In the land of SIBA
Blog Home All Blogs

March Madness at Oxford Exchange on March 9!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, January 6, 2020
Updated: Friday, December 20, 2019

Join us for our March Madness event at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL on March 9 from 10-3PM. From 10 AM-noon, Bookstore & Programming Director Laura Taylor will present “Independent Bookstore Day- and a Bookstore Passport Program.” Session description: The collaboration between Independent Bookstores is our greatest weapon against big box stores. Join other booksellers to brainstorm and put into place an innovative regional bookstore passport program which would engage and inspire our local customers to seek out Independent Bookstores wherever they are. All discussions about Independent Bookstore Day and ways to feed and support your local bookstores will be encouraged!  

From noon to 1PM, booksellers will enjoy lunch with a visiting author, and the afternoon will include a store tour and further discussion and networking on bookseller issues.

Laura Taylor is going on her 7th year at Oxford Exchange and her 6th year running the buying and programming of the Bookstore.  She has a varied background as a retail small business owner in Asia, as well as several years as a Chef. Oxford Exchange is a unique owner operated Restaurant, Shop, Bookstore, Private Event Space and Design Studio.    

Link to register for this event and other March Madness Bookseller Series events. These events are free to booksellers who are current members of their regional associations.

Tags:  Bookseller education  SITS 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

2020 Winter Okra Picks

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Updated: Monday, December 30, 2019
okra winter 2020

For immediate release: January 1, 2020

Announcing the 2020 Winter Okra Picks

(Asheville, NC) Southern independent booksellers have selected thirteen titles for their 2020 Winter Okra Picks, their seasonal list of great forthcoming Southern books. The Winter Okra Picks publish in January, February, and March and feature southern voices, southern stories, and southern writers. Each and every one of them also has a cadre of southern bookseller champions, eager to place these books into the hands of adventurous readers.

Southern independent bookstores – we grow good books!
For more information visit:

Hill Women by Cassie Chambers
Ballantine Books, January, 2020

“An honest narrative about the challenges of life in one of the poorest regions of the country while giving voices to the women who lifted up her life.” –Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Overground Railroad by Lesa Cline-Ransome, James E. Ransome (Illus.)
Holiday House, January, 2020

“How James Ransome hasn't been awarded a Caldecott yet is beyond me.” –Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

Wilmington's Lie by David Zucchino
Atlantic Monthly Press, January, 2020

“This is truly a book to shake your world view.” –Rosemary Pugliese, Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
St. Martin's Press, January, 2020

“A wonderfully nuanced novel with two engrossing, engaging heroines.” – Tracie Harris, The Book House, Mableton, GA

Just Like a Mama by Alice Faye Duncan, Charnelle Pinkney Barlow (Illus.)
Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, January, 2020

“Just Like a Mama is the perfect way to honor everyone who fills the gap when Mama cannot always be there.” –Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

Remembrance by Rita Woods
Forge Books, January, 2020

“Rita Woods has blended together a story that is both historically and currently relevant, told across three timelines with four different protagonists, all women of color. This is an exciting and important book!” –Carl Kranz, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg
Hachette Books, January, 2020

“Strong as a traditional true-crime recounting of murder, the investigation and subsequent trial…an allegory for the on-going challenges faced in the rough [Appalachian] landscape.” – Doloris Vest, Book No Further, Roanoke, VA

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland
Tin House Books, February, 2020

“A mix of memoir and biography. Anyone can paint a broad outline of a writer's life, but Shapland reveals Carson McCullers in a fresh way.” –Sissy Gardner, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

Race Against Time by Jerry Mitchell
Simon & Schuster, February, 2020

“It reads like a novel and is essential reading for southerners.” –Lia Lent, Wordsworth Books, Little Rock, AR

The Boatman's Daughter by Andy Davidson
MCD x FSG Originals, February, 2020

“Like a johnboat ride through the depths and darkness of the subconscious, under the canopy of the bayou.” –Stuart McCommon, novel., Memphis, TN

Bells for Eli by Susan Beckham Zurenda
Mercer University Press, March, 2020

“Like visiting with a long-lost friend over a cup of tea.” – Suzanne Lucey, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC

The Last Taxi Driver by Lee Durkee
Tin House Books, March, 2020

“A fairly thorough search for fairness and cab fare in the world that barely leaves the car or Mississippi. I laughed and (sadly) related.” – Ian McCord, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler
St. Martin's Press, March, 2020

“A blend of Romeo and Juliet with Hatfield and McCoy, set in a 'nice' contemporary American neighborhood where 'these things shouldn't happen.' A heart-breaking, eye-opening must-read!” – Cathy Graham, Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL

Authors 'Round the South |

Sponsored by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, in support of independent bookstores in the South | SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805

Useful Links
View online version

Tags:  #okrapicks 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Let's Meet at Winter Institute!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, December 30, 2019

Dear Booksellers and Industry Friends,


Wanda and I will be attending the ABA’s Winter Institute and would love to hear how you’re doing, listen to concerns you may have that we can address, and gather your ideas for 2020 programming. We’re all ears! 


Let’s schedule a meeting time, grab some comfy seats at NAIBA's on-site Hospitality Suite, and catch up.  Please email me to set up an appointment.


Linda-Marie Barrett

Assistant Executive Director of SIBA

Tags:  winter institute 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

What’s on Lady Banks’ Bookshelf in January?

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, December 30, 2019

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


By promoting through Lady Banks, publishers are making an investment in SIBA member bookstores’ attention and market. SIBA works with them to select titles customers are looking for, and then we drive those customers to SIBA member stores.  Booksellers can boost sales by bringing in Lady Banks Bookshelf titles before the month begins, and putting up a winning display. Send in a photo of your display and earn 20 B3! points, too!


January’s Titles:

Good Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison

The Shaman of Turtle Valley by Cliff Garstang

A Dredging in Swann by Tim Garvin

2020 Campaign Coloring Book by Kate Salley Palmer

Remembrance by Rita Woods

Wilmington's Lie by David Zucchino

Edelweiss Collection

Tags:  lady banks bookshelf  ladybanks 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Resource Roundtable on ABACUS with moderator Jill Hendrix

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Thursday, December 19, 2019

Join us on Wednesday, Feb 26 from 2-3PM EST for a peer-to-peer discussion on Zoom. The discussion will be moderated by Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction, bookstore coach, and ABACUS enthusiast, having presented on ABACUS at SIBA and ABA educational programming. ABACUS is a free annual report, sponsored by the ABA, that provides detailed information about where your store falls across a range of areas, including profitability, productivity, and financial management. Having access to the ABACUS report is like adding a financial officer to your staff; it can inform you of areas that need improvement, areas in which your store is succeeding, and everything in between. Bring your most recent ABACUS report and your questions and concerns, for a lively hour of discussion. Please rsvp Linda-Marie to attend.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

SIBA Holiday Hours

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, December 19, 2019

SIBA Holiday Hours

SIBA's office will be closed on December 25 and January 1. We won't send a newsletter Christmas week, so the next edition of In the Land of SIBA will be January 2nd.

We wish all our members a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year!

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)


Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, December 19, 2019

Edelweiss+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 to be added.

The Heap The Missing American American Dirt Buried to the Brim 

9780062957733 The Heap 1/7/2020
"The Heap is fiction that is reminiscent of Pynchon and Philip K. Dick in the best way possible. Los Verticales was the largest tower-based urban community in the world and after an unexplained collapse, the rubble has come to be known as the Heap. Orville, a Dig Hand charged with sifting through the rubble, searches for his brother Bernard, who is alive underneath the wreckage and broadcasting on the radio. Orville calls his brother daily, their conversations are live for everyone to hear... until one day he turns on the radio and hears someone else impersonating him on the airwaves. What follows is a story that questions capitalism, corporate control, and conspiracy at the highest levels. In a community that once aspired to be all-inclusive, exclusivity and estrangement become more apparent as the Dig Hands dig deeper into the Heap and what it once was." -- Stuart McCommon, Novel, Memphis, TN

9781525836268 The Followers 1/14/2020
"That's it. I'm throwing my phone in a river and going offline for good. Terrifying, hilarious, brilliant, and breathtakingly paced, Followers shows us what the future might look like if we let our tech-addicted, social-media-driven habits get the best of us. Angelo's vision of the near future -- and how it unfolds for this ensemble cast of friends, frenemies, followers, and family -- scares and entertains in equal measure. Every "influencer" on Instagram needs to read it ASAP.."-- Mary Laura Philpott, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

9781250209764 American Dirt 1/21/2020
"Cummins has written a real tour de force with American Dirt. The story follows Lydia and her son as they run north to the US to escape the drug cartel leader who killed the rest of their family in Mexico. But it becomes something much more universal as it explores the journey that so many migrants have undertaken, whether in search of jobs or a better life or to escape certain death, and all the ways that this journey can impact lives" -- Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

9781984804723 Buried to the Brim 1/28/2020
"Scarlett is happily contemplating married life to her fiance, Harry, when he brings his favorite aunt Betty to meet her. And Betty brings her adorable corgi, Freddy. But when Betty is kept out of the dog show she just knows Freddy is finally going to win, Scarlett finds herself in the middle of a dog show as well as another murder investigation. And Aunt Betty is the prime suspect!I love all of McKinlay's mystery series' and Buried to the Brim is no exception. I love how the characters are all silly without being over the top and the mystery is always going to keep you guessing up to the last minute." -- Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Roswell, GA

More bookseller reviews

Tags:  Edelweiss 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Carol Moyer, Todd Ketcham receive Nancy Olson Award

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Nancy OlsonTwo southern booksellers have been selected as the winners of the inaugural Nancy Olson Bookseller Award. Carol Moyer, bookseller and former Children’s Manager at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC, and Todd Ketcham, manager of The Book Cellar in Lake Worth, FL will each receive a check for $2000. 

The awards, which will become an annual prize, were launched in 2019 with an anonymous donation from an author who is also an admirer of the late Nancy Olson, founder of Quail Ridge Books. The award honors booksellers who embody the spirit of Olson’s bookselling legacy of supporting writers–especially new writers– other booksellers, and community outreach. 

Of winner Carol Moyer, a nominator commented, “While Carol’s greatest satisfaction at QRB may be experiencing the joy of putting the right book in a child’s hands, there’s no doubt that her love of children and children’s books has profoundly touched the community. Her work fits perfectly with Nancy Olson’s own deep commitment to enriching lives.” In their submission for Todd Ketcham, the owners of The Book Cellar praised, “He is more than an employee, he is a conduit between business and community, between people and experiences. We could not run this business without him, and his devotion to books and the people around him set a shining example for all the wonderful things possible when someone can work with their passion each and every day.” 

Nancy Olson’s husband, Jim Olson, served as one of the judges for the Award, along with Sarah Goddin, buyer and former General Manager of Quail Ridge Books, and Linda-Marie Barrett, Assistant Executive Director of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. Jim spoke of his gratitude that the sponsor of this award chose to honor Nancy Olson’s legacy in this way, “Nancy would have loved this. She was a champion of other bookstores and would have loved to have seen booksellers so generously rewarded and acknowledged for the work they do for their communities.” 

Carol MoyerUpon hearing she had won the award, Carol Moyer replied, “I am honored and humbled to have received this award, an award which will keep the memory of Nancy Olson in front of booksellers each year. She was a shining star in the bookselling world, and she was my inspiration and will always have my endless admiration. That my colleagues selected me for the award this year is very deep praise and I am very grateful. Independent bookstores are a vital piece of the cultural landscape in their communities, as they provide the richness of literature in a setting where folks may gather to explore and share ideas. In that setting, it has been my joy to implement the mission of children’s bookselling to nurture the literacy of the rising generation. There is no greater reward for me than putting the right book in the hands of the right child at the right time. Over the years I have had the immense pleasure of seeing these children grow up to be readers, choosing their own books. As long as we continue to share the best books we can find with children, we will have started them on a life of reaping the rewards of reading. They will grow up treasuring books and bookstores.” 

Todd KetchamTodd Ketcham responded, “I am beyond honored to have been nominated by my colleagues and patrons. As many booksellers will tell you, we do not do this with the expectation of financial reward. To share the love of reading with our friends and patrons is reward enough. Winning the Nancy Olson Bookseller Award is both a surprise and a much-needed boon. In an era of increasing isolation, it is amazing to me that bookstores retain the oft-overlooked ability to bring people from disparate walks of life together in common purpose. If bookstores are cultural lighthouses erected in our communities, then booksellers are the lighthouse tenders that keep fanning the flames of knowledge. My only hope is that those flames keep burning bright for many a long year.”

The Nancy Olson Bookseller Award will become an annual award, thanks to the generous sponsorship of the anonymous donor. 

Todd is pictured with Charlotte Shotgun, who read Charlotte’s Web at Drag Queen Story Hour.

Tags:  nancy olson  qrb  quail ridge books  the book cellar 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Small Presses Present Spring and Summer Lists

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, December 18, 2019

On Wednesday, February 12 at 2PM EST, SIBA is hosting “Small Presses Present Spring and Summer Lists” as part of our Publisher Picks: Best Bets for SIBA Booksellers series.  In this bi-monthly series, publishers, editors, marketing directors, and reps present their favorite frontlist titles via Zoom to booksellers. Besides forging important connections with publishers and their reps, attending booksellers discover new titles to add to their store shelves and earn 10 B3! Points. Please rsvp to attend. Here are this month’s presenters:


Michael Reynolds is the Editor in Chief at Europa Editions. He is the recipient of the 2016 Golden Colophon Award for Superlative Achievement & Leadership in Independent Literary Publishing, awarded by the Community of Literary and Magazine Presses. He is a member of the Independent Publisher Caucus Steering Committee, and the founder of Bookselling Without Borders, a scholarship program that diversifies the culture of reading by building bridges between the American bookselling community and the international book industry. 

Brad Simpson just joined Blackstone in 2019, having been in the publishing industry since 2001.  During that time, he has worked with public and academic libraries, schools and retail bookstores.  He’s represented several products over the years in both the content and tech spaces; and has been involved in nearly every format available under the sun including print, physical and digital audio, e-books, and large print. 

Ellen Whitfield is a senior publicist at JKS Communications. With a strong journalism background, Ellen balances her understanding of “the other side of the desk” when it comes to media pitching with a true love of an avid bibliophile. She has been part of the community of journalists in her more than seven years experience in print media with such well-respected outlets as The Dallas Morning News, and The Advocate. Her experience on the editorial side of travel, community and lifestyle sections of newspapers, social media and online media is to the benefit of authors in a variety of genres. 

Ellen Adler is the publisher of the New Press, a nonprofit public-interest book publisher with a social justice mission. Their  goal is to publish books that promote understanding and discussion of the issues that affect us all, and to provide ideas and inspiration for the activists, teachers, policy makers, and everyday citizens who are working to refresh American democracy.

Michele Misiak is a Marketing Director with Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group where her area of focus is on fiction. Michele has spent the last 20 years connecting with readers through books. The first 10 years were with Waldenbooks/Borders in Field Management, selling directly to readers.

Noelle Chew is the Marketing Director of Fiction with Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. She has been in publishing for the past 11 years, first as a publicist and now in advertising. She encourages you to check out the blog for more information on BHP titles.




This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)


Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Edelweiss+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 to be added.

A Long Petal of the Sea Shine! Almost American Girl Love Unscripted 

9781984820150 A Long Petal of the Sea 1/21/2020
"The story of the Dalmau pulls at the heart yet brings countless smiles with it. Allende's gorgeous imagery takes readers through the Spanish Civil War and the refugee experience in Chile and Venezuela. Each new decade and move creates a new set of hardships, but they always find joy hidden in the saddest parts of the human experience. A story about history, adventure, and love, A Long Petal of the Sea offers hope for the new year and future.." -- Karyn Cumming, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

9780062938558 Highfire 1/28/2020
"Just like My Father's Dragon---except the boy is a juvenile delinquent and the dragon chugs Absolut."-- Lyn Roberts, Square Books, Oxford, MS

9780062685094 Almost American Girl 1/28/2020
"If you are a fan of immigrant stories, Robin Ha's graphic memoir based on her move from Seoul, Korea, to Alabama and then Virginia is a must-read. Anyone who has inhabited the liminal space of not feeling quite American enough to fit in in the United States, but feeling too American when returning to the country of one's birth will identify with this book. " -- Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

9781984826879 Love Unscripted 2/11/2020
"A lovingly crafted grown-up coming of age tale, Love, Unscripted muses on what it means to grow into your future, and out of your youthful early years of being an adult, all while trying to figure out just what went wrong with the person you thought was your one true love. Alternating between moments which are funny, bittersweet, lovely, heartbreaking, awkward, and ultimately hopeful, all with a main character who is incredibly relatable, Love, Unscripted is a slow-burning masterpiece on how we learn to love ourselves, and someone else, and features an ending which sublimely captures the best possible tone on which to end the story which it was closing. In fact, the ending of Love, Unscripted was so utterly and phenomenally right, that I hugged the book to my chest for a solid minute after I finished it, because a novel has not made me feel so content with the story I have just embarked on, and so hopeful about life in general in a good long while, and I just wanted to hold on to that feeling for a little bit longer. Love, Unscripted is hands down one of the best books I’ve read in 2019, and one of the books I’m most looking forward to sharing with people in 2020." -- Lucy Perkins-Wagel, Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL

More bookseller reviews

Tags:  Edelweiss 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Page 4 of 60
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  >   >>   >|