EDITED 2014 to reflect changes in BC. I did not write this. I just edited with lots of input. Feel free to start a new thread if this one gets outdated or too long.
If you are reading this post/thread then you are probably not just leaving books around for others to find. You are probably looking for trades, contest rules, etc...
This is the place to start. Reading this thread can make things go smoothly for you.
Please also check out the Information Area specifically the faq'shttp://www.bookcrossing.com/faqs
By posting this ‘etiquette’ list we are not trying to be heavy handed, just offering some helpful hints to newcomers so they can get a feel for things.
IF YOU SIGN UP FOR AN EXCHANGE/CONTEST/GIVEAWAY KEEP YOUR WORD,
We all know life can get in the way but if you sign up for a holiday exchange, a birthday group or any other exchange,/sweeps;
send what you agreed to send.
If you find you can't, PLEASE let the organizer know. No one will think less of you and it won't mess up your chances of participating in a future exchange.
KEEP YOUR BOOKSHELF UPDATED
KEEP YOUR WISHLIST UPDATED!
If you have received a book, please take it off your wishlist.
KEEP YOUR PROMISES!
Unless you can't get to a computer (or phone that has internet) you have NO excuse for not communicating.
RESPOND TO PM's
JOURNAL ALL BOOKS AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THEM!!!
Read the person's profile before PMing them to ask for a book- not all members want to trade.
*If you want a book (or compensation) in return for the book you are offering put TRADE or POSTAGE in subject line.
*If someone has an issue with someone else, PM the other BCer first to try to sort it out rather than taking it to the forums first. If someone feels that a member is breaching etiquette with a post in the forums, PM the "offending" member rather than using the forums as a public battle of words.
*Remember...Sometimes things can come across 'wrong' on forums like this. If something someone says can be taken two ways give the person the benefit of the doubt and cut them some slack. Keep your humor intact!
*Please include any "restrictions" in the SUBJECT LINE of your posts (Country/specific for example)
LOOK AT THE STATUS (who physically HAS the book)
Before you PM someone about an "available" book make sure the person you're PMing is the one who set its status. If another BCer's name is next to its status icon, that person has the book.
*If you would like to trade or claim a RABCK offered make sure you PM the person AS WELL AS posting, on the relevant thread,
*If you WANT a book please put "ISO" in subject line ('In Search Of') of your posts AND the name of the book
Offer a trade or postage. NEVER just ask for a freebie.
*If you want a book from someone's shelf it is considered polite to OFFER a book from your shelf as a trade or offer to pay for postage.
*If you are offering a book as a 'gift' put RABCK (Random Act of BookCrossing Kindness") in the subject line. It's NOT considered polite to ASK for a RABCK.
*When accepting/requesting a book, include your mailing address in the first PM. (please note this is a controversial point- there has been varying opinions on this issue in the past.)
ACKNOWLEDGE & REPLY TO PM's so people are not left wondering what's going on. . This also means if you reply to an offer and the person asks for your address or asks a question, GET BACK to them ASAP.
Remember PM's CAN go missing, the system is not always perfect, so do make allowances for this fact.
*Make your "BOOKRING" and BOOKRAY offers on the "Bookrings, Bookrays, Bookboxes" forum please do not make those offers here.
Keep things tidy and post things in the correct forums!
When trading, uphold YOUR end of the bargain- send your book in a timely fashion and inform the recipient if you are sending surface mail.
If real life got in the way let them know.
On the other hand if you are the recipient- DON'T be impatient- don't send multiple pm's asking if the book has been sent
*DON'T BE GREEDY! Don't put your hand up for nearly every offer.
*When looking at books on someone's shelf for a trade only look at AVL (available) books unless told otherwise by the person offering the RABCK or you are trading with.
BE AWARE....some countries require the RECIPIENT of a package to pay taxes and fees before they can have the parcel! I'm just adding it here so people can be aware of potential hassles. Perhaps ask the RECIPIENT to check out if there will be any taxes payable by them BEFORE you mail the book.
In most cases it is not necessary. . When you want to make a post and it is not clear which forum it should go in just choose which you think is the most appropriate. If you do cross-post, post X-Post in the subject line.
*If book is going out of the country, your real name is needed by the sender.
some bookcrossers use their screen names only, but the postal person may not deliver to "Funkyname Bookcrosser"!
When offering a rabck or trade follow through.
Don't make the agreement then cancel because it cost too much- check things out first.
*READ the first post carefully to see what restrictions or details are included. If offering a book be CLEAR if there are any conditions to your offe
Those of us who participate in a lot of trades and bookrings are so used to the terminology that it's easy to forget that a newbie may have no idea what's expected of them, even something as simple as "you agree to journal the book as soon as you get it".
If you fall behind in your mailings just let people know. We all have life get in our way. If you CAN'T send at some point let the person know if you feel you can never send it or if you just need more time. We are a forgiving bunch.
*Don't forget that this is supposed to be FUN!