PaperBackSwap Blog

Archive for the ‘Press & Media’ 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.

DEAR R&R, Newsletter – March 2008

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Dear R&R–What the heck are all those tag things on book listings?  They bug me. I can’t make any sense of them.  Some are just abbreviations, some are people’s names, and some say things like “autographed copy”!  Does that mean that every copy of the book available in the system is an autographed copy?  Will I get an autographed copy if I order a book that has that tag on it?  What is going on here?–Tag-sick in Tulsa

Dear Tully,

Ah, the Tags.  So many members use them in so many ways.   The Tags can be used as personal notations–you can tag a book your sister recommended as “recommended by Tally”, or a book you want to take to the beach as “for Maui 2008”.    They can also be used as descriptors for the general book: you can describe the genre (“historical fiction” or “Paranormal romance”),  or the main character type (“colorblind protagonist” or “techno-geek main character”) or the setting (“set in texas” or “urban setting” or “Nova Scotia”) or even your personal recommendation (“great for 9 year old boy”, “better than the movie”).

Personal tags are less likely to be applied by many members, and so they won’t all show to all members once enough tags have accumulated for a book listing (only the top 15-used tags for a book listing will show to all members; each member’s applied tags always show to that member).  General tags are more likely to be applied by many members, and are intended to be helpful to the membership–they can give information about the book in general.  Clicking a tag on a listing for “set in texas” for example will bring up all of the books tagged this way with one click.   Which is nice if you are looking for a book set in Texas.

There is a problem with some tags: some members are trying to use them to describe their particular copies of the book–they are apparently unaware that this is ineffective and even confusing to requestors.  Books at PBS are requested in FIFO order.  So “Missing Dust Jacket” and “Autographed copy” can be applied by anyone to any book listing, but that will not mean that if you request that book your request will go to the member who applied that tag.  Ignore the tags that seem to describe particular copies of books.  All books posted at PBS should meet basic condition requirements; if requestors want to define more specific requirements, they need to use Requestor Conditions.

We have one member who is determined to improve the use of Tags on the site!  Kudos to Jane K. (mahbaar).  She has various “Tag Missions” to make Tags useful to the membership.  Jane, your industry and organizational abilities make our heads spin!  Check out Jane’s Tag Missions by searching the Discussion Forums for “Making Tags Useful” or go to any of the threads directly:

Mission #1Mission #2Mission #3, Mission #4, Mission #5, Mission #6, Mission #7, Mission #8, Mission #9Mission #10

You can also turn tags off completely in your account settings, if you like.  You can read more about the Tag feature in the Help Center (search the Help Docs for “Book Tags” or just “Tags”).  We do have some improvements and expansion planned for this feature; these are on our list of things to get to in our continuous process of upgrading the site.

Dear R&R–I am what is known as a “snowbird” –I have two residences, each of which I live in part of the year.  Obviously, I have books in both places.  How can I manage my PBS Bookshelf to show only those books I have access to while I am in one of my homes?  Do I have to unpost my whole bookshelf and repost the books each time?  –Peripatetic PBSer

Dear Perry,

Good news!  Since the Bookshelf Upgrade, you are now able to put individual books on hold on your bookshelf.  Which means you can put the summer books on hold just before you move to your winter location, and vice versa.  When you are getting ready to head to your warm-weather locale, go to your bookshelf and click to place a checkmark in the boxes next to those books you will be leaving in your winter home.  Then click the Hold button on the top right of the Bookshelf to apply the hold to those books.  You should put your whole account on hold while you are in transit (so you don’t miss any requests or Wish list books); then when you get to your Winter location, you can unHold whatever books you have with you that you want to swap, and also UnHold your account.   This will save you lots of posting-unposting-reposting time.  You can even use the Tags (see above) to tag your books with codes for your two homes, so it’s easy to tell which ones are where.

You can read more about the recent changes to your Bookshelf in the Help Doc Bookshelf Upgrade under What’s New in the Help Center.

Ooh, we want two houses, too!  Wait…um…that would mean two houses to maintain, and two mortgages….okay, we still think it’s neat that you do this, Perry, but when it gets cold, we’ll just put on a sweater. 🙂

Dear R&R–Did you know that most paperback books/board books/dust covers can be cleaned up with ordinary rubbing alcohol dabbed on with a soft white cloth?  It makes them looks almost like new, takes off sticky stuff and most smudges.  —Marie T.

No we sure didn’t Marie, but now we do! Thanks for telling us.  We are sure many members will find this tip useful!

Writers, Front and Center! Newsletter – February 2008

Monday, February 4th, 2008

Some of our best members come from small towns and cities across the US.  But many communities have never even heard about PaperBackSwap or the sister sites SwapaCD and SwapaDVD because there has never been any media coverage where they live.  And unfortunately, many of these small publications do not have the staff to write about our club themselves.  So we are asking for some help from members who are writers and have previously submitted articles to newspapers/magazines for publication.  If you are interested in working with Richard on getting some articles written about PaperBackSwap – we sure could use your help!   Please send inquiries to the email address we have set up for this purpose: RichardPickering@PaperBackSwap.com.   Thanks in advance to all who step forward to help!

PBS is bustin’ out all over… Newsletter – March 2007

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007

February 2007 marked the 26th straight month of increased growth at PBS. Which means that every month, more members have joined than the month before. We have added thousands of members in the first two months of 2007 alone! Welcome to all of our new swappers. Please take a look at the Dear R&R section below, for some “pointers” that might help you during this time.

The Buzz… just keeps on buzzing. Recent media mentions include:

  • Wired Magazine
  • Real Simple Magazine
  • The Columbus Dispatch
  • Good Housekeeping
  • And many other small town newspapers

For all the members who found us through these outlets and recently joined, welcome to PBS!

You asked for it…you got it! You may have noticed that we have changed the programming so that when a Wish List offer or book request is pending in your account, there is a button on the screen that will take you to your account for five minutes, so that you can accomplish other tasks there before responding to the offer or request.

Dear Members, Newsletter – January 2007

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Happy New Year!

We begin the year close to the 1,000,000-book mark. I am sure we’ll reach it before long. A million books—it boggles the mind, doesn’t it? PBS continues to grow in membership, and we are by far the biggest bookswapping club on the Internet. Bigger isn’t ALWAYS better, of course. But in this case…it is! 🙂

We have made a lot of improvements to the site in the last year, and hope for great things in 2007. Thanks to those of you who have written in with nice comments about new features (and tweaks to existing features) that you enjoy. And thanks also to those who have written in to let us know that something isn’t working so we can fix it, and to those who submit their ideas about changes they would like to see to the site. PBS is constantly evolving! Rest assured that even if your suggestions do not “bear fruit” immediately, they may do so in the future. Sometimes we’re just working out the programming, or brainstorming the best possible way to make a change.

PBS was mentioned in the news recently: In the month of December All of the following newspapers or magazines ran items about the club. Welcome to our new members from those areas!

We wish all of our members–longstanding, new and in between–a wonderful 2007.

Dear Members: Newsletter – November 2006

Wednesday, November 8th, 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!

Media Challenge: Newsletter – June 2006

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

PBS has been in the news lately! We want hard copies for our files. Any member who sends in an article about PBS from a newspaper or magazine will get a reward. These must be actual clippings, not Xeroxes or links.

Mail them to:

3651 Peachtree Pkwy Suite E390
Suwanee, GA 30024