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March Madness at Story & Song Neighborhood Bookstore Bistro on Sunday, March 15!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, February 10, 2020
Updated: Friday, December 20, 2019

Join us for our March Madness event at Story & Song in Fernandina Beach, FL on Sunday, March 15 from 10-3PM. The day begins with the educational session “Bookstore Make-Over: Low-cost and no cost ways to freshen and update your space” presented by Donna Paz Kaufman, co-owner of Story & Song with Mark Kaufman. Session Description: Lift up your store's look for the enjoyment of customers, staff, and you. During this workshop you'll see photos of creative bookstore design and merchandising ideas from bookshops around the world. Bring a diagram of your space with fixtures located. We'll talk about circulation, sight lines, focal point displays, and adding your "Wow" factor to give new energy to your bookstore.

 

From noon to 1PM, booksellers will enjoy lunch with a visiting author, and the afternoon will include a store tour and further discussion and networking on bookseller issues. 


Ms. Kaufman founded The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates in 1992, which has provided training and consulting to those with a dream of owning and operating a sustainable independent bookstores. Services include store design and makeovers, operating efficiencies, marketing and staffing support, and more.


Link to register for this event and other March Madness Bookseller Series events. These events are free to booksellers who are current members of their regional associations.

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March Madness at Page & Palette on March 10!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, January 17, 2020

Join us for our March Madness event at Page & Palette in Fairhope, Alabama on March 10 from 10-3PM. The day begins with the educational session: 10 Best Secrets to Handselling, Upselling and More. Inspired by the question, “How far are you willing to go to develop a loyal customer base?” booksellers Stephanie Crowe, Leigh Buckley, and Stacy Sheehan-Wilson will share practical tips on how they’ve done it so successfully at Page & Palette. 


From noon to 1PM, booksellers will enjoy lunch with a visiting author, and the afternoon will include a store tour and further discussion and networking on bookseller issues. 


More on our presenters:

Stephanie Crowe: Page and Palette has been my second career. I have worked for 11 years. I began in our Childrens Department and over time became Event Manager and Buyer. I served on the SIBA board from 2016 to 2018. 


Leigh Buckley: Being a bookseller at  Page & Palette is living out my dream.  Beyond being surrounded by books, the best part about my job is meeting the most diverse and wonderful people who come through our doors.  They may be locals that visit daily, or those just wandering in, but meeting, hand-selling, and also learning from them is what I enjoy the most.  

 

Stacy Sheehan-Wilson: When not at Page & Palette or reading, I tell people's stories through upcycling their clothing and photos into pillows or quilts and help people work through their grief by doing the same. The vision is to grow my cottage industry into a national movement that improves the lives of seniors and their loved ones.

Link to register for this event and other March Madness Bookseller Series events. These events are free to booksellers who are current members of their regional associations.

 

Tags:  Bookseller education  March Madness  Page & Palette 

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March Madness on March 10 at Horton’s Books & Gifts!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, January 17, 2020

Join us for our March Madness event at Horton’s Books & Gifts in Carrollton, GA from 10-3PM on March 10. The day begins with the educational session: Pop-ups at Performance Venues. Horton’s Dorothy Pittman and Tim Chapman, Director of the Center for the Arts, will discuss how they’ve been partnering successfully on events.


From noon to 1PM, booksellers will enjoy lunch with a visiting author, and the afternoon will include a store tour and further discussion and networking on bookseller issues.


Georgia's oldest bookstore, Horton’s Books & Gifts has been in business since 1891. Founded by a former school teacher, N. A. Horton’s offered school song and miscellaneous books as well as Bibles, sheet music, stationery, wrapping paper, and paper bags. He advertised, “I sell for cash, but will take eggs or chicken for school books when parties can’t pay the money." Antique shelves and displays showcase new books and gift items while store cats Mayah, Poe, and Dante are always on hand to help customers choose the right book or gift. 


Link to register for this event and other March Madness Bookseller Series events. These events are free to booksellers who are current members of their regional associations.

Tags:  Bookseller education  Horton's Books  March Madness 

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March Madness on March 11 at Page 158 Books!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, January 17, 2020

Join us for our March Madness event at Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC on March 11, 10-3PM! From 10 AM-noon, Suzanne Lucy will present “A spirited approach to event programming. Expand your offerings, create community, and increase profits with a book bar.”

 

Suzanne shares about her store, “Part of our mission at Page 158 Books is to get as many people reading as possible, and one of the ways we do that is by making our store a destination. We offer coffee, tea, soda, and as of last year we have started selling beer and wine. Our book club meetings have always been full of intelligent and spirited discussions, now they are fueled further by liquid courage that brings out even the most reticent member. Adding beer and wine also allowed us to transform our average author event into an intimate occasion that makes customers think, "Date night?" A night on the town can now begin with books, as well as booze.

 

From a business perspective, this is an incredibly safe addition to your store that won't detract from selling books; it's an accessory. The profit margins are incredibly generous, even taking into account incidental costs; there aren't a lot of books or sidelines you can sell for the amount that can be marked up. We outprice any restaurant or bar in the area because of this, which incentivizes stopping at our store before going out to eat.

 

Before, we had established ourselves as a community hub; we have embiggened that role by providing alcohol. We're not just a place where you buy books, we're a place where you can hang out and have a good time. This isn't your grandmother's bookstore, this is the place to be. Lit happens here.”

 

Lunch with members of the American Booksellers Association. Topic TBA

 

Gwyn Ridenhour of Matchbook Marketing will present a preview of the Shop South program at 2:30PM.  The Shop South program will incorporate Okra Pick, Circle of Sites, Southern Book Prize, Conroy Legacy titles and more into bookstore websites and, where possible, link them to online sales pages. Matchbook is a marketing firm dedicated solely to independent bookstores, and currently works with 65 stores around the country to provide print materials and newsletters, logo and branding creation, website design, and email management. For more information, go to www.WeLoveBooksellers.com.

 

Link to register for this event and other March Madness Bookseller Series events. These events are free to booksellers who are current members of their regional associations.

Tags:  March Madness  matchbook marketing  Page 158  siba in the springtime 

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B3! Webinar: Keep it Indie with Bookstore Link

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, January 17, 2020

Join us on Wednesday, March 25 at 2PM EST for our B3! Webinar: Keep it Indie with Bookstore Link. Mark Pearson, CEO and co-founder of Libro.fm, the first audiobook company to support independent bookstores,  will discuss their new venture, Bookstore Link. When someone links to a book on Bookstore Link, the reader chooses their independent bookstore and is connected to that bookstore’s website to make their purchase. Mark will explain how indie bookstores can get behind Bookstore Link, and he’ll take your questions, too. Please rsvp lindamarie@sibaweb.com to attend.

Click here for more info on Bookstore Link.


About our Presenter: 

Mark Pearson is the CEO and co-founder of Libro.fm, the digital audiobook platform for more than 900 independent bookstores. He lives in Seattle where he enjoys running in the rain, playing tennis when the sun makes an appearance, over and undercooking food, and reading The New York Times on paper.


Tags:  Bookstore Link  libro.fm  Mark Pearson 

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Professional Bookselling Certification powered by NAIBA

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) has taken on the task of creating a formal certification program for the bookselling industry. “For years, booksellers across the country have been asking for a “career path” in bookselling. I believe that NAIBA’s Professional Bookselling Certification will provide an important first step along this path,” says Bill Reilly, co-owner, the river’s end bookstore, and NAIBA Board President.


This is a nation-wide program, with NAIBA spearheading the creation, execution and oversight. NAIBA will work with the American Booksellers Association and the other regional booksellers’ associations on every aspect of the program. The Professional Bookselling Certification program will consist of five modules. The modules include: Basic Bookselling, Staff & Human Resources, Store & Operations Management, Event Management, and Inventory Management. Upon completion of each module, a bookseller will receive certification in that topic. When a bookseller completes all five modules, they will receive the designation of Certified Professional Bookseller. 


There is also a stand-alone module, Career Bookseller Fast Track, for seasoned booksellers, which will encompass the information in the individual modules. Upon completion of the Fast Track, a bookseller will receive the designation of Certified Professional Bookseller. 


Each course will have a Dean, multiple instructors, assessment tools, exercises and homework, and required online and in-person courses. In-person instruction will take place at existing regional and national conferences. NAIBA plans to roll out the Event Management module in 2020, followed by the Career Bookseller Fast Track module. There will be course fees with each module, along with available scholarships.


“I’ve been in the industry for almost 40 years, and professionalism and training have always been a

driving force behind national and regional programs,” said Eileen Dengler, executive director of NAIBA. “People have been asking for some recognition for bookselling skills, and now NAIBA will make it happen.” 


Any bookseller interested in becoming an instructor in any of the modules is welcome to email Eileen Dengler at naibaeileen@gmail.com.

Tags:  Bookseller education  naiba 

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New "Shop South” Opportunity for SIBA Members!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, January 13, 2020

matchbook marketingGwyn Ridenhour of Matchbook Marketing is designing a new collaborative project between Matchbook and SIBA to promote SIBA book prize winners. The Shop South program will incorporate these book prize promotions into bookstore websites, and where possible, link them to online sales pages. Matchbook is a marketing firm dedicated solely to independent bookstores, and currently works with 65 stores around the country to provide print materials and newsletters, logo and branding creation, website design, and email management. For more information, go to www.WeLoveBooksellers.com

Gwyn will present a preview of the Shop South program at the following March Madness Bookseller Events:

If you'd like to attend one of these events, please register here.

shop south

Tags:  matchbook marketing  shop south  SIBA 

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March Madness at Square Books on March 11!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, January 13, 2020
Updated: Friday, December 27, 2019

Join us for our March Madness event at Square Books in Oxford, MS on March 11, 10-3PM! From 10 AM-noon, Lyn Roberts will present Branding and Marketing Your Store. Session description: Promote your store with tribal marketing by capitalizing on your unique geography and identity through branded merchandise. Lyn Roberts is the General Manager of Square Books, four bookstores on five floors in three buildings on the historic square in Oxford, Mississippi, where she has worked since 1988.

Noon-1 PM: Author Luncheon. Lunch is free to attendees.

The afternoon will include a tour of the Square Books stores, and further discussion and networking on bookseller issues.

Link to register for this event and other March Madness Bookseller Series events. These events are free to booksellers who are current members of their regional associations.

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Go Greener in 2020: SIBA stores stepping up with green initiatives

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, January 8, 2020

According to Trendwatching, a company that analyzes trends, “Green Pressure” is one of the top trends of 2020. “When eco-alternatives are as available, affordable and effective . . . there's no reason not to choose them. Eco-consumption becomes less about the status of opting in, and more about the shame of opting out. Throw in Extinction Rebellion, the global Strike for Climate movement, and Greta, and you have a tipping point in awareness also fueling this crucial shift.” 

 

Greener business practices aren’t just about responding to customer pressure to be more environmentally aware, it’s also better for the planet and can be money-saving for businesses. Here are some green practices already happening at member stores.  


"We made the decision just this morning to transition to LED, and away from fluorescent lighting.”–George Williams of MoonPie General Store, Pigeon Forge, TN


“We re-use a lot of boxes and packaging material; right now my closet is filled with bags of bubble wrap waiting to be used during returns.”–Sarah Pishko, Prince Books, Norfolk, VA 


"One thing we've been doing that is really useful is taking hard to recycle materials like packing material to the recycling center instead of just throwing it away. Bobby Bradley (pictured) has really been the impetus behind that, and seeing how much bubble wrap we recycle in a week feels significant. The cafe has continued adding more compostable "plastic" and paper products for all of our single-use and to-go items. Even our mesh tea bags are made of corn and fully compostable!”–Justin Souther and Hannah Campbell, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC 


“We use paper bags and ask customers if they want a bag, so we don't give them automatically. We’ve never used plastic bags. We reuse all the cardboard boxes and packing that we can for outgoing shipping to customers, and to publishers for returns. Anything that is not reused is recycled. We recycle newspapers, plastic bottles, cans, mixed paper and anything that we have recycling facilities here for. (Unfortunately no glass facilities here). In our cafe we use real glasses and coffee mugs and only give to-go cups when requested.  We do not sell drinks in plastic bottles.  If someone wants water, we offer tap water for free or they can buy a boxed water (which we think is expensive---that's the point---but people still buy it). Whenever we change a lightbulb, we switch to LED. We hope to transition to LED overall soon. We keep the thermostat at 68 in winter and 78 in the summer and use ceiling fans. This is a bit warm in the summer for some folks, but hard for me to justify keeping bank temps.” –Lyn Roberts, Square Books, Oxford, MS


“We reuse pretty much everything. Boxes, packing material, mailers; honestly I even keep paper clips to reuse. Same with old or damaged books. If I can reuse or repurpose it I will - mostly, we do this by passing books along to teachers who use them for crafting or blackout poetry. We have slowly but surely been replacing our fluorescent lights. As the fluorescents around the shop go out we replace with LED. We've made it through about two thirds of the lights and are seeing savings in our electric bill as well. We also replaced two A/C units with more efficient ones. Our electricity bill was down by 25% last year over the previous year so we are seeing a financial impact.


We don't offer any incentives to customers who bring in their own bag but we do try to nudge individuals away from the single use bags, mostly by asking if they "need" a bag rather than assuming that they do. Using the word “need” is quite key here. When you ask if someone 'needs' a bag they often realize that they do not; if you ask if they would 'like' a bag, they nearly always would. We also offer paper rather than plastic bags. We do have plastic bags, but use them infrequently. And boxes are always available for those purchasing many books.


We don't incentivize employees walking to work as they all live in the next town (we are rural-suburban). However, being able to walk to work was a big factor in the purchase of our own homeWe also keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge - some people will not drink it because the water comes from the tap, but it has been pretty effective in keeping employees from bringing in single use water bottles. Our community is not very environmentally minded so these kinds of changes are not championed. Our thinking is that we can model good behaviors and hope for the best." –Michelle Cavalier, Cavalier House Books, Denham Springs, LA


“Instead of bottled water, we offer authors and other guests a glass and a pitcher of cold water.  We keep a donation jar for local non-profits at each register, and add a nickel whenever a customer chooses not to use one of our QRB bags. We've been doing that for about 2 1/2 years, and customers tend to donate a lot of their change, too.  We place recycling cans near all workspaces, including the register and break rooms." –Lisa Poole and Sarah Goddin, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC


“Before retiring, I ran chemical plants, and I am an engineer so I try to stay up on these areas.  LED lighting is great, just remember to check the color as a lot of it is very white. I like 4000 to 5000k, but I believe 3500k is recommended for book stores. LED has a good return on investment. Solar on its own is just not worth the investment. Check your local governments and utility for incentives. Some places have incentives that can make solar almost worth doing.  We have been offering bags and about 10% don’t want one.”–Dean Swift, Swift Books, Orangeburg, SC








Tags:  eco  green  recycle  trend 

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March Madness at Oxford Exchange on March 9!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, January 6, 2020
Updated: Friday, December 20, 2019

Join us for our March Madness event at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL on March 9 from 10-3PM. From 10 AM-noon, Bookstore & Programming Director Laura Taylor will present “Independent Bookstore Day- and a Bookstore Passport Program.” Session description: The collaboration between Independent Bookstores is our greatest weapon against big box stores. Join other booksellers to brainstorm and put into place an innovative regional bookstore passport program which would engage and inspire our local customers to seek out Independent Bookstores wherever they are. All discussions about Independent Bookstore Day and ways to feed and support your local bookstores will be encouraged!  


From noon to 1PM, booksellers will enjoy lunch with a visiting author, and the afternoon will include a store tour and further discussion and networking on bookseller issues.


Laura Taylor is going on her 7th year at Oxford Exchange and her 6th year running the buying and programming of the Bookstore.  She has a varied background as a retail small business owner in Asia, as well as several years as a Chef. Oxford Exchange is a unique owner operated Restaurant, Shop, Bookstore, Private Event Space and Design Studio.    


Link to register for this event and other March Madness Bookseller Series events. These events are free to booksellers who are current members of their regional associations.

Tags:  Bookseller education  SITS 

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