PaperBackSwap Blog

Archive for the ‘New Features & Improvements’ Category

News from the PBS Newsletter

Friday, March 6th, 2009

We look like (half a) million books! Yes, there are over 3 million books available to request right now at PBS – you can watch that number grow at the top of the site– but the number of unique titles has been growing too.   It’s true: there are over 500,000 different books available right now to request.   Everything from memoirs to regency romance to children’s books to classic literature to chick-lit to police procedurals to how-to books…there is no end to the variety.  No end because that number keeps on growing.  You can keep an eye on it and other nifty “vital statistics” on the Pulse of PBS page.

People loved you!  You are O so great! Club members should have gotten a big ego-boost when both People magazine and Oprah’s magazine recommended PBS for its ease of use and its principle of reducing waste and saving money.   Thanks to all of you who are swapping your books and proving every day how well this club works!   We’ll keep working hard every day to make the site even better.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Now you can see ALL the details about the books on a sender’s bookshelf when you are using the “Order More from Member” function to add books to a request.  Click the Full Details button and the Book Details page will come up as an overlay, so you can browse more efficiently.  Be sure to use this function to check for extra books you might want when you are requesting one – sending multiple books at once saves postage for the sender.

What’s in a name? Whatever you want!  Now you can decide what to show (your name and nickname, only your name, only your nickname, etc) on your personal messages, profile, forum posts, etc, by adjusting your club Identity in your Privacy Controls.  You can get to your privacy controls from your Acount Settings in My Account.

NEWS: Newsletter – February 2009

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Yes, that’s MILLIONS! We kept hearing from members about how much money they had saved on books since joining PBS.  So we got to thinking: how much?  When we added it all up (estimating $4.00 – $4.50 for a used paperback, CD or DVD if you bought them instead of swapping for them), the three clubs together (PBS, SwapaCD and SwapaDVD) have saved members over 10 million dollars! You can watch the savings grow in real time on the Pulse of PBS page, accessible from the menu under Community at the top of the site.

New Advanced Search. Now you can exclude terms, search for exact phrases, and more.  The new Advanced Search will help you find the books you are looking for!  It is accessible under Search at the top of any page on the site.

Personal Messages in Your Email. Yes, we heard the pleas of those who didn’t want to log in to read a two-word PM.  Now the text of the PMs will be in the email notification sent to you.  You still have to log in to reply, but this will be a timesaver, we think!

Maps upgrade. Now if you have your city/state hidden on your profile, your city/state will be hidden on your Maps too.  And anyone who has set his or her location or profile to “private” will also have an “anonymous dot” on all maps.

Exclude Genres. Want to see (for example) only children’s books on your Homepage sliding book displays?  Want to see no children’s books there?  You can choose to exclude genres (as many as you like) from your Homepage sliding book displays – this is available in your Account Settings now.

NEWS: Newsletter – January 2009

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

We have heard your cries! Yes, the chant (What do we want? Printed Postage for Box-O-Books! When do we want it? Real soon!) has finally been answered.   All you Boxers can give your vocal cords a rest because Printable Postage for Box-O-Books is now available!  (Yay, Team!) You can read about the Box-O-Books service here.

New Forums! Yes, we have lovely new icons in the Discussion Forums, if we do say so ourselves…AND new Forums to boot!  Check ’em out:

Health & Fitness Forum

Going Green

Money Saving Tips

Postal Rate increase. NOT for Media Mail or First Class mail, folks, which are the only rates we recommend using here!  But for those of you who sometimes use Priority Mail, here’s a heads -up from USPS:  On January 18, 2009, prices will change for Express Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service and some international shipping products. Overall, shipping services prices will increase an average of 5 percent. The new prices are available at http://www.usps.com/prices  (click “New Shipping Prices” box). Don’t worry if you are a typical PBS member who uses Media Mail or First Class mail – this change won’t affect you.

Thank you! We appreciate how many people have given credits and/or money to become Friends of PBS.  We applaud your generous spirits, and please know that with each donation you are helping PBS stay strong and grow better!  Members can give here, and see the list of local and recently-added friends here.

Friends of PBS… Newsletter – December 2008

Friday, December 5th, 2008

We have been asked so many times for a way to “give back” to the club – so we made this feature available for members who want to donate to PBS.  It really helps us to donate credits back to the club!  You can donate money too – who doesn’t like money?  🙂   Every bit helps!   If you donate 3 credits or more, you get a nifty badge to wear on your profile and forum posts – the badge color reflects your contribution: silver, gold, diamond!  Donations are cumulative, so if you donate more than once your donations will be combined to determine the type of badge you get. You can read more about this feature here, and you can donate here.

Dear Members, Newsletter – November 2008

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

This is being written before the election returns come in; when you read this, we should have a new President-elect!  Which is great news, because…well…Now that the fuss is over, we can all get down to REALLY IMPORTANT matters…
Like, should we roast the turkey or deep-fry?  What about the mini-marshmallows-on-the-yams dilemma?  And are they called yams or sweet potatoes?  Oysters in the stuffing–yummy or gross?  Chestnuts in the stuffing–luscious or revolting?  Stuffing at all –mandatory or potential salmonella deathtrap?  Green beans, creamed onions, Jell-O?  Whole-berry or jellied cranberry sauce?  Turkey, Tofurkey, Turducken, Goose?  People can argue ferociously over questions such as these; each person has his or her own strong convictions about what makes a traditional holiday meal.
Thanksgiving is such a deeply American holiday.  It’s a celebration of diversity–there are as many different “traditional Thanksgiving meals” as there are Americans–and of hospitality.  It’s a day for welcoming strangers and extending kindness; it’s about opening your doors and opening your hearts (and opening your mouth to wedge in that last bite of pie!).  Thanksgiving is about inclusiveness and generosity.  What could be more American?
Whatever makes up your holiday meal three weeks from Thursday, we hope it is also nourishment for your soul.  For those who have loved ones far away, we send our hopes that you are reunited soon.  For those who will be traveling during the holiday, we wish you safe journeys.  For those who are cooking, we wish you enthusiastic clean-up crews.  To those who are on cleanup detail, we wish you the ability to fit all the leftovers into the fridge.  To Black Friday shoppers (you intrepid souls!), we wish you quick reflexes and triumphant checkouts.
And to ALL of our members we wish a healthy and happy month, and a wonderful Thanksgiving!
from Richard and
The PaperBackSwap Team

News: Newsletter – October 2008

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Gift notes:  We have added this feature to the process of requesting a book to be sent to an alternate address.  When you fill in the name and address on the Book Request page, there is a space to put a simple note.  A note or greeting is allowed by USPS Media Mail guidelines – it can’t be a letter though.  Senders, be sure to use the second page of the wrapper so the note is received by the person who gets the book.

In Memoriam. We know how many of you loved Lester (ThreeCats).  He added so much to the community here with his wisdom and kindness.  Lester passed on, and broke all of our hearts a little.  We send our deepest condolences to his family, and we thank them for sharing such a wonderful person with us.   You can read some of Lester’s writings, and don’t miss his book reviews!  Lester, PBS will never forget you.

PBS Store News – Coming soon to the Kiosk: a new pattern for the Cloth Book Covers.


New Features: Newsletter – September 2008

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Happy Birthday to PaperBackSwap.  Looky looky at your presents.  No, you can’t exchange them.  No, we don’t have them in a different color.  Click What’s New at the top of any page on the site, or go to the Help Center and read the items under What’s New to keep up with what features have been newly added to the site.

Bookshelf Header. New feature.  The Bookshelf Header allows you to add a custom, publicly-viewable message at the top of your PBS Bookshelf.  You can introduce yourself – give an overview of the types of books you have –  comment about a specific book you have posted – invite members to join your Game in the Games Forum – or just say Hello!  Read more about this feature here.

Book Notes. New feature. Book Notes allow you to write a private (only you can see it) note on any book in the database.  No matter where you are on the site when you apply the note, you will see the note (which appears as a yellow sticky-note applied to the book cover) pretty much everywhere you see the book, and putting your cursor over it will show the note. Read more about this feature here.

Yahoo Address Book LinkNew Feature.  We have had terrible trouble with Yahoo not delivering PBS emails lately.  The Yahoo server will accept the auto-emails from our server but then doesn’t deliver them!  This is at least partly being caused by Yahoo members clicking “Mark as Spam” on PBS emails (which can affect the reception of PBS emails for ALL Yahoo users at PBS).  Adding the PBS auto-email addresses to your Yahoo address book should solve this problem for an individual member.  We have provided a link for our members who use Yahoo.  Go to your Account Settings in My Account, and beside your email address (if you use Yahoo) will be this link: Yahoo Mail users: Click here to ensure receipt of PBS emails. Click that, sign into Yahoo if you need to, click on the next page, you’re done.  That will keep those Wish List offers and book request emails coming to you.