How Do ER Members Feel About Providing Telephone Numbers?

ConversesEarly Reviewers

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

How Do ER Members Feel About Providing Telephone Numbers?

jul. 2, 2021, 12:00pm

Hi All: I have recently been in communication with some of the publishers who participate in our Early Reviewers program, and they have mentioned the difficulty they sometimes encounter, in shipping books to certain locales, and with certain shipping companies.

Namely, in some cases having the telephone number of the recipient is useful, or even required by the shipping company. LibraryThing policy has in the past been not to ask for this information from our members, but we are considering making an exception in certain cases. How do all of you feel about this? Would you be comfortable supplying this information, for the shipment of specific books? Would you be comfortable simply adding it to your contact details, on the ER page?

We are looking for ways to cut down on the number of books returned to publishers, after they have been mailed out. All feedback is welcome!

jul. 2, 2021, 12:03pm

"Would you be comfortable supplying this information, for the shipment of specific books? Would you be comfortable simply adding it to your contact details, on the ER page?"

1. Possibly.
2. Never.

jul. 2, 2021, 12:08pm

If it's required by the shipping company, then I would do it for that one instance. Assuming the publisher knows when offering the book that their shipping company wants a phone number, I would suggest that that be included in the information regarding the book on the ER page, or in the announcement that a person has won the book. That way, someone uncomfortable giving out their number can choose not to request to book, or to decline it.

I would not want to add it to my contact details.

jul. 2, 2021, 12:35pm



jul. 2, 2021, 12:39pm

I have no problem either way, but I almost never seem to get physical books anymore.

Editat: jul. 4, 2021, 3:41pm

I would never add my phone number on my ER page. I could provide my number in certain special cases, but this is scarcely important, since I never saw a paper book on ER which could be shipped to Italy :-)
(anyway when I bought some used books from the States they took more than one month to arrive, so it would be moot to ship here)

jul. 2, 2021, 12:42pm

Strongly prefer not to add phone number.

jul. 2, 2021, 12:48pm

In specific instances only, but I don't see the need - all shipping companies have found us thus far.

jul. 2, 2021, 1:07pm

Would you be comfortable supplying this information, for the shipment of specific books?


Would you be comfortable simply adding it to your contact details, on the ER page?


Editat: jul. 2, 2021, 1:23pm

Adding to my contact details?


For a specific shipment?

Maybe. Ideally I would like to know before requesting a book that the publisher's chosen shipping company requires a phone number so I can decide if I want the book enough to give out my number.

I prefer to communicate via email, so I would much rather a publisher contact me that way if there is a problem with a shipment.

jul. 2, 2021, 1:38pm

The Post Office, Amazon, FedEx, UPS, DHL have all been able to make deliveries without a phone number. I don't see why they would suddenly need it now. And what happens to this data after the delivery is made?

I too prefer email communication. I would not want to add my number to my contact details. So No and No for me.

jul. 2, 2021, 1:49pm

And I generally only answer my phone if I know who's calling, so a publisher would most likely get my voicemail and we'd end up playing phone tag.

jul. 2, 2021, 1:55pm

I wouldn't add my phone number- I would give up the book!

jul. 2, 2021, 1:59pm

I already get 1-4 spam calls/texts a day. I might be willing to provide a number to one of the bigger publishers or their imprints, maybe. I would refuse to put it anywhere the general membership could see.

jul. 2, 2021, 2:09pm

I live outside a major metro area, have never had trouble w/mail, no need for them to have my #.

jul. 2, 2021, 2:10pm

I can imagine a case where I wanted an ER book so badly that I'd provide my phone number. (I'm not sure I've ever won one, but them's the breaks.) So I don't suppose there's any harm in asking, as long as it's optional after you win.

If a publisher _required_ a phone number to win a copy of the book, I'd consider that a big red flag. (I might do it anyway, depending on how badly I wanted the book, and what my research turned up about the publisher. But probably I just wouldn't request the book.)

I would not add my phone number to my contact details.

jul. 2, 2021, 2:23pm

It's not worth it to me just to get a free book. I would never add my phone number to my details or give it to any publisher.

jul. 2, 2021, 3:31pm


I could see occasions when I might email the number to a specific courier. Or following an email exchange add it a webform. But to have it generally available: no

As above - very few paper books get shipped to the UK anyway.

jul. 2, 2021, 4:00pm

Hard pass. I'd just wait and get the books from the library.

jul. 2, 2021, 4:00pm

Some shippers do require phone numbers, so yes, I would be willing.

jul. 2, 2021, 4:26pm

>12 amanda4242:

And I generally only answer my phone if I know who's calling, so a publisher would most likely get my voicemail and we'd end up playing phone tag.

I only answer the phone when I know who's calling and I don't have voicemail, so it won't do any good unless they e-mail me first. They can have my e-mail, but there's no POINT in giving them a phone number. :-)

If the shipper requires a phone number, they can e-mail me first. :-)

jul. 2, 2021, 4:40pm

I would rather not provide my phone number to a shipper for a review book. I would pass on the book were this a requirement.

Is this happening with US shippers? The only time I've ever encountered this requirement when sending things within the US is when I send flowers. Which I understand in that case because if there are delivery issues they need to resolve them ASAP, since the goods are perishable. Not so with a book.

jul. 3, 2021, 5:10pm

Editat: jul. 6, 2021, 1:55pm

Hi Everyone. Thank you for all of the feedback. It sounds like almost none of you are interested in providing a telephone number as a matter of course, in your ER contact details.

Taking that idea off the table, and concentrating on the notion of only providing this information in specific situations, it seems opinion is split between those with no interest in ever giving out their telephone number, and those who would consider it in certain cases.

I should clarify that this is something that would only ever be opt-in, and is not something we envision needing, in a great many cases. One of the specific situations that raised the issue was one in which an American publisher has had consistent problems shipping to Canada. It isn't the case that the carrier used by the publisher requires a telephone number to ship, but in those cases where there was any initial trouble with delivery on the Canadian side, the package is shipped back to the states if no recipient telephone number is included. In this particular case, the publisher would not need telephone numbers for everyone who won, just winners from Canada. In other cases, the publisher might want telephone numbers for all winners. Needless to say, digital giveaways would never require a telephone number.

I appreciate lilithcat's idea, mentioned above, of an ER giveaway listing including the information that the publishers might either want telephone numbers for delivery of that particular book, or in specific situations, as described above. Then users could decide whether or not to enter for that giveaway, on the understanding that to receive the book they would have to provide the number.

What do members think of this idea? Many thanks for any feedback and/or suggestions.

jul. 6, 2021, 1:57pm

I think "This publisher requires a phone number to be able to ship" or "This publisher requires a phone number to ship to countries X, Y, or Z" would be fine. More information is always better.

"Hey, give us your phone number!" will get, as you've seen, close to zero takers. "This publisher uses a carrier that apparently can't find Canada, and will need phone numbers for Canadian recipients" will perhaps get some. Specifics give reassurance that the contact information won't be abused.

jul. 6, 2021, 2:07pm

>24 AbigailAdams26: I think putting it into the listing is a very reasonable solution.

jul. 8, 2021, 4:16am

I have no problem providing my phone number. If I don't recognize a phone number response I will not answer. But if it's a real message they are welcome to leave one and I will respond. I get too many junk mail calls... I just don't answer them. However I always listen to my voicemail. If it's real... it's real:)

jul. 8, 2021, 6:34am


ag. 6, 2021, 2:23am

>25 lorax: I've had some wayward packages from Canadian shippers that can't find the right side of Canada, so this actually wouldn't surprise me.

I'm not a fan of providing my phone number in general though, but if I know what book it might be and I want to be sure I can get it, I'm open to providing a number.

set. 3, 2021, 12:21pm

Hi All: thank you for your replies. I wanted to follow up on this topic, to let you know that we have ruled this possibility out, when it comes to ER practices and policies. It may be that additional contact information is needed, on a case by case basis, in order to resolve problems that crop up with delivery (always at the discretion of the winner, of course), but we will not be asking for telephone numbers as a matter of course. Thank you all again for the feedback.