Beginning May 1st, SIBA is making some changes to its Office Hours schedule:
Office Hours will be held Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00-2:00 pm, EST. Anyone can drop in, but for security purposes registration will now be required. The upgraded link to the Office Hours will go live on Monday, May 4th:
Thursdays will now be reserved for THIS! (Thursday Inspiration with SIBA) on most Thursdays, from 1-2PM.
THIS! is an hour of sharing best practices and tips for surviving, maybe even thriving, during Covid-19. Each week a featured bookseller will discuss what's working at their store, and take your questions. More casual than a webinar, more fun than figuring it all out by yourself. Let's be there for each other so we can all rise together. Pour a cup of coffee, grab a snack, and join us on THIS!, most Thursdays at 1 PM EST.
Some of the reviews submitted this week on Edelweiss+ from your fellow SIBA booksellers. SIBA members earn B3! points for every review if they join the SIBA community on Edelweiss. Email email@example.com to be added.
A Good Neighborhood by Therese Ann Fowler
Reviewed by Tricia Nociti, Reading Rock Books, Dickson, TN On Edelweiss | Buy
I'm going to be chewing on this one for a while. I was unable to put it down, and yet, I was angry and upset throughout much of it. I'm not sure how that qualifies as far as reading experience, but it's a book I'll be thinking about and going back to for a long time. I think the most upsetting part is it felt exaggerated and yet I know it isn't. Very raw and very real.
Frances Mayes Always Italy by Frances Mayes, April, 2020
Reviewed by Rene Martin, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC On Edelweiss | Buy
We will want to return to Italy or visit if for the first time as soon as we can. Italy will need us and Frances has written the guide that will help us plan the trip now. In this richly illustrated guide (published by National Geographic!) Frances and Ondine Cohane travel the entire country and find the interesting and out of the way spots as well as the can't miss treasures of Italy. They include very practical information about what to see and do; where to stay, where to eat, and they introduce us to interesting people. It is the perfect book to dream with right now. Frances was scheduled to talk with us about this book in person but now that plans have changed she has sent signed book plates that will be available with every book. And just maybe she'll get to come see us in the fall!
The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez, April, 2020
Reviewed by Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN On Edelweiss | Buy
Sloan is literally stopped in her tracks by lost dog Tucker. When his owner Jason (both attractive and charming) shows back up to reclaim his dog, Sloan is swept off her feet. This is more than a romance - it's a heartfelt story about choosing happiness and being true to who you really are. Plus it comes with a built-in playlist!
If you haven't signed up to participate in Reader Meet Writer Virtual Author Events, you can do so by simply emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join this list of bookstores and choose from this list of events to present to your customers. Stores are handling the events as they would handle their own virtual events. Some are selling the book as the ticket to attend. Some are selling tickets for a flat rate that can then be used as a credit towards the book or any purchase from the store. Each store determines how they want to use the events to assist in selling more books. It is our hope that we are offering stores an easy way to sell books without the headache of managing a new tool.
When asked "Are you pleased with the outcome?", a resounding YES from participating booksellers:
"Yes! It came together very quickly for us and we're delighted that people joined in and bought some books. Thank you for putting this together."
"Yes - this was an opportunity to have an author event at a time when we otherwise could not at all."
"Yes-- I was super late in getting the word out so this was more than I'd hoped. I'd ordered 2 in for the store and they might not have sold without this. I sold those 2 locally, did one Direct-to-Home shipment and 1 on Bookshop."
"Yes, it attracted some readers that haven't attended our events in the past."
"Very pleased. Excited to participate again soon."
"Yes. We had I believe 86 RSVPs, but it looks like only 2/3 or so actually attended the event. 17 books in less than 24 hours for an online event is nothing to turn up our noses at! Some of these customers also purchased other books in their orders."
"Yes. My customers loved the chance to hear from such a beloved author!"
"Yes! Normally I sell ZERO hardcover debuts."
Last, and most important, only 18 of the current 60 participating bookstore have completed the events survey. This is a really important final step. We need the data to carry this program forward. Please complete this form for each event. Thanks!
Some of the reviews submitted this week on Edelweiss+ from your fellow SIBA booksellers. SIBA members earn B3! points for every review if they join the SIBA community on Edelweiss. Email email@example.com to be added.
Plenty of Hugs by Fran Manushkin, Kate Alizadeh (Illus.)
Reviewed by Dwan Dawson-Tape, Sundog Books, Santa Rosa Beach, FL On Edelweiss
This is a simple joy - straight-forward, colorful illustrations with no fanfare , just a family having a wonderful day.
If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha, April, 2020
Reviewed by Cat Chapman, Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL On Edelweiss
Insightful, dark, and filled with really compelling descriptions for Korean bar food, Frances Cha's If I Had Your Face is led by perception and underlying psychological drive. It's a story that focuses on young women in states of transience and transition, in apartments and jobs and relationships that may or may not stand the test of time, and their thoughts--distorted, rebellious, exhausted--are revealed. Frances Cha masterfully approaches the volatility and equal warmth of this state, with a colorful backdrop of Seoul, surreal as it is bleak.
If It Bleeds by Stephen King, April, 2020
Reviewed by Kate Towery, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA On Edelweiss
There is nobody who writes better novellas than Stephen King, and If It Bleeds contains four spectacular stories! From calls to the grave in Mr. Harrigan's Phone, to giant billboard ads in The Life of Chuck, to a visit to Finders Keepers with Holly and crew, and finally to the desperation of a struggling author to just finish one book, just once, King doles out the thrills and chills, but also captures the human condition in all its many forms. And like a pyschic in a traveling renfaire, King seems to prepare readers to make sure they wash their hands and cover those sneezes!
As many stores around the country are struggling for survival during the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic, now might be a good time, as challenging as it is, to look at the current business model of independent bookstores and ask: Do we want to go back to the old model or could we start imagining and building a better future for independent bookstores and people who are committed to them? Could we do some things differently going forward?
We will hear from the CEO and management team at Kepler's, a world famous bookstore based in Menlo Park, CA. Eight years ago, the Kepler's team decided to chart a bold new course and engaged their community to transform Kepler's into a Next Generation Bookstore. Many didn't believe their audacious goals – paying living wages, building a strong financial foundation, and Amazon-proofing their business. They will share their journey, their approach, their results, how they are faring during the current crisis, and their plans for the future. A Q & A will follow their presentation. Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
About our presenters:
Praveen stumbled into bookselling in 2007 believing that bookstores had to be reinvented. He has loved books and bookstores since his days growing up in India. He was craving a meaning and purpose that he wasn't finding in his corporate career so he picked a cause he believed in. At the time he thought it would take him 2-3 years to figure it all out. Thirteen years later he thinks he is finally on the right track but still has a lot of work ahead of him. He became the CEO of Kepler's in 2012.
Amanda is the General Manager of Kepler's Books & Magazines in Menlo Park, CA. A former small-business owner from Chicago, she has channeled her retail knowledge and passion for books into Kepler's new mission-based model that supports community engagement, sustainability and staff welfare. She has a BS in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master's in Social Work from the University of Illinois.
Jean is the co-founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit Kepler's Literary Foundation. She is a community leader with strong experience working with schools and nonprofits, building partnerships, and producing cultural and literary programs. Previously, she served as California State Director to U.S. Senator Alan Cranston. She is a graduate of Stanford University.
THursday Inspiration with SIBA (aka THIS!) is an hour of sharing best practices and tips for surviving, maybe even thriving, during Covid-19. Each week a featured bookseller will discuss what's working at their store, and take your questions. More casual than a webinar, more fun than figuring it all out by yourself. Let's be there for each other so we can all rise together. Pour a cup of coffee, grab a snack, and join us on THIS!, every Thursday at 1 PM EDT.
This week (4/23) Kelly Justice, owner of Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia, will share her experience with Crowdcast, a platform for hosting online events. She's been hosting her new weekly program, Fountain Fix: Cocktails with Kelly! on Crowdcast and has much to share with you about her experience.
Next week (4/30) Shari Stauch, owner of Main Street Reads in Summerville, SC, will discuss MetriCool, a tool for organizing and simplifying your tasks on social media.
SIBA has created the Reader Meet Writer Author Series as an alternative for bookstores that—now that most of the country in under some version of a shelter-in-place order—are seeking to create ways to engage with their customers online. Participating stores will be able to invite their customers to exclusive video events with authors which are only available to SIBA stores. Events will be hosted by SIBA and can be attended by up to 1000 people. Bookstores handle all ticket and book sales from their customers.
We are adding authors to the schedule. First, if you haven't signed up to promote the Reader Meet Writer (RMW) events and sell the books to your customers and want to, email email@example.com. We have two events coming up next week. Lee Smith is on Tuesday, and Ruthie Lindsay is on Wednesday. Their books, Blue Marlin, and There I Am: The Journey from Hopelessness to Healing - A Novel, are both perfect books for the times. And we will soon be offering three or more events a week. Lee Smith has signed a limited number of bookplates in preparation for her SIBA Reader Meet Writer event (April 21 at 4 p-m). Booksellers who are interested in having some bookplates for their readers and/or those who are interested in hosting virtual events should email Lynn York at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us know how the events are working for you by participating in our survey, and by sending us quotes we can use for promotion with publishers or naysayers. Is this helpful? Is it working? Let us know. We are happy to do this heavy lifting but not if we are getting in the way.
There is an Edelweiss collection of RMW titles and new titles will be added and, of course, we are keeping the website as up to date as possible. Finally, some of you have asked for all of the zoom links and passwords in advance and I'm happy to provide these if you want to get everything created in advance. These passwords simply cannot end up on any public-facing websites or social media. Let us know if you'd like to have all of that in advance.
What booksellers are saying about Reader Meet Writer:
Doing Great today!
"Our web traffic had fallen off then I sent out the notice for Lee Smith in (our version of) Shelf Awareness and we now have more than 35 participants and more than 20 books sales.
I am working hard to get the promos going on the rest of them. I don’t know if the others will be as popular - Lee Smith is a favorite in the mountains as you know - but its a great profit to effort ratio - thanks your and Wanda’s efforts.
Our sales were only averaging about $200 a day - but we’ve hit $550 plus today.
Hope you’re finding some fun time out there. I enjoy your flowers and outdoor pics on Facebook. I hope it won’t be too long till I can post grandkid pictures again."
Book No Further
112 Market St SE | Roanoke, VA 24011
email@example.com | www.booknofurther.com
Bookstore Day has been tentatively rescheduled for Saturday, August 29
Some important news...
• You will be able to amend or cancel your order of IBD exclusives before May 1. Please only do this if you feel you absolutely need to as all exclusives have already been printed and produced according to your original orders. This applies only to the exclusive items coming from Ingram, and does NOT include totes, t-shirts, or bookmarks.
• You can check your IBD order on your iPage (it will show as backordered). Then simply email me with any changes. Please include your Ingram number, store name, the ISBN for each changed item, and the NEW TOTAL. If you originally ordered 10 of something and you want to change it to 5, just put 5 next to the title and ISBN.
• A reminder that none of IBD orders will ship from Ingram until the beginning of August (if all goes well) and you will not be billed until it ships. Shea Serrano's Basketball book has been postponed and we are rolling out online sales of Renee Watson's WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE this month (see below). Bookmarks and tote bags are no longer available.
Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett,
Thursday, April 9, 2020
Simon & Schuster is partnering with Bookshop.org and Libro.fm to support independent bookstores. For the rest of 2020, Simon & Schuster will donate any affiliate fees earned through sales at Bookshop.org to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.
In addition to this financial support, they’ve created beautiful assets for booksellers to use on Instagram and Facebook, in which authors like Stephen King, Jason Reynolds, Cassandra Clare, and Lisa See express why independent booksellers need support now more than ever.
Booksellers are unique people who possess equally the rugged individualism of the entrepreneur and a citizen-steward mindset when it comes to our towns, organizations, and communities. Our perspectives can provide insight into the transformation necessary to reemerge from the COVID-19 crisis stronger people that are part of stronger groups.
Ahead of our regularly scheduled May meeting, the SIBA Board would like to invite all members to share the concerns, thoughts, and challenges facing you as members. We would also ask you to bring, if you have them, any contributions of insight or solutions you have found to problems related to this new reality, things that are providing you comfort and inspiration right now, and any ideas you have to share with our organization and our industry for the future. The format will be open. We encourage you to bring your perspectives.
The constantly-changing information regarding this ongoing pandemic and our various states' policy changes surrounding it are causes of fear and insecurity and we are all facing daily, even hourly, personal and community uncertainties. The sudden onset of an increased amount of difficult, important decisions to make and conversations to have is overwhelming for many of us.
The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is an amazing community of booksellers and entrepreneurs that share together in the best of times and uplift each other during the worst. The SIBA Board of Directors invites all members (owners and managers, we encourage you to also invite your staff members) to participate in a town hall forum on Friday, April 17th from 1-3 PM EDT to begin a discussion designed to determine what we can all do for each another right now, in this incredibly difficult time, and going forward.
Reader Meet Writer, Okra Pick with Steven Wright Coming Up April 16th @ 5 pm – Are you in?
It was so wonderful to hear Steven Wright at #SIBA19 and I’m excited for him to share his book with readers across the south. If you haven’t signed up to participate in SIBA’s Virtual Author Series Reader Meet Writer, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you have, Steven’s The Coyotes of Carthage is “a blistering and thrilling debut—a biting exploration of American politics, set in a small South Carolina town, about a political operative running a dark money campaign for his corporate clients.” (Edelweiss)
Steven Wright is a clinical associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, where he co-directs the Wisconsin Innocence Project. From 2007-2012 he served as a trial attorney in the Voting Section of the United States Department of Justice. He has written numerous essays about race, criminal justice, and election law for the New York Review of Books.
Bookseller Chill with Bryan Robinson, Ph.D. is a six-week series beginning March 26 at 2 PM EST and continuing each Thursday, same time, same zoom link, till April 30. Each session will last approximately 30 minutes and include concepts from Bryan's book: #Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life (HarperCollins, 2019), followed by what Bryan calls simple, short "MicroChiller" meditations that will help us relax and restore during this time of great uncertainty. You can read Bryan's recent post at Forbes.com: The Psychology of Uncertainty: How to Cope with COVID-19 Anxiety.
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!
Worie Dressar is 17 years old when influenza and typhoid ravage her Appalachian Mountain community in 1877, leaving behind a growing number of orphaned children with no way to care for themselves. Worie's mother has been secretly feeding a number of these little ones on Sourwood Mountain. But when she dies suddenly, Worie is left to figure out why and how she was caring for them.
Plagued with two good-for-nothing brothers—one greedy and the other a drunkard—Worie fights to save her home and the orphaned children now in her begrudging care. Along the way, she will discover the beauty of unconditional love and the power of forgiveness as she cares for all of Momma's children.
Storyteller and popular speaker Cindy K. Sproles pens a tender novel full of sacrifice, heartache, and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles.
Edelweiss has created a hub page of special offers from publishers, including offers specifically for bookstores facing the challenge of closures and interrupted sales. There are dozens of offers listed, from Arcadia to Wiley Press.
Sign up fo the Workman Chalkboard Digital Resources: Authorless event kits, educational/homeschool materials, author videos, and downloadable visuals for social media to help promote titles and bookseller contests and giveaways for stores and staff plus extra swag for customers! Here is the March chalkboard if you would like to take a look through and get an idea of what it's like. Booksellers that are subscribed are really enjoying it so far.
Simon & Schuster indies.
And so do our authors! Please feel free to download the assets and share the love.
Holiday House has added a new resource page to meet the needs of those booksellers who would like to connect authors/illustrators and their books with community members in a virtual environment. Please feel free to download and print all materials and link to this page on your website, enewsletters, or any other platform. This page compiles all their materials, which includes activities, lesson plans, event kits, read-aloud guidelines, and more. They are adding additional resources daily!
Cavalier House Books co-owner and SIBA Board member John Cavalier presents "Tips for Managing an Unexpected Crisis," focusing on business strategies during COVID-19. During a time of crisis, it's vital to put a plan in place, as a thoughtful response can mean the difference between persevering and closing up shop. John talks generally and specifically about how you can work with your staff and community to craft a plan that will help you achieve your goals. He also provides a list of concrete steps you can take to build resiliency for your store's future and daily operations.
One of the earliest effects of COVID-19 on the book industry was the cancellation of almost all scheduled author tours and book events – with devastating impact on both the authors and bookstores.
SIBA has created the Reader Meet Writer Author Series as an alternative for bookstores that--now that most of the country in under some version of a shelter in place order—are seeking to create ways to engage with their customers online. Participating stores will be able to invite their customers to exclusive video events with authors which are only available to SIBA stores. Events will be hosted by SIBA and can be attended by up to 1000 people. Bookstores handle all ticket and book sales from their customers.
The schedule of events for the next three months is already in place, beginning with many of the writers whose books are Spring Okra Picks, including Grady Hendrix's highly anticipated “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires,” a SIBA bookseller favorite.
Here is the confirmed schedule so far:
Reader Meet Writer, Okra Pick April 7 Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires / Grady Hendrix
April 16 The Coyotes of Carthage / Steven Wright April 21 Blue Marlin / Lee Smith
April 28 Feels Like Falling / Kristy Woodson Harvey
May 5 Before She Was Helen / Caroline B. Cooney May 20 The Prettiest Star / Carter Sickels May 21 A Taste of Sage / Yaffa Santos
Reader Meet Writer, Southern Edition
May 6 Native / Kaitlin Curtice
May 12 Hello Summer / Mary Kay Andrews
More events will be added as authors are confirmed. To participate, email email@example.com. IMPORTANT! You must contact SIBA by Saturday, April 4th to be included in the first event with Grady Hendrix
“We sold out of copies of Taylor’s book and have re-ordered to meet demand. We were really pleased to be able to offer this to our customers and it came at just the right time. It gave folks something else to think about and our community really loves hearing from authors. We’re so grateful that SIBA is doing the heavy lifting. That really helps us out right now with the 75 thousand things we are doing.” -Serena Wycoff, Copperfish Books
What participating stores do:
Promoting the event to their customer base.
Handling ticket and book sales, and providing SIBA with the number of RSVPs.
Providing their customers with the specially created link and passcode to attend the online event.
Reporting book sales and feedback to SIBA after the event is over
What SIBA does:
Scheduling all Reader Meet Writer events
Preparing presenters with what they need for the event
Preparing all the materials participating bookstores will need to promote the event
Hosting the event itself, including handling all technical issues and managing all event logistics
“We had 35 people RSVP and sold 20 books. I call that a success.” – Tom Lowenburg, Octavia Books
A pilot event was held on March 31 with eight bookstores and Taylor Brown, an Okra Pick author whose book tour for his new novel, Pride of Eden, had been scheduled for over a dozen of southern bookstores before being cancelled. The test event attracted almost 100 attendees, which stores were able to leverage into book sales.
“What I loved about this is that all the work was done for me.... I have a ready-made virtual event that I just need to share. It is a part of my store it is a part of my store community and it is something I can offer with No Work on my part. I create a special email address for RSVPs. I create an event page (with the verbiage already templated by SIBA) and push it. I wait for the link from Wanda and send that to my RSVPS. I am offering something to my customers that some of them really need- the ability to connect with people and authors around books. I can keep them engaged with our platform and our store... and I can focus on the time-consuming drain that is all the other work.” – Kimberly Daniels, The Country Bookshop
The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is a trade association which represents hundreds of bookstores and thousands of booksellers in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky,
Virginia, and Mississippi. SIBA exists to empower, promote, and celebrate our core member bookstores in a spirit of partnership. "Core members" are independent, privately held, brick and mortar, commercially zoned bookstores with a
retail storefront, in our region.