PaperBackSwap Blog

Dear R&R: Newsletter – May 2006

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 Buddy List–Buddies 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.

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