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Question Plus Answer from Discovery Show

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Friday, November 9, 2018

Q&A from #SIBA18 Discovery Show

Q - I would like to know the number of stores that constitute a chain.

A - SIBA does not identify store by chain, but by standing.  Our definition for a core member bookstore is: Independent, privately held, brick & mortar, commercially zoned bookstores with a retail storefront and physical headquarters, in our region will constitute the core members.  Our main differentiation between and "indie" and a "corporate" store is whether or not they are a public or private company, as in sold on the stock market or not.  As long as a store/stores are privately held, they qualify for SIBA core membership.

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Highlights from the Art of Gathering webinar with Priya Parker

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, November 9, 2018

Highlights from the Art of Gathering B!3 webinar with Priya Parker

SIBA booksellers recently spent time via a B!3 webinar with Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters. Ms. Parker is a master facilitator and the founder of Thrive Labs, at which she helps activists, elected officials, corporate executives, educators, and philanthropists create transformative gatherings. 

Describing her craft as group dynamics, Ms. Parker offered many creative ways to change-up bookstore events to put the emphasis back on meaningful purpose, rather than on familiar formats and logistics. She said, “Bookstores are going through a purpose crisis.” She suggested that a “more animating purpose than selling books,” which is something Amazon and so many other places can do as well, is to inspire reading and connect people who might not otherwise not connect through text. If your events are meaningful, people will return in droves.

She recommended bookstores internally develop a set of ethos and values, and come up with five things (formats, setting, promotions, etc.) that created successful events in the past. Then communicate this information to publicists. Once an event is scheduled, booksellers can use this time, what Parker calls “moments of influence,” to help publicists and authors learn how to be part of the store's unique gathering, to "prime" them. When the author arrives for the event, make sure the person greeting the author repeats what was sent in the emails, sharing not only logistics, but a sense of what is great about the bookstore, to give them courage about what works in your store.


She suggested a number of fun variations on the traditional author reading. She said, "Every gathering is a temporary alternative world. You have the opportunity to create a world for participants." She added, "Every book event has the opportunity to embody the principles of the book."  Because people disproportionately remember the first and last five percent of a gathering, she advised staying away from opening with logistics about cell phones and parking. Instead, communicate that information differently, perhaps giving people as they enter a card with logistics and a prompt that connects people to each other. You could even make one side a name tag. Or begin the event with a “cold open” in which you meaningfully connect the audience to your store, the sense of purpose you’ve created around this event, and to each other before you get into event logistics. Some of her format variations:


  • Rather than have the author read their book, have ten guests read a paragraph or page from the author’s work.
  • Set out chairs in concentric circles rather than rows.
  • Begin and end the event with a ritual.
  • Invite audience members to speak to each other for the first few minutes of the gathering (perhaps primed with questions about the book, your community, etc.).
  • Host events in different neighborhoods.
  • Use mysterious language in promotions to build intrigue. For example,"Someone's going to wind up in a bathtub."

When asked by a bookseller, “How do you keep from burning yourself out?” when trying to make every event meaningful, Ms. Parker responded that the process of creating meaningful gatherings will be energizing rather than being on autopilot, which can be exhausting. She said, “When you create organic meaningful gatherings . . . you get fuel back from feedback. It creates its own virtuous cycle.” She also emphasized that "meaningful gatherings don’t have to be expensive; part of the freedom of moving away from traditional formats is that we can take five to ten minutes to think up a simple human hack that changes the dynamics of things."


Ms. Parker was also asked how to prime “guests” for an event when you don’t know who they are in advance. She recommended thinking very deeply about the language, image, and content of the invitation or promotional materials. Instead of calling author events “events,” choose subcategories like hootenanny, salon, saloon, even funeral, if it works for the book; throw people off scripts to build intrigue. She advised, “Don’t be afraid to play around with rules. Passionate communities are built when people create purposeful, specific, disputable gatherings and enforce the norms around them.”


 To hear the many ways Ms. Parker suggests reformatting author events, including book festivals, listen to the webinar and prepare to be hugely inspired to shake things up!

Tags:  B3! Webinars  Priya Parker. events 

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Watch for your Southern Book Prize Ballots!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, November 8, 2018


ballotAll SIBA member stores have been shipped a set of postage-paid postcard ballots for the 2019 Southern Book Prize. They should be arriving for the start of the Love Your Bookstore Challenge week. Hand them out to your customers and get them involved in the excitement of choosing the best Southern books of the year.

  • Downloadable posters promoting all the Southern Book Prize finalists are available here for you to post with your store displays.

  • Ballots can also be submitted online at

  • Baker & Taylor is offering a special 45% discount offer on all the Southern Book Prize finalists, through December 1st. No promo code is required. Click here for a sell sheet

We've had a few questions about the new format, so here are some of the more common ones:

Can books still be nominated for the Southern Book Prize?
Nominations for this year's SBP (books published in 2018) have closed, but nominations for the next year's (books publishing in 2019) are open.

Can customers vote?
Voting on the finalists is open to the general public. We want stores to involve their customers. The ballots have a place for the person to write in their local bookstore and the ballot is invalid without this information. There is also an online ballot that will be active on 11/10. Submitted ballots are entered into a drawing to win a complete set of the Southern Book Prize Finalists.

What happened to the "long list" and the "short list"?
SIBA has eliminated the step of voting on the "long list" of nominated titles to come up with the "short list" of finalists. Instead, the finalists were selected from the books that received the most nominations.

Will you have booksellers judging the finalists this year?
No. Judging by booksellers has been replaced by the current ballot, which is open to all SIBA members and their customers.

Tags:  southern book prize 

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Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Bookmarks, Fiction Addiction, Fountain Bookstore, Inkwood Books, McIntyre's Fine Books, Octavia Bookshop, Quail Ridge Books, The Country Bookshop, and Union Ave. Books

9780143133421 Notes on a Nervous Planet 1/29/2019
"a comforting little book, easy to pick up when the mood strikes."

9780525559054 Leading Men 2/12/2019
"an entertaining and engrossing historical novel that illuminates the world of a gay man in the 1950s and urges you to remember that there is no such thing as a perfect moment."

9780525562771 Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant 3/5/2019
"Golby brings a refreshing frankness to topics that typically makes us want to take a few steps back."

9781524798628 Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die 3/12/2019
"This novel was so realistic that I googled Daisy Jones & The Six to see if they were an actual group that I somehow missed in my youth."

9781250134929 We Set the Dark on Fire 2/26/2019
"Milton confirms his status as one of the best in narrative history by putting you right on the ground in the middle of all the action. I was on edge, heart in my throat the whole time!"

9781250185969 Loonshots 3/19/2019
"Malcolm Gladwell meets Bill Nye in this fabulous business book that will also appeal to Steven Johnson history fans."

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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Want Your B3! Points?

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Want Your B3! Points?

We want you to have them.  You can accrue your points and use the credit to pay for SIBA in the Springtime, annual dues, Discovery Show, or Facebook advertising.  And we want you to get every point you can.  

1. Have you posted the Holiday Catalog to your website?  Let us know and we'll give you B3! points.

2. Are you reviewing books on Edelweiss?  Check the SIBA box and earn B3! points.

3. Do you participate in the turnkey emails for Okra Picks & the Holiday Catalog, a la Shelf Awareness?  You get B3! points.

And so much more.  And engage your staff as they can be earning points as well.  Print this page and post it in the staff room, email it to your staff and get them earning dimes for the store.

PS - Put SIBA in the Springtime on your calendar - March 18-20, 2019 in Atlanta, GA.


Tags:  b3! 

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Holiday Prep for Your Store: Have you made your list and checked it twice?

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, November 5, 2018

Holiday Prep for Your Store: Have you made your list and checked it twice?

New research, and likely your instincts, suggests that consumer interest during the holiday season actually peaks almost one month earlier than Black Friday. That means right now! Don’t be overwhelmed if you haven’t launched your holiday campaign yet. You can join forces with Love Your Bookstore week (November 10-16) and encourage your customers to celebrate local bookstores. Here’s a list of bookseller resources, including downloadable images, to get you started.

Consider this great checklist of “9 Great Practices to Get Shoppers to Buy During the Holidays.” Simple things like providing your customers with baskets, gift-wrapping items ahead of time for easy shopping (with unwrapped similar items nearby, or stickering wrapped items with sku/isbn), making sure your store hours are correct on Google, and catching customer attention with a display that moves (perhaps a toy train or rotating display of bookmarks festooned with lights) can promote bigger sales.

For your store’s internal checklist, here’s a tip from a veteran--keep bottles of hand sanitizer and boxes of tissue by the registers, and wipe down shared keyboards and phones with Clorox wipes daily. ‘Tis the season!

Join our Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Group on Facebook to share your tips for Holiday success in keeping sales and morale high in your stores!



Tags:  booksellers  holidays 

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An Interview with Julia McCrea Kudravetz, owner of New Dominion Bookshop in Charlottesville, VA

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, November 5, 2018

An Interview with Julia McCrea Kudravetz, owner of New Dominion Bookshop in Charlottesville, VA

Name:  Julia McCrea Kudravetz


Store and location:  The New Dominion Bookshop, Charlottesville, VA.

Number of years as a bookseller:  I purchased the shop after being manager. I was hired as manager after the sudden passing of Carol Troxell, the owner for the previous 30 years. Previously, I ran a local Reading Series and taught English through the local community college. I got involved with the store by doing their social media and selling books off-site at the reading series I hosted.

Best part about being a bookseller?: The conversations I have with people from all walks of life. We have students, international tourists, authors, young kids, everyone coming into this shop.

What book(s) are you reading?: Right now I am reading to prepare for our annual Christmas List, a mailing we do of our top recommendations from the past year. All those books are featured in a "Holiday Market" on our second floor; this is a fantastic store tradition that helps guide holiday gift purchases.  Currently I'm reading a book called Ninth Street Women and learning a lot about the New York Art scene in the first half of the 20th century.

Favorite handsell of 2018: I think Werner's Nomenclature of Colors, a pocket-size facsimile re-issue from Smithsonian Books, is a lovely book for artists and scientists. Each color is described in such a poetic, specific manner; this was the book that Charles Darwin took on his famous voyage.  I love to handsell this book as a unique gift.

Best thing you did this year at your store: Hard to say, but we did rent out the local historic theater, the Paramount, and hosted 1,041 people there for a conversation with Jon Meacham and John Grisham. It raised the profile of our shop, and lead us to believe we can do these 1,000-person off-site events for major international authors in the future.

What are some ways you work with your community?: We partner with alot of local non-profits in various ways. Sometimes, it's  donating 10 books to a silent auction, other times it's cosponsoring an author or an event. We offer our rose garden as a calm space where people can read on their lunch hour.  The shop hosts a book group, an open-mic for young writers and songwriters, and the MFA Reading Series from the University of Virginia. All of these partnerships bring new people into the shop and provide a space for literary community.

Do you have any community partners you work with regularly?: We partner strongly with the Virginia Festival of the Book, which hosts over 20 events at our shop during the book festival in March.

Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life?: Certainly reading and writing are a passion that carry over; plus I get to see all the new books coming out every week.


Top priority for 2018: We have a lot of priorities, but one of my top ones is paying all booksellers a decent wage in an expensive college town.  Other goals are having more locals who have never visited the shop become regular customers.

Favorite SIBA programming benefit: I think being a part of the SIBA community and hearing how other bookstores are thriving in this area is a wonderful benefit; it's great to know the other bookstores and have them know us. --also Okra picks!

Social Media Stats:

Facebook likes: 1,137 likes

Instagram: 1,124 followers

Twitter: 190 followers


Press Kit: 

Events and buyer contact info:


Events: Sarah Crossland

Marketing and Communications Director


Buying: Sarah Valencia

Assistant Manager



Tags:  bookseller interview  New Dominion  Virginia 

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Galleys and Giveaways: Armies of Deliverance

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, November 5, 2018

Galleys & Giveaways

SIBA and participating publishers are giving away the galleys and other materials below to southern indie booksellers on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are interested simply email the publisher to request a copy. Supplies are limited, so act quickly!

Liked what you read? Let everyone know!

N.B. These are review copies only, and not for resale.

Eat. Sleep. Read. Southern.

We the Resistance

Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War
Elizabeth R. Varon
ISBN: 9780190860608
Oxford University Press
528 Pages | 74 halftones and 34 maps
March 2019

Description: Loyal Americans marched off to war in 1861 not to conquer the South but to liberate it. So argues Elizabeth R. Varon in Armies of Deliverance, a sweeping narrative of the Civil War and a bold new interpretation of Union and Confederate war aims. Northerners imagined the war as a crusade to deliver the Southern masses from slaveholder domination and to bring democracy, prosperity, and education to the region. As the war escalated, Lincoln and his allies built the case that emancipation would secure military victory and benefit the North and South alike. The theme of deliverance was essential in mobilizing a Unionist coalition of Northerners and anti-Confederate Southerners.

Interweaving military and social history, Varon shows that everyday acts on the ground--from the flight of slaves, to protests against the draft, the plundering of civilian homes, and civilian defiance of military occupation--reverberated at the highest levels of government. Varon also offers new perspectives on major battles, illuminating how soldiers and civilians alike coped with the physical and emotional toll of the war as it grew into a massive humanitarian crisis.

The Union's politics of deliverance helped it to win the war. But such appeals failed to convince Confederates to accept peace on the victor's terms, ultimately sowing the seeds of postwar discord. Armies of Deliverance offers innovative insights on the conflict for those steeped in Civil War history and novices alike.

Request a review copy

Tags:  galleys and giveaways 

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Southern Book Prize Finalists: A Special Offer from Baker & Taylor

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, November 5, 2018


Baker and Taylor is offering a special 45% discount offer on all the Southern Book Prize finalists, through December 1st. No promo code is required. Here's a link to an order sheet you can use:


Southern Book Prize Finalists Order Sheet

Tags:  southern book prize 

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The 2019 Southern Book Prize Finalists

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, November 1, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The 2019 Southern Book Prize: The Finalists

..wait, what? Aren't those announced in the Spring?

In response to input from bookseller members, SIBA revamped the Southern Book Prize to streamline the selection process and encourage more bookseller and customer engagement, with a goal towards increasing excitement and sales around the holiday season.

So what, exactly, has been "revamped"?

Nominations: Nominations have been expanded to include reviews of eligible books posted by SIBA booksellers to Edelweiss. Nominations can also be submitted via the nomination form.

The Timeline: the selection of the Southern Book Prize finalists has been moved up to the Fall in order to take advantage of the holiday season and the popularity of the "best of the year" lists that predominate during that period. Nominations will close on October 15, and Finalists will be announced on November 1st. Winners will be announced on February 14.

Streamlined Selection Process: Voting on the "long list" (the full list of nominated books) has been eliminated. Finalists are selected according to the number of nominations and/or reviews they receive.

More customer engagement: Voting on the finalist ballot is now open to the customers of SIBA member bookstores. The ballot is available online and can be embedded on member store websites. Member stores also receive postage-paid postcard ballots they can hand out to customers in store. The voting season extends through the holiday season and into the New Year.

Link to official PR

Link to customizable PR

Link to SBP Finalist and Honorable Mentions Edelweiss collection

Link to To-Do Checklist for Making the Most of the SPB in Your Store

2019 Southern Book Prize Finalists


A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin’s Press)
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)
Florida: Stories by Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books)
Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown (St. Martin’s Press)
Scribe by Alyson Hagy (Graywolf Press)
The Line that Held Us by David Joy (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)


The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table by Rick Bragg (Knopf)
Calypso by David Sedaris (Little, Brown & Company)
One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Southern Discomfort by Tena Clark (Touchstone)


Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BYR)
I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton (Push)
Lions & Liars by Kate Beasley (Farrar, Straus & Giroux BYR)
Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Watson Hackl (Random House BYR)

Honorable Mentions
Books which did not receive quite enough nominations to be finalists, but whose nominations were especially enthusiastic.

Anatomy of a Miracle by Jonathan Miles (Hogarth)
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco)
Treeborne by Caleb Johnson (Picador)
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper)
Varina by Charles Frazier (Ecco)
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)

Tags:  southern book prize 

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Holiday Catalog for Store Websites: Instructions

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Holiday Catalog for Websites: Instructions

Instructions are now available for IndieCommerce stores that want to link the holiday catalog to their websites. Catalog pages are mobile-friendly, and non IndieCommerce stores can choose to have their catalogs hosted on their own website or hosted by SIBA.

TITLE LIST: Spreadsheet | Edelweiss

CATALOG ON PDF:  Cover 1 | Cover 2


  • IndieCommerce Stores: IndieCommerce and IndieLite stores can link to the holiday catalog by appending this their website URL: "/holiday/SIBA/holidaycatalog.html"

    For example, if Fountain Bookstore wants to link the catalog to their site, it would be

    When customers click on the 'Buy this Book' button on the catalog, they will be taken to Fountain's website to purchase the book.

  • Stores with other e-commerce: SIBA has created a single mobile-friendly catalog page, with a place for your own store logo: online sample. Email

  • Stores without ecommerce:
    SIBA can provide a no-link verson of the html catalog for you to include on your website(s). Email

Tags:  holiday catalog 

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Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Bookmarks, Bookmiser, Fiction Addiction, Fountain Bookstore, Inkwood Books, Lincoln's Loft, Page & Palette, and The Country Bookshop.

9780062449252 I'm Tough! 10/9/2018
"Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for a good truck and the same goes for books about trucks."

9781982101633 You Know You Want This 1/15/2019
"A collection full of interesting, dark stories about the power structures within all kinds of relationships. Some are playful and some will knock your socks off."

9781250144546 The Gilded Wolves 1/15/2019
"This book is going to transport you into the world of gilded wolves were everything is shiny and magical, but you have to remember that all wolves have teeth."

9780062358202 The Last Romantics 2/19/2019
"Memories are such powerful things and affect our lives in compelling ways.There is so much love in this story! It’s absolutely wonderful!"

9780062691316 We Set the Dark on Fire 2/26/2019
"If you enjoy The Handmaid's Tale, but are looking for a more YA twist, this is the the book for you."

9781683691044 Race Me in a Lobster Suit 3/26/2019
" delightful romp about what happens when you follow a "bad idea" to its conclusion."

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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Order "Book Life" trucker caps, t-shirts, and more for holiday gift sales!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, October 29, 2018

Order "Book Life" trucker caps, t-shirts, and more for holiday gift sales! 

From the fine folks of Independent Bookstore Day, order “Book Life” trucker caps for those customers who love all things literary, especially when it comes in the form of a stylish cap! They’re available in bundles of 5 for $60, with free shipping, Order by MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5

Book Life tees and sweatshirts are also available in a variety of sizes and styles. Order here!



Tags:  ibd 

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Holiday Catalog HTML and PDF editions now available

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 24, 2018

2018 Holiday Catalog

Holiday Catalog HTML and PDF editions are now available

The SIBA Holiday Catalogs have dropped, and stores should be receiving shipments shortly if they haven't received them already. Drop shipped catalogs have been schedule to arrive at their specified locations as requested.



If you haven't already done so, here is a link to the title list so you can place your orders: Spreadsheet | Edelweiss


We also have pdfs of the catalog available: Cover 1 | Cover 2


HTML versions of the catalog are available for stores that want to post them on their websites. The html catalog has been made responsive and mobile friendly.

  • IndieCommerce Stores: The ABA has the catalog and is installing it on your servers. You'll receive a notification when it is ready to be linked to.

  • Stores with other e-commerce: SIBA has created a single mobile-friendly catalog page, with a place for your own store logo: online sample

    SIBA can either send you the files to host on your own website, or we can host the catalog for you. (If we do that, the web address of your catalog will be SIBA's, not your store's).

  • Stores without ecommerce:
    SIBA can provide a no-link verson of the html catalog for you to include on your website(s).

Email Nicki for more information


The Holiday Newsletter is sent out to your store mailing list, a la Shelf Awareness for Readers, in six editions between November 12 and December 17, with each edition highlighting books from a different section of the holiday catalog. Links click through to the store's own website for purchase:

Email Nicki for more information.



The SIBA Holiday Catalog receives promotional support from SIBA during the holiday shopping season:

  • Catalog titles are featured in the Lady Banks newsletter between Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • The Holiday Catalog is featured on Facebook as the December "Lady Banks Bookshelf"
  • A Holiday Catalog Gift Guide is published at (ARTS), linked to a rotating list of SIBA member stores




Tags:  holiday catalog 

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Diane Chamberlain: My Love Affair with the Stacks

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 24, 2018

My Love Affair with the Stacks
by Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain“Why do you always pick books that no one else ever reads?”

That’s what my sister’s husband asked me when I, still in high school, came home from the library with four books I’d carefully selected from my public library. I still remember the books: Reynolds Price’s A Long and Happy Life, Sinclair Lewis’s Kingsblood Royal, Joanne Greenberg’s brand new I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, and a fourth book I’ll mention later. I wasn’t bothered by my brother-in-law’s question. One of my favorite things to do was to rove through the fiction stacks at my public library to see what jumped out at me. Yes, I also read the books all my friends were reading, but when it came to fiction, I was always hungry for more than just the bestsellers.

Why did I pick those books? I’d never heard of Reynolds Price—and in retrospect, I’m surprised his first novel was in my New Jersey library—but he looked kind of sexy on the back cover and I liked that his protagonist was a teenaged girl. That was enough for me, and reading A Long and Happy Life turned me into a lifelong Price fan intrigued with southern fiction.

A Long and Happy LifeAs for Sinclair Lewis, I’d read Arrowsmith and Main Street in my English class and I was utterly smitten by Lewis’s writing and the social values expressed in his stories. Kingsblood Royal actually became my favorite of his many books. In it, Lewis’s 1940’s protagonist is a white man who learns he is 1/32nd black. The knowledge changes his sense of self as he begins exploring the black culture of the day with new eyes. Growing up in a well-integrated town during the civil rights era, I was fascinated by this story and it gave me much to think about as my treasured hometown endured riots and unrest.

I picked up I Never Promised You a Rose Garden before the book took off and long before it was made into a movie. I was a ‘troubled teen’ at the time (are there untroubled teens?). I was drawn in by the story of a sixteen-year-old girl fighting her psychological demons. It’s a book that will always stay with me.

"One of my favorite things to do is to wander without direction through the nonfiction stacks to see what books jump out at me."

The stacks, both in the library and in bookstores, have played a role in many of the books I’ve written as well. In a way, they’ve been my brainstorming buddies. One of my favorite things to do is to wander without direction through the nonfiction stacks to see what books jump out at me. Years ago, for example, I stumbled across a book about the CIA mind control experiments performed on psychiatric patients during the fifties.  I sat in a corner of the library, devouring that book, as the idea for my novel Breaking the Silence began to take shape in my mind. That was only one of my books that found its inspiration in the stacks.

I Never Promised You a Rose GardenWhen I research my books, I turn often to the Internet for help of course, but I also visit my library and two of my favorite Indies, Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, North Carolina and Quarter Moon Books in Topsail Beach. Since more than half of my twenty-six books are set in North Carolina, there is no place like the local stacks to find the esoteric North Carolina information I need to fuel my stories.

What was the fourth book I picked up at the library that day long ago? It was a small book by Helen Perlman, the 1962 edition of So You Want to be a Social Worker. Although I longed to be a writer, it never occurred to me that I’d be able to support myself with a writing career, so yes, I became a social worker. A social worker who spent time in the stacks, thinking and dreaming. Just as I do today.


The Dream DaughterDiane Chamberlain is the New York TimesUSA Today and Sunday Timesbestselling author of 26 novels published in more than twenty languages. Influenced by her former career as a social worker and psychotherapist, she writes suspenseful stories that touch both heart and mind. Her most recent book, The Dream Daughter, was just released in October, 2018 and is a SIBA Okra Pick.

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Bren McClain Receives $10,000 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction for

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Bren McClain Receives $10,000 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction for


Author Ann Kidd Taylor given Special Recognition for The Shark Club
Distinguished panel honors life and writings of Pat Conroy
Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry Announced

Bren McClain 

The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction has named the recipient of its 2017 literary award: Bren McClain for her novel One Good Mama Bone (Story River Books). McClain was honored at a ceremony at the New York Yacht Club where she received the award’s $10,000 prize. Author Ann Kidd Taylor received Special Recognition at the ceremony for her novel The Shark Club, for its originality and insight.

Since its inception in 2008, the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, founded by novelist Reba White Williams and her husband Dave H. Williams, has recognized annually a writer whose work is set in the South, exemplifies the tenets of Southern literature—quality of prose, originality, and authenticity of setting and characters—and reflects, in the words of Willie Morris, “hope for belonging, for belief in a people’s better nature, for steadfastness against all that is hollow or crass or rootless or destructive.”  Past recipients include Mindy Friddle, Stephen Wetta, Terry Roberts, Katherine Clark, and Kim Wright, 2016’s honoree for her novel Last Ride to Graceland.   

2017 award winner Bren McClain is a native South Carolinian, who now resides in Nashville, TN. One Good Mama Bone is her debut novel and in addition to widespread acclaim was also a finalist for both the Southern Book Prize by the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Alliance and the 2018 Crook’s Corner Book. She is a two-time winner of the South Carolina Fiction Project and the recipient of the 2005 Fiction Fellowship by the South Carolina Arts Commission. She is now at work on her next novel, Took, which received the gold medal for the 2016 William Faulkner –William Wisdom Novel-in-Progress.  

 "I wrote the book of my heart, held it up to the world and said Here's what I think is beautiful.

On learning that One Good Mama Bone won the 2017 Willie Morris Award, McClain said, "I wrote the book of my heart, held it up to the world and said Here's what I think is beautiful. And for that beautiful to be honored in this glorious way is an humbling like no other." 

“Like all the best Southern fiction, One Good Mama Bone is about the mysterious, powerful bonds of family and the eternal longing for home,” says judge Clair Lamb. “Bren McClain finds the universal in a very specific story about two mothers — one human, one animal — equally committed to their offspring. It's a book that lingers in both the mind and the heart.”

New to the ceremony this year was a panel of distinguished guests honoring the life and writings of Pat Conroy. The panel, moderated by Jonathan Haupt, executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, included Conroy’s widow Cassandra King, president of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Jonathan Galassi, and Willie Morris judge, past recipient, and author of Conroy’s oral biography My Exaggerated Life, Katherine Clark. “Our Willie Morris Award shows a similar interest to the Pat Conroy Literary Center, recognition of and promoting the best of contemporary southern fiction,” remarked Dave Williams.  “So, it seemed only natural that we collaborate with them on a panel celebrating those shared interests. We are pleased and honored to have had them play such a special role in this year’s award ceremony.”

The Willie Morris Awards also announced news of its expansion with the Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry, which will include a prize of $2,500 for an original, unpublished poem that exudes the American South in spirit, history, landscape, or experience. The inaugural poetry award, judged by Susan Kinsolving, will be given in 2019 during the 2018 Willie Morris Award ceremonies.

Reba and Dave Williams were inspired to create the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction in 2008 after Reba learned that her two nieces in high school in Charleston, SC had never read Harper Lee’sTo Kill a Mockingbird.   Reba, who was born in Mississippi and raised in North Carolina, remembered how her own introduction to classic Southern novels as a young student sparked a lifelong love and appreciation for Southern literature and its unique style, elaborate prose, evocative language, and sense of place. Envisaging the future of the Southern literary tradition, Reba decided that Southern writers and novels—especially contemporary works—deserved more attention.  The result was the Willie Morris Award, named for celebrated Southern writer and long-time Williams family friend Willie Morris.  A native of Yazoo City, Mississippi, Morris was a journalist, editor-in-chief of Harper’s magazine, and author of several novels set in the South, some of which remain required reading in public schools in his home state.

Authors, agents, publishers and booksellers are invited to submit books for consideration. The winner is selected by a prestigious panel of academics and writers, including previous award winners.  In addition to the $10,000 prize, recipients receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to attend a luncheon and reception in their honor, joined by nearly 100 members of the Southern literary community and New York City publishing community.  

The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction is now accepting submissions for the 2018 prize, to be awarded in 2019.  



FOR MORE INFORMATION about The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, including submission guidelines, please visit

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Weekly Publisher Promotions, courtesy of NAIBA

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Publisher Promotion Offers, courtesy of NAIBA

The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association, NAIBA, has given SIBA permission to pass along their weekly list of publisher promotion offers. The program was created by NAIBA as a way to get special deals in front of the booksellers at the time they are placing orders. NAIBA compiles on-going specials into a spreadsheet that is updated and shared every Monday morning:

SIBA will include the link at the top of their weekly newsletter to booksellers, "In the Land of SIBA."

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Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, October 22, 2018


Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Bookmarks, Bookmiser, Copperfish Books, The Country Bookshop, Fiction Addiction, Flyleaf Books, Fountain Bookstore, Inkwood Books, Itinerant Literate, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Octavia Books, Page & Palette, Quail Ridge Books, and Underground Books.

9780451491336 The Travelling Cat Chronicles 10/23/2018
"A charming, quick read. A lovely gift for anyone who loves... and is loved by...a cat."

9780393609752 Did You Just Eat That? 11/6/2018
"I have a new fear of restaurant menus because of this book."

9780062498823 Harold Snipperpot's Best Disaster Ever 2/5/2019
"Alemagna's mixed media illustrations are delightful and exquisitely riotous, and her ability to channel a child's wide-eyed curiosity is unmatched."

9780062868909 The Hunting Party 2/12/2019
"The Hunting Party is reminiscent of Agatha Christie while still being thoroughly modern. I flew through this story in less than a day."

9780525622109 Finding Dorothy 2/12/2019
"Not only do we come to know Frank and Maude and their lives together but we learn more details about the making of the movie and the role of Judy Garland. What’s not to love!!!"

9780525513926 Four Dead Queens 2/26/2019
"A very fast paced mystery that takes so many twist and turns you’ll find yourself gripping the book for dear life."

9781101907146 The Old Drift 3/26/2019
"Serpell is the kind of debut author that makes you believe in ONLY ever reading debut authors."

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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Source of Income for Bookstores

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Friday, October 19, 2018

Source of Income for Bookstores

If you haven't signed up for DartFrog, now's a great chance. In addition to a guaranteed quarterly stipend, DartFrog is launching a new program that will pay your store $500 every time you refer an author whose manuscript is accepted for publication through DartFrog's new hybrid publishing program. 

There's no cost to your store to join DartFrog. Every three months they send you 15 fully vetted self-published books. You keep the full retail value of the first of each title sold, and then order additional copies through Ingram at your normal discount rate. They also pay you $35 every time you refer a self-published author, plus every store receives a guaranteed quarterly stipend of $100. Click here for more information, or here to see how some stores already display DartFrog's titles. 
If you sign up by Oct 31, they will consider you for their new pilot program that will pay your store $500 every time you refer an author whose manuscript is accepted for publication through their new hybrid publishing program. 
DartFrog is a great opportunity for bookstores. Take a moment to learn more and sign up today. 

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Disaster Relief

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Disaster Relief


Are you a bookseller or store owner that has been affected by Hurricane Florence or Michael? Remember that Binc is here for you. Email us at or call 866-733-9064.

Are You Prepared for a Disaster?
Help your store meet the challenge with this checklist.


Staying Open Despite the Hurricane Because of Your Help

The consequences and difficulties that result from a major hurricane don't always take the form of property damage, and stores and their employees do not need to have suffered physical damage to qualify for assistance.

The thoughtful owner of a bookstore in North Carolina did all they could to prepare for the recent Hurricane Florence. They put books and merchandise on high shelves and most major physical damage was avoided because of their precautions and preparation before the storm. However, because of this store's location and a customer base which is in a large part tourists, they are struggling to pay their mortgage and utilities because access to their area is currently restricted to emergency and storm clean up crews. Cleanup is likely going to take several months and foot traffic will be limited to nonexistent for weeks to come. Binc has stepped in to cover mortgage and utilities for a few months, so that when tourists return their favorite local bookstore will still be there – ready to welcome them back.

If you or a bookseller you know is facing an unexpected hardship, contact Binc and we will help you navigate available resources.

If you'd like to help booksellers facing life's emergencies donate here.

We are counting on you to help booksellers and their families.

Thank you,
Kate & The Binc Foundation Team

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