The old method of butcher paper and strapping tape is no longer going to cut it when it comes to mailing books in today's society. It is to be expected that packages will be shuffled around, thrown, and/or dropped during shipping, so take it upon yourself to ensure that the book you mail out arrives in the same condition as when it left your hands. People are extremely particular about books, especially collectors.
Though books are not exactly fragile, taking the proper steps to package your book well means it should arrive to the recipient without any damage. It is simply not enough to write “fragile” or “do not bend” on your package. Always include a shipping label inside the package so customers can contact you if there is a problem. If you use Amazon, PayPal, or the USPS they will automatically generate these.
If you are dealing with a hardcover book, you will have to take extra precautions. Sharp corners can be damaged, and the cover can be dented. Securely wrapping these in bubble wrap will aid greatly in diminishing dents, and the plastic will protect the book from any water it might encounter. You should use a box that is larger than the book so there is room to insert packing material (such as wadded up tissue paper or packing peanuts; don't use newspaper as the print rubs off) so the book cannot move around. Putting it inside of a box also ensures that the sharp corners will not be damaged. It is a bad idea to put a hardcover directly into a bubble mailer or padded envelope"these simply do not offer enough protection.
Paperbacks are a little bit of a different story. Bubble mailers and padded envelopes can serve these well, but keep in mind they can still incur damage. If the paperback is for a collector or harbors sentimental value, err on the side of caution and provide extra packaging, such as wrapping it in bubble wrap or tissue paper. It is wise to put a paperback inside of a plastic sleeve (like those newspapers come in) or Ziploc bag to protect from any water it may encounter.
" The USPS has a Media Mail rate, which is the best shipping rate they offer for books. They also offer free mailing tape, boxes, and flat envelopes, which can be ordered online at USPS.com. These items can be used for priority and express USPS mail only.
" Maximize your book sale profits by purchasing supplies in bulk from wholesalers on Ebay and other sites.
" #5 Bubble Mailers (10.5 x 16) are a good general size to purchase.