A quick reminder: Wild vs Controlled
BookCrossing's very foundation is all about setting books free. The act of placing a book someplace for some unknown person to find, is what we refer to as a "wild release".
In contrast, a "controlled release" is when you give or send a book to a specific individual. It means that the book's next hop is "controlled" rather than "wild", and that it's next intended recipient is known, rather than whoever finds it first.
You can think of it this way:
Wild – you do not know who the recipient of the book will be
Controlled – you are giving, passing or mailing the book to an intended recipient
Does it actually matter?
The answer to this is somewhat a yes and a no.
When you release a book into the wild, a Release Note is generated and sent to BookCrossers who have signed up for release alerts for the location where you are releasing your book, it will also show up on our Go Hunting pages. In essence a wild release is something that can be “hunted” by someone wanting to "catch" it.
When making a "controlled release", our system will ask you specify the country, state, and city where you're releasing the book, but it does not include a release zone since the book won't be huntable.
In the release notes text you can explain who the book is going to ("I gave this to my sister on my last trip to Florida", or "I'm sending this to a BCer in France who has it on their Wishlist", or even "I mailed this to somebody in Colorado via Paperbackswap.com").
We hope this helps.