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SIBA Installs Two New Directors to the Board of Directors at #SIBA18

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, August 27, 2018

SIBA Installs Two New Directors to the Board of Directors at #SIBA18

SIBA is pleased to announce the addition of two new board members to the SIBA Board whose terms begin in 2019: Janet Geddis of Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA, and Jamie Rogers Southern of Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC. Janet and Jamie will attend the #SIBA18 Discovery Show, where they will be welcomed to the board at the SIBA Annual Meeting + Town Hall on Friday, Sept 14 at 9am. Join us in welcoming Janet and Jamie! Congratulations also to Star Lowe of Star Line Books for winning a free hotel stay for one evening in our voter participation raffle.

Janet Geddis is the founder and owner of Avid Bookshop, an award-winning business with two locations in Athens, GA. Janet holds a BA in English & American Literature from NYU and an M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from UGA's College of Education. Janet is a professionnal writer and accomplished speaker; her most notable public speaking engagements to date were in spring 2018, when she first presented to 1500+ audience members at a TEDx conference and then delivered a well-received UGA English Department keynote speech about the many benefits of being a lifelong reader. Known for her inventiveness (she was the first bookstore owner to use crowdfunding to gather some startup funds in 2010!) and positivity, Janet volunteers in Athens and in the book world whenever possible. Her creative entrepreneurism and open leadership style have garnered her award nominations and significant press coverage, including a feature in Grace Bonney’s first issue of Good Company magazine. In 2016, Janet was one of 40 publishing industry professionals to be chosen for Publishers Weekly’s Star Watch list.

Jamie Rogers Southern is the Operations Director at Bookmarks. Bookmarks is a literary nonprofit organization based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It began as the largest annual book festival in the Carolinas, and an Authors in Schools program reaching 7000+ students of all ages annually, and several other book and author events throughout the year. In 2017 the organization completed a successful capital campaign and opened a bookstore and permanent event space in downtown Winston-Salem. Before Bookmarks Jamie worked at Alabama Booksmith in Homewood, AL, and for the American Booksellers Association. She is married to Ed Southern, Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers Network. She's also a University of Alabama football fan. Roll Tide!

 Janet Geddis and Jamie Rogers Southern join board members Kimberly Daniels Taws, Kelly Justice, and Shane Gottwals. Stepping down are Doug Robinson (current Board President) of Eagle Eye Books in Atlanta, GA and Stephanie Crowe of Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL. SIBA appreciates their hard work and will be offering two frontline scholarships to #SIBA19 in their names. Thank them for their service when you see then in Tampa! 


Tags:  #siba18  Jamie Rogers Southern  Janet Geddis  siba board 

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An Interview with Janet Geddis, owner of Avid Bookshop with two locations in Athens, GA

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, July 17, 2018

An Interview with Janet Geddis, owner of Avid Bookshop with two locations in Athens, GA

Name:  Janet Geddis

Store and location: Avid Bookshop with two locations in Athens, Georgia

Number of years as a bookseller: 7

Best part about being a bookseller?: You know this is an impossible question, right? Today I will say this: I have been blown away by the breadth and depth of friendships I've formed as a result of my bookseller role. From publisher reps to authors to coworkers to customers, I have a community of people who really understand me; after all, we speak a common language--the language of books. 

What book(s) are you reading?: I just started Jessica Handler's 2019 novel, The Magnetic Girl. I'm a huge Jessica Handler fan and am loving it already. Yesterday I finished Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey and Jason Reynolds's For Every One

Favorite handsell of 2018: Issue one of Good Company magazine (from Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney)

Best thing you did this year at your store: We've always made it known that we're in support of human rights, free speech, and anti-discrimination, but this year we've become even more outspoken.Through various in-store and offsite events and initiatives, we remind readers far and wide that we see them and want to hear all stories. 

Social Media Stats (FB likes, Twitter followers, etc): 9,336 Twitter followers, 8,343 Facebook followers, & 12.8k Instagram followers.

What are some ways you work with your community? In addition to frequent events and book clubs, we have two initiatives that allow us to participate meaningfully as Athens citizens: #avidgivesback and #avidinschools. These programs are ways for us to donate volunteer time, money, and in-kind donations to nonprofits, schools, and organizations that are making our city--and our world--better places. One example is the #avidgivesback project dreamt up by bookseller/Will Walton. For every copy of his May 2018 novel (I Felt a Funeral, In My Brain) that was preordered at Avid, the bookselling staff committed to 25 minutes of volunteer time at the Athens Community Council on Aging's Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program. 

Do you have any community partners you work with regularly? Yes, we have so many community partners it's hard to name drop just a few! From various departments and clubs at UGA to famous rock clubs downtown to our nonprofit arthouse cinema to the Clarke County School District to our local library to the leisure services department, we work with groups that touch the lives of nearly every part of the Athens population. 

Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life? I definitely have passions that carry over into my bookselling life! I'm a professional patient advocate, writer, and speaker at migraine.com, and I've used skills honed in that role to be more of an advocate for my staff and for myself as a small business owner. Oh, and my two cats, who make frequent appearances under the #petsofavid Instagram hashtag. 

Top priority for 2018: We're more than halfway done with the year, and I'm not sure I've made as much progress as I'd wanted to by now on one of my goals: to streamline the business, cut down on costs, and improve our profit margin. I know this is everyone's goal, but I'm making it a priority this year. Slow and steady wins the race, I hope!

Favorite SIBA programming benefit: While not listed as a specific benefit when you sign up for membership, the access we have to Linda-Marie and Wanda has been invaluable. To have two industry experts always eager and willing to pick up the phone or exchange some emails about unexpected issues or fun new ideas is amazing. 


Tags:  Avid Bookshop  bookseller interview  Janet Geddis 

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