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July 11, 2002

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in this issue...

growing faster than ever

Well, I keep waiting for the media frenzy to die down, but it's showing no signs of even slowing. BookCrossing is growing faster than ever, thanks to both the media spotlights and members like you who make a difference by telling your friends and releasing books.

Since the last newsletter, we've had no fewer than 13 big media stories, including a Sunday feature in the San Francisco Chronicle, a great TV feature on New Hampshire Public Television (Watch the video... watch the 10-min video), a two-minute spot on TechTV last night (sorry, no video yet), and we even got Slash-dotted by an article on (that brought in over 1,000 new members!). You can read all the recent press on our BookCrossing Press page (

We're now growing at an average rate of over 113 new members per day, and we just crossed the 16,000 total members mark! At this rate, we'll have over 57,000 members 12 months from now - but I wouldn't be surprised to be over 100,000 in a year, since our growth rate has been steadily increasing for over 4 months now. If you're into numbers, and want to see our membership counts broken down by day and month, you can take a look at our BookCrossing Growth Charts.


bookcrosser of distinction award

Every newsletter a BookCrosser is awarded an item of their choice from the BookCrossing Store ( We try to select the member who did the most for the BookCrossing Movement since the previous newsletter. This newsletter's BookCrosser of Distinction award was a simple choice. She leads our "In the Wild Releases" category on our LeaderBoard ( with 370 books. She has started an independent project to release books in all fifty states - paying the postage and mailing them to any member that asks for their state first. She has written poetry about BookCrossing (see her bookshelf page below). She has purchased advertising with her own money in her community, just to promote BookCrossing there. And last but not least, she has agreed to and completed interviews with both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times newspapers for upcoming features on BookCrossing. I'd say she's done enough to deserve this award, wouldn't you? The award goes to:
Robin Payton from Saint Peters, Missouri
Please help me thank Robin for her efforts in supporting the movement by sending her a nice private message from her bookshelf page.


win $500 by releasing our first contest book

Some of you may remember learning about BookCrossing from a short article on by M.J. Rose. Well, since then, M.J. and I have become friends, and during a face-to-face at Book Expo America in New York City a couple of months ago, we came up with the idea for BookCrossing Contest Books. And her just-released third novel, Flesh Tones, is appropriately going to be our first Contest Book!

Flesh Tones by M.J. RoseFlesh Tones, a passionate and thrilling page-turner, combines an inside look at the New York art gallery scene, and a tense first-person-account courtroom drama that will keep you guessing to the end. A smooth, silky blend of love, obsession, mercy and murder, the book was thoroughly enjoyable to the end, and makes a great companion for the beach or pool. Cosmopolitan magazine called it "[a] sexy summer read," and BookList added "Compelling... readers who enjoy psychological thrillers in the Ruth Rendell vein will find Rose's tale absorbing."

To enter the Flesh Tones contest, and have a chance at winning a $500 book shopping spree at (which M.J. is generously providing), just pick up a copy of Flesh Tones at Powell's Books or Amazon or your favorite local bookseller, read it, then release it at an art gallery near you, and upload a picture of you, the book, and the gallery with our new journal entry picture feature. The contest ends September 9, 2002, at which time M.J. will draw a winner at random from the qualified entries. Full contest details, and all the current entry pictures, can be found at

And just to kick off this contest quickly (and to reward those who read this newsletter all the way to the bottom), M.J. has been kind enough to provide me with 10 copies of the book, in hardcover. And I'm going to snail-mail them for free to the first 10 members in the continental U.S. who send an email to with a subject line of "Send me M.J.'s book!." Please include your full name and mailing address, and I'll reply right away to the first ten. If you do not get a reply, that means you weren't in the first ten. I'm sure I'll be inundated with email, and I won't be able to answer each one personally.


how you can help the movement

These tips will always be included at the bottom of our newsletter. If you have something to add to this list, please reply and I'll include it next issue.
  • Use the Tell-A-Friend feature at the website: to quickly tell one, or one hundred, friends about BookCrossing by email.

  • Help support BookCrossing financially by buying books from our bookseller associations - we make a small commission, and every dollar helps to keep memberships free, and keep the site banner-ad free, forever. Just start your book-buying sessions from our Buy page which has search forms for,, and

  • 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. Have them contact me for details on becoming a featured Crossing Zone, since we'll be listing those on the site in the near future.

  • 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 the My Bookshelf 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

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Books Released
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