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July 3, 2003
In this issue...

wow - long time no write

Remember the good old days, when you could count on a newsletter from me every, say, three or four weeks? Well, those days apparently ended last December, when you got the last one. So where've I been? Behind the scenes, of course, managing BookCrossing's growth. Our membership has nearly doubled since December, exploding from 67,000 to over 131,000, and the site's traffic and bandwidth has grown likewise. We moved our servers to a new, faster colocation facility, and upgraded all of our machines with new, faster hardware. Simply sending email to this many members is a much bigger job than it used to be, so we've switched to new software to handle that, too.

All that is just a geeky way of saying we've been scrambling a bit to keep up. But it's under control now. The site's running smoother and faster - you should notice a difference. And our little software company has succeeded in divesting itself of its other products, so that we can fully attend to the growth and future of BookCrossing. Thanks for staying with us on this wild ride - and to think it's just getting started. Take a moment and check out all the recent news articles published at, and look for an upcoming story in the US edition of Reader's Digest Magazine in August.

Where has this year gone? Tomorrow is July 4th, fondly known as Independence Day here in the States. The day when millions of US kids get up extra early, doing their darndest to blow their fingers off and ears out (I oughta know) with Chinese explosives. No matter where you live, how about celebrating by getting out there and giving a book some independence tomorrow? :)

release kits and limited-edition bookplate labels a hit

New BookPlate Labels!Our Supply Store has been keeping us busy, too, with sales of the new BookCrossing Release Kits! No longer do you need to struggle with pdf files, label paper, printer alignment, and ink cartridges to have nice BookCrossing labels. Our limited-edition Bookplate Labels feature the work of a different artist on each print run, and our first artist in the series, Will Caldwell (, saw his print run of 25,000 BookPlates sell-out within a month.

You can't get any more Artists Series #1 BookPlates, but you can still get some of the #2 BookPlates, by my new favorite artist Penelope Cline, who just happens to be a very active BookCrosser herself! You can read her bio and see her contributed artwork at If you want to get in on this limited-edition series, don't wait too long - we've already sold about half of the 25,000 BookPlates featuring Penelope's art.

Sticky-notes Each Release Kit also includes bright yellow sticky-notes for the front of your released books that say "I'm FREE! I'm NOT LOST!", so your book can't be ignored and gets picked up in the first place.

BookMarksFinally, each Release Kit includes heavy-weight, double-sided BookMarks that explain the entire BookCrossing concept in a nutshell. These also make great hand-outs to keep in your purse or wallet all the time.

Use all three items on each of your released books for the best possible catch rate! The Release Kits come in packs of 25, 50, or 100, and they're shipped anywhere in the world, directly from our little office in beautiful Sandpoint, Idaho. If you'd rather not order via our secure online store, you can call toll-free in the States: 1-877-IN-THE-WILD (468-4394); international members can call 1-816-537-9095.

release pics from Paris catch catchers

Book released in hand of Paris statueThese are the coolest journal entry pictures I've seen recently. The first one here was shot immediately after the release; if you enlarge the picture on the website, you'll see the book in the hand of Rodin's The Citizens of Calais statue in a museum garden in Paris.

Paris passerby catches book This second picture was shot as a passerby caught the book! Way to go, Nybbler!

how you can help the movement

These tips will always be included at the bottom of our newsletter. Remember - BookCrossing is growing because people like you help in so many ways.
  • Use the Tell-A-Friend feature at the website: to quickly tell one, or one hundred, friends about BookCrossing by email.

  • Join other members in your city at the monthly Meetups! Visit to register.

  • Buy Release Kits from the BookCrossing Supply Store! They'll help your books get noticed and journaled, you'll be supporting the artists featured on the limited-edition bookplate labels, and best of all, every purchase helps to directly support BookCrossing!

  • Start your book-buying sessions from our Buy page which has search forms for several online booksellers: We make a small commission on every purchase you make, and you pay the same low prices as always!

  • Forward this Newsletter to your friends, along with a personal request that they join.

  • Tell your local coffee shops and used bookstores about BookCrossing. The best way is to print out the new Crossing Zone signs/flyers at and leave several with them.

  • If you know anyone in the media biz (radio, TV, newspaper, magazine, publishing, etc.), make sure to tell them about BookCrossing and encourage them to feature it. Stress to them the nobility of our cause, the grass-roots growth efforts, and the warm fuzzies it will give their audience.

  • If you've got a website, make sure to grab one of our eye-catching logos and link code from our Link To Us page: and put it on your site.

  • When you talk to your friends who love books, be sure to talk to them about BookCrossing. There is no influence more powerful than personal word-of-mouth.

  • Finally, the most obvious way to spread the word: release your books into the wild, or share them with friends! Each one is a little mobile billboard for BookCrossing, and will help convince others to share in kind.

Thanks for reading this far, and until next time, Happy 'Crossing!


Ron Hornbaker
Founder and Editor,

All of our newsletters, including this one, are archived on the web at

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