New at BM (Aug 25, 2006)

August 26, 2006

Many changes on BookMooch now. Here’s the rundown:

– WISHLIST BONUS NO MORE: by popular decision on the discussion forum, the +1 bonus for sending a wishlist item is no longer. You still get the normal points for sending someone a book, there just isn’t a bonus for matching against their wishlist

– POINTS AWARDED AT MOOCH REQUEST TIME: when a mooch request comes in, the points are awarded immediately to the book owner. You do not need to wait until the book is received to get your points.

– POINTS LOG: every change in your points is now logged, so you can clearly see how you (and anyone else) got to have the points they have. There’s a link off the bio page (for “points”) as well as on your own main member menu (also the “points” link)

– BIO STATS IMPROVED: the member bio pages now display pending give/recv, cancelled requests, rejected requests, books lost in the mail.

– PENDING NOW PUBLICLY VISIBLE: each person’s pending mooching and giving is now visible to all, linked off the “pending mooch/give” info on the member bio page

– SENDING PREFERENCES: each person can set where they’re willing to send books to (worldwide, my own country, or ask me).

The default is “worldwide”. If you want to change your setting, go to:

and change the setting at the very bottom of the page.

Minor changes

– MOOCH RATIO BASED ON SENT, NOT RECEIVED: previously, the 5:1 mooch ratio was calculated on books that you sent that were confirmed as received. Now, the ratio is calculated on books you’ve sent.

– CANCELLED BOOKS NO LONGER A PENALTY: previously, you were penalized for cancelled mooch requests if you never sent any books out. This is no longer the case.

– PENDING TAB POINTS CLARIFIED: each pending transaction separately shows the points to the giver and from the moocher

– WISHLIST NOTIFICATION FIXED: previously it was saying you were the owner of a book that is now available that is on your wishlist

– WISHLIST BUTTONS SMALLER: the “move to save for later” and “move to wishlist” buttons are now a much more terse “WISH” and “SAVE” with a tooltip to explain what they do

New at BM (Aug 16, 2006)

August 17, 2006

BookMooch has been live for 9 days now and it’s been a wild week!

On the first day we launched (last monday), thanks to all the publicity, the site went “splat!” pretty much all day. I fixed the crash problem last monday and then went on a bug-fixing and feature-writing rampage. BookMooch is nice and stable now, and handling tons of daily mooching.

Some stats for you (after 9 days of operation):

– total members: 4056
– members listing books to give away: 1,566 (38%)
– total books available for mooching: 19,067
– Countries participating: 44

WANT TO HELP? Here’s what you can do:

– mention BookMooch on your blog and any web/email discussion groups you participate in
– recommend books to your friends (there are “recommend” buttons through bookmooch)
– join the discussion forum at and chime in with your thoughts

– john

Below is a short list of new stuff at BookMooch:

– browse books by language of the book. Also by location, including by country, counties and cities in the USA, cities in the UK and departments in France.

– look for people using all these many methods as well

– “search for books” let you filter on title/author/description as well as view results for just one language

– wish fulfillment: you can add a book to your inventory directly from the book detail page, and the whole wishlist process is much smoother

– people’s names everywhere are now displayed with the country they’re in

– next/previous buttons now appear on all long pages

– sending a book to another country now get your 3 points

– the receive/give ratio has been relaxed to 5:1 (previously it was 2:1)

– the Library software called “Books” for mac now supports exporting to BookMooch

– all books lists are all sorted by author’s last name

– And tons of bug fixes. If you had any problems using BookMooch last week, chances are the problems are fixed now. If not, let me know!

BookMooch, the community for exchanging used books, is now out of beta and ready for general use. Please do tell your friends, mention BookMooch on discussions and anywhere else people might be interested.

Since last monday, here are the improvements to BookMooch:

– you can now hand-enter books that aren’t in any databases that Amazon maintains, for example, books in Italian (as there is no Amazon Italy).

– the MoochBar can import books from any web page that uses ISBN numbers, and put them into your wishlist, save-for-later, mooch-right-now or your inventory. For example 1) you can import your Amazon past purchases page right into your inventory 2) Amazon listmania! (i.e. best “Goth Books”) can be imported right into your wishlist. 3) Books can be mooched right from ABE Books and Barnes & Noble book

– you can import any html or text document into your inventory/wishlist/save-for-later. For example, if you use a book cataloging program, you can import your books right into your magnatune inventory. There is always a confirmation step where you can uncheck any books you don’t want included. For libraries or other bulk-purchasers, you can import your purchase list into BookMooch, and quickly mooch all the books we do have available, and add the rest to your wishlist.

– bulk adding of books, such as if you own a bar code scanner (such as the $10 cue-cat from ebay)

– a photo of yourself can be uploaded from your computer, or you can point to a URL on the web. The image is automatically resized so that it looks good on the site.


Minor improvements:

– The 2 steps to mooch a book have been consolidated into 1 step, and made much simpler and clearer.

– The book details page now shows the weight, dimensions and edition, when the information is available

– we now use the “ISBN-db” service as a secondary source of information about books, when Amazon doesn’t know about a book.

– a security question appears on many pages to prevent robots for abusing the web site. The security question asks you to type in the name of a famous author, which is displayed in a graphic.

– the member inventory page has been stripped of most buttons, so that it loads quickly and looks cleanly. In addition, each book line is striped alternatively white/grey. Books are now sorted by author name. The friends page is much cleaner. The history page is cleaner, and sorts items by most-recent-first.

– the 2:1 receive vs give books ratio rule has been relaxed to 5:1, since the points system seem to be working fine in enforcing fair trades.

– another 20 or so minor usability improvements.

Thanks again for helping out during the BookMooch beta period!


BookMooch Beta 2

August 1, 2006

My thanks to those of you who typed books into and told me about bugs and ways to improve it.

I think BookMooch is getting close to useable by the general population, probably in another week. The translation probably broke some things, so email me if anything looks odd.

By all means, if you have friends who you think could use BookMooch, tell them about it.

Here are the bigger things since the initial announcement:

– translated into 5 languages : the BookMooch web site is now completely available in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese. Most of the translations are not-so-good, as they’re created automatically by Google. But, you can correct the translation yourself by clicking on the [correct the translation] link that is on the bottom of every page. Your corrections take effect immediately, so if you can speak a non-English language I support, it’d be a help if you could fix things as you see mistakes.

– what friends say about you is now displayed on your friends page, and the friends page is prettier. Also, you can now add someone as a friend from their inventory page and a few other places.

– postal cost assistance is now available when sending from the USA, the UK and from France (when sending out of France), via a link in your pending list and in your email notice. If you know of web sites for other countries (or France domestic) that help calculate postage, let me know.

– there’s an interview of me now in the /about/ section covering the basics of why I created BookMooch, as well as a legal terms & conditions in /about/

And some smaller changes:
– name & email lookups: where ever you’re asked to enter a member name (ie, to email them, to add them as a friend, or to view their inventory) you can now enter their display name, their user name, or their email address. In cases where there are several matches (i.e., more than one “John Smith”) you’re asked to choose the one you mean.

– remind the receiver: many people weren’t aware that you need to acknowledge receiving a book so the system can mark it as no longer pending. That’s clearer now, but there’s also a “remind” button on the sender’s pending page. Also, after two weeks, if the receiver still hasn’t confirmed receipt after sending a reminder, the sender can force acknowledgment of the receipt and get their points for sending the book.

– recommendations: you can now recommend a topic and a specific member’s inventory to someone, via the “recommend” buttons

– audio books can be part of BookMooch now, as long as they’re listed in Amazon

– once you log in, you stay logged in, even if you go back to the home page and the non-member section

– books for a topic, and search results now include a two-line book description, and a full description is shown if you hover your mouse over it

– A book’s “editor” is grabbed from amazon when there is no author (ie, for a collection of short stories)

– and lots more nit-picky improvements and bug fixes I won’t mention.

Thanks to Cesar Luongo, Paul Beier, Stephane Barbery and Gisela Strauss for their help in the translations.