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Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Bookmiser, Fountain Bookstore, Page & Palette, Page 158 Books, Read It Agains, Square Books,The Bookshelf in Thomasville, and The Country Bookshop.

9781944145200 Street Freaks 10/2/2018
"an action-packed story that melds The Fast and the Furious with science fiction."

9781641290111 An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good 10/2/2018
"Talk about a gateway drug! This potent collection of short stories about an little old lady murderer [introduces] the most charming serial killer since Dexter."

9781631494703 Joy Enough 1/15/2019
"one sentence had me laughing out loud in my living room, and the next had me welling up with tears."

9780525654674 The Weight of a Piano 1/22/2019
"a mesmerizing tale of the human connections and the piano thattruly did weigh on their lives "

9781501171956 Alice's Island 4/16/2019
"This is not your run of the mill dead-husband-wasn't-supposed-to-be-there type of story!"

9780062803467 Summer of a Thousand Pies 4/16/2019
"tugs on your heartstrings without ever falling into saccharine, and it packs an emotional punch that's resolved with humor and hope."

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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An Interview with Judith Lafitte, co-owner of Octavia Books in New Orleans, Louisiana

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, August 17, 2018
An Interview with Judith Lafitte, co-owner of Octavia Books in New Orleans, Louisiana


Store and location:


Number of years as a bookseller:
We have been in operation for 18 years.

Best part about being a bookseller?
Seeing children's faces light up when they have a special book in hand or when they have just met his/her favorite author.


What book(s) are you reading?
I am the children's book buyer, so I'm usually reading ahead of every season in the form of ARC's or F&G's. I'm currently reading The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson (an amazingly strange but fun story); I've just finished the Shadow Weaver series - Comet Rising by MarcyKate Connolly; Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Watson Hackl; Squirm by Carl Hiaasen; And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness. When I have time, I like to read Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series - so I've just read her recent story - To Die But Once.

Favorite handsells of 2018:
Sterling: The Best (Fork) Dog Ever; The Hazel Wood; Twig; Shadow Weaver; Lighthouse; any Maisie Dobbs books

Best thing you did this year at your store:
We hosted more events than ever, ranging from Rick Riordan to Rick Bragg

Social Media Stats
FB = 6900; Twitter = 6750; Instagram = 5614

What are some ways you work with your community?
This year we worked with Writers in Community; we underwrite WWNO's Reading Life; NOGSBA Literacy Programs; community partner with Prytania Theatre (books and movies), Stay Local (continuing education for buying local and keeping money in our community); One Book/One New Orleans; WNBA; and events with other independent businesses in our neighborhood.

Do you have any community partners you work with regularly?
All of the above.

Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life?
Coleen Salley was my children's literature professor at UNO who inspired me every day with her amazing enthusiasm and joy for children's books. In a way, she opened me up to the possibilities of getting books into the hands of children even before I knew I would be a bookstore owner.

Top priority for 2018:
We've been needing an update on our section signs and I'm hoping that gets accomplished before the year ends.

Favorite SIBA programming benefit:
The biggest benefit is getting together with other regional bookstore owners and booksellers and exchanging ideas. The education sessions are beneficial as well. SIBA has a way of making a trade show a very fun experience with a feel good sensation when you leave.

Tags:  bookseller interview  Octavia Books 

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Don’t Miss TrioLive at The SIBA Discovery Show on Wed, Sept. 12 at 9pm!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, August 17, 2018


Don’t Miss #TrioLive at The SIBA Discovery Show on Wed, Sept. 12 at 9pm!

TRIO is a traveling exhibit of art, music, and literature that celebrates the inspirational power of great storytelling. First conceived by Shari Smith of Working Title Farm,

TRIO starts with a book, which is given to a musician and a visual artist, who then write a song, a piece of music, and a work of art inspired by the story. 


TrioLive is a music-filled discussion of  TRIO and how it can impact your store, inspire your customers, and sell more books. TrioLive introduces the #2019 exhibit and presents some of the authors, artists, and songwriters.  Beginning in January of 2019,  the exhibit travels around the South for the next nine months, hosted and sponsored by SIBA member bookstores.


Join Trio founder Shari Smith and hear from Eddie Heinzelman, songwriter for The Hundred Story Home, Eric Erdman, songwriter for The Vain Conversation and Lorraine, the Girl Who Sang Away the Storm, Anthony Grooms (The Vain Conversation), Donna Everhart (The Forgiving Kind), Jana Sasser (Gather at the River Anthology), Elaine Neil Orr (Swimming Between Worlds), Michael Nemeth (The Undiscovered Country), Kathy Izard (The Hundred Story Home), and Nicole Sarrocco (Lit by Lightning).


Tags:  discovery show  Shari Smith  trio 

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Pinterest Boards Provide More For You

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Friday, August 17, 2018

Pinterest Boards Provide More For You

SIBA has long been maintaining a variety of Pinterest Boards in the name of helping booksellers.  Many have been maintained for years. Pinterest has been with us since 2010 and many of the boards have been maintained since then, so please note that some of the older pins may link to bad urls but a simple google search may get you to the older content.  Just today I updated the Gifts Galore for Bookstores Board and had the thought I might should bring the boards to your attention again as it has been awhile.

Here are the boards and a short description of what you can expect to see there:

Every year we create a board of the authors attending the show.  We used to put these images on the siba website but it slowed down the site and took forever to load and we determined that Pinterest would be a better home for the images.  So check out #SIBA18 Writers @ Innisbrook in Tampa, FL to see the writers coming to Florida with us. And just in see the additional presenters.

In addition we have the following boards:

Simple Ideas for Small Budgets: The goal for this board is to share clever solutions for display, promotion, and decor.

Lady Banks Trailer Park: Every book trailer that appears in the Lady Banks' Commonplace Book consumer newsletter is placed on this board.  Use it as a resource if you are in need of content for your website or an email to customers.

Brilliant Bookseller Idea of the Day, formerly known as Cool Things Bookstores Do Besides Sell Books: Anytime I see a store doing something that warrants the attention of another store, I post it here.

Gifts Galore for Bookstores: This board has over 500 potential gift ideas a bookstore might carry.  An inspiration if there ever was one.

I hope you find these boards useful, and I hope if you find anything that should be added to these boards, you will let me know by emailing me:


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Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Bookmiser, E. Shaver Bookseller, Fiction Addiction, Flyleaf Books, Fountain Bookstore, Garden Disctrict Bookshop, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, McIntyre's Fine Books, Page 158 Books, Parnassus Books, The Story Shop, Underground Books.

9781616203733 A Room Away From the Wolves 9/4/2018
"Catherine House is a place for girls who need to escape, but the house holds it's own dark secrets. Haunted, dark, lovely magical realism!"

9780374307066 The Boneless Mercies 10/2/2018
"Folklore, mythology, monsters and kick ass females light up the page, and it's so much more than just a genderbending Beowulf."

9781945814617 White Dancing Elephants 10/9/2018
"explores issues of immigration, religion, and feminism, but what it does best it let you peer inside each woman's soul."

9780062856395 Melmoth 10/16/2018
"This novel sucks you in like a Twilight Zone episode "

9780525534327 Little 10/23/2018
"My page turning reached such zealous energy that I was able to heat my house for the hours it took me to read it.."

9780811228190 Unclay 11/27/2018
"Say Jonathan Strange, Mr. Norrell, and Lolita had a menage a trois in a quaint English village inhabited by the likes of Jack the Ripper and Little Dorrit."

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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B3! Webinar: Avid Bookshop's Favorite Bookstore Forms, Documents, and Procedures

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, August 10, 2018


B3! Webinar: Avid Bookshop's Favorite Bookstore Forms, Documents, and Procedures


Join us on Wednesday, August 22 at 2pm for a B3! Webinar on Avid's Favorite Forms! Rachel Watkins, Communications Director at Avid Bookshop, will share her approach to organizing store operations, from creating better checklists and forms, to creating procedures for self-published authors, events, and daily operations. Avid Bookshop has found that clearly spelling out expectations for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks makes the bookshops run more smoothly and keeps booksellers on task. All of the forms Rachel will be referring to during the webinar are now in SIBA’s Peer Brain Trust under Working with Authors, Working with Groups and Events, and Working with Business Resources.

Rachel served as Avid Bookshop's first Events Director from October 2011-June 2017, then transitioned to Communications Director where she provides human resources, community outreach, employee relations, and public relations support. Born and raised in Mississippi, she came to Athens, Georgia for graduate work in the early 1990s. After ten years in Monterey, California, she moved home to Athens in 2005.

To RSVP or for more information, please contact Linda-Marie.


Tags:  Avid Bookshop  B3!Webinars  Bookseller education  Rachel Watkins 

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Order your imprinted holiday catalogs

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Holiday CatalogEach year, the SIBA Holiday Catalog contributes to increase winter sales for bookstores across the South.  This full-color catalog is filled with more than 100 great titles in a wide range of categories including cooking, sports, business, fiction, children's, and history and nonfiction titles - all perfect for your store and your customers.

“I think it’s very valuable!  It brings a level of professionalism to my store that I couldn't afford, having a color catalog with my logo on it!  Also generates sales and buzz - Oh did you see Page After Pages new catalog!!!  My customers LOVE IT and it makes us very proud. I think it’s one of the best things we Indies have for promotion.-Cathy

Copperfish Books

The Holiday Catalog Title List | Order your catalogs

Tags:  holiday catalog 

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Galleys & Giveaways: We the Resistance

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Updated: Friday, August 3, 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

We the Resistance: Documenting a History of Nonviolent Protest in the United States

Edited by Michael G Long 
Foreword by Chris Hedges 
Afterword by Dolores Huerta

City Lights Publishers
November 27, 2018
Trade paperback original  9780872867567  $19.95 

A first-person history of nonviolent resistance in the U.S., from pre-Revolutionary America to the Trump years.

While historical accounts of the United States typically focus on the nation's military past, a rich and vibrant counter narrative remains basically unknown to most Americans. This alternate history of the formation of our nation—and its character—is one in which courageous individuals and movements have wielded the tools of nonviolence to resist unjust, unfair, and immoral policies and practices.

We the Resistance gives curious citizens and current resistors unfiltered access to the hearts and minds of their activist predecessors. Beginning with the pre-Revolutionary War era and continuing through to the present day, readers will encounter the voices of protestors sharing instructive stories about their methods (from sit-ins to tree sitting) and opponents (from Puritans to Wall Street bankers), as well as inspirational stories about their failures (from slave petitions to the fight for the ERA), and successes (from enfranchisement for women to today's reform of police practices). Instruction and inspiration run throughout this captivating reader, generously illustrated with historic graphics and photographs of nonviolent protests throughout U.S. history.

Michael G. Long is an associate professor of religious studies and peace and conflict studies at Elizabethtown College and is the author or editor of several books on civil rights, religion, and politics in mid-century America, including First Class Citizenship: The Civil Rights Letters of Jackie Robinson (2007), Marshalling Justice: The Early Civil Rights Letters of Thurgood Marshall (2011), and I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin's Life in Letters (City Lights Publishers, 2012). He holds a Ph.D. from Emory University in Atlanta and resides in Highland Park, Pennsylvania

To request a review copy contact Stacey Lewis at

Tags:  galleys and giveaways 

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Old is New Again: Ten Lessons from the Retail Trenches

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Old is New Again: Ten Lessons from the Retail Trenches

Michael J. Coles is a business executive, serial entrepreneur, education advocate, well-known public speaker, and the namesake of the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. After almost two decades in the clothing business, he cofounded Great American Cookies in Atlanta in 1977 and built it into a multi-million dollar company and later served as CEO of Caribou Coffee. His new book, Time to Get Tough: How Cookies, Coffee and A Crash Led to Success in Business and Life, published by University of Georgia Pressoffers practical tips for retail, whether you are selling books, clothing, or coffee.

  1. A customer-centric equation will transform and sustain your businessWhile at Caribou Coffee, I created an equation that made me a success:  P + E + S = Ef (Product + Environment + Service = the Experience factor). This stood for Product + Environment + Service = the Experience factor. I had not taken algebra since high school, but I knew that if you changed any variable in an equation, the result will not be the same. I explained it to my team in this way: If you serve a great product, offer warm and friendly customer service, and have dirty counters or restrooms, you are not offering a superior customer experience. If you have a clean store, a great product, and terrible service, again your equation will yield an inferior result. If this happens with new customers, they will not come back. Existing customers might be more forgiving, but if the problems persist, they will stop coming as well. All three elements are critical—skimping on any one of them undermines the experience factor. Make sure the equation is working in every store, with every transaction.
  2. In the digital age, customers respond to, respect, and remember the personal touchTechnology is one of the most effective ways to reach customers, and if used wisely, it can replicate the warmth of face-to-face contact that has defined exemplary customer service over the past century. The companies that have used technology in thoughtful and creative ways to serve their customers will continue to thrive in the digital marketplace.
  3.  Hire and train well. The employee who cares only about getting paid tends not to pay attention to all the other things that help build customer satisfaction and loyalty. Once hired, train them well. For years we had trained our associates at Great American Cookies from behind the counter—showing them all the mechanics of how to make the cookies, handle the food safely, clean the store, ring up purchases. We realized that if you are only showing your employees the experience from one vantage point, you have a missed opportunity to serve your customer. So we put them on the other side of the counter as well, to let them understand the shopper's viewpoint. We wanted them to see what a good cookie looked like and what it was like to encounter a welcoming employee. We had each employee and trainee bake a batch of cookies, and we lined them up on the counter. Then we asked them all to pick the best batch—so they could see what was overbaked, underbaked, or, like in "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," just right. This, the training emphasized, was the cardinal rule: If you burn a batch of cookies, you throw them away. You do not worry more about food cost than about quality. No customer has a contract to come back—you have to make sure you sell the very best product you can.
  4.  Trust your employees and give them the opportunity to do their best work for you. Few businesses invest in human capital in the way that they should, with professional development, opportunities for growth, and a meaningful reward system. Even fewer companies use the most important and cheapest tool in their arsenal—communication. The more you communicate to your associates and colleagues, the clearer the road map, and the more effective your company will be.
  5.  Never take your customers for grantedOne Saturday when I was working at Dorwins, a clothing shop in Miami Beach, the owner, Irving Settler, and I were closing after a particularly successful day. I turned to him and said, "These customers love us. We own them.” He shot back, "Kid, the minute you think you own any customer is the day you lose your business. Remember, there are fifty companies standing in the wings waiting to take your business from you. Never get cocky and think that you have a contract with a customer. They can always shop somewhere else if you don't give them the product and the price and the customer service they deserve."
  6.  The biggest mistake most businesses make is keeping incompetent people far too long. If they are not working out, you have to either let them go or retrain and reassign them. I am fiercely loyal to my colleagues, but it is not good for the employee, the coworkers, or the company to keep an underperformer on the payroll without corrective action. I also learned from this experience that hiring and firing decisions in business really affect people's lives and should not be made casually.
  7.  Have a clear mission and vision statement, and make sure your team is fully committed to it. If your associates cannot explain the importance of your company's mission and why it resonates with customers, you have some work to do. If you are leading a company and discover that there is nobody behind you, you are just out for a stroll.
  8.  Find a mentor and take their advice. One of my first companies, Pant-O-Mine failed because I did not heed my mentor’s advice. Irving Settler had taught me as a teenager in Miami Beach to learn everything you can about your business. I was good at marketing and merchandising, but I did not pay enough attention to the bottom line, and the company had to file for Chapter 11 reorganization. I also realized that you have to honestly face the role you played in a crisis. Admitting failure requires digging deep to find strength that you may be surprised you have. I left Pant-O-Mine certain of one thing. If I ever went back into business for myself, I would make mistakes—probably a lot more of them—but I would never make the same mistake twice.
  9.  Failure and crises are great teachersWhen we opened our second Great American Cookie store, we expected to surpass the monthly sales for $15,000 at our first store. But in our first week at Greenbriar Mall, we did only $2,000 worth of business. We gave away samples beyond our lease line just as we did at Perimeter Mall. We had cookie cakes in the glass showcase. There was three times the foot traffic, but we had far fewer customers. What was happening? I had to find out fast, because we were doing the one thing a new business cannot afford—bleed money. The crisis at Greenbriar forced me to turn all of my attention to that store, and efficiency and customer service became the key to the company’s success.  
  10. The most powerful thing I learned during my time at Caribou was not to rest on your laurels. Even if you deliver a great product and experience, do not assume it will age gracefully. Be prepared to test it, find its weak spots, and use that knowledge to improve it on a continuous basis. The four keys to success are information, innovation, implementation, and improvement. The last one is the one that most businesses forget. You have to constantly make your product, service, and environment better so your experience factor never gets stale.

Tags:  Bookseller education  customer service 

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Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Updated: Monday, August 6, 2018


Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop,Bookmarks, Bookmiser, Fiction Addiction, Fountain Bookstore, MacIntosh Books & Paper, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, McIntyre's Fine Books, Page & Palette, Page 158 Books, Parnassus Books, The Country Bookshop, The Oxford Exchange, The Story Shop, Underground Books, Union Ave. Books, Writers Block Bookstore.

9780062792341 The Mystery of Three Quarters 8/28/2018
"Honestly, while reading this book, I forgot that Agatha Christie didn't write it."

9780801072925 I'd Rather Be Reading 9/4/2018
"This book is a hot beverage & a cozy blanket on a chilly evening, or a cold glass of sweet tea on a summer’s day. It is Bag End to Frodo Baggins."

9780062859952 The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock 9/11/2018
"High class escorts, nouveau riche merchants, madams, backstabbings, broken hearts, mended hearts, parties, an angry mob, pining, memaids. What more could you ask?"

9781555978181 Scribe 10/2/2018
"an atmospheric powerful novel told with a beautiful and dark voice. "

9780316411059 In the House in the Dark of the Woods 10/16/2018
"Whoa! This book is fabulous. So dark, so very dark. Which of course is why I loved it so much."

9780062843302 Congratulations, Who Are You Again? 11/6/2018
"Pee in your pants funny with so much wisdom and honesty!"

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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