PaperBackSwap Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Book Credits’

Books for Schools donation program photos

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

We got some photos from our first round of Books for Schools donation program. Here is Clear Creek Elementary showing us the delivery of the books you so generously donated credits to get for them! Clear Water Creek Elementary was just one of the lucky first round of donations.

What it's all about!

They’re thrilled with the books, and it looks like they had a lot of fun sorting through them. The school received more than a thousand books — some will go into their classrooms and library, and some will go home with students to keep.  From the first two rounds, member credit donations to the program got books for 25 needy schools. We’ll let the membership know when we’re ready for the third round of Books for Schools- stay tuned!  Read more about Books for Schools donation program.  See more photos of Clear Creek getting the books below: (click for a larger image)

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New Credit-purchasing limit. Newsletter – January 2008

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

There is now a limit on each account for purchasing credits: each member can purchase up to 30 credits per calendar month.  Credit-purchasing is intended to supplement swapping in case of emergency; it is best for the club if credits are earned here by swapping books.   You can still buy Gift Certificates for others (these won’t be subject to the limit until they are applied to an account).   This limit isn’t meant to cramp your style, and it shouldn’t–only a tiny number of you purchase more than 30 credits per month, so this change won’t affect the others at all.

Dear R&R: Newsletter – May 2007

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Dear R&R— Raising the price of credits?!?! You’re killing me. What do credit prices have to do with postal rates? Credits don’t really exist!—Irritated in Idaho

Dear Ida,

I know it seems odd, but actually credits are not completely virtual commodities. When the taxman and the lawyers come around each year, they look at the number of credits and the number of books swapped at PBS and there is always a discrepancy—because we give each new member 3 credits. Any credit that does not represent an actual book is assessed at a price based on postal rates. The taxmen assess us for all of these “invented” credits, and it costs real money! So while credits may seem virtual, they are very real to Uncle Sam, and therefore to us too. We hate to raise the price of credits, but we are forced to. We feel your pain, believe me. April 15th is a tough day every year. We continue to give the 3 start-up credits, though, because we understand how hard it is for a new member to believe how well PBS works. Once you get a free book you are a believer. Some of our members have given back those free credits (and more!) after they have belonged for a while. We don’t ask that anyone do that, but we are deeply touched and humbled by such generosity. We created this website as a fun idea for booklovers, and it has attracted the nicest people! We get letters telling us that the service is priceless to them. So many people depend on PBS now for their books—we hear from folks who live rurally and don’t have access to bookstores, teachers struggling to provide books to their students, homeschooling parents whose kids go through books like wildfire, retired booklovers on fixed incomes. We would rather do anything than charge money for credits—but if we didn’t, PBS would not be able to survive. I hope that those who buy credits (or Box-O-Books or Book Journal or anything in the PBS Store) realize that they are keeping the club going for everyone when they do. And those of you who don’t visit the Kiosk are still giving to the club, every time you wrap up your nice book and send it off to its new home. You are all part of Team PBS, as much as those of us who program and administer the site. We never expected that PBS would take over our lives in this way, but our members inspire us every day to try to make the site better!
Dear R&R—What the heck is going on? I posted a book to my bookshelf and it went on there twice. I only have one copy! It’s on a wish list and I can’t make the extra request go away. –-Stymied in Saratoga

Dear Sara,

This double-posting sometimes happens when the server “hiccups”, and sometimes if a member clicks “refresh” on her browser while the posting is in process—this can send the posting through multiple times. The best thing to do is to wait for the extra copy to be requested, and click “I cannot send” on the request. You can explain to the requestor what happened (there is a text box to send a message when you cancel). It may have happened to her too in the past–if so, she will understand. When you click “I cannot send” the extra copy will be removed from your bookshelf. It’s annoying, I know, but it seems to be part of having so much activity on the site—we keep our servers terribly busy, and sometimes they miss a step. They do so much so well (check out the Pulse of PBS to get an idea of how much) the vast majority of the time!

Dear R&R—I got an email telling me I have a request, but when I went to my account, there isn’t any request there! What happened? –Empty-handed in Erie

Dear Em,

Well, a few things could have happened.

  1. The requestor could have canceled the request before you responded (check your email—you should have a cancellation notification there).
  2. If the book was on a Wish List, and the first Wisher had it on auto-request, you would have gotten the email about the request; then, if the Wisher canceled and the book was passed along, all you will see when you get to your account page is a pending Wish List offer. We don’t send you an email when this kind of cancellation happens. Not because we’re trying to drive you crazy! We just want to limit the number of PBS emails in our members’ inboxes.
  3. You also won’t get a cancellation email if you canceled a request yourself by mistake. This sometimes happens, especially if it is a bulk (multiple-book) request. Members click “I can mail” too quickly, without checking the boxes on the request to indicate which books of those requested can be mailed. If you don’t click the box beside each book on a bulk request, the system thinks you cannot mail that book. A window does come up asking if the number of books you are agreeing to send is correct, and you can go back and click the boxes if you missed some. However, some members click right past this “safety” measure and cancel all books in the request! Because of this, we have re-thought this design, and the new site will have all books in a bulk request “checked” by default–you will have to un-check the boxes next to books you can’t send. This will be part of the new site design that we hope to roll out very soon. Until then, check your bulk request boxes (and double-check your checkmarks!), to make sure you are agreeing to send the correct number of books.

If a request is canceled by mistake by a sender, the books have to be reposted in order to be swapped. I am glad you brought this up, Em; it reminded us to change this in the new site design.