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Visiting Spartanburg, Host City for #SIBA19's Discovery Show

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, May 14, 2019

SIBA’s Discovery Show in Spartanburg, SC is going to be extra special, with a full schedule of author events, educational programming, and gatherings where seeing old friends and making new ones is top of the list. SIBA's Wanda Jewell and Linda-Marie Barrett visited recently for a site visit, and met with Patricia Byrd of the Spartanburg CVB, Anne Waters, Meg Reid and Betsy Teter of Hub City Bookshop & Press, and the good folks at the Spartanburg Marriott AKA Discovery Show Central. 

The Marriott is in downtown Spartanburg, a walkable distance from restaurants, the book shop, and other beloved local attractions. The hotel is lovely, spacious, and well-appointed, featuring three restaurants, a bar, and a cafe. After the day’s activities you can settle in, schmooze, and connect with other booksellers, authors, reps, and more. Here’s a peek at where you’ll be staying.

But you won’t want to stay in the hotel the whole time. Spartanburg-affectionately known as Hub City and Sparkle City- has so much to offer culturally. Come early as we’ll be offering a variety of things to do on Thursday, September 12, including a visit to Hub City Writers Project, and The Johnson Collection Gallery. Art lovers will also want to wander down to the AC Hotel and view the 40+ objects on view at the hotel—paintings, works on paper, sculpture and textiles—created by faculty members and students at the experimental arts enclave of Black Mountain College. The collection is really extraordinary, as is the hotel’s rooftop bar!

Word on the street is that SIBA’s 2019 Discovery Show is drawing a record number of booksellers, as Spartanburg is within driving distance of so many bookstores in NC, SC, VA, TN, and GA. We want you to be there, too. Here’s a link to find out more info and register.

Tags:  Discovery Show 

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Still Time to Create or Update Your Press Kit for BEA

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Are you going to BEA and pitching your store to publishers? There’s still time to create a press kit, or update your existing one. Even if you're not going to BEA, having an up-to-date press kit is invaluable for events programming and media inquiries. The following stores took part in last year’s webinars with Maribeth Pelly, the event planner for Booktowne (NJ) and a professional marketing consultant, who live-critiqued eight press kits from small and large stores with different approaches to their events programming. A number of these stores are updating their press kits for BEA, but their 2018 versions are below. Want inspiration? Take a few moments to check these out:

Square Books Press Kit

Quail Ridge Books Press Kit

Main Street Books Press Kit

Horton’s Books & Gifts Press Kit

Ernest & Hadley Booksellers Press Kit

Bookmarks Press Kit


Here's a link to the recorded webinars (you'll need to log in to view, but so worth your time!):

Press Kits for Bookstores

A Template and Checklist are also available at the above link.

Keep in mind when updating:

  • Add in the events you've hosted since last spring

  • Include links or quotes from any news featuring your store

  • Double check your community resources and spaces to make sure the information is up to date.

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date, especially for specific staff contacts like event coordinators and buyers.

"The press kit webinar was so helpful. We learned so much and hope to implement what we learned very soon. The most helpful part was just being able to wrap our minds around what a press kit actually is, and what that consists of. The examples were phenomenal. Walking through what publishers look for and other things that give you a leg up when talking with publishers was an eye opener in the best way. We're still babies at this, so we really appreciate the time and effort y'all put in to this presentation." --Lauren Brown, Assistant Manager of The Story Shop

Tags:  BEA  press kits 

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What's on Lady Banks' Bookshelf in June?

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, May 14, 2019

SIBA promotes six new books every month to consumers in our Lady Banks Bookshelf promotion.These titles appear at the top of our weekly Lady Banks Commonplace Book newsletter, which has a circulation of over 60k.  We also feature them above the fold on the homepage of Authors ‘Round the South and on the cover image of the ARTS Facebook page with buy links promoted to our 15,000 Facebook friends. A different member store is featured with the titles every week.


Since SIBA redesigned Lady Banks Bookshelf last year, this promotion experienced a 23% increase in audience reach (from 17K to 22.5K), a 16% jump in engagement (from 585 to 700) on social media, a 10% rise in impressions, and a 14% rise in click throughs via email. SIBA attributes the success to a more strongly focused target audience, more active engagement with member bookstores, and a fresh, more visually appealing presence that also appeals to the reader's sense of adventure and individuality.


By promoting through Lady Banks, publishers are making an investment in SIBA member bookstores’ attention and market. SIBA works with them to select titles your customers are looking for, and then we drive those customers to your stores.  It’s very worth your while to bring Lady Banks Bookshelf titles in before the month begins, and put up a display.

What’s on the shelf in June? The June Collection on Edelweiss. Shirtless Men Drink Free available through Ingram (must be logged in to Ingram to access).

Serafina & the Seven Stars by Robert Beatty

The Travelers by Regina Porter

Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett

Wild and Crooked by Leah Thomas

Shirtless Men Drink Free by Dwaine Rieves

The Beautiful Mysterious edited by Ann J. Abadie


Tags:  lady banks bookshelf 

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Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Edelweiss+Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Book No Futher, Bookmarks, Bookmiser, Books & Books, Copperfish Books, E. Shaver, Bookseller, Fiction Addiction, Flyleaf Books, Fountain Bookstore, Givens Books, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Octavia Books, Oxford Exchange, Page 158 Books, Parnassus Books, Square Bookss, Story on the Square, The Bookshop, and Vero Beach Book Center.

9781945448348 Give 6/1/2019
"I closed this astonishing novel only five minutes ago, fully satiated as if after a wonderful meal." -- Janet Geddis, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

9780525562023 On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous 6/4/2019
"Ocean Vuong has written a beautiful debut that is intensely personal and full of heart." -- Jamie Southern, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

9781984802798 Ayesha At Last 6/4/2019
"a completely lovely Pride & Prejudice re-telling that does not shy away from depth." -- Cristina Russell, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

9781982109738 Oh Crap! I Have a Toddler 6/4/2019
"An empathetic and informative book for all parents as they enter the toddler years... I found so many nuggets in this book that encouraged and challenged my own relationship with my child." -- Faith Parke-Dodge, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC

9781594634734 City of Girls 6/4/2019
"I adored seeing the world through Vivian's eyes; her coming-of-age is, perhaps more than anything else, a love story, a tribute to the theatre and to New York City" -- Annie Johnson, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

9780374170660 The History of Living Forever 6/11/2019
"Beautifully written and engaging novel about love, loss, desire, depression, and a globe trotting quest to crack the code of living forever" -- Jessica Osborne, E. Shaver, bookseller, Savannah, GA

More bookseller reviews

If your store does not have an Edelweiss+ account and need help setting one up, contact Linda-Marie

Tags:  Edelweiss 

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Serafina and the Pre-Order Campaign

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Serafina and the Seven Stars Pre-Order Campaign"Pre-Order" was one of the magic words at SIBA in the Springtime in March. According to the American Booksellers Association, pre-orders are an increasingly important part of a book's marketing campaign, especially in the era of social media marketing and buzz. Indie bookstores that ignore the trend are in danger of losing sales. They may find their customers have already purchased the book long before it could be put on the shelves. Conversely, stores that take advantage of pre-order campaigns may not only increase sales, but also find they have fewer returns and a better sell-through rate.

The ABA keeps a running calendar of books with publisher-supported pre-order campaigns here:

Disney-Hyperion will be launching a pre-order campaign for Southern favorite Robert Beatty for his latest Serafina book, Serafina and the Seven Stars, which publishes on July 9, 2019. SIBA stores that participate in the banner-for-dues program, Circle of Sites, will find the book advertised on their sites for the month of June. The book will also be featured in the Lady Banks newsletter and on the Lady Banks Bookshelf -- which means book will be promoted directly to the fans and followers of stores on Facebook.

It's a great opportunity to capture early sales of a book from an author with a huge following in the South. Disney-Hyperion has created some graphics for stores to use to build on the momentum: Serafina Graphics for Store websites

Tags:  pre-orders  serafina 

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PRH's Indies Express Program to assist booksellers during the Baker & Taylor transition

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Penguin Random House is reaching out to indies to help during their transition away from ordering through Baker & Taylor:


Dear Baker & Taylor Independent Bookstore Customer,

We are writing you about our new program designed for independent booksellers who have been ordering all their Penguin Random House inventory through Baker & Taylor. We value your support of our books and authors, and would like to help make the upcoming transition as easy as possible for you and your staff.

If you do not currently have a Penguin Random House account, or if your Penguin Random House account has been inactive for more than a year, you are eligible for our Indies Express program, which includes:

·         A streamlined new-account application (now available online) – no opening order necessary

·         A streamlined credit-approval process (for Baker & Taylor customers in good standing)

·         Special offer on your first order (includes a lower unit-minimum)

·         Dedicated PRH sales director with expertise in helping B&T customers transition to ordering directly from Penguin Random House

·         Dedicated PRH sales reps (community bookstore specialists) to help you navigate seasonal frontlist ordering and backlist replenishment

·         Special offer from Above the Treeline to help with inventory management

Many of us are former independent booksellers, so we know firsthand how busy you are, and how important it is for you to be able to focus on running your business and serving your customers. We hope you will contact us soon, and we look forward to working with you more closely in the future.

Thank you again for everything you do to support our titles,

The Penguin Random House Sales Team

For more information, e-mail

Tags:  Indies Express  PRH 

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Moving beyond My Books and More: Popular Bookseller E-commerce Platforms

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, May 6, 2019

The news this week that Baker & Taylor will cease serving the retail bookselling market has many SIBA members scrambling to adjust. Everyone at SIBA has been discussing what the organization can do to help its members make the transition away from relying on Baker & Taylor as a supplier and service provider.

Most immediately, stores who run SIBA's "Circle of Sites" banner and use "My Books and More" for online orders face some pressing repercussions from Baker & Taylor's decision. "Circle of Sites," also known as the "Banner for Dues" program, requires participating stores to have an ecommerce platform compatible with the program.

SIBA recognizes that choosing and implementing a new ecommerce solution is big decision that doesn't happen overnight. Here is what we will be doing to help:

  1. When My Books and More is discontinued on June 30, SIBA will convert the banner running on all stores using that platform to be "nonclickable" so that visitors to your site are not taken to any error pages by accident. You will not have to make any changes to your site or banner code.

  2. Store memberships will remain active until the end of the year, in order to give everyone time to implement a new e-commerce platform on their websites. As new e-commerce systems are adopted, SIBA will be on call to help stores re-activate their banners. At the end of the year, stores that haven't converted to a new e-commerce system will be removed from the program and the banner taken down from their site. (Stores can still earn their dues by participating in the B3! Bookseller Engagement Program).

  3. Over the next couple months, SIBA will do everything it can to help stores find the resources they need to choose a new e-commerce option. Stores can also post questions to SIBA's "Watercooler" group ( Questions about websites and compatibility with SIBA programs can be addressed to

The American Booksellers Association has responded to the announcement from Baker & Taylor with a special introductory offer for stores to sign up to their IndieLite program. Anyone interested should contact the IndieCommerce team at The ABA is a natural partner for bookstores and IndieCommerce is tailored to indie bookseller needs.

Here is a list of booksellers who are familiar with some of the popular e-commerce systems and are willing to answer questions:

Ask a Bookseller! E-Commerce Platform Users
System Contact
more info

Chris Fanning | A Cappella Books | store website

more info

Jill Hendrix | Fiction Addiction | store website

more info

Donna Paz | Story and Song Bookstore | store website

more info

Dave Lucey | Page 158 Books | store website

more info 
Booksellers Using Square Facebook Group

Square Space
more info

Josh Niesse | Hills and Hamlets | store website


Tags:  Baker & Taylor  circle of sites  e-commerce 

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An Interview with Terri Leidich, President/Publisher of BQB and WriteLife Publishing

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, May 6, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Terri Leidich is a familiar face to SIBA booksellers. She brings her authors to SIBA in the Springtime, EUREKAsiba, and the Discovery Show, and sponsors programming to bring authors and booksellers together.  

You are the president and publisher of BQB and WriteLife Publishing. What inspired you to become a publisher?

As a writer myself, I felt that new and unknown writers were often getting overlooked by the big houses as they clamored to publish books by public personalities. I felt there was a lot of great literature that was sitting in manuscript form because of the lack of publishers dedicated to new writers and I wanted to do something about that.

Does each company have a specific focus?

BQB is our fiction imprint. We publish mostly adult fiction with a few exceptional children’s or YA books. Under WriteLife we publish nonfiction with a heavy emphasis on body/mind/spirit and self-help with a few memoirs as well.

What are some of your most successful titles with independent bookstores?

Under BQB, our children’s picture book What Does a Princess Really Look Like and the coloring book The True Colors of a Princess both by Mark Loewen; the novel River People by Margaret Lukas; and Rock and Roll Voodoo by Mark Paul Smith are doing well with indies. Under our WriteLife imprint, Tina Zion’s books – Become a Medical Intuitive; Advanced Medical Intuition; and Reiki and Your Intuition (releases May 1st)  are doing well with indie bookstores that have a strong body/mind/spirit following. And SoulStroller by Kayce Stevens Hughlett has caught the attention of indies in the Western US and Canada.

Any books coming out this summer that you think SIBA bookstore customers will be especially interested in?

Yes. Give, a novel by Erica C. Witsell and Some People Do, a children’s picture book by Frank Lowe and Josh Hara are getting a lot of consumer interest. Both release June 1st.

How are your books available to independent bookstores?

While our books are available through Ingram and Baker & Taylor, the best and easiest way to purchase them is through IPG (Independent Publishers Group). IPG has recently hired an inside rep who is dedicated to indie booksellers in the Southeast. His name is John D’Esposito and his email is  John tells me that they are able to give indie booksellers a discount that is better than what indies usually receive. If a bookseller has an account with IPG, they can quickly and easily purchase our books. If not, John will be happy to help. IPG represents a large number of amazing indie publishers, including BQB and WriteLIfe.

You're a continuing and very visible partner with SIBA in our SIBA in the Springtime and Discovery Show. Why are you so committed to bringing your authors to SIBA events?

People in the South love to read and in this region of the US, readers seem to be more dedicated to indie bookstores than other areas of the country. I feel that SIBA is a very strong avenue to getting our books into consumer’s hands. And now that IPG has a dedicated sales rep for indies in the Southeast, our books are more easily accessible. Plus, SIBA is the strongest bookseller association that I’ve interacted with and I’ve come to love the SIBA staff and many of the booksellers I’ve met along the way.

Tags:  independent publisher  publisher interview 

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Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Edelweiss+Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Bookmarks, Bookmiser, Books & Books, Copperfish Books, Fiction Addiction, Flyleaf Books, Fountain Bookstore, Givens Books, Lincoln's Loft, McIntyre's Books, Page & Palette, Park Road Books, Parnassus Books, Righton Books, Sundog Books, andThe Country Book Shop.

9781524759780 Recursion 6/11/2019
"Fast-paced and intelligent thriller that proves an interesting look at the consequence of time travel. Great characters and a page-turner plot make this an easy go-to summer read recommendation.." -- Dwan Dawson-Tape, Sundog Books, Santa Rosa, FL

9781524732011 Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory 6/11/2019
"I didn't know I could feel so much through so many different stories and writing styles, but that's exactly what Raphael Bob-Waksberg has done to me." -- DElany Holcomb, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

9781409170754 The Strawberry Thief 7/9/2019
"If you ever read Chocolat or saw the movie you will surely want to read this sequel." -- Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

9781571313782 Late Migrations 7/9/2019
"A blend of memoir, nature writing, and poetry, Renkl beautifully observes and captures what it is to live, love, and lose, whether you are a mother or a daughter; a bluebird or a monarch butterfly" -- Gaël LeLamer, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

9780385537070 The Nickel Boys 7/16/2019
"This is the kind of book that’ll grow on you–you start reading and you don’t really know what’s going on, but you’re have to get to the next page, the next chapter, and before you know it you’ve accidentally gotten to the end and you’re not sure what time it is or where your day went" -- Lizy Coale, Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL

More bookseller reviews

If your store does not have an Edelweiss+ account and need help setting one up, contact Linda-Marie

Tags:  Edelweiss 

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Independent Bookstore Day, a Tale of Two NC Cities

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Two indie stores, Sassafras on Sutton in Black Mountain and Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh had great Independent Bookstore Days, for different reasons.


I visited with Susanne Blumer, co-owner of Sassafras, as the day began. The weather was beautiful and the store was hopping by 11am. Sassafras had to close after a heavy snow in December caused the roof of their building to collapse. They just reopened in March. Assistance through their Libris business insurance kept the staff employed and morale up during the months of closure. Since reopening, business has been up 80% over last spring. The community is very supportive of the store, and Black Mountain is also a booming tourist destination and well-known writer, artist, and music community.  Right now, Susanne is working hard to keep up with orders for her Southern Lit Candles (she somehow finds time to make her own candle line AND run a business) and the increase in business in the store.


On dealing with an unexpected closure that stretched on for months, Susanne said, "I would say that the entire industry was extremely supportive when we had our collapse. We heard from other bookstores, publishers, vendors, industry professionals… so many. Since we’ve reopened, we’ve received hand-written notes and phone calls congratulating us on reopening. The community couldn’t have been more supportive when we closed. I received multiple offers of places to move the store temporarily, offers to help move merchandise, to clean, promises that they would be back when we open. And since we’ve reopened, the community has come out in full force. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t come in and tell us how much they missed us and how glad they are that we are back open. We all really missed it when we were closed!"



Over in the Piedmont, Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh also had a terrific Independent Bookstore Day! General Manager Sarah Goddin said, “Our sales were up 70% over a typical Saturday this time of year, but more importantly we had a store full of people most of the day, all of whom were having a great time supporting independent bookstores. We had lots of kids' events throughout the morning, the Poetry Fox in the afternoon, really good cookies all day along with give-aways every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Elaine Neil Orr, author of Swimming Between Worlds, brought in a basket full of treats for the Quail Ridge Books staff, becoming even more beloved by booksellers. One customer, Criss Crissman, brought in her 2019 calendar "North Carolina's Literary Luminaries and the Bookshops That Love Them" with stamps from all 12 Piedmont, NC indie bookstores stores featured. Now that is indie love!


Tags:  independent bookstore day  Quail Ridge Books  Sassafras on Sutton 

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