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FoxTale Bookshop owner loses home to fire

Posted By Nicki Leone, Friday, February 19, 2016
For those of you who didn't see it in Shelf Awareness yesterday --  FoxTale Book Shoppe, Atlanta, Ga.: the home of Karen Schwettman, one of the store owners, and her husband, Gene, who is also involved with the store, has burned to the ground. Although the Schwettmans escaped without injury, they lost their pets and all their belongings.

Co-owners Jackie Tanase and Ellen Ward are raising money to help the Schwettmans. For more information, click here.

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A Thank You to SIBA Booksellers and Publishers from Book Harvest

Posted By Nicki Leone, Friday, January 22, 2016


I hope you are doing well.  It has been a few weeks since we met at the Raleigh Hilton on that busy Sunday afternoon in September, but I wanted to report to you what has happened with the books that were left for us to take.

All five carloads were taken to Book Harvest for sorting so we could know what treasures we were given from those that had been a part of the SIBA conference.  The books that could benefit children were given to Book Harvest.  Cookbooks were also included because of the collaboration with PORCH.

From there we started looking for non-profits in North Carolina that might enjoy new books for their adult clients.  It has been an adventure as we have researched, called and delivered.  Some staff members showed exuberant enthusiasm as soon as they saw the new books.  My favorite was hearing a gentleman exclaim that the guys would think it was Christmas in October as he brought them these new books.
Allied Churches of Alamance County homeless shelter -- 6 boxes of books / ARCs
Book Harvest (Durham) -- 1,248 books / ARCs
Durham Literacy Center -- 122 books / ARCs
Durham Public Library -- 14 boxes of books / ARCs
Freedom House Recovery Center (Chapel Hill) -- 131 books / ARCs
Healing with CAARE, Inc. (Durham) -- 300 books/ ARCs
Library in rural Nash County -- 4 boxes of books / ARCs
Love Wins (Raleigh) -- 120 books / ARCs
Pennies for Change (Durham) -- 40 books
Ronald McDonald House of Wake and Durham County -- 62 ARCs
SECU Community House (Chapel Hill) -- 4 boxes of books / ARCs
Spring Arbor Assisted Living retirement home (Durham) -- 25 ARCs
TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers) -- 164 ARCs plus 20 books
Urban Ministries of Greensboro -- 6 boxes of books / ARCs
YWCA Family Shelter in Greensboro -- 6 boxes of books / ARCs
Please convey our thanks to the publishers who contributed the books left at the SIBA convention, and also the gratitude of all the organizations who received these books, and the individuals served by said organizations. In particular, as volunteers at Book Harvest, we know first-hand how a child's eyes light up when they are given the first book of their own. As a result of this distribution effort, we have been given the opportunity to see other organizations in action, and we have seen for ourselves how much need and appreciation there is among disadvantaged adults as well.

With reading in our future,
Julia and Scott Bales

Book Harvest

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One Book, One South, Jr. – with Kate DiCamillo and Raymie Nightingale

Posted By Nicki Leone, Friday, January 15, 2016
Updated: Friday, January 22, 2016

One Book, One South, JrThe Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) is partnering with Candlewick Press to bring readers One Book, One South, Jr. – a Southern-wide “one book” event featuring Raymie Nightingale, the newest book by the award-winning and much beloved author, Kate DiCamillo. Raymie Nightingale is the first children's book to be selected for SIBA's One Book, One South program (hence the "Jr."), and in addition to the target audience of 10 and up, SIBA feels the book has a great crossover appeal.

Raymie Nightingale releases on April 12, 2016 and will be the subject of a coordinated promotion across SIBA member bookstores, both in-store and online, culminating in a Facebook event on May 6, 2016 capping off Children’s Book Week.  In the period leading up to the Q&A, bookstores will encourage their customers to submit questions in advance, reach out to librarians and teachers in their communities, and feature the book in their own newsletters and displays. Kate DiCamillo and Raymie Nightingale will be featured in SIBA’s popular newsletter for Southern literature, Lady Banks’ Commonplace Book in the weeks leading up to the Facebook event.

“We’re very excited about One Book, One South, Jr. and Kate DiCamillo’s participation,” said SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell. “SIBA believes that independent bookstores are vital to the success of any book, and when they get behind one they love, there is no stopping them. Raymie Nightingale is that kind of a book.”

About the Book:

Three girls. One summer. The friendship that rescues them all.

Raymie NightingaleRaymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town three days ago with a dental hygienist, will see her picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship — and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.

About Kate DiCamillo:

Kate DiCamilloKate DiCamillo is the author of many books for young readers. Flora and Ulysses: the Illuminated Adventures was awarded the 2014 John Newbery Medal for "the outstanding contribution for children's literature." Her books have been awarded the Newbery Medal (The Tale of Despereaux, 2004); the Newbery Honor (Because of Winn-Dixie,2001), the Boston Globe Horn Book Award (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, 2006), and the Theodor Geisel Medal and honor (Bink and Gollie, co-author Alison McGhee, 2011; Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride, 2007). She is the current National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, appointed by the Library of Congress.
Because of Winn Dixie won the 2001 SIBA Book Award for Children. It has appeared on the Southern Bestseller list as has The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Great Joy and The Magician’s Elephant.  Kate DiCamillo has appeared on the Southern Indie Bestseller List over 50 weeks. 

A southern sister, Kate now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For more information, contact Wanda Jewell at

Tags:  1bk1south  kate dicamillo  raymie nightingale 

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News from SIBAland, January 6, 2016

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, January 7, 2016

Happy New Year, dearest SIBA Booksellers!

Here is the latest super-duper important stuff we want you to be aware of! Make a resolution to read all your SIBA email this year so you don't miss out.

A Letter from Jill Hendrix, SIBA Board President

Jill Hendrix

Dear SIBA Members!

I hope you all had great holiday sales. Fiction Addiction was up slightly for the holidays and more for the year thanks to some big events. Now, if I could just figure out how to get those big events each and every year :)

Winter seems to have finally hit the South, so maybe I'll be used to the cold by the time I fly to Denver for Winter Institute in a couple of weeks. I hope to see many of you there or in Atlanta in March for SITS & GABBS.

As you work on your financial end-of-the-year reports, think ahead to filling out the ABACUS survey for the ABA in a few months. If you'd like a copy of the questions asked last year, just email me or Wanda.

My New Year's Resolution is to read (done!) and implement The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I've begun implementing at home and at the store and am pleasantly surprised at how well it's worked. What are your resolutions for your business this year?

As you reflect on the past year and plan for the future, please let SIBA know what we can help you with over the coming year and what opportunities you are excited about.

Happy New Year!

-Jill Hendrix, SIBA President
Fiction Addiction owner

Jill Hendrix, Owner
Fiction Addiction
1175 Woods Crossing Rd #5
Greenville, SC 29607

Indie Bookstore Day

INDIE Bookstore Day
Participate fully for 25 B3! Engagement points

The 2016 Independent Bookstore Day catalogue and order sheet goes live January 15, and participating booksellers will have until February 1 to place their orders. IBD staff will also have a consultation station at ABA's Winter Institute in Denver later this month to offer ordering guidance. Orders are placed online through the IBD website and fulfilled by Ingram.

The 2016 list of exclusive, limited items IBD includes:

  • Draw Me! How to Draw Your Favorite Characters. Plus Treasure Maps, Flip Books and More! with art by Raina Telgemeier, Mo Willems, Tedd Arnold, Lisa Brown, Kazu Kibuishi, David LaRochelle and others (CBD Publishing)
  • Special signed edition of Kate DiCamillo's Raymie Nightingale with bound-in mini-essay on the joys of books and bookstores (Candlewick)
  • Bad Citizen stencil reading: Think before you read. READ before you think. --Fran Lebowitz (CBD Publishing)
  • $6 Story: The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore, 3 Instructive Essays by Ann Patchett, signed (CBD Publishing)
  • Literary Tea Towels with quotes from Anna Quindlen and David Mitchell (CBD Publishing)
  • X Is for... 7" vinyl record of an original song based on Rad American Women A-Z, featuring the voices of Angela Davis, Rebecca Solnit, Charlene Yi and many others. Poster and free download included (CBD Publishing)
  • READ with ME Curious George plush toy
  • Signed Bourdain's Perfect Burger print, with art by Giacamo Gambineri (HarperCollins).
  • The Neil Gaiman Coloring Book, with art by Chris Riddell (HarperCollins)
  • Out of Print cotton canvas zippered pouch featuring famous bookstore cats (Out of Print)
  • Duck & Goose limited-edition signed print with pro-reading message from Tad Hills
  • Plus some very cool FREE items to give away on Bookstore Day

More info here:

Okra Picks

The 2016 Winter Okra Picks have been announced!

The current picks:
Edelweiss catalog link:

Nominate future okra, share okra sales data & display photos all for more B3! Engagement Points.

Mark your calendars for SITS & GABBS, March 1-4, Atlanta, GA!

Tags:  gabbs  ibd  okra picks 

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Winter 2016 Okra Picks

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, January 4, 2016

Serving up a helping of the Winter 2016 Okra Picks!

Okra PicksPreachers and pornographers, prisoners and protesters, conspirators and country shop keepers. . .these are just some of the cast of characters you’ll find in yet another season of fantastically varied and nutritional southern literature. The 2016 Winter Okra Picks have just been selected by southern independent booksellers – a spicy and seasoned helping of thirteen great books representing the best in forthcoming southern lit, according to the people who would know.

All the picks have a strong Southern focus and are publish between January and March, 2016, and all of them have fans among Southern indie booksellers; people who are always looking out for the next great writer who should be on your plate and in your TBR stack. So it is very likely the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore, someone will hand you one and say, “You’ve got to read this!” Read them before they hit the bestseller lists and impress your friends with your impeccable taste and literary savvy!

The 2016 Winter Okra Picks

The Third Reconstruction Fallen Land A Mysterious Life & Calling The Feathered Bone

The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement
by Reverend William J. Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Beacon Press, January 2016
Nonfiction, 9780807083604

Fallen Land
by Taylor Brown
St. Martin’s Press, January 2016
Fiction, 9781250077974

A Mysterious Life & Calling: From Slavery to Ministry in South Carolina
by Rev. Charlotte S. Riley, edited by Crystal Lucky
University of Wisconsin Press, January 2016
Nonfiction, 9780299306748 

The Feathered Bone
by Julie Cantrell
Thomas Nelson, January 2016
Fiction, 9780718037628

Forsaken The Secret to Hummingbird Cake My Father, the Pornographer The Opposite of Everyone

by Ross Howell, Jr.
New South, February 2016
Fiction, 9781588383174

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake
by Celeste Fletcher McHale
Thomas Nelson, February 2016
Fiction, 9780718039561

My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir
by Chris Offutt
Atria Books, February 2016
Nonfiction, 9781501112461

The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson
William Morrow & Company, February, 2016
Fiction, 9780062105684

No Shred of Evidence The Serpent King Hanging Mary No One Knows Dimestore

No Shred of Evidence
by Charles Todd
William Morrow & Company, February, 2016
Fiction, 9780062386182

The Serpent King
by Jeff Zentner
Crown Books for Young Readers, March 2016
Juvenile Fiction, 9780553524024

Hanging Mary
by Susan Higginbotham
Sourcebooks Landmark, March 2016
Fiction, 9781492613626

No One Knows
by J.T. Ellison
Gallery Books, March 2016
Fiction, 9781501118470

by Lee Smith
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, March 2016
Nonfiction, 9781616205027

Okra Picks are chosen every season by Southern Independent Bookstores. For more information visit

Tags:  okra picks 

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TRIO Musician wins eighth CMA Musician of the Year award

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, November 12, 2015

NASHVILLE – Mac McAnally, a songwriter whose music is featured in the traveling TRIO exhibit, has been selected as “Musician of the Year” by the Country Music Association (CMA). A chart-topping recording artist, accomplished producer, hit songwriter and studio owner Mac McAnally marks another note in history with a record-breaking eight consecutive wins as the Country Music Association's Musician of the Year.  The achievement, which bests his own previous number of wins record from last year, was revealed in a pre-broadcast ceremony for the 49th Annual CMA Awards.

Mac McAnally >

The World's Largest ManMcAnally’s music is represented in TRIO – the multimedia exhibit of original music and art inspired by southern literature. TRIO debuted in September at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Discovery Show in Raleigh, North Carolina and is currently traveling to bookstores and book festivals in throughout South.  McAnally’s song “Alive and In Between” was written in response to Harrison Scott Key’s bestselling memoir, The World’s Largest Man.

On stage, Mac said to the room full of his peers, "I'm a lucky man to be in Music City to get to strum up and down with the guys I'm nominated with. So many great players in town, it's the best pool of musicians in the world and I'm a tadpole that's happy to be here. Thank y'all very much, thanks CMA for recognizing the musicians behind the corners sometimes. God Bless."

McAnally is one of sixteen award-winning and critically acclaimed musicians represented in TRIO. The entire list of musicians and artists can be viewed at the TRIO website:

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November Letter from SIBA President Jill Hendrix

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, November 9, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Jill Hendrix

Hi SIBA Members,

I hope you all enjoyed the 40th anniversary trade show in Raleigh! We had a great board meeting afterward and are very happy with the state of SIBA right now. However, we’re always looking for ways to improve so be sure to let myself or Wanda know any suggestions for future programs or current programs that could be even better.

I’m assuming all the ABA members in the group took advantage of this month’s Indies First backlist promos from our publishing partners and that everyone’s 4th quarter is off to a great start. My store has received our imprinted SIBA holiday catalogs and we have started putting up some displays. Displays are one of my weaknesses, so if you’ve done some exciting ones make sure to take pictures and send them to Wanda so she can use them to inspire the rest of us!

If you haven’t already done so, remember to go to the American Express website and register your business for Small Business Saturday so that you’ll show up on their map and get free advertising. Once you’re registered they have some free downloadable marketing materials you can use to promote the day. ABA members can also register their Indies First events and download those marketing materials at

I’m also looking ahead to the 2nd annual Independent Bookstore Day on April 30, 2016 ( The local indies in my area are going to meet next week to discuss ways to jointly promote and advertise the event. If anyone has great contacts with Southern Living, Garden & Gun or other popular Southern media let me know and perhaps we could get some coverage or even all go in together on advertising.

I successfully registered for Winter Institute in Denver. Remember to let the ABA know if you need to cancel your WI or hotel registrations so they can make them available to others.

We also hope to see you all in Atlanta March 1-4, 2016 at SITS & GABBS! (  Wanda has booked the fabulous Kate DiCamillo for lunch at SITS and in addition to some financial education we will be sharing about the upcoming One Book, One South, Jr. with Kate DiCamillo's forthcoming Raymie Nightingale.

Here’s to a great holiday shopping season for all our members!

--Jill Hendrix
SIBA Board President
Fiction Addiction
Greenville, SC

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The 2016 Bibb Pick: Bibb's Independent Bookstore Best of 2016

Posted By Nicki Leone, Friday, October 9, 2015

The BIBB Pick – "Bibb's Independent Bookstore Best of 2016" is
Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC!

Voted warm, welcoming, inclusive, knowledgeable, and always with a smile
by nearly 100 writers in attendance at #SIBA15.

Quail Ridge Books & Music

Besides voting, all the authors signed "the Bibb podium," -- handcrafted by Doug Robinson of Eagle Eye Books in Decatur, Georgia -- which was gifted to the store for their stellar author event programs. And nearly 70 authors committed to some form of support to the store over the next year. Over 20 authors will be linking their website directly to the Quail Ridge Books website. Fifteen authors have agreed to place the bookstore name – Quail Ridge Books – in a book. Nearly 30 authors will be writing original content for QRB’s newsletter/website.  Twenty writers have agreed to join QRB’s Staff Picks sharing what they are reading with the store regularly. Thirteen authors have agreed to invest in QRB store swag and promote virtually or in real time their love of Quail Ridge Books. Fourteen want to support QRB’s Indies First effort. Quail Ridge Books and her army of authors are going to make this Bibb Pick a Big One.

So what are those criteria again? Warm, welcoming, inclusive, knowledgeable, and always with a smile. SIBA hopes that bookstores will beinspired to bring these qualities to the forefront when BIBB’s Independent Bookstore Best of 2017 is chosen at the 2016 SIBA Discovery Show in Savannah, GA in September.

About the Bibb Pick – Anonymously endowed, the BIBB Pick was created in 2014 in memory of Matthew Bibb, a long-time SIBA employee who handled Registration and a million other details at many SIBA Trade Shows. Matt died unexpectedly on Thanksgiving Day 2013.

Tags:  #siba15  Bibb Pick  Quail Ridge Books 

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Continued support from the Reba & Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, October 5, 2015
Updated: Friday, October 2, 2015

More support for booksellers from the Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts

SIBA is pleased to announce that the Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts will be continuing their support for SIBA member bookstores in the coming year. A full press announcement is to come but we can tell you that the Foundation has committed $15,000 towards helping bookstores become more engaged via the B3! program, and another $15,000 for a booksellers' Peer Review program.

Like This on FacebookPlease show your gratitude 
 Like Reba's Facebook page!

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Read your Okra! 2015 Fall Okra Picks

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, October 5, 2015
Updated: Friday, October 2, 2015

Read Your Okra! A Fall Harvest of Okra

Columbia, SC – The harvest is in for the Fall Okra Picks! Southern independent booksellers have a bushel of books representing the best in southern lit, fresh off the vine. All the picks have a strong Southern focus and are publish between October and December, 2015, and all of them have fans among Southern indie booksellers; people who are always looking out for the next great writer who should be on your plate and in your TBR stack. So it is very likely the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore, someone will hand you one and say, “You’ve got to read this!”

The 2015 Fall Okra Picks

Bottle Cap Boys on Royal Street by Rita Garcia-White
9781603490306 | Marimba Books | 10/1/2015| $6.95

Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain
9781250010742 | St. Martin’s Press | 10/06/2015 | $26.99

My Sweet Vidalia by Deborah Mantella
9781630269623 | Turner Publishing | 10/06/2015 | $27.95

Grant Park by Leonard Pitts, Jr.
9781932841916 | Agate Bolden | 10/13/2015 | $24.95

Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta by Richard Grant
9781476709642 | Simon & Schuster | 10/13/2015 | $16.00

Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator by Homer Hickam
9780062325891 | William Morrow & Company | 10/13/2015 | $25.99

The Southerner's Cookbook: Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories edited by Garden & Gun Magazine
9780062242419 | Harper Wave | 10/27/2015 | $37.50

Too Blessed to Be Stressed Cookbook: A Busy Woman's Guide to Stress-Free Cooking by Debora M. Coty
9781634093224 | Barbour Publishing | 11/01/2015 | $16.99

Wailing Wall: A Mother's Memoir by Deedra Climer
9781941758113 | Inkshares | 11/10/2015 | $14.99

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll by Peter Guralnick
9780316042741 | Little Brown and Company | 11/10/2015 | $32.00

Time of Departure by Douglas Schofield
9781250072757 | Minotaur Books | 12/01/2015 | $25.99

Welcome to Serenity by Sherryl Woods 
9780778318637 | Mira Books | 12/29/2015 | $15.99

False Positive by Andrew Grant 
9780345540751 | Ballantine Books | 12/29/2015 | $27.00

Okra Picks are chosen every season by Southern Independent Bookstores. For more information visit

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Rep Picks List

Posted By Nicki Leone, Sunday, October 4, 2015
Updated: Friday, October 2, 2015

Rep Picks List

The Rep Picks session at the SIBA Discovery Show is one of the most fast-paced and most fun parts of the program. This year it also had the distinction of being the only session where someone announced his intention to add his name to the GOP hopefuls for the next Presidential ticket -- we're all rooting for you, Mike!

Microphones were thrown. Microphones were snatched out of peoples' hands. And in the standing-room only audience booksellers scribbled frantically in their programs as title after title was waved in front of their noses in rapid succession.

If you missed the session, or missed some of the books presented, then here is a list you can download of all the books your sales reps were taking about.These are your future bestsellers. Or, as one bookseller put it -- "I always make note of the rep picks books, these guys aren't going to steer me wrong!"

Excel Sheet | Edelweiss Link

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Congratulations to your fellow SIBA booksellers!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Saturday, October 3, 2015
Updated: Friday, October 2, 2015

Congratulations to your fellow SIBA booksellers!

  • Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC was chosen as the 2016 "Bibb Pick" bookstore by over a hundred authors who attended the Discovery Show

  • Horton's Books & Gifts in Carrollton, GA won the 2015 SIBA Book Award Display contest ($1000 cash!) for their awesome "Steampunk/League of Seven" display (see all the displays below!)

  • MacIntosh Books and Paper in Sanibel, FL, won the Exhibit Hall Scavenger Hunt and a free trip for 2 to #siba16 in Savannah, GA

  • The Book Miser (Roswell, GA) and Octavia Books (New Orleans, LA) each won the GABBS/SITS raffle and will have their hotel rooms paid for at the 2016 Great American Bargain Book Show in March

  • Page 158 Books of Wake Forest, NC won the $1000 Buyer's Raffle (and special thanks to Ingram Content Group, which wrote the order on the winning ticket!)

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B3! Rollover

Posted By Nicki Leone, Saturday, October 3, 2015
Updated: Friday, October 2, 2015

B3! Rollover

B3!We've had a great response to the SIBA B3! (Building Better Booksellers) Engagement program. Over the summer, especially, we've seen a sharp increase in stores participating -- uploading photos, using SIBA hashtags, opening their email (yes, this email counts!) and in general helping SIBA to help them become more visible and more engaged.

Here's what's new for 2016

1) the B3 Year will now run from Discover Show to Discovery Show. That way, all the points you accumulate in the fall can count towards the next year's show.

2) For this year only -- all the points from 2015 will rollover to 2016. So those of you who who have just gotten started earning points will keep what you've earned over the summer

3) Okra Pick displays will now earn 50 points when you post the photo of your display and send us your sales figures.

Read more about the B3! program here:

B3! FAQs | B3! Actions | B3! Levels & Rewards

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Inspiration! SIBA Book Award Displays

Posted By Nicki Leone, Friday, October 2, 2015

Inspiration: SIBA Book Award Displays

Display Winner!Factory ManHeritageWingsGiraffe

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Have you planned your SIBA Book Award Display?

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, July 28, 2015

At the SIBA Trade Show this year, we host a $1000 Display Contest:  Create a table top display for one, more, or all of the SIBA Book Award Winners and recreate it on site at the SIBA trade show.  Industry peers will vote for their favorites, and the winning display will receive $1000.  This display contest is open to SIBA’s Core Members only.  So display the books, get familiar and get your creative juices going!

If you are attending the show, then you should make an effort to participate. You get a table on the show floor, you get authors, publishers, sales reps and vendors oohing and ahhing over your creativity and talent. You get $1000, CASH, if you win the contest.

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It's time to order your holiday catalogs!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, July 28, 2015

SIBA Holiday Catalog1) You still have time to order your Holiday Catalogs

I can't tell you how often I've had phone calls from stores who forgot or didn't get around to placing their catalog orders and regretted it. Don't be that store. Extra catalogs are not printed, so if you don't place your order now, you won't have it for the holiday season.

The SIBA Holiday Catalog is consistently rated as one of the most useful, cost effective, and valuable benefits of SIBA membership. A full color catalog, imprinted with your store information, in the quantities you need, shipped wherever you need, all FREE.

More info here | Go here to place your store order

You get 5 points for ordering the catalog!

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Celebrate Independents! SIBA’s 2015 Book Award Winners

Posted By Nicki Leone, Saturday, July 4, 2015
Updated: Friday, July 3, 2015

Celebrate Independents!  SIBA’s 2015 Book Award Winners

The best in southern literature, from the people who would know
. . . Southern Independent (and independently-minded!) Booksellers

2015 SIBA Book Award Winners (Columbia, SC) Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2015 SIBA Book Awards

Nominated by booksellers and their customers, vetted by bookstores and selected by a jury of Southern booksellers, these are the Southern books that Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most “you’ve got to read this” moments and “hand sell” moments in stores across the South. They represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.

  • Fiction Winner: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking Books)
  • Nonfiction Winner:  Factory Man by Beth Macy (Little Brown and Company)
  • Cooking Winner: Heritage by Sean Brock  (Artisan Publishers)
  • Children’s Winner: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books)
  • Young Adult Winner: League of Seven by Alan Gratz, Brett Helquist (illustrator) (Starscape Books)

The Invention of WingsFiction Winner: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking Books)
“We recommend this book to everyone!” – Books Unlimited, Franklin, NC


Factory ManNonfiction Winner:  Factory Man by Beth Macy (Little Brown and Company)
“A book that excels at bringing, this time recent, history to narrative life. Macy's book has characters who are difficult to sympathize with, but she overcomes this by placing them in extraordinarily important, world-changing circumstances. Macy does a remarkable job of bringing potentially dull material (furniture-making details, factory time clocks, mundane family squabbles) and raising it to consequential and dramatic literature.” – Scuppernong Books, Greenville, NC


HeritageCooking Winner: Heritage by Sean Brock (Artisan Publishers)
Loved all the recipes I cooked. I’d never had ‘hoppin john’ and now I know how to make it. It was great!!” – Books Unlimited, Franklin, NC


Brown Girl DreamingChildren’s Winner: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books)
“I love the originality of a memoir written in free verse, and the lessons and viewpoint this book has to offer are extremely important, especially with the racial issues that present themselves in today's society.” – Tubby and Coo’s, New Orleans, LA



League of SevenYoung Adult Winner: League of Seven by Alan Gratz, Brett Helquist (illustrator) (Starscape Books)
Alan Gratz has masterfully created an alternate history that masterfully grabs the attention of anyone interested in steampunk, Edison, lost civilizations, unusually large monsters, heads in jars or just plain adventure.” – The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

For more information on the SIBA Book Awards please visit SIBA’s website for Southern literature,

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Okra Picks downloads available!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Friday, July 3, 2015
Updated: Thursday, July 2, 2015

To help stores promote the latest selection of Okra Picks, we've added  some downloadable materials to the Okra Picks Assets page:

 --generic shelf talkers and bookmarks

-- a collage of the summer okra picks optimized for posting on social media

-- a widget stores can put on their websites that will always show the current okra picks. The widget links to, but we are in the process of developing a more generic option stores can use no matter what, if any, ecommerce system they have.

Feel free to download and use! And let us know if there are any materials you'd like to have. We'll do our best to make them available. Anything to help you folks sell more books!


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A Letter from SIBA President Jill Hendrix

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Updated: Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jill Hendrix Greetings from your SIBA President!

Please join me in congratulating Wanda on several big personal milestones in her life: she just reach the big 6-0; her first grandbaby, Vera Jane, was born June 10th; this will be her 25th SIBA and our 40th anniversary. It’s quite a year for you, Wanda – many congratulations!

Wanda Jewell and Vera Jane Carolina

I’ve already registered for our 40th anniversary SIBA trade show in Raleigh. Have you? Authors already booked for the show include Karin Slaughter, Alex Kava, Homer Hickam, Tom Angleberger, Augusten Burroughs, with many more to come. We really, really, REALLY want at least one bookseller from every SIBA member store to attend. If you are having trouble making that happen please let Wanda know your obstacles and she’ll do her creative best to help you out.

I hope your A/C’s are staying strong and that Southern beach reads are flying out the door. If you’re wondering how to capitalize on the current adult coloring craze, check out Fiction Addiction’s upcoming Coloring, Cocktails and Conversation event and feel free to copy our idea for your own store.

Here’s hoping you have a great Independents Week!


Jill Hendrix, SIBA President and owner of Fiction Addiction

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Earn your way to #siba15! The odds and ends of point building

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Updated: Thursday, May 21, 2015

Earn your way to #SIBA15.  The 40th Anniversary Discovery Show in Raleigh, NC is going to be a really big show and we want you there.  It’s my dream to get at least one bookseller from every core member.  And I know there are scheduling conflicts and unexpected events and financial concerns and its the financial concerns I want to help you address.

So now we are to the odds & ends of point building.  You get a point every time you or a staff member opens a bulk email.  One way to grow this number is to make sure all of your staff are added to your account with a unique email of their own.  And make sure they log-in regularly so the system knows who they are to count their points.  And then ask them to read their SIBA emails and build points (and they just might hear or learn something useful to being better booksellers).

SIBA maintains a listserve where members can talk to each other.  Post and respond to others here and earn points.  Again, get your staff involved on the listserve and they can earn points as well.  All points are assigned to the core member account.

Nominate, participate, engage, encourage staff to nominate okra picks, book awards, and holiday catalog titles.  All of these earn points for the store.

Take the holiday catalog.  Use the web version on your website.

Send you your press list.

Participate in an easy way to thank your customers for shopping with you via Free Book Stimulus Plan.

The winners of the SIBA Book Awards will be announced on July 4th.  Start thinking about your SIBA Book Award Display Contest entry to bring to the 40th Anniversary Discovery Show.  You’ll earn 5 points and you might win $1000.


·         Open your SIBA email! – 1 point

·         Post to the SIBA members group on Google – 1 point

·         Send SIBA your press list – 10 points

·         Nominate Okra pick – 2 points

·         Nominate a title for the SIBA Book Award – 2 points

·         Take the Holiday Catalog – 5 points

·         Post the web version of the Holiday Catalog – 3 points

·         Recommend titles for the Holiday Catalog – 2 points

·         Participate in the SIBA Book Award Display Contest – 5 points

·         Tell your customers to send in their store receipt for the “Free Book Stimulus Plan – 1 point


There’s a huge potential to earn points here.  Say there are only two of you working in the store.  If you both open all emails from SIBA, post on the listserve daily, each nominate titles for all three possibilities weekly, you will earn nearly 30 points a day.  Add in participation in Free Book Stimulus Plan and that number will climb as your customers learn to participate in that program where you do nothing but accept the kudos!  Earn your way to #SIBA15.

The Reba & Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts gifted SIBA with money to assist core members in attending the show and rather than just hand the money out, SIBA has created B3! Building Better Booksellers where you can earn points that will get your travel, hotel and all-passes for the upcoming show.  It takes 5000 points to get it all covered. And if you got diligent on June 1, that gives you about 100 days and at 50 points a day, you’d have it all covered.

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