PaperBackSwap Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Tips & Tricks’

PBS News: IE8 Accelerator, Market Notifications

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Do you have a need for speed? If you use Internet Explorer 8, you should try the new accelerator plugin for IE 8 that allows you to get around the internet more quickly than ever before! After you install the plugin, all you have to do is highlight some text (a title or ISBN, for example) on any webpage to bring up the accelerator icon.  Click it to reveal a menu of choices, including how to find the book on PaperBackSwap.  You can download the IE 8 Accelerator here, and see a video of how it works here.

Red Alert. Now, if you receive a new Personal Message (PM) while you are using your account, an alert will appear at the top of the page, no matter where you are on the site.  The alert will indicate how many new PMs you have; clicking the alert will take you to your Message Center so you can read your messages.  This new feature also cuts down on the emails we send you – if you read the PMs while you are online you will not be sent notification emails about those PMs.  (If you log out without reading the new PMs, then notification emails will be sent out to you, one for each message.)   You can read more about this feature here. Market Alert emails. These emails will let you know if a book on your Wish List becomes available in the PBS Market.  You will also get an alert if an alternate version of a book you are wishing for becomes available in the Market.  You can opt out of these emails by clicking the appropriate links in the emails themselves, or from your Account Settings page.  Read more about the Market Alert Emails here.

Import your Amazon.com Wish List (or any List of Books) to PaperBackSwap’s WL, TBR, Reminder List, etc.

Monday, September 21st, 2009

The tool you want to use is the “Book List Import Bookmark” found under member tools.

– Member Tools may also be found in the first column of our footer once logged in.

Give Away: 1 credit to a random member that comments: 1. attempted importing  & had success or failure & 2. which list they tried to import from. Good Luck!

What is the Book List Import Bookmark?

  • It’s a bookmark that you click to import ISBNs from any Webpage you are on (PBS or non-PBS). [Common examples are your Amazon WL, B&N WL, Librarything, Goodreads, etc.]
  • If you are on a webpage that contains Books w/ISBNs, click the Book List Import Bookmark in your browser and you can choose from the list of available ISBNs on that page, and choose which PBS list in your account to which to import them
    • You can import to your Bookshelf, Wish List, Reminder List, Books I’ve Read List, and TBR Pile.
    • You can import one ISBN or many at a time.

Why use it?

  • It makes adding books to a PBS list much easier & saving lots of  time!
  • For example, if you are on a site and you see that there is a book you would like to put on your Wish List, you can simply click the Book List Import bookmark and you can choose that book, then choose to place it on your Wish List.
    • You do not have to copy-paste the book information and go back to the PBS site to paste it into the Search there
    • You can import whole lists– add multiple items to your PBS lists from other sites (ie, your Amazon Wish List) with just a few clicks!

How to Use it:

  • Click the Member Tools link at the bottom of any page on the site.
  • Click the Book List Import Bookmark, and then
    • For Firefox – Right click on this link > PaperBackSwap List Import
      • Choose “Bookmark This Link…”
      • Mac/one-button mouse: control-click
    • For Internet Explorer – Right click on this link > PaperBackSwap List Import
      • Choose “Add to Favorites…”
      • If you receive a warning stating “You are adding a favorite that may not be safe. Do you want to continue?” click “Yes”. This favorite is safe to use.
      • You can also click and drag the links onto your favorites/bookmarks toolbar to add them there.
  • After you have done this, if you are on another site and see a book you want to add to a list in your PBS account:
    • Click the Book List Import bookmark in your browser
    • A list of available ISBNs and book titles from that page information will show
    • Click to place a checkmark beside any item you would like to import
    • The next screen will ask you into which list you would like to import the items–choose the list
    • You are done!  The items will have been imported to the PBS List you chose.

Video Tutorial.

Dear Librarian: USPS Delivery Confirmation, Two copies of the same book, Import your Amazon Wishlist

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Dear Librarian-  I was excited to try the free trial of PBS-DC, and I printed out the wrapper with the DC barcode on it, and added postage (remembering to include 19 extra cents for the USPS electronic-DC fee).  So far, so good.  But then I took the book to my PO and they tried to scan it and couldn’t!  They told me the number was invalid and they wanted me to buy DC from them for 80 cents!!  I think your free trial thingy is broken. What do I do?? –Flummoxed in Fairview

Dear Moxie,

We’re sorry you had this experience!  The free trial thingy isn’t broken, but sometimes things don’t go perfectly when you get to the PO.  If they have trouble scanning the barcode this could be because their scanner is not powerful enough (this might be true especially if it is a “pen” style scanner), or because of the way it was printed (if you printed using “scale to fit” in the printer settings, this can space the bars in the barcode out just enough to cause problems with the scan, or if you used colored paper that can cause poor contrast of the black ink of the barcode; or if you put a lot of tape over the barcode, especially if more than one layer or there are wrinkles or bubbles in it, that can inhibit the scan).  But those are really uncommon problems.

Since your PO used the word “invalid” we think the problem may be that the USPS system has not synchronized to include the barcode yet – the DC barcodes are generated by USPS, and there is a short lag time before all the USPS computers will recognize the barcode that was generated centrally. If you printed the wrapper and took the package to the PO very quickly, it’s possible that the barcode generated by the central USPS computer didn’t have time to be registered in the system where your local PO could access it.  If this happens:  Don’t purchase DC from the PO – this will not earn quick credit and will cost you 80 cents!  Don’t let the clerk cover up the printed PBS-DC barcode.  Just send the package as is.  It will probably be scanned en route.  If you check the DC barcode now by entering it on the usps.com site, you will see that it is recognized by USPS and is not invalid.

We’re sorry you had this bump in the road but PBS-DC really works very well!   We hope that you give it another try.

Dear Librarian– I’m in a quandary.  I really wanted a particular book and I put every version of it on my Wish List.  I was offered the book 4 days ago and I was thrilled!  Yesterday it was marked mailed to me – hallelujah!   But then today I was offered ANOTHER version.  What do I do?  I don’t want TWO copies of this book.  But I’m scared the first one won’t arrive, and if I pass up the second, I won’t get ANY copy of the book.  I AM FREAKING OUT.  –Distressed in Duluth

Dear Luthy,

Ah, yes, the dilemma that can happen to any PBS member who uses the Wish List!  When it rains it pours: you’re offered a second version of a book before the first version has come in the mail.   Should you trust that the US Mail will bear version #1 safely to your mailbox, and decline the offer of version #2?  Or should you grab version #2, knowing that if you end up with both you’ll have to mark both received?

It’s an individual decision.  Remember that less than 1% of packages get “lost” by USPS, so the odds are good that you’ll get version #1.  Of course, if you believe in Murphy’s Law, then you may think that the ONLY book that will get lost or misdelivered in your account will be this one you want so much, and that will make you accept the second version so you’re sure to end up with at least one copy of the book!

You have to follow your heart here, and consider this: Would it be worse to get NO copies (by declining #2 and having the bad luck of #1 not arriving), and have to go back into line on the Wish List again?  Some members who have a lot to read and aren’t very anxious to get a specific book would choose that tactic, and take the small risk of getting no copies of the book.   Or would it be worse in your mind to end up with 2 copies?  Since it’s a Wish Listed book you could just repost the extra and send it out – if you really want the book you would go that route.   We can’t make that decision for you but we’re sure you can choose, based on which “worst case scenario” would be easier for you to bear.  The good news is that this situation, because it requires some coincidences to occur, won’t happen too often.

Dear Librarian,

I just discovered PBS and I love it!  I have been keeping a Wish List of books at Amazon.  Is there a way to import that list easily into my Wish List here?  –Exploring the site in Exeter

Dear Dora the Explora:

Welcome to PBS!  We’re glad you asked about this.  Yes, there is an easy way to import lists, or single books, from pages outside the PBS site, into your PBS lists.   You can use the PBS Book List Import Bookmark.  This is a bookmark you can add to your browser (Internet or Firefox), and when you are on a site (like your Amazon Wish List or basically any other place you see a book or list of books) you can click the bookmark and like magic you will be allowed to import any ISBNs that are on that page, into the PBS list of your choosing.

It goes like this:

You: Gee, I would like to put my Amazon Wish List books on my PBS Wish List.  I have downloaded the PBS Book List Import Bookmark and now I go to the Amazon Wish List page and click the bookmark in my browser bookmark toolbar.

PBS: SHAZAM!  Here is a list of all of the books we found on the page you were on.  Check the boxes next to each book to tell us which ones you would like to import, and then choose the list (Bookshelf, TBR, Books I’ve Read, Wish List, Reminder List) you would like them to go on.

You (checking all boxes, choosing Wish List, clicking Continue): I would like ALL of them to go onto my Wish List at PBS.

PBS (puts books onto list): Your wish is my command!

You: Wow that is nifty!

Remember that if any of the books is available here it can’t be put on your Wish List here; available books can’t go onto a Wish List.  They can go on your Reminder List, though – or you can just order them here, and grant some of your own Amazon wishes!

You can read about using the Book List Import Bookmark here in the Help Center – and you can get the bookmark from Member Tools at the bottom of any page on the site.  The bookmark works for Internet Explorer and Firefox, and yes, even if we do say so ourselves, it is very nifty.



Thursday, July 9th, 2009

If you are going on vacation, as so many do at this time of year, don’t forget to use the Vacation Hold feature!  It’s linked from the top of your Bookshelf and you can read about using it in the Help Center.  It’s easy to use and it will prevent you from missing requests and Wish List offers while you are away from home.

New “Receipts” link on the My Account main page – Now you can see a list of your PBS Kiosk transactions, from your Account page.   Click Receipts at the top of your My Account main page, then click on the transaction number to view the receipt for any purchase made after February, 2008.

How to spread the word…old school! Bookmarks and flyers are great ways to tell people about PaperBackSwap, SwapaDVD and SwapaCD.  We want to update them, and we thought we’d get your input on that.  So hop over to the PBS Blog and weigh in.  Suggestions will not be taken by feedback – the Blog is the place!

TIPS & TRICKS: Newsletter – January 2009

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Just a reminder… Writing on text pages, underlining and highlighting are not allowed in books posted here for swapping.  Writing on the flyleaf (inside blank page or inside cover) is fine.  There is an exception for textbooks and cookbooks – read the Book Condition Guidelines for a full explanation of this.   Just flip through books before you post them, to make sure they meet guidelines – if they don’t, don’t post them!  You can still swap damaged books in the Book Bazaar Discussion Forum – you just can’t post the books to your bookshelf if they don’t meet swapping criteria. All righty?  All righty!

TIPS & TRICKS: Newsletter – December 2008

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Gift Books…It’s not too late to request books to give for presents!  Remember that you can buy new versions of any book using the Buy it New button on any book listing, to click through to Amazon and purchase a new copy there.   You can also send one of your books on your bookshelf to a friend, using the Send to a Friend feature…  Don’t forget that your book credits can also be used on SwapaCD.com and at SwapaDVD.com if you have CDs or DVDs on your shopping list…read about how to transfer credits between your accounts at the different sites here.

TIPS & TRICKS: Newsletter – October 2008

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

It’s that time again. The time of year when the weather can get wet – rainy or snowy – along the route your books will take to their new homes.  Help them get there safe and dry by using an inner layer of plastic in the package.  A clean plastic grocery bag, the wrapping from a roll of paper towels – it’s all good.  Tape it well around the book (don’t tape directly TO the book!) and put the external wrapping around that.  You can also use some clear packing tape over the name/address on the label so it doesn’t smear if it gets rained on.  Nothing’s sadder than getting a wet book – except knowing how easily it could have been avoided!

Read before you click! If you get a request with Requestor Conditions on it, remember to read it carefully before clicking to decline.  We get some anguished messages from members whose requests were declined because the sender misinterpreted them.  Declining means you will not be able to send that book to that requestor – she will not be able to re-request it from you.  So please be sure that you really do not want to send the book to her before you click “My Book Does Not Meet Conditions”.   You can read more in How to Use Requestor Conditions in the Help Center.