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Would you like to host a gathering during our March Madness Bookseller Series?

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, October 29, 2019

In 2020, we're transforming our SIBA in the Springtime (SITS) into the March Madness Bookseller Series (MMBS). Might we add another acronym, CYOA, as booksellers may decide to attend multiple events, depending on programming and proximity to host stores.

 

SIBA’s goal is to have gatherings within 2-3 hours driving distance of all member stores. These one-day gatherings will take place between March 9-20, and run from 10am-3pm with an author luncheon. Morning and afternoon programming will focus on education. 


Would you like your store to be considered as a host store? If so, what kind of educational programming would you want to present to visiting booksellers? What is your store doing really well that you'd like to show off to inspire others? We’d love to hear from you!


Please email lindamarie@sibaweb.com  if you’re interested and we'll see what we can work out!

Tags:  bookseller education  MMBS  SITS 

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Recap and Resources from the B3! Webinar “Bringing Used Books into the Mix for Higher Sales and Profit."

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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. 


Link to view the webinar.

(you must log in to view)

 

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.

Tags:  b3! webinars  Bookseller education  Used books 

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New for 2020: Resource Roundtables on Zoom!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, October 16, 2019

SIBA booksellers share that talking shop with other booksellers, discussing what’s going well, or not, at their stores, makes a big, positive, difference. Conversations can spark a new approach to author events, the creation of a press kit, a reexamination of training practices, the decision to switch to another POS system, or maybe a road trip to visit other bookstores and be inspired.

 

Beginning in 2020, we’re extending the resource roundtable experience we offer at our Discovery Show into a monthly event on zoom. These zoom events will offer a face-to-face opportunity to discuss areas in your business, peer-to-peer, that you’d like some feedback on, or wish to share success stories about, with your colleagues. 


What subjects would you like to see as topics for roundtable discussion? Would you like to be one of the hosts for a particular discussion? Please email lindamarie@sibaweb.com and let’s talk!

Tags:  Bookseller education 

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Friday's Education Sessions at #SIBA19

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, September 6, 2019

One of the highlights for many booksellers at our Discovery Show is the Education Track. Booksellers and industry experts share their best practices, with room for Q & A to address individual store concerns. This year offers a rich variety of sessions of interest to buyers, owners and managers, and frontline booksellers. Because you can’t be everywhere at the same time, we’re recording many of them for later viewing. Handouts will be available through our Peer Brain Trust after the show.


Here are Education Sessions on Friday to attend or check out later:


9AM: Ingram Insights

Join Ingram as they take a deep dive into their exclusive indie programs, like Booklove and Indie Vault, and explore their latest ipage features. Learn more about the hottest titles from their distribution partners, and also learn how to self-publish like a pro from the Ingram Spark team. 


9AM: Are you working "on" your business or just working "in" it? 

(For owners and managers/Advanced session). 

Whether you have employees or not, the only way to reliably grow your business is to develop systems that let you slowly free up your time from working "in" your business to working "on" it. Systems range from simple documentation so you can delegate work to productivity tools to automation technologies. Led by Shane Gottwals, owner of Gottwals Books, and Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction


10AM:  Independent Bookstore Day: Celebrate with Success

(IBD) has grown from a handful of bookstores in California to a national celebration involving over 575 stores and, in some cases, city wide celebrations. Participating bookstores see an increase in sales, increased foot traffic and increased brand awareness. This session will offer attendees an overview of the program and tips from booksellers who have figured out how to make the most of IBD. Panelists will offer information on how to order and make the most of the IBD exclusive merchandise; how to organize and publicize your store's party to bring people into your store; and how to use social media strategically to increase sales and community participation. Join ABA staff and IBD superstars for this not to be missed conversation.


11AM:  Rewarding Returns

Keep your inventory fresh, your shipping costs down, and your credits flowing with best practices in your returns department. Learn from two veteran booksellers on their successful approaches, and from a publisher rep who will discuss returns from the publisher perspective. Panelists are Doug Robinson, co-owner of Eagle Eye Book Shop, Donna Paz Kaufman, partner of The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates, and co-owner of Story and Song Bookstore, and Leslie Jobson, Manager of Field Sales at the Ingram Content Group


4PM: The Art of the Pitch – Handselling Books to Customers

Listening to customers, discerning their needs, and suggesting the best match is an art form that, when mastered, results in bigger and better sales. As we head into the biggest retail season of the year, what better time to listen to these veterans share their tips and tricks to profitably connect with your customers? This session is for new booksellers learning the ropes, and veterans who seek a fresh look at handselling. Panelists are Doni Kay, sales representative at Penguin Young Readers, Angie Tally, children’s buyer at The Country Bookshop, and Pete Mock, book buyer at McIntyre’s Books.


4PM: Romancing the Indie Bookstore

Panelists will discuss how independent bookstores can bring in new readers and engage current readers in a new way through new or expanded romance sections. The growing diversity of romance novels and the way they are packaged in trade paperback format and marketed to appeal to both a younger and broader audience creates an opportunity for independent bookstores. Panelists are Cindy Hwang, Vice President and Editorial Director (PRH), Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore, and Erin Galloway, Deputy Publicity Director (PRH).

Tags:  #si  Bookseller education 

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Publisher Picks: Fall Fiction

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, April 29, 2019

 

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 lindamarie@sibaweb.com 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.

 

    

Tags:  B3! Webinars  Bookseller education  buy  Publisher Picks 

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B3! Webinar: Keeping Your Expenses on a Tight Leash

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, April 29, 2019

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.


Please rsvp lindamarie@sibaweb.com to attend the webinar.


Tags:  B3! Webinars  Bookseller education  Finance  Jill Hendrix 

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Share Your Smarts with SIBA Booksellers!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Booksellers, authors, and other publishing industry colleagues sharing their best practices, creative insights, and life hacks is what makes SIBA's educational programming so valuable to members. If you'd like to be part of our educational programming at the #SIBA19 Discovery Show September 13-15 in Spartanburg, SC, we welcome your proposals. Although we can't guarantee your proposal will be selected for this event, it may be considered for future programming.  Please fill out this form and we'll be in touch. Thank you so much for your time and interest!

  

Tags:  Bookseller education  Discovery Show  eurekasiba 

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Based on a True Story: Fiction, Memoir, and Authenticity​, a EUREKAsiba talk by Erica ​Witsell

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Based on a True Story: Fiction, Memoir, and Authenticity, a EUREKAsiba talk by Erica Witsell


Where is the border between autofiction and memoir? Who has the right to tell which stories? Erica Witsell will discuss the limitations and freedoms of both genres, the works that inspired her, and her own novel’s transformation from memoir to fiction. She will also explore the question of authenticity in the age of identity politics and sectionality.


Witsell’s talk is part of SIBA in the Springtime (SITS) & EUREKAsiba, a program of bookseller education in an intimate format, designed to emphasize creative and innovative solutions to running a business. SITS takes place Monday, March 18 –Wednesday, March 20, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta Airport. Here’s a link to REGISTER!


Erica Witsell is the author of the novel Give, the story of one family’s troubled quest to redeem the mistakes of the past, and a testament to the bonds of sisterhood. Ron Rash praises, “Give is a striking, often unflinching, depiction of a doomed marriage and its enduring consequences. Erica Witsell is a very talented writer and her debut should garner a wide and appreciative audience."

Tags:  Bookseller education  eurekasiba  SITS 

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Share Your Great Idea from WI14!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Share Your Great Ideas from WI14!

Many SIBA booksellers attended Winter Institute 14 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, participating in educational programming, author events and dinners, and networking forums. It was wonderful for SIBA staff to see familiar faces and check in on how things are going in your stores. We’d love you to share one (or more!) great idea or insight you gained from the WI experience. Is this something you’ll bring to your author events, your HR, your buying, or another area of your business, like tech tools for communicating with staff, working with publishers, or negotiating with your landlord? Please share your ideas with lindamarie@sibaweb.com and we’ll compile all your great ideas into a future article in our newsletter, so that all SIBA booksellers can benefit and explore what might improve their stores. When possible, we’ll also build in education in our webinars and in-person events to bring more attention to topics of interest to you. Thank you for your help sharing knowledge!

Tags:  bookseller education  winter institute 

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Small Presses Present Their Spring & Summer Lists

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Small Presses Present Their Spring & Summer Lists

 

On Wednesday, Feb 20 at 2PM EST, SIBA is hosting “Small Presses Present their Spring & 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 will discover new titles to add to their store shelves and earn 10 B3! points. The following industry folks will present on 2/20: Michael Reynolds, Editor in chief of independent publisher, Europa Editions, Carin Siegfried, the Mid-Atlantic field sales representative at Macmillan, Emily Midkiff, editorial assistant and marketing director at Month9Books, Meg Reid, Director of Hub City Press, and Lynn York, publisher of Blair. Please RSVP lindamarie@sibaweb.com to attend.

 

Edelweiss collection of presented titles


More information on our presenters:


Michael Reynolds is the Editor in chief of independent publisher, Europa Editions. He is the recipient of numerous industry awards, and has served on the jury for the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, the Gutekunst Prize for Young Translators, and the foreign jury of the Strega Prize. He is a regular speaker at the Columbia School of Journalism’s Columbia Publishing Course, and at publishing and translation conferences in America and internationally. He is 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. He is also an author and a translator whose published translations include three historical mysteries by Carlo Lucarelli, and Viola Di Grado’s prize-winning novel, 70% Acrylic 30% Wool.


Carin Siegfried began working with books at the ripe old age of 17 with her college job in the Davidson College campus library and her summer job at the Vanderbilt University Bookstore. After graduation, she worked at Bookstar (a B&N), as a bookseller and shipping & receiving supervisor. She next moved to Ingram Book Company as a junior buyer and then decided to pursue work as an editor in New York. After five years in editorial at St. Martin’s Press, Carin got a job in sales at Baker & Taylor. After that, she worked as a freelance editor until she could move back to the New York area as the sales manager for Soho Press. She founded the Charlotte chapter of the Women's National Book Association and has served as the National President of the WNBA. She is currently the Mid-Atlantic field sales representative at Macmillan and lives in Montclair, New Jersey.


Emily Midkiff loves reading so much so that she got a PhD in children’s and YA literature. You don’t have to call her Dr. Midkiff, though. She just did it for the books! Emily especially adores fantasy and science fiction storytelling. She was a professional princess at a children’s theater for nine years, cosplays at fan conventions, and makes appearances at every available Renaissance Faire to fool everyone with her trusty goat puppet. At Month9Books, Emily applies her love of story to the roles of editorial assistant and marketing director.

 

Meg Reid is the Director of Hub City Press in Spartanburg, South Carolina. A book designer and editor, she also writes extensively about all areas of design. She holds an MFA in Nonfiction from University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she served as Assistant Editor of the literary magazine, Ecotone, and worked for the literary imprint Lookout Books.


Lynn York is the Publisher of Blair. In January 2018, the nonprofit Carolina Wren Press acquired the titles of John F. Blair, Publisher. The resulting press, based in Durham, NC, is named Blair. She is the author of two novels:  The Piano Teacher (Plume, 2004) and The Sweet Life (Plume, 2007), a Booksense Notable Book.  She holds a BA in English from Duke and an MBA/MA from University of TX Austin. She has taught workshops at Duke’s Osher Institute, NC State University, High Point University, and elsewhere. She has served on the Board of Directors of the NC Arts Council, the NC Art Society, and Carolina Wren Press.

    

Tags:  B3! Webinars  Bookseller education 

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