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March 25, 2004
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By now, I'm sure that most of you are aware that we've been doing a special free book promotion, giving away an advance reader copy of Wild Animus by Rich Shapero to anyone who requests it. The first 8,000 copies are going to start shipping in a few days, and the printers are hard at work to fulfill the remaining volume of requests — over 14,000 so far!

Rich Shapero So what kind of author takes a leap of faith like this and lets his publisher give away thousands of copies of his new book? We've all heard of writers who say "well, I just want to be read." Rich Shapero, pictured here, hasn't said that — not that I've heard, anyway — but his actions speak volumes towards his intent, towards his character. I'd like you to get to know this enigma of a man better, so we've published a recent interview with him in which he discusses some of his motivations and influences that led to Wild Animus. I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I did:

Wild Animus Interview with Rich Shapero:

Wild Animus will, if nothing else, challenge you to think. Are you up for that? If so, please get your request for your free copy in soon:



The 2004 BookCrossing Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, is fast approaching on April 16-18. I'll be there, speaking on Saturday morning, and following me will be author Rich Shapero. I hope to see a great many of you there — it's going to be great fun putting faces to screen names!

We've got convention registration forms ready; please complete and submit as soon as possible to help those planning the event: (PDF - 12 KB) (Word Doc - 30 KB)


What books do we like to pass around?
by Yvonne (yvi-1)

Ever wonder whose books get BookCrossed the most? Or which is the most popular BookCrossed book? Does the fact that the largest BookCrossing demographic is women aged 25-45 play a factor in which author is at the top? If you are willing to do a little number crunching, you can easily get the information from the most popular link in the books menu. ...

[read it all at]

Finding the right book is almost as thrilling as falling in love
by CatalogueAnnie

In my album I have a photo taken in the Palais-Royal, Paris, of a crazy-looking old lady feeding pigeons. Of all the rolls of film I shot when we were there, this is the one I like best: the one that encapsulates that place, that moment in the sun, our first holiday together....

[read it all at]

The Storyteller at the Back of the Bus
by Virginia J. Pulver (GinnyP)

I think it was on that bus ride, bouncing down the barely paved road that comprised a major highway, between Rumphi and Mzuzu, that I realized what a treasure a book really is....

[read it all at]

High tech bookcrossing, using Global Positioning Satellites
by nyisutter

I discovered BookCrossing through Geocaching, and since the two hobbies have many similarities, it is natural to combine them. I have had a lot of fun mixing the two. It is also a great way to tell geocachers about BookCrossing and vice versa. For those of you new to the term, Geocaching is a like a high tech treasure hunt where you find boxes of trade items, hidden using Global Positioning Satellites (GPS). Members go and find the caches using GPS receivers and sign the log book, trade items and then log online that they found the cache. These caches are hidden all over the world. More than likely there is one near you! This article describes some ways to combine the two hobbies. ...

[read it all at]


Want to write for BookCrossing? If your article is accepted, you could see it featured here in the next newsletter. What topics do we need? Anything about books, reading, or BookCrossing — tutorials, release and catch stories, well-traveled book stories, funny BookCrossing experience stories — you name it. Write it up, then submit it here:


Top 10 All-Time
USA 119,633 (52%)
CANADA 17,538 (8%)
UNITED KINGDOM 15,016 (7%)
GERMANY 12,651 (5%)
ITALY 10,552 (5%)
SPAIN 10,348 (4%)
AUSTRALIA 7,337 (3%)
PORTUGAL 2,867 (1%)
FRANCE 2,753 (1%)
NETHERLANDS 2,604 (1%)

Top 10 Last Week
USA 1,374 (47%)
CANADA 330 (11%)
GERMANY 173 (6%)
SPAIN 171 (6%)
AUSTRALIA 115 (4%)
FRANCE 46 (2%)
ITALY 45 (2%)
CHINA 31 (1%)
AUSTRIA 26 (1%)


How does BookCrossing make money to survive and grow? Not with membership fees — BookCrossing is free for everyone. Instead, most of our expenses are covered by Supply Store sales to generous members like you. Here's what's happening over at our secure online Store...

The New 8th-Edition Bookplates!

Turtle Woman Interrupted

These labels feature Turtle Woman Interrupted by Jennifer Long de Herrera. Without a doubt, this is my favorite bookplate art to date. Something about Turtle Woman's eyes just do it for me. You might also notice that we've added a "Catch Bounty" reward on the labels — a $100 book shopping spree — to help increase your wild catch rates when you use our bookplate labels. We will be awarding this prize to one lucky wild book catcher every month, drawn at random from the pool of qualified entries, starting in April.

The new bookplates are available either a-la-carte or bundled with bookmarks and sticky-notes in our popular Release Kits.

Are you an artist? If you'd like your art to be featured on a future Bookplate series, please contact us at In exchange for the considerable exposure you'll get here and in the future on those 50,000 traveling books, we ask for only the original artwork, which we'll auction to further help support BookCrossing.


Since the last newsletter on March 18, our champion new member referrer was nyisutter from St. Charles, Missouri. A member since June 2002, nyisutter has referred 39 new members, and 8 of them joined in the last week. Besides actively referring members, nyisutter operates an excellent BookCrossing support site, and wrote one of our featured articles this week, above.

As a token of appreciation for helping us grow, we'll be sending nyisutter a $50 gift certificate from our BookCrossing Supply Store. Want to win the $50 prize next newsletter? Get busy referring people! The best tactic: release lots of books so new members will find them and join. The next-best tactic: use our Tell-a-Friend form to quickly send an email invitation to everyone you know:


Last week's SSM21 (First day of Spring/Fall Release) resulted in many releases, including this one released by Filipides in a hollow tree in a park in Spain:

Book released in tree in Spain

and this one released by mcbeth on the display shelves of a floral department in Miami:

Book released in floral dept in Miami

which was promptly caught by ppagano.

This weekend, for SSM22, I'd like you to do a repeat of the very first SSM from August of last year. Our press coverage has been a bit slow lately, and what better way to wake up some journalists than to leave well-labelled books hanging outside their offices, waiting for their arrival Monday morning? This is a fun assignment, too, because of the possibility that you'll run into other BookCrossers on the same mission!

Your SSM22 Assignment:

  • RELEASE ZONE: The largest newspaper editorial office near you
  • RELEASE METHOD: Book in a clear plastic bag, hanging by string from tree or sign outside office building
  • RELEASE TIME: This Sunday, March 28, 2004, at Sunset wherever you live.

The 10 Rules of Sunday Sunset Missions:

  1. Don't talk about SSMs!
  2. Don't talk about SSMs! (you need to read or see Fight Club for that to make sense)
  3. Be on time! You can get the exact sunset time from
  4. Label the books properly. At the minimum, this means a sticky-note on the outside making it clear that the book is FREE and NOT LOST (don't write anything on the outside to cause others alarm!), and a good, descriptive label inside the cover explaining BookCrossing and including the BCID for the book.
  5. If possible, choose a book with content appropriate to the release location.
  6. If possible, print out one of the press articles from and include it with the book (the Utne Reader or Reader's Digest articles work well).
  7. Take pictures! Those of you with digital cameras, try to take a picture of the release zone with books, upload it with your journal entry, and make a post with the journal entry link in the SSM forum at
  8. Be safe! Use your common sense, and don't do anything to endanger persons or property.
  9. Pay attention to the media the following day or two, try to note any mention of the SSM, and post such mentions to the SSM forum.
  10. And finally, have fun!

As always, Happy 'Crossing!

Ron Hornbaker
Founder and Editor,

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