My name is Joanne Brady and I am the founder of TheBookPond.com. I am a graduate of The University of Hull, and of Durham University, and I am a mother of four very lively girls.
TheBookPond.com is a site which allows UK university students to list their used textbooks for free in order to sell them locally to other students, cutting out un-necessary P&P costs and reducing ‘textbook miles’. The site is totally free to use, and always will be. I set it up as I am a big fan of saving money and hate to see wasted resources.
Whilst at Hull University, I bought and sold a lot of my textbooks using the department noticeboards, but I found it wasn’t as convenient as it could be. I did a joint degree and I was posting to multiple noticeboards. I also found a lot of my notices went missing for one reason or another. Selling my books as a graduate is even harder work as being away from campus makes it necessary to use online book sale sites, which means paying for P&P and a sales commission, which can be quite a chunk.
The idea to have a site which anyone can access, either on or off campus, and encourage people to sell books directly to buyers is one I spent a little bit of time developing. Having no web programming skills and no budget, I found someone with the skills that was prepared to work on the site as a project and take a punt. I found Graeme, a computer studies student at The University of Strathclyde, and the site was launched in the autumn term of 2009.
Since 2009, in between me having children, us both completing our studies, and Graeme taking a work placement abroad, we have been making adjustments to the site, and have started a blog. We have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed too, and are big fans of social media. In the summer of 2011, we were featured on BBC News 24’s technology programme Click!, which was a massive boost to us. We attracted some worldwide interest, but we are focussing on the UK for the time being. Currently we have over 500 members and growing, and we have over 400 books listed on the site.
I completed my masters degree studying users of electric cars last year, and am now on the lookout for a PhD studentship which fits in with my family commitments. TheBookPond.com is a long-term project which I’m sure will continue to grow and to provide students with a way of contacting each other to save money and stop those once loved textbooks from gathering dust.
The main site – www.TheBookPond.com
The blog – http://bookpond-thebookpond.blogspot.co.uk/
The Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Book-Pond/132542209559
The twitter feed – http://twitter.com/#!/theBookPond
My email – firstname.lastname@example.org