For those who don’t know, #booksfortrade is a tag on Twitter on which people share books (okay, mostly ARCs) they have available for trade and then other people respond to the tweets with books THEY have for trade, you exchange addresses, send your books, and booksfortrade happen! It’s a really great thing that I’ve had a LOT of luck with. I’ve been fortunate enough never to fall victim to scammers (though I came close a couple of times…eek!) but they do exist, as do other annoying things people do on the tag. This is a post written to help combat some of the annoying things, as well as some general tips for using the tag.
- Include a photo in your post. Most people do this, and it’s because people want to be able to see what they’re trading for. A lot of people ask for pics of the back and spines of a book to over direct messages, or people put them up if there’s some damage to a book. You will most likely not get any responses for a post if you don’t put up pics.
- Be specific about your wishlist. If you only want priority or WL items for particular books/ARCs you’re posting, it’s totally fine to specify in your post! It’s helpful for people to know as well so someone doesn’t get their hopes up. I think being picky (to a degree) is fine, because it’s your book.
- Don’t bitch and moan about problems with or on the tag using #booksfortrade. If you want to complain about #booksfortrade, do it OFF THE HASHTAG. Doing it on the hashtag clogs up the feed so people can’t find actual trade posts and it’s just annoying. Nobody is forcing you to use the tag or look at the tag, so if you don’t like something about it, don’t make it harder for everyone else to use by clogging the feed, or, better yet, JUST DON’T USE IT.
- Do some research as to whether things are going to have ARCs or currently have ARCs. For instance, everyone is still looking for Catwoman ARCs, even though there aren’t going to be ARCs of it. People are also still looking for WICKED SAINTS ARCs, even though only bound manuscripts, which are super rare and hard to come by, are available right now and are sent out EXTREMELY selectively. It’s annoying to go through the feed and have a book you want with a wish list that only has items that don’t exist. People have used the tag to ask if there are ARCs of certain books, which is a good thing, and someone out there will know the answer, so don’t be afraid to ask if ARCs of something exist! Your bookworm friends have your back!
- Just mute the spam. Don’t respond to every spam account saying “please don’t use the tag.” It clogs the tag and they’re bots; they don’t know or care about using the tag. The best thing to do is just mute or block.
- Don’t like a post that you’re not interested in trading for. This might just be a personal pet peeve, but I hate it when someone likes every single #booksfortrade post with no intention of trading. Just…why get the person’s hopes up? This might be a little mean, but I have blocked people who consistently like my trade requests without requesting anything because it’s just obnoxious.
- If you don’t like #booksfortrade, try a facebook group. Personally, I’ve had a lot of luck through this one. The moderators are very good about keeping spam posts off the group, post useful tips from time to time, and are EXCELLENT at keeping up with scammers. I’ve had really excellent luck through here.
- Be wary of sketchy accounts. This can include things such as if an account has very few followers, or no followers you know, or doesn’t post about books at all. Also accounts that post massive amounts of books for trade or sale tend to end up being scammers, though I haven’t seen that problem for a while. Also people who say “I don’t have this yet” but are still trying to trade with an item they don’t have.
- If it feels sketchy, it probably is. That is honestly the best rule of thumb. If someone takes a long time to respond, or has a million requirements for mailing, or has other weird requests, those can all be red flags. The facebook group is also a good place to say hey, do you know this person and have you traded with them. Basically, if you get a bad feeling from someone, don’t take the risk, because your feeling will usually end up being right.