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message 1: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 1 comments I find the lack of journaling on books I've wild-released to be very discouraging. I've tried a couple of things - including producing my own labels. I really want everyone to be as jazzed about bookcrossing as I am! Any release tips?

message 2: by Gyda (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new)

Gyda Arber | 1 comments I've found that it's sheer numbers -- the more books I release, the more likely the response. Also, sometimes it'll take months for whoever found the book to reply. I seem to get a better response from books left in waiting areas (lobbies, outside classrooms, subway stations) than books left anywhere else....

message 3: by Xander (last edited Feb 10, 2008 03:40PM) (new)

Xander | 2 comments There was a period when I was very discouraged too. I've heard other BCers say a 10% capture rate is about the norm. You'd be surprised how often several years pass before some captured books get journaled.

As for locations, I've had the most success with covered bus stops and subway platforms, especially those released early in the morning. I've also been amazed how many successful releases I've had in the elevators of parking garages. (Go figure.)

Don't give up.

message 4: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cmbohn) It seems to go in cycles too. I've found my best places to release are the library and the local university. People in both places are interested in reading anyway. And it seems to pick up in the summer, when more people are outside. I've had a few catches at the park, too.

But like Gyda says, you never know. I left one at the hospital a year ago, and just got a catch last month!

message 5: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (tinkesq) | 2 comments My main tip is that when you wild release a book, consider it gone and don't worry about journal entries. When you get one, it's a nice surprise, but otherwise just let it go. If you really want those books journaled, you'll just have to trade with other bookcrossers.

My local group recently released over 600 books at a reading festival and we have had 5 journal entries so far! But because of the nature of the festival, at least we knew the books went to readers.

I think it's more important to enjoy releasing and have some fun. I love doing theme releases. I've released "Roots" at the base of a tree, "Grilling Season" on a bbq grill in a store, books about animals at a vet office, "The Mummy" on a store shelf with bandages. I've gotten catches that way and people tend to notice the connection.

message 6: by TaleofGenji (new)

TaleofGenji | 7 comments I find myself too attached to the books I enjoy so I send them out via Bookbox to other BC'ers. If a Bookcrosser than decides to wild release it, so be it. I just seem to have a hard time letting go of the good ones!

message 7: by Shaunesay (new)

Shaunesay | 1 comments I had a hard time with the whole wild release idea too when I started, and the idea that only 10% of those released ever got journaled really turned me off the idea for a long time. Until I tried it and got those first few catches, and then you sort of get hooked! I released about 370 last year I think, and I'm hosting a release 366 challenge this year, for leap year. I may back off after this year, I don't know, but I will keep doing it to some extent. That sounds a little bit like "I can quit any time I want, really!" ;)

I have good luck at my post office, where I have a box, they have several counters and tables to leave books on, and us local BC'ers seem to be trying to turn it into it's own library! LOL! I often run into books left by the other locals.

My catch rate was slightly higher than 10% last year, because I actually decided to count, just to see. I sometimes get journal entries months later! I haven't had any years later yet, but I'm sure I will at some point!

Just try to have fun with it, and like Tink said, when you wild release it, consider it gone and don't worry about what happens to it, then you'll be pleasantly surprised when that journal entry rolls in on a book you completely forgot about!

The challenges make it fun, that gives you a theme to release to, and a group of others to share the experience with. I've found myself releasing more by doing those. Also I like to release on trips/vacations when possible, to give a little hello to the places you visit!

message 8: by Mysterious (new)

Mysterious | 1 comments Oh now I want to leave one at the post office!!!

I have been shy about using this location because when the question arises who left this in the lobby, THEY'LL KNOW.

The more established postal workers probably could tell you every NICK/SITE I send from in the return address area. :D

I was using the member search "near me" and there aren't too many people from my area listed. Same with BC. So I definitely am recognized by at least two post offices as the booklady.

They are decent enough not to post a grainy shot of my face in the lobby ID-ing me though. ;)

message 9: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) I'm discouraged too... fairly new to Bookcrossing, which I joined thanks to a buddy at Project Gutenberg. (If anyone wants to know about that, let me know!)

I live in Italy and have several problems:

1) Italians (especially Romans) don't tend to read as much as "Anglo-Saxons" do (I'm speaking in broad generalizations, pls to remember). I have tried to leave some Italian books near my son's school, but I think they just get thrown out. Pazienza...

2) Most of my books are in English, so I use controlled releases a lot (you can check out my available list if you want anything; I'm Hayes13 at BC) and the 2 official crossing places here in Rome.

Of my semi-wild releases, I've had one of my books (italian version of NY trilogy) picked up. All the others, no.


message 10: by Judy (last edited Feb 20, 2009 06:06PM) (new)

Judy (judygreeneyes) | 141 comments I've had similar results releasing in Asia, not too many journal entries.

I also have very poor results with books I leave here in the US in OBCZ's. I would have thought I'd get better results with those.

Some of my best spots are the park bench outside the local pet shop, and Starbucks near my house.

Maybe for your purposes, controlled releases are better?

message 11: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) DEfinitely, Judy. I've been doing a lot of them, actually and I find it so much fun, especially when I send a book I didn't enjoy much and the person who gets it likes it a lot.

One really satisfying release (the one I mentioned above, NY Trilogy in italian) I left in an OBCZ here in Rome - a shelf in a cafe in a funky bookshop not far from my house. Someone obviously saw the release listed, sent a message thru the italian forum asking me where the cafe/bookshop was exactly, and went to get that specific book. STrangely he listed it as an anonymous find, although he signed his name in the JE. Go figure...

message 12: by Ann (Noumena12) (new)

Ann (Noumena12) (noumena12) | 9 comments I've been a bookcrosser for years. I too am usually disappointed in my wild release success rate...although it's great when I do get a JE. I primarily focus on RABCKs and controlled releases. I sent 4 boxes of books to Tinkesq for her to release at the Akron Family Reading Festival. I also "release" books via a local non-profit that has a book fair. I prefer knowing that books land in the hands of someone who wants them as opposed to being thrown out because they were left lying around. I do love to get JEs. I have one book that is still traveling around after 6 years and I'm still getting JEs. I've gone several years and then suddenly get a JE on a book that I thought was lost. I love those kind as well.

message 13: by John (last edited Jun 04, 2009 03:12PM) (new)

John I am glad to find that I am not the only one disappointed with the find rate. I thought I was doing something wrong. I have just started releasing books again and think I will pick more public/visitor type places. The museum worked well at one time.

message 14: by Xander (new)

Xander | 2 comments From my experiences over time, I've come up with my own mini-manifesto for wild releases:

1. Don't leave books in a location where there could be confusion about whether or not the book is for sale. If people are uncertain whether or not they are free take a book, they won't.

2. Despite obviously being full of readers, I have found libraries aren't good for the same reasoning as #1: If someone is uncertain whether or not a book is a library book or not, they won't take it.

3. Places where the staff is under pressure to straighten up are also not ideal. The staff at chain restaurants and coffee shops are under pressure to keep tables clear, and when confronted with a BC book—no matter how well marked—they usually opt to throw it in the garbage along with the other used newspapers, empty cups, and napkins. It's just easier for them.

4. The announcement at the airport about leaving unattended packages also pertains to books. Trust me!

message 15: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) I'm going to try the doctor's office waiting room next. The first release I did was in a coffee shop and as far as I know it wasn't caught or they were too shy to admit they caught it.

message 16: by Amy (new)

Amy (bookczuk) | 97 comments did you all see the catch for a book that has been in the wild *EIGHT* years? Wowzer.

I have a good catch rate. Mostly from coffee shops. I release frequently and have found that the more you toss out there, the better your chances of getting a catch.

message 17: by Laurie | LOHF (new)

Laurie  |  LOHF (barklesswagmore) | 5 comments Bookczuk wrote: "did you all see the catch for a book that has been in the wild *EIGHT* years? Wowzer...."

Wow, that's a long time so there is always hope! I go through fits of releasing lots of books and then my laziness takes over and I lose enthusiasm. I haven't had a wild release catch for quite a while but I haven't been releasing like a madwoman for awhile either.

message 18: by Amy (new)

Amy (bookczuk) | 97 comments It was inthe newsletter this month and has gotten me digging to find the earliest released (that weren't done by one of the founders or one of their staff.) I may write an article on it myself. :)

message 19: by Rita (new)

Rita Bookczuk wrote: "did you all see the catch for a book that has been in the wild *EIGHT* years? Wowzer.

I had a look but it doesn't look like the Bookcrosser who released it is active. I seem to get JEs 2 years after releasing a book, I don't know why it's always 2 years.

message 20: by Abigailann (new)

Abigailann (Abigail) | 22 comments I seem to be getting quite a few catches at the moment. I'm not sure if its to do with where I'm leaving them or how I'm labelling them. I put a sticker on the outside and another inside, plus when I'm releasing outside I use a label on the zip-lock bag as well. I release is a wide variety of places, but am always encouraged to release in the same place again when I get a catch.

message 21: by Sorcha (new)

Sorcha (nordie) | 12 comments I went several years without doing any significant amount of wild releasing for much the same reasons as yourself. Then I got fed up with the size of my TBR, and started just leaving them around - previously good places for captures have resulted in about a 1% catch rate (so far...I live in hope!), whereas leaving books on park benches on a sunny Mother's day a few weeks ago resulted in a 75% catch rate. C'est la vie!

It is always disheartening, esp for new starters, not to get good catch rates, but it's one of the things of learning to let your babies go - it does get easier the more you do it and each JE is all the more sweeter than when they do come!

message 22: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 422 comments I've sent well over a thousand through an OBCZ and I have less than 10%. It's ok. Sure it'd be great to get more catches, and more excited BookCrossing members. But as many of you are saying, each catch is enough to keep me motivated. Think how many eggs a butterfly lays....

message 23: by Hayes (last edited Apr 12, 2010 03:47AM) (new)

Hayes (hayes13) That's a nice way to start the day!! Congratulations!

ETA: and I'm completely envious that you are having sun up north there... It's been cloudy and rainy and cold for months here in Italy! grrrr and brrrr!!

message 24: by Abigailann (new)

Abigailann (Abigail) | 22 comments Congratulations.

I think good weather definatly helps. Your average person isn't going to look out for books if its tipping it down with rain or its freezing cold, they'll be more concerned with getting to where they're going quickly.

message 25: by chucklesthescot (new)

chucklesthescot Tell me about it! I've been wild releasing for a year and no responses so far. Someone had even picked up a book(a hardback Stephen King!!!) and when they decided they weren't interested in it, instead of putting it back on the bench, they dumped it in the bin on top of a dumped Indian curry! I couldn't even salvage the book!

message 26: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) Geeez! You shoulda thrown it at him... curry and all!

I found kids outside of my son's school playing soccer/football with a book I had left in a lovely plastic bag all ready to be taken to a new home.

message 27: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 422 comments sheesh - sad - um, good reminders to be extra careful I guess - how old were the kids?

message 28: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) 15-16 yrs... high school kids

message 29: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 422 comments tsk

message 30: by Abigailann (new)

Abigailann (Abigail) | 22 comments What terrible stories. Not everyone's that unkind with books they find though. Just the other day someone found one of my books, read the first 6 pages and then when they didn't like it wild released it somewhere else.

message 31: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 422 comments that's better - thanks for sharing :)

message 32: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) I had one really neat find:

I left a book on the cable car going up to the top of a mountain (in the summer, not winter). A German woman found the book, took the time to leave an anonymous JE in German. I don't speak German, but could just about make out that she couldn't read the book because it was in English and that she would release it somewhere in Germany which she did just before Christmas where it was found. That really tickled me!

Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 1 comments Hayes wrote: "I had one really neat find:

I left a book on the cable car going up to the top of a mountain (in the summer, not winter). A German woman found the book, took the time to leave an anonymous JE in G..."

That's terrific! Just this morning I received a notice that a book I had released in a restaurant waiting area in 2004 has been caught by a woman in Florida! It somehow made its way from South Carolina to Georgia where her daughter lives, to Pensacola, Florida. It's my first wild release catch in quite a while; they always feel good!

message 34: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) Yay!! That is good news!

message 35: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Storey (laurelstoreyczt) | 1 comments Hi all - I'm new here, so I hope you don't mind if I jump in on the discussion! Just wanted to share a journal entry with you that might be encouraging:

Sometimes it just takes awhile!

message 36: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) That's so cool!!

message 37: by John (new)

John Dawn wrote: "Hi all - I'm new here, so I hope you don't mind if I jump in on the discussion! Just wanted to share a journal entry with you that might be encouraging:"

That was a neat journal entry. And right here in good old Victoria!

message 38: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 422 comments I set up a group here called "Fans of Maps" and it's doing well. In fact, a post in the geocaching thread got me thinking about the issue of low rate of journal entries/catches.

I'm wondering if maybe we don't signal strongly enough that the book and its registration are valuable to us, the way we leave them in rest areas, on bookshelves at coffee shops, on park benches.... Maybe if the finder had to do some sort of work to get the book s/he would value it more and be more motivated to at least journal a catch, maybe even to become more involved in general?

I'm thinking of all our human(?) Western(?) suspicions about "There's always a catch" and "no such thing as a free lunch" and "too good to be true" and stuff like that. People don't want to journal catches and get involved because if we gave the book away, it either has no value to us or we'll be sucking them into some sort of scheme and they'll wind up 'paying' for the book somehow.

But if we gave them some sort of challenge, they'll think they've earned the book, and they'll want to journal the catch as a sort of announcement of triumph.

Ok, that's all I got so far. No idea what kind of challenge might work. I'll think on it, and hope you-all do, too. :)

Oh, and over at Fans of Maps I set up a BookCrossing thread (you know, re Go Hunting). And I'd love to welcome new members!

message 39: by Abigailann (new)

Abigailann (Abigail) | 22 comments I totally agree that people would be less suspicious if they had to do something to find the book but, for me, the pleasure is in getting people to read things they wouldn't otherwise (or simply to read at all). If they had to do something to get the books these sort of people wouldn't bother!

message 40: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 422 comments That's absolutely true, of course. I just have such a concern that my books get thrown away by groundskeepers and cleaning persons, and nobody is reading them at all.

Maybe if I decorate them, make them look like treasure....

message 41: by Abigailann (new)

Abigailann (Abigail) | 22 comments I think that ocassionally books probably do get thrown away. However, making them look like treasure and labelling them clearly most certain reduces this. I also look out for places where there aren't many cleaning people around, or where I'm certain several people will see in first, e.g. relatively busy paths / benches

message 42: by Anna (new)

Anna (aetm) | 45 comments That's where the clear labeling and stickers and stickies come in play.

If outside the book there is nothing screaming (not even a hand written sticky note with cat size "I'm free! Read Me! :)" then way too many people think you forgot the book, and sometimes only the cleaning persons (for wrong reasons) notice the book at all.
I've seen in a bunch of wild book entries a note about wondering for a while if it was forgotten, so I think it's much better to remove the suspicion that it'd have been forgotten or lost.

So thatswhy... in addition to clear labels inside (with BC stamps in beginning and end and usually a FAQ at the end of the book) I have found very useful to use a variety of things on the external.
If the stickers and stickies from the supply store go above your budget, there are a bunch of those to print yourself too. As long as it's bright (or with some bold or color) and shows hints about the correct message (read me, I'm free) that should do it.

Cheapest, fastest, even printerless way to make the books left wild stand out: colorful sticky labels and a black sharpie. (although looks much better if the book has some BC icon on it too) also as an added side, once that book is found the finder can easily remove the boldest and wildest of those (unless you don't prefer so and use glue or tape too).
If it's too big for the book in question, cut to size and then use as big text as fits.

message 43: by Abigailann (new)

Abigailann (Abigail) | 22 comments I agree- good handmade labels (even handwritten ones) can be useful, especuilly if they're colourful and state the correct message.

message 44: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 422 comments Oh I always have stickers and bright post-it notes on my wild releases. And I leave them where there's lots more foot traffic than just cleaners. But still I've a very low rate of JEs.

So next I'm putting gift ribbons on them. My 21 yo son opines it might help, my 14 yo son opines that it will make people even more suspicious. We'll see.

Any more ideas?

message 45: by Abigailann (new)

Abigailann (Abigail) | 22 comments I think they're probably both right. No doubt some people will be more suspicious, but others will be more intrigued- how many get picked up will surely depend on the mix between these two types of people.

message 46: by Judy (new)

Judy (judygreeneyes) | 141 comments Wow, Dawn, that book was travelling for a long time. And your new BCer went on to register and release more books!

Dawn wrote: "Hi all - I'm new here, so I hope you don't mind if I jump in on the discussion! Just wanted to share a journal entry with you that might be encouraging:"

message 47: by Judy (new)

Judy (judygreeneyes) | 141 comments I agree with others about bright colored stickers on the outside of a book. I use the yellow sticky notes from BC store that say "FREE BOOK". I figure it catches the attention, and the fact that it is professionally printed makes it legitimate and less scary. I save money by printing the inside stickers myself. You can also put a really nice journal entry greeting to welcome the person further if they get that far.

message 48: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 422 comments I like the idea of a nice greeting as the journal entry.

I did get a JE today - a local picked up a book, wrote his (or her) JE anonymously, writing about being excited to find this book and also about how s/he was going to release it at work. So, she or he doesn't want to participate, but does get the concept. Good enough! :)

message 49: by Judy (new)

Judy (judygreeneyes) | 141 comments Cheryl wrote: "I like the idea of a nice greeting as the journal entry.

I did get a JE today - a local picked up a book, wrote his (or her) JE anonymously, writing about being excited to find this book and also ..."

I agree. I never find "wild" books, but I hate when I get a book even in the mail from a BCer that only says "pre-numbered label used..."

message 50: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) *doing the Someone Caught My Book Dance*

Just had a journal entry on a book I released over a week ago. I'm so excited. I released it on a park bench in a small Italian town and it showed up in Luxembourg.

So I'm feeling a lot less discouraged right now! Oh bookcrossing is so much fun.

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