News

The 2017 Spring Okra Picks have been selected: a flavor-filled collection of new Southern books hand-picked by Southern indie booksellers–people with impeccable taste in books... 

All Spring Okra picks have a strong Southern focus and publish between April and June, and all have fans among Southern indie booksellers: the people who are always looking out for the next great writer to fill your reading plate. So the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore and someone says, "You've got to read this!" and hands you one of these tasty titles, dig in and ask for a second helping. Great books are always good for you!



The Potlikker Papers by John T. Edge
Penguin Press, Hardcover, 9781594206559, 384pp.
Publication Date: May 16, 2017

Skin Again by bell hooks, Chris Raschka (illus)
Jump at the Sun, Hardcover, 9781484799239, 40pp.
Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Between Two Skies by Joanne O'Sullivan
Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763690342, 272pp.
Publication Date: April 25, 2017


Sunshine State: Essays by Sarah Gerard
Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062434876, 384pp.
Publication Date: April 11, 2017

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780425284681, 352pp.
Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Flight Path A Search for Roots Beneath the World's Busiest Airport by Hannah Palmer
Hub City Press, Paperback, 9781938235283
Publication Date: April 4, 2017


Echolocation by Mark Powell
Tyrus Books, Hardcover, 9781507203385, 384pp.
Publication Date: June 2, 2017

No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts
Ecco Press, Hardcover, 9780062472984, 384pp.
Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250118455, 336pp.
Publication Date: May 30, 2017


Thunder in the Mountains Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War by Daniel J. Sharfstein
W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393239416, 640pp.
Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Gradle Bird by J.C. Sasser
Koehler Books, Paperback, 9781633932630, 288pp.
Publication Date: June 15, 2017

He Calls Me by Lightning The Life of Caliph Washington and the Forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice, and the Death Penalty by S. Jonathan Bass
Liveright Publishing Corporation, Hardcover, 9781631492372, 432pp.
Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin
Bloomsbury USA, Hardcover, 9781632867049, 336pp.
Publication Date: June 6, 2017

 



For Immediate Release
January 31, 2017

The Southern Book Prize creates the Conroy Legacy Award

The Southern Book Prize(Columbia SC) The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) announces the creation of a “Lifetime Achievement” category for their annual book award program, The Southern Book Prize (formerly known as The SIBA Book Award). The new category, the Conroy Legacy Award, honors the example of beloved author Pat Conroy and recognizes writers who have achieved a lasting impact on their literary community. Recipients will have shown the following attributes:

  1. Support for independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general.
  2. Writing that focuses significantly on their own home place.
  3. Demonstrates support of other writers, especially new and emerging authors.

The Conroy Legacy Award is given to one writer in SIBA territory per year. A juried panel of SIBA member booksellers representing all of SIBA's states will choose among nominated writers to determine the year’s winner.

Although it is not necessary for a nominated writer to have a new book out in the award year, nominated writers must be living, and must have books in print. Nominations must come from SIBA member bookstores. The Legacy Award provides an opportunity for its member stores to recognize writers who have been important in their community.

Both a donation to the Pat Conroy Literary Center and a donation to a literary entity close to the heart of the writer will be made in the name of the Legacy Award recipient.

In 2016, SIBA rechristened its annual SIBA Book Award as The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize to honor Conroy and his profound impact on Southern literary life. Although it was intended as a one-time event, the booksellers immediately responded with names of writers they felt deserved that recognition. The Conroy Legacy Award was created to celebrate the deep connections between independent bookstores and the writers in their communities.

“The Conroy Legacy Award,” says SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell, “is our way of honoring the strong connection and partnership between writers and independent booksellers. We are all deeply involved in the literary life, in the life of the book, and in telling the story of our home place.”  

(Columbia, SC) In an effort to expand exposure to its bookstore members and their customers to books by people of color, starting February 1 SIBA is offering a 35% discount to publishers who wish to promote authors and illustrators of color for 2017.  Any book that has been written or illustrated by a person of color is eligible for the discount, which applies to all SIBA promotions with the exception of its annual Holiday Catalog, a shared revenue product.

“We had a strong call from our members to increase diversity in SIBA programming,” said Executive Director Wanda Jewell, “and to work with stores to increase the demand for diverse books,” adding that SIBA has already made an internal commitment to promote diverse authors and books in its consumer-targeted programs, such as the Lady Banks Commonplace Book newsletter.

“But it is an all-hands-on-deck process,” she added, “our booksellers are deeply committed to diversity, and we want publishers to see our membership as an enthusiastic and profitable audience for their divese writers.”

By offering the discount on SIBA promotional programs, Jewell hopes that publishers will not only send more diverse authors to SIBA territory, but also that they will see the benefit of committing more promotional dollars to their books as a whole.

For more information, contact: Wanda Jewell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The 2017 Winter Okra Picks have been selected: a flavor-filled collection of new Southern books hand-picked by Southern indie booksellers–people with impeccable taste in books... 

All Winter Okra picks have a strong Southern focus and publish between January and March, and all have fans among Southern indie booksellers: the people who are always looking out for the next great writer to fill your reading plate. So the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore and someone says, "You've got to read this!" and hands you one of these tasty titles, dig in and ask for a second helping. Great books are always good for you!



The Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis
Hogarth, Hardcover, 9780451495648, 368pp.
Publication Date: March 7, 2017

The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish
HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780062433381, 368pp. 
Publication Date: January 24, 2017

Eveningland: Stories by Michael Knight
Atlantic Monthly Press, Hardcover, 9780802125972, 304pp. 
Publication Date: March 7, 2017


Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell; Shadra Strickland (illus.)
Chronicle Books, Hardcover, 9781452125909, 260pp. 
Publication Date: January 31, 2017

Mercies in Disguise by Gina Kolata
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250064349, 272pp. 
Publication Date: March 21, 2017

My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King
Henry Holt & Company, Hardcover, 9781627795982, 368pp. 
Publication Date: January 17, 2017


One Good Mama Bone by Bren McClain
University of South Carolina Press, Hardcover, 9781611177466, 280pp. 
Publication Date: February 14, 2017

Pure Heart: A Spirited Tale of Grace, Grit and Whiskey by Troy Ball
Dey Street Books, Hardcover, 9780062458971, 288pp. 
Publication Date: February 7, 2017

The River of Kings by Taylor Brown
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250111753, 336pp. 
Publication Date: March 21, 2017


The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers
Algonquin Books, Hardcover, 9781616205812, 272pp. 
Publication Date: January 10, 2017

Signals: New and Selected Stories by Tim Gautreaux
Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780451493040, 384pp. 
Publication Date: January 17, 2017

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250135995, 240pp. 
Publication Date: January 17, 2017

 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Larry May, 865-922-7490

 

GABBS  SIBA

GABBS Comes to a Close, SIBA Regroups
Writing the end of GABBS, and the future of The Discovery Show

Immediately following the #SIBA16 Discovery Show, GABBS owner Larry May, determined that his 20-year old Bargain Books show was no longer economically viable. This was not an easy decision, coming on the heels as it does of SIBA’s announcement of a 2018 merged show with GABBS. A steep decline in exhibitor commitments convinced May that the show was no longer financially feasible, so GABBS will close immediately, and the proposed merger between the GABBS show and the SIBA Discovery Show will not take place.

“I’m sorry for the confusion and frustration that we’ve caused SIBA,” said Larry May in a letter to SIBA members announcing the close, “GABBS has courted and been associated with SIBA for many years and has the utmost respect for all involved.  It was certainly never my intention to create this predicament and cause distress.”  Wanda Jewell said, “All things are opportunities. I am sad for Larry, his family, and booksellers, that GABBS is going away.  GABBS has been an active player in supporting bookstores in the south, and across the country.  SIBA will feel the loss.”

The SIBA in the Springtime event will still be held in Atlanta on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.  The theme is “Writing the Future of the SIBA Discovery Show”.  All SIBA members and show stakeholders are invited to Atlanta for the day.  The event will begin at 10am and end at 3pm so that anyone within a two hour drive can leave home in the morning and be back in time for dinner.  There will be sessions on all aspects of the show:  location, time of year, format, education, exhibits, author events, consumer events, and fresh ideas.  “We want to explore the many options in front of us and have everyone who’d like to be heard have that opportunity.” confirmed Jewell.