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SIBA attends AMIBA’s Building Equity Virtual Conference

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, October 13, 2020

SIBA staff and two board members attended the American Independent Business Alliance’s Building Equity in the Local Economy virtual conference  last week. AMIBA’s first “Local Economy” conference centered on racial equity as a local economy driver. Spread over two days and featuring multiple BIPOC speakers on issues central to the conference’s topic, the gathering also included numerous opportunities to engage with other attendees and the speakers at small breakout sessions. The experience was so inspiring and brimming with actionable ideas that SIBA attendees met for a debrief to discuss continuing this important work. 

Among other initiatives in development, look for a Racial Equity Challenge from SIBA in January 2021, modeled on the Racial Equity Challenge from Food Solutions, New England.

We were struck by this quote shared by Katie Frank from Zingtrain. It was part of Zingerman’s draft vision for 2030 in a section penned by one of their Staff Partners, Betty Gratopp. May it inspire you as well:


“We deliberately practice starting at yes. Until principles tell us otherwise start at yes.  Until thoroughly investigated; start at yes.  Until numbers tell us otherwise; start at yes.  When your mind screams no, start at yes. If it makes us uncomfortable; especially start at yes. Something wonderful may be about to happen! We believe if we start at yes our creative canvas is blank and lends to more creative open-minded conversations. We believe by saying yes, our creativeness and innovation levels will increase and once momentum begins it’s easier to keep momentum than gain momentum. Yes becomes a tool to practice being open to ideas.” 

Learn more about AMIBA

Resources from the conference:

Poems shared at the beginning and end of each day’s session: 
The Why of Small Business | Book referenced by MaryAnn Howland

Tags:  Bookseller education  diversity  racial equity 

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Meet the Editors from Indie Presses

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Join us to meet the editors from publisher members of the Independent Publishers Caucus on Wednesday, October 14 at 3PM ET. This is the perfect opportunity to get your store on their radar, begin the connection for potential author events, and discover small press titles that reflect the thoughtful curation and literary quality that indie bookstore customers so appreciate.

Please rsvp to attend. 

Meet the Editors:

Blair Publishers
Robin Miura, Senior Editor & Assoc. Publisher.Robin Miura has worked in publishing for 17 years, first as a production editor for Oxford University Press and later as an editor for Press 53 (where she edited a novel and memoir series) as a freelance editor, proofreader, publishing consultant, and writing coach for publishing companies and individual authors. She has worked with all types of books, but her passion is literary fiction and creative nonfiction. Her freelance clients have included Algonquin Books, Oxford University Press, Duke University Press, River’s Edge Media, and University of North Carolina Press. She is also a founding editor of the online magazine South Writ Large.

Feminist Press
Jisu Kim is the senior marketing, sales, and publicity manager at the Feminist Press. She oversees the marketing life of a book, from its beginnings as an ISBN to becoming course adopted and a backlist gem. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied comparative literature and political theory, and now lives in Brooklyn. 

Tin House
Masie Cochran is the Editorial Director at Tin House.Before coming to Tin House, she worked at InkWell Management Literary Agency in New York, NY.

Deep Vellum
Will Evans is a publisher, translator, and entrepreneur with an unparalleled knack for finding undertold, outstanding stories and connecting them to audiences. In 2013, Evans founded Deep Vellum Publishing, a nonprofit indie book publisher dedicated to translating the world’s best novels into English for American audiences.

Seven Stories
Ruth Weiner, Director of Publicity at Seven Stories Press

Europa Editions
Rachael Small, Director of Publicity, has an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Iowa and a BA in French Studies and Creative Writing from Bard College, where she studied under Mona Simpson and Bradford Morrow. Her translations from the French and Spanish have appeared in The Buenos Aires Review and Anomalous Press, among others, and she was a 2012 participant in the Banff International Literary Translation Center.

Jessie Kindig is an editor at Verso Books, and her writing has appeared in n+1, Artforum, Jacobin, and the Boston Review.

Tags:  bookseller education  editors 

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Meet the Children's Editors at Simon & Schuster on Wed, July 29 at 3PM EDT

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Children's Editors from Simon & Schuster will present their fall lists to SIBA booksellers on Wed, July 29 at 3 PM EDT. This is such a great opportunity for your buyers and event coordinators to see which titles S & S want indie booksellers to know about; it's also a perfect time to begin or deepen your relationships with the editors behind the books! Other benefits that come with attending our event.

  • increased visibility of your store with Simon & Schuster
  • insider track to the titles getting the most promotion this fall
  • insider info to up your handselling game with customers
  • insight into the passion these editors have for the books they've helped birth
  • witnessing editors handsell their titles and improving your own techniques

Please RSVP to attend.

The Editors

Caitlyn Dlouhy, VP & Editorial Director, Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Caitlyn Dlouhy likes to say she grew up in a tree…because it was in the massive willow in her parents' backyard where she did most of her reading, hiking up the limbs with books tied to a rope to haul up once she reached just the right branch. From that perch in a teeny tiny coastal town, she could see the whole world… through the lens of books. Her publishing choices have always reflected that – from middle grade and teen fiction to picture books, as well as a smattering of graphic novels, nonfiction, and poetry. Caitlyn's drawn most toward voices unusual and unexpected. Her books have topped New York Times bestseller lists (as well as lists of the most banned books in America) and have received great acclaim: a Newbery Medal and Honors, a National Book Award and Finalists, Printz honors, Coretta Scott King Awards and honors, a Pura Bel Pre Award, and more. She has the great pleasure of working with such incredible, award-winning authors and illustrators as Laurie Halse Anderson, Ashley Bryan, Doreen Cronin, Sharon Draper, William Joyce, Cynthia Kadohata, Betsy Lewin, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and Jason Reynolds, just to name a few.

Reka Simonsen, Editorial Director, Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Reka Simonsen loves to work on books all across the age range, though she has a real soft spot for middle grade novels, especially those that can turn kids into lifelong readers. She looks for believable, engaging characters whose voices she can't forget, and stories with that special blend of humor and heart. She has been lucky enough to work with amazing authors and illustrators, including Margarita Engle, Carole Boston Weatherford, Evan Turk, Brian Pinkney, Frank Morrison, Jamie Sumner, Melanie Crowder, Sean Qualls, and Lloyd Alexander, among others. Books she has edited have received a Newbery Honor, a Geisel Honor, a Sibert Honor, a Coretta Scott King Honor, Pura Belpré Awards and Honors, and more. Before joining Atheneum, she worked at assorted publishers and bookstores including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, and Books of Wonder.

Denene Millner, VP & Editorial Director, Denene Millner Books

Denene Millner is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist, and director of the Denene Millner Books imprint. She has written thirty books for adults, teens, and children, among themAround the Way Girl, a memoir with actress Taraji P. Henson, and Early Sunday Morning, a children's picture book. She is also the founder of, a critically acclaimed blog that examines the intersection of parenting and race, and the host of Speakeasy with Denene, a podcast produced by Georgia Public Broadcasting. She's always loved children's books—the illustrations, the color, the whimsy, the beauty of the stories—and is particularly drawn to books that celebrate the everyday beauty and experience of African American children. Her imprint, Denene Millner Books, is a love letter to children of color who deserve to see their beauty and humanity in the most remarkable form of entertainment on the planet: books. Denene lives in Atlanta with her two daughters and their adorable Goldendoodle, Teddy.

Sarah McCabe, Editor, Margaret K. McElderry Books

Editor Sarah McCabe joined Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing in October 2014. Before that, she worked at Springer International Publishing and did freelance projects with Open Road Integrated Media and Full Fathom Five. She received her bachelor's degrees in English and journalism at the University of Kansas and her Master of Science in Publishing at New York University. Sarah is drawn to lush, inventive fantasies; accessible, character-driven science fiction (especially if it's set in space!); emotionally complex heroes and sympathetic villains; detailed worldbuilding; reimagined classics and fairytales; stories exploring the nature of humanity and morality; as well as anything with a time travel, alternate history, or parallel universe hook. Her editorial projects include Lisa Maxwell's New York Times bestselling The Last Magician trilogy, Emily Suvada's This Mortal Coil trilogy, and the upcoming Fall 2020 Indies Introduce selection, Legendborn by Tracy Deonn.

Paula Wiseman, VP & Publisher, Paula Wiseman Books

Before joining Simon & Schuster in 2002, Paula Wiseman began her publishing career at Dial Books for Young Readers, now a division of Viking Penguin. She later became Vice President and Editor-in-Chief at Philomel Books, a division of GP Putnam, as well as Vice President and Editorial Director of Silver Whistle Books, a division of Harcourt Inc. In 2003, she launched her own imprint for Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, with the publication of Clorinda by Robert Kinerk and illustrated by Steven Kellogg. Paula Wiseman Books has since gone on to publish over seventy award-winning and bestselling titles across formats—from picture books, to novelty books, to novels. Her imprint focuses on stories and art that are childlike, timeless, innovative, and centered in emotion. Paula has worked with some of the most beloved talents working in children's books today, including Matthew Van Fleet, Patricia Polacco, Kadir Nelson, Raúl Colón, and Rosemary Wells.

Allyn Johnston, VP & Publisher, Beach Lane Books

Allyn Johnston has been working in children's publishing in her native California for twenty-four years. Founded in 2008, Allyn's Beach Lane Books imprint publishes books for all ages and across all genres with a primary focus on lyrical, emotionally engaging, highly visual picture books for young children. She has worked with some of the industry's most celebrated authors and illustrators, including Mem Fox, Lois Ehlert, Marla Frazee, Cynthia Rylant, Jeanette Winter, Arthur Howard, Jan Thomas, Mark Teague, Angela DiTerlizzi, Elana K. Arnold, and more. Among her editorial projects are such award-winning,New York Timesbestselling favorites as Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury; and A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee and All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee, both of which received a Caldecott Honor.

Siobhan Ciminera, Editorial Director, Simon Spotlight

Siobhan Ciminera is the Editorial Director of Simon Spotlight, an imprint devoted to media tie-in's, licensed properties, and brands. She has worked on projects featuring such popular characters as Daniel Tiger, PJ Masks, and the Peanuts gang, adapting their stories to an array of innovative formats—from board books and storybooks, to unique novelty and pop-up books. She's also worked extensively on Simon & Schuster's Ready-to-Read program, a line specifically dedicated to emerging readers, overseeing the introduction of new series and genres within the Ready-to-Read line—from bestselling nonfiction series likeReady to Read: You Should Meet…; to conversions of celebrated backlist classics like Cynthia Rylant's Henry & Mudge, Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin's Click, Clack, and works by Eric Carle; to original stories from beloved, award-winning authors like Jane Yolen and Marilyn Singer.

Jeffrey Salane, Editorial Director, Little Simon

Jeffrey Salane is the Editorial Director of Little Simon, an imprint devoted to the youngest readers with a focus on board books, novelty books, picture books, and chapter books. His projects have included some of Simon & Shuster's most beloved, bestselling chapter book series—from Heidi Heckelbeck,Sophie Mouse, and The Critter Club, to Captain Awesome, Galaxy Zack, and Desmond Cole, Ghost Patrol. He's also overseen the introduction of the imprint's fresh, fun, and innovative board book series, including the Twinkle, Twinkle series, the New Books for Newborns board books, and the stunning Once Upon a World and Celebrate the World series. Jeffrey has worked with a number of celebrated, bestselling authors, including Rod Campbell, Karen Katz, Eric Carle, Lois Ehlert, and Sandra Boynton.

Tags:  Bookseller education  buyers  marketing  Simon & Schuster 

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B3! Webinar: 7 Strategies to be More Time Efficient

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, July 6, 2020

Need time management tools to address your never-ending bookseller to-do list, and reset your work/life balance? Join us as Dr. Deborah "Dr. DJ" Johnson-Blake, an expert on time management, presents "7 Strategies to be More Time Efficient" on Wednesday, August 12 at 2 PM EDT. Dr. Johnson-Blake will share strategies to help you take control of your time, improve your efficiency, and create a more productive lifestyle. Please RSVP to attend.

About our Presenter:

Dr. Deborah "Dr. DJ" Johnson-Blake is the CEO of The Writing Pad, LLC, a writing, editing, and consulting firm focusing on proofreading, editing, and customized writing. She is an award-winning assistant professor at Liberty University, and a corporate trainer and speaker, helping participants improve relations and achieve personal and professional goals in the workplace and beyond.

When she is not working with her students, clients, and giving back to her community, she is busy speaking and promoting her books and conducting training. She is also the author of Managing Time on Purpose, a practical guide based on theory and best practices that can be used to help people become more time management efficient. She is a co-author of Women Level Up and Lead, and K.I.S.S. Destiny Fears Goodbye. Her most recent book is 52 Time Management H.A.C.K.S.: Hacking Actions to Conquer and Kick Life's Setbacks.

Tags:  b3! webinars  Bookseller education 

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Meet the Editors Buzz Panel with Macmillan

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, July 6, 2020
Meet the Editors Buzz Panel with Macmillan
Wednesday, July 22 | 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT

George WitteBryn ClarkLindsey HallRuoxi ChenWes Adams

If you're a buyer or event coordinator, get this event on your calendar! Join us to hear editors from Macmillan present three books each: one that's currently on sale, one featured Fall title, and one scheduled far out, but exciting to share with booksellers now.

The Editors:

George Witte, St. Martin's Publishing Group
Bryn Clark, Flatiron Books 
Lindsey Hall, Tor 
Ruoxi Chen, Tor
Wes Adams, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

The panel will be moderated by Dominique R. Jenkins, Senior Manager, Author Events & Services at Macmillan, with help from reps Jeff Willmann and Carin Seigfried. Macmillan will welcome a lively Q & A from booksellers after the presentations. 

Please RSVP to attend.

More on our presenters:

Bryn Clark, Flatiron Books:
Bryn Clark is a nonfiction editor at Flatiron Books, focusing on mission-driven memoir, narrative nonfiction, political, and/or social commentary books highly driven by the author's own story. She has worked with New York Times bestselling author and political journalist Sarah Kendzior on her books The View from Flyover Country and Hiding in Plain Sight to expose the corruption and injustices within the American economic, social, and political systems. Recently, Clark has also edited rower and activist Arshay Cooper's coming-of-age memoir, A Most Beautiful Thing, which tells the story of America's first all-Black high school rowing team and was released as a documentary narrated by Common. She lives in Brooklyn.

George Witte, St. Martin's Publishing Group:
George Witte is editor in chief at St. Martin's Press, and was founding editor and publisher of Picador USA. During his 35 years at St. Martin's, George has published numerous New York Times bestsellers, as well as books that have received, or were, finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, PEN Award, and others.

Ruoxi Chen, Tordotcom:
Ruoxi Chen was born in Chengdu, raised in Boston, and lives in New York City, where she edits science fiction and fantasy for Tordotcom Publishing. She speaks Mandarin and a little Sichuan dialect, which is the equivalent of having a serious Southern drawl in Chinese, so even though she's never lived south of New York in the US, she's Southern Chinese at heart and excited to sit down with stores in the SIBA region.

Wesley Adams, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group:
Executive Editor Wesley Adams started at FSG as an editorial assistant in the summer of 1987 with a salary of eleven thousand five hundred dollars and still stuck around for the next 33 years. He loves working on books about kids who are up against it yet forge ahead with humor and pluck, and is delighted by outrageous comedy and books that make waves. Wesley edited Dead End in Norvelt by his longtime friend and author Jack Gantos, which won the Newbery in 2011. His dream projects are both the books that end up on kids' summer reading lists for school and the books they sneak-read during class.

Lindsey Hall, Tordotcom:
Lindsey Hall is a senior editor from Tennessee, currently based in NYC. She got her start in publishing at Hachette and had the pleasure of joining the Tor team in 2017, where she acquires fantasy, science fiction, and mainstream speculative fiction for Tor's adult list.

Tags:  Bookseller education  buyers 

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Meet the Editors at Simon & Schuster!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Editors from Simon & Schuster will present their adult fall lists to SIBA booksellers on Wed, July 15 at 3 PM EDT. This is such a great opportunity for buyers and event coordinators to see which titles S & S want indie booksellers to know about; it's also a perfect time to begin or deepen relationships with the editors behind the books! Please rsvp to attend.

Editors presenting:

  • Lauren Wein (Avid Reader Press)
  • Michelle Herrera Mulligan (Atria Books)
  • Joe Monti (Saga Press)
  • Lauren Spiegel (Gallery Books)
  • Sean Manning (Simon & Schuster)
  • Kathy Belden (Scribner)
  • Ronnie Alvardo (Tiller Press)
  • Rebecca Thomas (Adams Media)

Tags:  B3!  Bookseller education  buyers 

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Summer Opportunities to Connect with Publishers: Save the Dates!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, June 16, 2020

One of the best ways to get on a publisher’s radar is to support their programming, whether it’s an Editor Buzz Panel at BookExpo, Publisher Speed Dating at Winter Institute, or one of the many opportunities at our Fall and Spring conferences. 

We’re setting up programming this summer to connect you with publishers in ways that will begin or deepen relationships, and help you identify key frontlist titles publishers are promoting to the indie channel--that means you! We’ve so far lined up events with editors at Simon & Schuster and Macmillan who will present their picks with your customers in mind. Stay tuned for more!

Coming up:

Wednesday, July 15, 3-3:45 PM EDT: Meet the Simon & Schuster Editors

Wednesday, July 22,  3-4 PM EDT: Editor Buzz Panel with Macmillan

Wednesday, July 29 3-3:45 PM EDT: Meet the Children’s Editors at Simon & Schuster.

Please rsvp if you’d like to attend, specifying which event(s) you're interested in. Thank you!

Tags:  Bookseller education  frontlist  marketing 

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More News on Cocktails & Conversation with HarperCollins

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Saturday, June 13, 2020

Update on our Cocktails & Conversations with HarperCollins

Wednesday June 24th, 6pm – 7:30pm EST 


Our friends at HarperCollins are bringing five William Morrow authors with books launching late summer and fall to SIBA booksellers in a super fun virtual cocktail party: Christina Baker Kline The Exiles, Emily Gray TedroweThe Talented Miss Farwell, Natalie WalschotsHench, Hazel Gaynor When We Were Young and Brave, and Alyssa Cole When No One is Watching. Take off your shoes, mix up your favorite cocktail or mocktail, and enjoy an hour of fun and inspiration for you and your bookseller crew.  These special authors, specially selected for SIBA booksellers, will offer us a glimpse into their private spaces, and a sneak preview of their work. Don't miss it!


Bonus: we’re raffling off a big prize pack of ARCs and swag for top Fall 2020 titles from HarperCollins/Morrow from among bookseller attendees.

Now, onto the cocktails part of the event. Each author has picked out their favorite cocktail to go along with their book. Their choices are listed below and link to recipes. Craft your favorite cocktail and sip on it as the authors tell you about their books. My choice? Easy, “The Hench”! 

The Exiles cocktail: The Exile (Dark ‘N’ Stormy)


When We Were Young & Brave cocktail: The Girl Guide (Shirley Temple)


Hench cocktail:  The Hench (Old Fashioned)


The Talented Miss Farwell cocktail: The Miss Farwell (dirty martini) 


When No One is Watching cocktail:  The Watcher (Paloma) 


Please so we know you’re coming! And tell me your cocktail choice-I’d love to know! 


PS. Also in attendance by popular demand: HarperCollins reps Eric Svenson and Dawn Littman!

Tags:  Bookseller education  booksellers 

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THIS! Jill Hendrix on Trello 5/28/2020

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Thursday, May 21, 2020

On Thursday, May 28 at 1 PM EDT, Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC will demonstrate how she uses Trello. Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes projects into boards, lists, and cards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process.

Jill's presentation is part of THIS! Thursday Inspiration with SIBA, an informal virtual club on Thursday afternoons at 1 pm, where booksellers share what's working for them. Less formal than a webinar, more fun than figuring it out by yourself, THIS! encourages conversation and the exchange of good ideas. Put this event on your calendar and we'll send you the zoom link next week.

Tags:  Bookseller education  THIS! 

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Exciting updates on our MMBS: scholarship assistance, prizes, and more!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, February 19, 2020

MMBS logoBinc wants to help SIBA help you! We have $300 to help booksellers who need assistance attending a MMBS event. Do you need gas money, or financial assistance to help offset paying staff while you are out of the store? Let us know what you need and we'll let you know how we can help with funding. Email Linda-Marie with your requests.

But wait, there’s more! We’re awarding special prizes to attendees of the March Madness Bookseller Series.

  • SIBA will award one SIBA 2020 Discovery Show All-Pass (a ticket to all meals) to a SIBA-member attendee of each MMBS event (only one All-Pass per member).
  • SIBA will award one free trip to the SIBA 2020 Discovery Show (in NOLA!) from a drawing of all SIBA-member attendees to MMBS events.

We have such a fabulous line-up of educational offerings, many of which feature author luncheons, an afternoon store tour, and networking opportunities. What are you waiting for? Sign up today and you can release any FOMO right now.

View our full MMBS schedule and register.

Tags:  Bookseller education  MMBS 

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March Madness at Cavalier House Books on March 17!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, February 10, 2020
Updated: Friday, December 20, 2019

Join us for our March Madness event at Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, LA on March 17 from 10-3PM. From 10 AM-noon, Cavalier House Books co-owner and SIBA Board member John Cavalier will present "Emergency Preparedness: Preparing for Natural Disasters, Man-made Events, and Whoopsie Daisies." Session description: You've heard it all before ..."By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" ... But you still haven't put a plan in place! Big things can happen and little actions can mean the difference between persevering and closing up shop. What threats can affect your store? Your community? Our Industry? We'll talk generally and specifically about each of these and we'll walk away with a list of concrete steps you can take to build resiliency for your store's future and daily operations.

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.

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 

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Apply for a 2020 Bookselling Without Borders Fellowship!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, February 3, 2020

Booksellers Without BordersFounded in 2016, BWB awards fellowships to American booksellers to attend international book fairs, where they meet with publishers, editors, authors, agents, and other publishing professionals; connect with booksellers and with bookseller trade associations from around the world; speak on and attend panels; and visit local bookstores, distributors, cultural agencies, and literary arts organizations.

Booksellers return better connected, better informed, more aware of the international book panorama, and better equipped to put international and diverse literatures into the hands of readers.

Bookselling Without Borders also offers a residency program that allows US booksellers to spend an extended period working at bookstores abroad and thus to take a deeper dive into a foreign book market.

BWB is assembling a directory of key international contacts and a database of resources curated directly by BWB alumni that aims to support the efforts of all booksellers—whether they are fellowship recipients or not—to bring more readers to international and diverse books.

Application period closes mid-February. Apply here.

Tags:  Bookseller education  booksellers without borders 

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March Madness at Starline Books on March 16! (CANCELLED)

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, February 3, 2020
Updated: Friday, December 20, 2019

Join us for our March Madness event at Starline Books in Chattanooga, TN on March 16 from 10-3PM! From 10 AM-noon, owner Star Lowe and bookseller Nora Ketron will present Curating and Handselling A Selection of Books & Gifts Your Community Will Love. Session description: In the age of algorithm-driven recommendations and content curation it can be more meaningful than ever to personally recommend a book that made an impact on you, or guide shoppers face-to-face through your store's selection. We'll spend some time talking about how we curate for our shelves and hand sell books that are personally loved by our booksellers, satisfy the interests of our regular patrons, and promote the literature and ideas that are important to us. It's more art than science, but when you get it right, you can have a patron for life!

Noon-1PM: Author Luncheon with Ashley Blooms, author of Every Bone a Prayer. Blooms' debut novel, which is set in Appalachia, has been called "The Lovely Bones meets Where the Crawdads Sing." Ashley Blooms has published short fiction in The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, and Shimmer, among others, and her essay 'Fire in My Bones' appeared in The Oxford American. Ashley is a graduate of the Clarion Writer's Workshop and the Tin House Winter Workshop and received her MFA as a John and Renee Grisham Fellow from the University of Mississippi. She was raised in Cutshin, Kentucky, and now lives in Berea, Kentucky.

The afternoon will include a store tour and further discussion and networking on bookseller issues.

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 

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March Madness at Bookish on March 18!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Updated: Friday, December 20, 2019

bookishJoin us for our March Madness event at Bookish in Fort Smith, AR on March 18, 10-3 PM! From 10 AM-noon, owners Jennifer Battles and Sara Putnam will present: From Teachers to Booksellers, Bookish co-owners share their best tips on building sales.

Session description: Jennifer and Sara are high school English teachers turned bookstore owners who have been selling books to reluctant teen readers for years. The transition to selling books for a living just made sense, so in 2018 they decided to open Fort Smith, Arkansas's only independent bookstore. Jen and Sara will share what they've learned in the past 18 months about handselling to customers along with some interesting ways they've invited folks into their store.

Noon-1:00 PM: Author Luncheon. Lunch is free to attendees.

The afternoon will include a store tour and further discussion and networking on bookseller issues.

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 

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March Madness at Bookmarks on March 13!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, January 27, 2020
Updated: Friday, December 20, 2019

Join us for our March Madness event at Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC on March 13 from 10-3PM. Bookmarks is offering the education program: Four Part Harmony: Best tips for Authors in Schools, Tracking Your Data, Subscription Clubs, and Planning Tools.

From 10-Noon: Attendees have a choice of two sessions:

Authors In Schools: A Chocolate and Peanut Butter Combination with Ashley Bryan

Author visits can be a daunting experience. But they can also be one of the most meaningful moments of significance for our young readers. Let's discuss what makes them scary, unique, and, most importantly, a successful combination.

No Math Required: Demystifying Data Tracking with Beth Seufer Buss

If you don't know what you're doing well, how do you know what needs improved? Learn how to help your bottom line by tracking store data and take home sample spreadsheets and formulas that you can use to start analyzing your store data.

Noon-1PM: Author Luncheon. Lunch is free to attendees.

From 1-3PM: Attendees have a choice of two sessions:

Sign Me Up: Cultivating Loyalty Through Subscriptions with Jamie Rogers Southern

In this session, we will discuss how you can increase sales, gain repeat customers, and grow publisher relations through subscription clubs. Focusing on details of Bookmarks' two clubs -- Signed First Editions Club and Young Readers Subscription Club -- Jamie will share tips and challenges on how to get a subscription club started and how to turn members into your brand ambassadors.

Help! My To-Do List is Out of Control with Beth Seufer Buss

Learn how to organize all the moving pieces of your bookstore. In this session we'll talk about how and why to develop planning templates, how checklists can keep you and your store organized, and the best tools for taming your to-do list.

More about our presenters:

Jamie Rogers Southern is the Operations Director at Bookmarks, a literary nonprofit organization based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Before Bookmarks Jamie worked at Alabama Booksmith in Homewood, AL, and for the American Booksellers Association.

Beth Seufer Buss is the General Bookstore Manager at Bookmarks. In between reading romance novels and crunching data, she manages a bookstore team of nine.

Originally a Bookmarks volunteer turned bookseller, Ashley Bryan became Bookmarks' Youth & Schools Coordinator full-time in August. Transitioning into this role full-time has provided more opportunities to expand our youth outreach from Author in Schools to book fairs, Book Build, school book clubs, storytimes, and development of our Teen Advisory Council.

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 

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March Madness at Gottwals on March 12!

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

shane gottwalsJoin us for our March Madness event at Gottwals Books in Byron, GA on March 12, 10-3PM! From 10 AM-noon, owner Shane Gottwals will present: Managing Growth: Think Bigger About Your Business. Session description: How do you grow a business in 2020? What's more, how can you grow a book business in 2020? Join Shane to discuss some principles for maximizing payroll labor, position yourself for long-term rental/real estate benefit, determine the feasibility of warehousing/storage, know when it's time for expansion (or contraction), and a variety of other topics.

Noon-1:00 PM: Author Luncheon. Lunch is free to attendees.

The afternoon will include a store tour and further discussion and networking on bookseller issues.

Shane Gottwals was born and raised in Macon, GA. He earned 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. They have four children and live in Warner Robins. In 2007, the couple opened Gottwals Books which has become one of the largest used & new bookstore chains in the United States. He is frequently asked to speak at book industry conferences, and he is a notable go-to for bookstore consulting. 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.

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 

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March Madness at Page & Palette on March 10!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, January 17, 2020
page & palette

Join us for our March Madness event at Page & Palette in Fairhope, Alabama on March 10 from 10-3PM. The day begins with the educational session: 10 Best Secrets to Handselling, Upselling and More. Inspired by the question, "How far are you willing to go to develop a loyal customer base?" booksellers Stephanie Crowe, Leigh Buckley, and Stacy Sheehan-Wilson will share practical tips on how they've done it so successfully at Page & Palette.

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.

More on our presenters:

Stephanie Crowe: Page and Palette has been my second career. I have worked for 11 years. I began in our Childrens Department and over time became Event Manager and Buyer. I served on the SIBA board from 2016 to 2018.

Leigh Buckley: Being a bookseller at Page & Palette is living out my dream. Beyond being surrounded by books, the best part about my job is meeting the most diverse and wonderful people who come through our doors. They may be locals that visit daily, or those just wandering in, but meeting, hand-selling, and also learning from them is what I enjoy the most.

Stacy Sheehan-Wilson: When not at Page & Palette or reading, I tell people's stories through upcycling their clothing and photos into pillows or quilts and help people work through their grief by doing the same. The vision is to grow my cottage industry into a national movement that improves the lives of seniors and their loved ones.

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  March Madness  Page & Palette 

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March Madness on March 10 at Horton’s Books & Gifts!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, January 17, 2020

horton's booksJoin us for our March Madness event at Horton's Books & Gifts in Carrollton, GA from 10-3PM on March 10. The day begins with the educational session: Pop-ups at Performance Venues. Horton's Dorothy Pittman and Tim Chapman, Director of the Center for the Arts, will discuss how they've been partnering successfully on events.

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.

Georgia's oldest bookstore, Horton's Books & Gifts has been in business since 1891. Founded by a former school teacher, N. A. Horton's offered school song and miscellaneous books as well as Bibles, sheet music, stationery, wrapping paper, and paper bags. He advertised, "I sell for cash, but will take eggs or chicken for school books when parties can't pay the money." Antique shelves and displays showcase new books and gift items while store cats Mayah, Poe, and Dante are always on hand to help customers choose the right book or gift.

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  Horton's Books  March Madness 

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Professional Bookselling Certification powered by NAIBA

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, January 15, 2020

bookselling certification logoThe New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) has taken on the task of creating a formal certification program for the bookselling industry. "For years, booksellers across the country have been asking for a "career path" in bookselling. I believe that NAIBA's Professional Bookselling Certification will provide an important first step along this path," says Bill Reilly, co-owner, the river's end bookstore, and NAIBA Board President.

This is a nation-wide program, with NAIBA spearheading the creation, execution and oversight. NAIBA will work with the American Booksellers Association and the other regional booksellers' associations on every aspect of the program. The Professional Bookselling Certification program will consist of five modules. The modules include: Basic Bookselling, Staff & Human Resources, Store & Operations Management, Event Management, and Inventory Management. Upon completion of each module, a bookseller will receive certification in that topic. When a bookseller completes all five modules, they will receive the designation of Certified Professional Bookseller.

There is also a stand-alone module, Career Bookseller Fast Track, for seasoned booksellers, which will encompass the information in the individual modules. Upon completion of the Fast Track, a bookseller will receive the designation of Certified Professional Bookseller.

Each course will have a Dean, multiple instructors, assessment tools, exercises and homework, and required online and in-person courses. In-person instruction will take place at existing regional and national conferences. NAIBA plans to roll out the Event Management module in 2020, followed by the Career Bookseller Fast Track module. There will be course fees with each module, along with available scholarships.

"I've been in the industry for almost 40 years, and professionalism and training have always been a

driving force behind national and regional programs," said Eileen Dengler, executive director of NAIBA. "People have been asking for some recognition for bookselling skills, and now NAIBA will make it happen."

Any bookseller interested in becoming an instructor in any of the modules is welcome to email Eileen Dengler at

Tags:  Bookseller education  naiba 

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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 

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