Cavalier House Books co-owner and SIBA Board member John Cavalier presents "Tips for Managing an Unexpected Crisis," focusing on business strategies during COVID-19. During a time of crisis, it's vital to put a plan in place, as a thoughtful response can mean the difference between persevering and closing up shop. John talks generally and specifically about how you can work with your staff and community to craft a plan that will help you achieve your goals. He also provides a list of concrete steps you can take to build resiliency for your store's future and daily operations.
SIBA’s Virtual Office Hours on Zoom are changing beginning Monday, March 23. Instead of 2-5 PM EST on Wednesdays, we're offering daily opportunities for booksellers to connect and feel part of community. We invite you to join SIBA for lunch every weekday from 1-2 PM EST. We'll continue to host our webinars on Wednesdays (and on other days!) and are planning much more virtual communication with you during this time.
In support of your mental well-being, we are offering a six-week series, Bookseller Chill, beginning March 26 at 2 PM EST and continuing each Thursday, same time, same zoom link, till April 30. Led by psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, each session will last approximately 30 minutes and include concepts from his book: #Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life (HarperCollins, 2019), followed by what Bryan calls simple, short "MicroChiller" meditations that will help us relax and restore during this time of great uncertainty. You can read Bryan's recent post at Forbes.com: The Psychology of Uncertainty: How to Cope with COVID-19 Anxiety.The link to attend every Thursday at 2pm is: https://zoom.us/j/524919871
Cavalier House Books co-owner and SIBA Board member John Cavalier will present "Tips for Managing an Unexpected Crisis," focusing on business strategies during COVID-19. During a time of crisis, it's vital to put a plan in place, as a thoughtful response can mean the difference between persevering and closing up shop. John will talk generally and specifically about how you can work with your staff and community to craft a plan that will help you achieve your goals. He'll also provide a list of concrete steps you can take to build resiliency for your store's future and daily operations.
John and Michelle Cavalier experienced their worst year in business after a string of natural disasters culminated in the Great Louisiana Flood of 2016. During that crisis they saw widespread school closures in their area as well as a complete halt to the local economy for non-essential goods and services. They emerged even stronger as a business. Join us for this special webinar to hear how the Cavaliers are approaching the current crisis, and what steps you can take to shore up and even improve your business during this uniquely challenging time.
Bring your questions and concerns for a Q & A after the presentation.
Posted By Nicki Leone,
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Just in time for stores that are planning their Independent Bookstore DAy events, SIBA's January webinar on Organizing multistore events is now available to view. The webinar features presenters Sarah Goddin, buyer and former General Manager of Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC, and Kimberly Daniels Taws, buyer and manager of The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC will discuss their organization, The Independent Bookstores of Piedmont, NC. This organization , which represents 12 stores, offers a unique Independent Bookstore Day promotion involving a calendar featuring a store a month, with incentives to visit all 12 stores to receive a discount card and be entered into drawings.
Alsom Tom Lowenburg, co-owner of Octavia Books in New Orleans, Louisiana, discusses their local spin on the national IBD event. Because the national date conflicts with NOLA’s Jazz Fest, they’ve worked together with other New Orleans indies on a “New Orleans Independent Bookstore Day,” which takes place at a later date and encourages participation and multi-store visits with a scavenger hunt and a passport.
(Available to SIBA members only, you must be logged in to view)
Presenters Sarah Goddin, buyer and former General Manager of Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC, and Kimberly Daniels Taws, buyer and manager of The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC will discuss their organization, The Independent Bookstores of Piedmont, NC. This organization , which represents 12 stores, offers a unique Independent Bookstore Day promotion involving a calendar featuring a store a month, with incentives to visit all 12 stores to receive a discount card and be entered into drawings.
Tom Lowenburg, co-owner of Octavia Books in New Orleans, Louisiana, will discuss their local spin on the national IBD event. Because the national date conflicts with NOLA’s Jazz Fest, they’ve worked together with other New Orleans indies on a “New Orleans Independent Bookstore Day,” which takes place at a later date and encourages participation and multi-store visits with a scavenger hunt and a passport.
About our presenters:
Sarah Goddin is a buyer and former general manager of Quail Ridge Books, a 9000 square foot store in Raleigh, NC. She has been a bookseller for 40 years, starting with Waldenbooks in 1978, then opening and running her own store, Wellington's Books, in Cary, for 10 years, finally landing at Quail Ridge Books in 1996. Sarah has served on various ABA committees such as the Booksellers Advisory Council, Education and Abacus task forces, and as chair of the Spring 2017 Indies Introduce adult book selection committee.
Kimberly Daniels Taws is the manager and buyer for The Country Bookshop, a thriving bookstore located in the heart of Southern Pines, North Carolina. She’s responsible for day to day buying, management, public relations, author events, and general retail business. She’s Past President of the Southern Pines Business Association and the SIBA board.
Tom Lowenburg is co-owner, with Judith Lafitte, of Octavia Books in New Orleans, LA. He has served on the boards of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association. He is currently on the board of AMIBA, the American Independent Business Alliance.
Would you like to begin a festival in your town? It’s a lot of work, but can add another dimension and revenue stream to your bookstore, deepen your relationships with community partners, publishers, and authors, and foster a greater appreciation for reading and author interactions in your region and beyond. Listen to four veterans discuss the book festivals they initiated or partner in, and learn some great tips on how to do it right and have fun doing it.
On Wednesday, December 4 at 2PM EST, Andy Hunter, CEO and Founder of Bookshop and Sarah High, Bookseller Liaison, will discuss Bookshop, its mission, and how it will partner with independent bookstores. The session will also provide time for your questions about the program and how you can benefit. Set to launch in January 2020, Bookshop is an online bookstore with an explicit mission to help promote and financially support the brick-and-mortar bookselling community. Built in collaboration with the ABA, independent booksellers, Ingram, and some of their favorite book and magazine publishers, Bookshop will be a way for websites, authors, indie stores, magazines, and bookstagramers to easily promote and purchase the books they love online without driving sales to Amazon.
Last week SIBA hosted the B3! webinar “Bringing Used Books into the Mix for Higher Sales and Profit.” Megan Bell and Josh Niesse from Underground Books in Carrollton, GA and Hills & Hamlets in Serenbe, GA, Cathy Graham from Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, FL, Frank Reiss of A Cappella Books in Atlanta, GA, and Shane Gottwal’s from Gottwals Books (franchising nationwide as "Walls of Books") of Macon, GA and beyond presented their best tips. Because all the presenters began as used booksellers adding in new books, stores transitioning in a similar way will also find this webinar quite informative.
Josh noted the “incredible variety of approach to including used books” among the panelists. He and Megan prefer to buy book collections from private homes rather than allowing folks to bring boxes of books to the store. These bulk purchases help the unit price go down. Although he and Megan emphasize being selective, when they find aesthetically interesting but damaged books, like children’s books, they may take them off the owner’s hands for free, and then use what they can from these books to create journals, buttons, and more for sale in their stores. They hold a quarterly sidewalk sale to clear out inventory, and these days are often record sales days.
Although Cathy’s store is moving towards 70% new and 30% used, they do quite well with used books in genres like mystery and romance, and have a separate antiquarian book section. They are quite selective about what they bring in, Cathy emphasizing that “more isn’t better" and they only buy "gently-used" books. She loves the “cool factor” of beautiful and retro antiquarian books, and mentioned a growing trend in younger customers appreciating and purchasing antiquarian books.
Frank cautioned that “it’s a challenge to do both (new & used books) well.” He noted that they are very different from each other. The aesthetics and price margins for used books appeal to him, but he’s always considering the allocation of labor costs, as well has how to best merchandise them. He advised booksellers looking to add used books to “respect how much time used books can take...if you’re going to do both, then have a lot of focus.” He agreed with Cathy’s comment about younger customers being drawn to used books, saying, “Young people do seem to be getting into old books in a way that surprises me, and is gratifying.”
Shane’s buying philosophy is one of bringing in as much product as you can in categories that do well for you. His buyers are serving multiple stores and selling online, with the ability to store overstock in a warehouse, which is different from the other presenters. He suggested keeping used books separate from new books in the store, at least initially. He also believes online sales of college textbooks is a lucrative market for new stores wanting to start selling used.
Questions from attendees including paying for used books with credit and/or cash, charging for shipping, online sales and pricing, and whether adding used books undermines new book sales.
Additional resources are Cathy Graham’s tips and pitfalls when adding used books to your new book inventory, Josh and Megan’s Used Book Sorting Chart, and tipsheet on evaluating used book values, and Shane’s 2017 Winter Institute presentation on bringing used books into your inventory. All are available in our Peer Brain Trust under Working with Business Resources.
Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett,
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
B3! Webinar 11/6 at 2PM EST: Launching a Book Festival in Your Community
Would you like to begin a festival in your town? It’s a lot of work, but can add another dimension and revenue stream to your bookstore, deepen your relationships with community partners, publishers, and authors, and foster a greater appreciation for reading and author interactions in your region and beyond. Listen to four veterans discuss the book festivals they initiated or partner in, and learn some great tips on how to do it right and have fun doing it. Please rsvp firstname.lastname@example.org to attend.
Jamie Rogers Southernis the Operations Director of Bookmarks, a literary arts nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem, NC. Bookmarks' annual Festival of Books & Authors is a four-day celebration of reading and writing in Winston-Salem. Jamie oversees almost all areas of the festival, including programming, authors, working with hotels, and many other logistical elements, as well as putting together the festival’s printed program and press release.
John Evans opened Lemuria Books in 1975, a store nationally known for specializing in signed first editions, with a First Editions Club that’s been going strong for over 25 years. John is one of the founders of The Mississippi Book Festival, a nonprofit launched in August 2015 on the State Capitol grounds, which draws thousands to its annual “literary lawn party” and book lovers’ celebration.
Mitchell Kaplan founded Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida in 1982 and has since opened numerous locations including stores in Key West and the Cayman Islands. Mitchell is a co-founder of the Miami Book Fair, which now extends to eight days of events. The first Miami Book Fair took place in 1984. Since then, it has become recognized as the nation’s finest literary festival.
Catherine Bockis the adult buyer and inventory manager at Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN. She’s now the main point-person for Parnassus’ role as the official book supplier for the Southern Festival of Books. She is also in charge of book sales at the Music City Food and Wine Festival, and assists with the SCWBI’s annual conference.
Mark your calendars for Wed, October 16 at 2pm EST, to hear from four booksellers whose bookstores offer a profitable blend of new and used books. With higher profit margins and unique inventory possibilities, adding used and antiquarian books into your mix could be a way to bring in new customers, further meet the needs of existing ones, and improve your cash flow. And it can be fun! Highlighting used and collectible books on social media offers creative opportunities to share unusual jacket designs, hilariously dated subject matter, and ephemera left from a book’s previous owner. Unsaleable used inventory can be turned into journals, buttons, and literary confetti, as Underground Books has done so successfully. Join us to listen to four approaches to selling used books, and blending them into your new book inventory. Please rsvp email@example.com to attend.
More about our Presenters:
Cathy Graham is co-owner (with Serena Wyckoff) of Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, FL. They started their bookselling business 15 years ago in the garage, selling used books online. Now they have a full-service shop – almost 7 years open – and most of the books they sell are new. Cathy’s background includes teaching high school, the US Air Force, a couple of corporate sales jobs, and a Benedictine monastery. She grew up in Orlando, spent many years in Maryland, and a few in Costa Rica. Besides reading, she enjoys cooking, music, wine, cats and goats (although she doesn't have any goats at the moment).
Shane Gottwals was born and raised in Macon, GA, attending Central Fellowship Christian Academy from kindergarten until graduation. He has a B.A. in English from Mercer University, spending a portion of his college years at Oxford University in England. He met his wife, Abbey, at Mercer University. They have four children and live in Warner Robins, GA. The couple opened Gottwals Books in 2007. Shane has extensive retail experience which has helped Gottwals Books (franchising nationwide as "Walls of Books") become one of the largest used/new bookstore chains in the United States. He currently serves on the boards of Covenant Care Adoption Services, Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce, Central Fellowship Christian Academy, and Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.
Frank Reiss has been buying, selling and trading used, out-of-print and collectible books for over 35 years, first at Acorn Books in San Francisco and, since 1989, as the founder and owner of A Cappella Books in Atlanta, which has earned Hall-of-Fame status from "Atlanta Magazine" and is annually selected in "Creative Loafing's" "Best of Atlanta" issue. In the 1990s Frank served as president of the Georgia Antiquarian Booksellers Association. Since then A Cappella has focused more on new books and contemporary touring author signings, but carefully selected older books continue to shape the store's unique inventory.
Josh Niesse is the co-owner of two independent brick & mortar bookstores in west Georgia. Underground Books, opened in 2011, is an 1800 square foot bookstore that is literally underground, a few steps below street level off of the historic town square in Carrollton, Georgia, home of the University of West Georgia. Underground Books is primarily used & antiquarian, with about 20% new books. Hills & Hamlets Bookshop is a 600 square foot bookstore, dealing in about 80% new books, opened in 2016 in the progressive planned eco-community of Serenbe. Niesse co-owns both stores with his wife and fellow bookseller Megan Bell. Niesse has a bachelor's degree in philosophy and worked as a literacy tutor and bartender before becoming a bookseller.
Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC, and founder of Stress Less, a blog where she shares “tools and musings to reduce stress and increase joy,” presented her approach to “Keeping Your Expenses on a Tight Leash” in a recent SIBA webinar. The webinar was interactive throughout, with Jill asking booksellers to share about various financial topics, including financial stress, and goals.
Jill described her own journey from feeling great financial stress to getting her store’s finances on track and achieving a healthier work/life balance. She explained her path to a mindset shift and how this supported initiating positive changes in her business. Some topics covered:
Changing your attitude toward money, expenses, and profit
Sorting expenses into four “houses”: rainmaking, protection, productivity, consumption
Evaluating expenses to determine if they are achieving their goals
Involving community--employees, a working group of other business owners, your bookkeeper--in the process
Jill also offered quick wins, such as opening a new bank account and transferring 2% of every cash/check deposit into that account, and making a pruning date, by creating a repeating calendar entry “Prune My Expenses,” and allowing 3-4 hours for the process.
Life Admin for Booksellers on Wednesday, August 7 at 2PM EST
Elizabeth Emens, author of Life Admin: How I Learned to Do Less, Do Better, and Live More, spoke about her book at EUREKAsiba, and her message was spot on for many in the audience. She discussed being overwhelmed by invisible labor outside of work and writing Life Admin because this invisible labor was consuming her. Desperate to survive and help others along the way, she conducted interviews and focus groups to gather favorite tips and tricks, admin confessions, and the secrets of admin-happy households.
With a bookseller audience in mind, Emens will share how we can avoid, reduce, and redistribute life admin whenever possible. Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org to attend.
As preparation for the webinar, SIBA's B3! Book Club is currently reading Life Admin and will discuss it on Wednesday, July 10 at 2PM EST. Booksellers are welcome to join in on SIBA's office hours zoom link. Need a copy of the book? Please email email@example.com.
Elizabeth Emens is Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. She was educated at Yale and Cambridge, where she earned her PhD. She lives in New York City.
Featuring a panel of three presenters of book-centered podcasts. Annie Jones, owner of The Bookshelf and host of From the Front Porch, Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books and host of The Literary Life, and author Anne Bogel (AKA Modern Mrs. Darcy), host of What Should I Read Next? have developed very popular podcasts with a national audience. Booksellers looking to grow their store brands, reach more customers in their communities and beyond, and maybe even sell more books, will learn much listening to these experts share their best tips.
The discussion ranged from the very basic ("how I got started") to the more technical -- how long should a podcast be? (30 minutes to an hour for a long podcast, 7-10 minutes for short form). How much time does an episode take to produce? (Ann Bogel says it takes 2 hours to produce a seven minute show, 10-15 hours to produce a 1 hour show) Should you have a separate website for your podcast? (Yes! says Annie Jones), Do you hire production staff? ("Yes," says Mitchell Kaplan. "Absolutely," says Anne Bogel. "Well, eventually," says Annie Jones, "but I still learned how to do it on my own so I wouldn't be stuck if he moved on.") -- to the completely geeky: software and microphones, podcast hosting and broadcasting issues.
On Wednesday, June 26 at 2PM EST, SIBA is hosting “Fall Fiction” 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 will discover new titles to add to their store shelves and earn 10 B3! points. The following industry folks will present: Eric Svenson, sales representative for HarperCollins, Bob Werber, sales representative for IPS, Gavin Grant, publisher of Small Beer Press, and Doni Kay, sales representative for Penguin Young Readers. Please rsvp firstname.lastname@example.org to attend.
More info on our presenters:
Eric Svenson is the Southeast regional field sales representative for HarperCollins Publishers. He is the son of independent bookseller parents, a second generation publishers rep, and has traveled the South promoting books & reading for 30 years. He became a legend at the Discovery Show's "Rep Picks" events, breaking the fourth wall and walking out into the audience to support the books and authors he loves.
Bob Werber recently took over the IPS territory in the South (including PGW, IPS, and Two Rivers/Ingram Academic). He has been in the territory for the last 13 years with Dover and then Barrons; prior to that he worked in the Midwest and West, primarily with Random House. Bob was also on the founding staff of Third Place Books in Seattle. Bob’s reading interests are quite varied but he is partial to literary fiction, regional, and nature writing—as well as non-fiction, especially history, politics, and sports.
Gavin J. Grant is the publisher of Small Beer Press, an independent press based in Massachusetts, whose books have been awarded the Philip K. Dick, Shirley Jackson, Hugo, and Locus Awards, as well as selected as the best of the year by NPR, Time Magazine, Salon, Booklist, Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Grant has worked in bookshops in Los Angeles and Boston and for the ABA's BookSense.com. Since 1996 he has (with Kelly Link) edited and published Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, a twice-yearly small press zine. Grant and Link have also co-edited eight anthologies together.
He lives with his family in Northampton, MA.
Doni Kay started her career in bookselling with Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida in 1990. She was the children’s book buyer and ran the kid’s room, and also the bookfair division for 12 years. In 2002, thanks to Penguin Adult rep, Dave Kliegman, who told Doni that Penguin was looking for a kid’s rep in the Carolinas, she applied and was hired by Penguin Young Readers to cover the southeastern states! She has been in heaven ever since, doing what she loves most……putting books in kids’ hands and hearts.
Jill Hendrix, Owner of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC is highly respected for her bookselling business acumen. She'll discuss how every expense needs to tell you a story about how it fits into your business. Paying for Trello Gold or When I Work are productivity expenses, meant to let you do the same amount of work in less time. Your rent and most of your staffing expenses are hopefully bringing you direct income and thus are "rainmaking" expenses. Learn to catalog, analyze, and reduce your expenses in this interactive webinar.
Jill Hendrix grew up in Greenville and graduated from Yale University. She worked briefly in the Editorial Department of St. Martin's Press and then for a series of internet startups in New York City, including Juno Online Services. The startup bug proved contagious and she decided in 2001 to return home and open her own business, Fiction Addiction, which she has managed ever since.
In 2009, she launched the successful Book Your Lunch author event program, which has brought bestselling authors like Elin Hilderbrand and Dorothea Benton Frank to Greenville and introduced readers to debut novelists like Beth Hoffman. She has served as the Treasurer of the South Carolina Academy of Authors and as the president of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.
Posted By Nicki Leone,
Monday, April 29, 2019
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2019
With BookExpo on the horizon, now is the time for bookstores to be prepping to make the most of their trip. A little time spent now getting your ducks in a row will not only save you many headaches when you get to the show, it will also allow you to concentrate on your priorities and goals and make the most of the time you have with publisher reps and publicists.
Last year, SIBA hosted a couple webinars with Maribeth Pelly on preparing store press kits and the art of pitching your store to publicists. Here's a link to the recorded webinars (you'll need to log in to view):
A Template and Checklist is also available at the above link,
Now is the time to update those press kits you worked so hard on last year:
Add in the events you've hosted since last spring
Include links or quotes from any news featuring your store
Double check your community resources and spaces to make sure the information is up to date.
Make sure your contact information is up to date, especially for specific staff contacts like event coordinators and buyers.
Last week’s B3! Webinar “Publisher Picks: Summer Reading for Kids” was a big success, notable for the diversity of titles presented, and the range of reading levels, from board books to YA. Michelle Cavalier of Cavalier House Books was thrilled with the selection, commenting, “I love that the focus here was on small presses!! Also, love that one of the books highlighted was a bilingual title - I feel like we are seeing more and more of these every season and they work SO WELL for us. Not only do they speak to our mission of inclusivity and making all feel welcome in our shop but our teacher and librarian partners go crazy for them as there is a definite need for these in our schools! Honestly, I appreciate the diversity of the entire list, just wanted to highlight that fact. :)” A big thank you to presenters Nadia Almahdi of Little Bee Books, John D’Esposito of IPG, Catherine Onder of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Becky Monds of HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
Cindy Dach's "Time Management 101 for Booksellers"
Booksellers all across SIBA territory attended Cindy Dach’s “Time Management 101 for Booksellers B3! Webinar.” Cindy Dach is the co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstores and First Draft Bookbar in Tempe and Phoenix, Arizona. In her presentation, she shared techniques for time management, planning, and organizing daily tasks, all with an eye toward completing big-picture projects. She voiced a frustration common to many retail managers and store owners--books on time management and organization don’t address well the needs of frontline retail businesses, in which constant interruption, schedule juggling, and time-lining numerous programs from procedures manuals to bookfairs are common challenges. She did her own research and found tools that worked for her, her stores, and her employees. As she shared these tools with webinar attendees, she emphasized that everyone has to find what works for them, as no one tool works well for everyone or every store. In her stores she’s had to change tack from time to time when it became obvious that some personality types weren’t able to make good use of internal communication platforms or organizational tools. She’s also worked with employees to help them adjust to necessary changes and then witnessed their productivity and work/life balance increase dramatically. For those who missed out on Cindy’s presentation, or want to see it again and take more notes, here’s a link to view.
B3! Webinar: How to develop, grow, and run a successful podcast
Join us on Wednesday, May 8 at 2PM to listen to three presenters of book-centered podcasts. Annie Jones, owner of The Bookshelf and host of From the Front Porch, Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books and host of The Literary Life, and author Anne Bogel (AKA Modern Mrs. Darcy), host of What Should I Read Next? have developed very popular podcasts with a national audience. Booksellers looking to grow their store brands, reach more customers in their communities and beyond, and maybe even sell more books, will learn much listening to these experts share their best tips. Please RSVP email@example.com to attend.
Meet our presenters:
Annie Jones began living her Kathleen Kelly-dream in 2013, when she took over operations of The Bookshelf in downtown Thomasville, Georgia. Annie adores leading story time for local little ones and acting as the shop's very own Nancy Drew, determined to find just the right book for just the right person. Annie also co-hosts From the Front Porch, The Bookshelf's popular weekly podcast about books, small business, and life in the South. From the Front Porch hit its one millionth download in February 2019, and together, Annie and her co-host Chris have produced over 200 episodes. In 2016, Annie was featured as one of Southern Living magazine's 50 innovators changing the South, and in 2017, The Bookshelf was recognized as Small Business of the Year by the Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce.
Anne Bogel is the creator of the very popular blog Modern Mrs. Darcy. Her book lists and reading guides have established her as a tastemaker among readers, authors, and publishers. Books are the foundation of her site, which has been affectionately dubbed “a lifestyle blog for nerds.” She’s the author of I’d Rather be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life and Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything. Her weekly podcast, What Should I Read Next? is devoted to book talk, reading recommendations, and literary matchmaking. She’s based in Louisville, Kentucky.
Mitchell Kaplan founded Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida in 1982 and has since opened numerous locations including stores in Key West and the Cayman Islands. Books & Books was named Bookstore of the Year in 2015 by Publishers’ Weekly. Mitchell is a co-founder of the Miami Book Fair, the former President of the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and served on the Board of ABFFE, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. In 2011, Mitchell received the National Book Foundation’s prestigious “Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community” His podcast The Literary Life features candid conversations with Mitchell and his guests.
On Wednesday, April 10 at 2PM EST, SIBA is hosting “Summer Reading for Kids” 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 will discover new titles to add to their store shelves and earn 10 B3! points. The following industry folks will present on 4/10: Becky Monds, the Editorial Director for the fiction department at HarperCollins Christian Publishing, John D’Esposito, an Inside Sales Representative with IPG, Nadia Almahdi, the marketing manager at Little Bee Books, and Catherine Onder, Senior Vice President and Publisher of the Books for Young Readers group with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
More information on our presenters:
Becky Monds is the Editorial Director for the fiction department at HarperCollins Christian Publishing. After working as an events coordinator and marketing manager at an independent bookstore in Nashville, she joined Thomas Nelson in 2007 as an editor in Fiction. She loves spending time with her husband and twin preschoolers, knitting, waterskiing, and, of course, reading great fiction.
John D’Esposito joined the IPG team in November 2018 as an Inside Sales Representative – a role created to strengthen the company’s relationship with booksellers in the Southeast. A New York native, he has worked in publishing for the past 8 years, most recently in foreign rights at both HarperCollins and Trident Media Group. His favorite authors include Donna Tartt, Lauren Groff, Ned Vizzini, and Karen Russell.
Nadia Almahdi is the marketing manager at Little Bee Books. After working at Scholastic and Book of the Month, she joined the Little Bee team in December 2017, overseeing marketing for children’s books across the Little Bee, BuzzPop, and Yellow Jacket imprints. She loves getting to work on different book formats and helping to instill the love of reading in kids of all ages. In her free time, she enjoys baking, travel, and reading.
Catherine Onder is Senior Vice President and Publisher of the Books for Young Readers group. In addition to overseeing HMH’s children’s publishing, she edits such authors as Erin Bow, Ally Carter, and Traci Chee.
The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is a trade association which represents hundreds of bookstores and thousands of booksellers in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and Mississippi.
SIBA exists to empower, promote, and celebrate our core member bookstores in a spirit of partnership. "Core members" are independent, privately held, brick and mortar, commercially zoned bookstores with a retail storefront, in our region.