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Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, October 3, 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.

Roll with It Get a Life, Chloe Brown Reputation Blitzed 

9781534442559 Roll with It 10/1/2019
"Ellie's voice makes this book un-put-down-able. She is complex, refreshingly honest, and sassy. She doesn't sugarcoat her experiences in a wheelchair or with cerebral palsy, and she is defined by those experiences either. Every person needs to read this book." -- Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

9780062941206 Get a Life, Chloe Brown 11/5/2019
"Get a Life, Chloe Brown is one of the best romances of the year. The humor and wit are spot on, and the romance will make your heart ache and your cheeks blush. Word of advice: don't read this in public - you'll be completely swept into Chloe Brown and Red's tempting romance and be blind to the world around you. If you're looking for a fun and flirty romance that will make you laugh and tug on your heartstrings, then Get a Life, Chloe Brown is the one for you!"-- Gennifer Eccles, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

9781524742904 Reputation 12/3/2019
"Elite Aldrich University is mired in controversy when a hacker releases the contents of every single person's email who is connected to the university. Many scandals come to light, but after Kit finds her husband Greg, who has a scandal of his own, dead in their kitchen, the action ramps up to an entirely new level.Shepard's books have so many plot twists, the reader is likely to suffer literary whiplash...and enjoy every minute of it. You'll suspect everyone in Reputation. And you just might be right." -- Jennifer Jones, The Bookmiser, Roswell, GA

9780451491992 Blitzed 12/3/2019
"This was another cute romantic comedy by Alexa Martin! I loved the inter-racial relationship and the world that Alexa Martin has created in this series. I also couldn't stop laughing at the way Brynn and her friends, the wives and girlfriends of the Denver Mustangs, interacted with one another. Not only was this an entertaining romance, it also was a great book of female empowerment of a woman owning her own business and also have strong supportive friends in her circle. Alexa Martin continues to write books that keeps me hooked! " -- Deanna Bailey, Story on the Square, McDonough, GA

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2019 Fall Okra Picks

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Announcing the 2019 Fall Okra Picks

Okra Picks(Asheville, NC) –Southern indie booksellers have announced their 2019 Fall Okra Picks, a fresh harvest of great Southern books, Southern voices, and Southern stories hand picked by Southern independent booksellers. The Fall Okra Picks release in October, November, and December, and every book on the list has a Southern bookseller ready to put it in the hands of readers with that most exciting phrase in the English language, “You’ve got to read this!

Southern independent bookstores – we grow good books!

2019 Fall Okra Picks Edelweiss Collection

10 Blind DatesWatershedOrpheus Girl How We Fight For Our LivesThe Giver of StarsLifestyles of Gods and Monsters

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
Disney-Hyperion, October 2019

Watershed by Mark Barr
Hub City Press, October 2019

Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry
Soho Teen, October 2019

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones
Simon & Schuster, October 2019

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Pamela Dorman Books, October 2019

Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 2019

Holding On to NothingTell Me a StoryNothing to See HereThe Name of All ThingsWatch What You SayThe RevisionersThe Bromance Book Club

Holding on to Nothing by Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne
Blair, October 2019

Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat Conroy by Cassandra King Conroy
William Morrow & Company, October 2019

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
Ecco Press, October 2019

The Name of All Things by Jenn Lyons
Tor Books, November 2019

Watch What You Say by George Weinstein
Sfk Press, November 2019

The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Counterpoint LLC, November 2019

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Berkley Books, November 2019

Find more information about the Okra Picks at

Tags:  okra picks 

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New "Shop South” Opportunity for SIBA Members!

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Monday, September 30, 2019

New "Shop South” Opportunity for SIBA Members!

SIBA and Matchbook Marketing are collaborating to offer a new website promotional program to highlight SIBA book prize winners. Matchbook Marketing will work with booksellers to incorporate these book prize promotions into their websites, and where possible, link them to online sales pages. The prize lists include the Southern Book Prize, Circle of Sites/Lady Banks, Okra Picks, Southern Indie Bestsellers List, and the Pat Conroy Legacy.

Once stores sign on to the program, the Shop South lists will be updated on their sites automatically. 
Cost of the Program: $80 setup (this will be offset with 8,000 B3 SIBA points, which can be exchanged for SIBA dues, meal tickets to the SIBA Discovery Show, and even free travel and hotel accommodations) + $40/month maintenance. All participating booksellers will be required to have an active SIBA membership. 
If you would like more website support (maintaining store specific content or website redesign), Matchbook Marketing is offering two additional program tiers as part of the Shop South promotion. Contact for more information or for samples of website mockups that illustrate what the promotion would look like on your site.
To sign up, simply email Gwyn Ridenhour at Once 10 stores have signed on, Matchbook will launch the program.

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Who gets a bonus?

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Friday, September 27, 2019

Take Note: October 12 Deadline for James Patterson’s Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program

Booksellers, publishing professionals, authors, and bookstore customers are encouraged to nominate any current indie bookstore employee of an ABA member store to receive a bonus as part of author James Patterson’s 2019 Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program. This year’s campaign is open to all U.S. independent bookstore employees through October 12.

James Patterson logoPatterson is pledging a personal contribution of $250,000 to independent bookstore employees, which will be granted in amounts of $500 bonuses to 500 individual booksellers. New this year, 100 of the bonuses will be set aside for children’s booksellers. 

To help booksellers promote the program, here are a variety of social media posts that can be adapted for use (Patterson’s social media handles are @JamesPatterson on Facebook; @JP_Books on Twitter; and @jamespattersonbooks on Instagram).

All past recipients of Patterson grants are eligible, and booksellers can self-nominate. Bonuses will be distributed in December 2019. In all cases, the vetting process will include obtaining approval from the bookstore employee and store in question to confirm current employment.

The grant application asks one simple question: “Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?” Patterson will select winners from bookstores all across the country to receive bonuses this holiday season.

Learn more about the program here.

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Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, September 26, 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.

Imaginary Friend The Beautiful The Gallows Pole Nothing to See Here 

9781538731338 Imaginary Friend 10/1/2019
"Immediately compelling, Imaginary Friend has the grip of those timeless cautionary tales, but related through a child's genuine sense of wonder and apprehension. Real-deal darkness, just peaking around the edges of the rich prose and Mayberry-esque setting.." -- Jilleen Moore, Square Books, Oxford, MS

9781524738174 The Beautiful 10/8/2019
"Ahdieh sets her gritty underworld in the perfect environment of New Orleans in the late 19th century. It's dark and dramatic and filled with intense passion. Ahdieh drew me in and left me so frustrated. I need the next book. NOW. This is the YA fantasy you need in your life right now."-- Miriam Meeks, E Shaver, bookseller, Savannah, GA

9780997457858 The Gallows Pole 10/15/2019
"A grimy, visceral historical crime novel with prose that feel like they were written with a sledge hammer. Entertaining, yes, but with plenty to say about power and class." -- Justin Souther, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC

9780062913463 Nothing to See Here 10/29/2019
"I don't think I've read something so absurd and equally endearing ever before in my life. Kevin Wilson serves us a tale spun around heartbreak, what it means to be family, and honest to God unconditional love. When Lillian's childhood friend, Madison, calls her with a job to be the governess to her step-children, the deal sounds too good to be true. But once Lillian meets Bessie and Roland, she learns exactly what her job is: keep the kids from catching on fire, at (quite literally) all costs. The sweetness of this story is fragrant with smoke and sweet tea, and Wilson leaves the reader feeling completely satisfied and fulfilled by the entirety of Lillian's story involving this twisted and fantastical family." -- Delany Holcomb, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

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Tags:  Edelweiss 

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Heads or Tails, every bookseller wins!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, September 25, 2019

BincAnyone who has attended a regional trade show or the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute or Children's Institute has had the chance to play "Heads or Tails" -- the popular game/fundraiser the last person standing takes home a $500 prize. If you haven't played, you have at least watched, smiling as your colleagues, adorned with flashing pins, tried to decide whether to put their hands on their heads ("heads") or their rears ("tails"). A coin is flipped, heads or tails is called, and pins are turned off as players guess wrong. Every pin represents a $20 donation to Binc. The more pins a player is wearing, the longer they can stay in the game, but eventually only one person is left, still blinking.

At the SIBA Discovery Show the Binc Heads or Tails Fundraiser is one of the last events of the show -- held on the exhibit floor amid a general air of hilarity as booksellers, exhibitors, and even authors ham it up trying to stay on their feet until the end. The event has proved so popular -- and is for such a good cause -- that many authors in the show program who can't stay for the whole weekend arrange for proxys to stand in for them so they can still play. The lucky winner of this year's contest was Rebecca Kauffman, author of The House on Fripp Island, due out in June of 2020.

The fundraiser, which was sponsored by SIBA, raised approximately $3500.

So what, exactly, were all those folks doing by wearing flashy pins and patting their heads?

They were helping SIBA booksellers in need.

"Within 24 hours, Kit called to report that Binc was stepping in to assist with several months of rent payments. What a godsend. It was like I could breathe again." -- Jamie Anderson, Downtown Books & Duck's Cottage, Outer Banks, NC, after Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael

Binc exists to be a safety net for booksellers facing a financial crisis. This has special significance for bookstores in SIBA territory, which face severe natural disasters and weather events with increasing rapidity. Rarely does the South make it through a hurricane season without some of our stores being affected -- by flooding, building damage, lost inventory, lost work, lost wages. Here is what Binc has done for SIBA booksellers since 2014:

  • Bookstore Disaster Recovery: 2 grants for a total of $12,073
  • Disaster Relief: 2 grants for a total of $7,975
  • Financial Assistance: 27 grants for a total of $62,678
  • Matching Grants: 5 grants fora total of $10,000

All in all, Binc has provided more than $92,000 in aid to Southern bookstores in the last five years. They have helped booksellers pay their rent, keep the lights on, meet serious medical expenses, and provide immediate disaster assistance.

That means if you have ever played "Heads or Tails" with Binc and didn't win, you still won. Your contribution has strengthened the bookselling community by directly benefiting its booksellers.

Tags:  binc 

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What’s on Lady Banks’ Bookshelf in October?

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, September 25, 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!

Link to the Edelweiss Collection

October Titles:

The Moonshiner's Daughter by Donna Everhart 

Meander Belt: Family, Loss, and Coming of Age in the Working-Class South by M. Randal O’Wain

Angel Mage by Garth Nix

Holding On To Nothing by Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne

Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children edited by Kath Shackleton

Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Jake Gaither, Florida A & M, and the History of Black College Football by Derrick E. White



Tags:  lady banks bookshelf 

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Finding My Tribe in the Bookselling World

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, September 24, 2019

By Andrea Richardson, Bookseller/Assistant Buyer at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA.

I had a wonderful time at #SIBA19 - the best part was meeting and connecting with fellow booksellers and authors, as well as our publishing reps that I hadn't been able to put a face to before SIBA. Another highlight of my time in SC (and I don't think I'm alone in this) was the lunch with Julie Murphy, Charlaine Harris, Akilah Hughes, Kim Jones, and Gilly Segal. They were so much fun and I am loving all of their books! I also really enjoyed the handselling seminar, where I learned several valuable tips that I'm excited to try out during my store shifts. I really feel like I've found my tribe in the bookselling world and I could not be happier to continue my journey in this amazing business! I am so grateful that I won a scholarship and can't wait to attend more events. Thanks to SIBA, ABA, Wanda, and everyone else that put together this event!

Tags:  #siba19 

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SIBA Time is Always One of My Favorite Times of the Year

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, September 24, 2019

By Carl Kranz, Operations Manager at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA.

SIBA time is always one of my favorite times of the year, and in need of a bit of a motivator this year, the Discovery Show stepped up bigtime. Right off the bat, I was in with my runnin’ buddies, and just seeing colleagues who have become some of my good friends for the first time in a while was rejuvenating in and of itself. But there’s always more people to meet and more work to be done. A full schedule of panels and education sessions filled Friday and highlights for me included discussion on Independent Bookstore Day, returns, and updates Ingram has been working to benefit booksellers through iPage, as well as a panel on nonfiction (which I love).

The main difference though between this year and past years was that I seemed to take a more philosophical approach to learning about bookselling. This is harder to put a price on but is just as important as the analytical tools we work on. Both through the inspirational programming as well as conversations I had up and down the trade show floor, there seemed to be a theme with me about my purpose as a bookseller. How to use my influence to make my community better and then grow that influence. Two events stick out in this regard. The conversation between Sharon Robinson and Peggy Wallace Kennedy about the legacy of their fathers and coming to terms with those legacies and finding their own voices in it all, to promote racial healing and reconciliation. There was also Wiley Cash’s speech at dinner on Friday night where he accepted the 2020 Pat Conroy Legacy Award. Cash spoke about how the right thing is typically the hard thing. We need to pull others up with us if we expect to get anywhere.

But it was also so much FUN, which we all need to stay inspired. The kickoff lunch on Friday with Julie Murphy, Akilah Hughes, Charlaine Harris, Kimberly Jones, and Gilly Segal was probably the most entertaining author meal I’ve ever been witness to. My face hurt from laughing so much! Every night went late for me, drinks with friends, passionate conversations, I couldn’t help but be inspired by my colleagues. I also can’t thank Hub City Press enough for playing wonderful hosts and their party on Saturday night was one I’ll always remember, so many people we had to spill out onto the sidewalk. Ending the show with the Moveable Feast, I met a number of authors that I felt a connection to and I can’t wait to read their books. It was a very proper sendoff. I was sad to leave but felt like I had lived an entire month in one weekend. Out of the three years I’ve been to the SIBA Discovery Show, this was easily the best experience I’ve had. The energy was vibrant and infectious and put a lot of life back into me as a bookseller.




Tags:  #siba19 

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Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, September 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 World We Knew I Can Make This Purpoe The BeautifulGumbo Murder he Sacrament 

9781501137570 The World That We Knew 9/24/2019
"An achingly gorgeous piece of work. Alice Hoffman takes the tired genre of WWII historical fiction and enlivens it with mysticism and spirituality. I wept, but more from the beauty of it all than from the gut-wrenching sadness." -- Lucy Stoltzfus, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

9780062871992 I Can Make This Promise 10/1/2019
"This book has everything adult books have, only made chewable for middle graders. I loved it. The main character develops in the normal, healthy way a middle schooler would, as she gets to know more about her family and elders, loses a friend, grows her talent, and gets braces. The trust she has with her parents is shaken, but their relationship remains respectful, so that young readers are taught how to navigate growing up in a way that honors their parents. The brilliance of this book, though, is the mysterious family history that Edith uncovers, a topic that I knew nothing about. I learned so much reading this, and I think any kid would enjoy learning more about the Native American history in America, too. Overall, my new standard for middle grade literature. "-- Maria Sivils, M. Judson, booksellers and storytellers, Greenville, SC

9781524738174 The Beautiful 10/8/2019
"I’m left with so many questions, but mostly when can I get my hands on the next book? Yes, vampires have been done before and yes, vampires in New Orleans have been done before. This book managed to not feel tired though. Renee’s characters are well-written and the story is lush. " -- Melissa Taylor, E. Shaver, booksellers, Savannah, GA

9780062899873 The Sacrament 12/3/2019
"A thoughtful, atmospheric, and quietly intense novel about how choices have effects that must be felt our whole lives and how we grapple with them. I loved settling in with this novel." -- Catherine Bock, Parnassus Books, Nashvillel, TN

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