mailed before then), you should be sure to cancel the new request that takes its place on your My Account page, because that new request will be with a new sender.

The system wasn’t designed for “unofficial” deals like this; deals were something that the members created themselves.  We are considering making some changes to the request process purely for those who make “deals” on the site, because they have become so popular! Stay tuned.

Dear Librarian–I got a book and read it, but it didn’t survive the read.  The book looked okay when it arrived, and it was a great read, but now that I am done with it there are pages falling out. I can’t repost this book–should I ask for my credit back from the sender?  –Surprised in Santa Rosa

Dear Rosa,

Sounds like this book was on its “last read” when you got it.  Books do have a lifespan, and eventually if read enough will wear out.  I don’t think you should ask for your credit back–you say the book looked fine to post, and the sending member was able to read it without it falling apart.   And you did get to read it before the book gave up the ghost.  Books do need to meet the Book Posting Guidelines as described in the Help Center, and the vast majority of books will stand up to many, many reads.   If the book meets the guidelines (and any requestor conditions on the request) the sender can’t be faulted for posting and sending it.

So now it is time to retire it from PBS bookshelves: you can’t repost it (not even if you are good at repairing books–there are members who offer simple repair tips in the Discussion Forums, and you can consult them if a book is not too far gone), but (if all the pages are there) you can offer it as a freebie incentive with an order from your bookshelf in a post in the Book Bazaar Discussion Forums.  If it is just done, you can simply recycle it.

We  know it is disappointing not to be able to repost this book.  But remember, this won’t happen very often to any one member.  It will probably happen once or twice to some; and some members will never encounter this. If it happens to you, enjoy the read and know that it won’t happen again for a long time (if ever).  Yes, the book cost you a credit, but that’s a lot less than buying it from most used bookstores, and the book served a lot of readers well.  We are glad you enjoyed the read.  Tell that book to rest in peace.