In the land of SIBA
Blog Home All Blogs

Read This! Resources for your store from Authors 'Round the South

Posted By SIBA Staff, Friday, March 27, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

What a strange time for booksellers: as customers have never been more eager to read, it's increasingly challenging to get books into their socially-distanced hands. Authors 'Round the South (ARTS) wants to help. ARTS has a wealth of engaging, reader-focused, bookseller-friendly content and we are working hard on ways to make it more accessible, useful, and shareable for your store. And oh yeah, it's all free.ARTS_sun_logo-1.png

We're most excited about our treasure-trove of SIBA member bookseller reviews and recommendations. Have you wondered exactly what happens to the reviews and recommendations your store submits via Edelweiss? In addition to being regularly featured in the SIBA newsletter and blog,  SIBA's reader-focused site Authors 'Round the South (ARTS) also runs store reviews on or near the publication date of the book.

But wait...there's more!

The newest reviews appear on the ARTS home page and on the main Read This! page, but even better, every single review is tagged and sorted into the ARTS bookseller review database, making each review accessible not just at publication but for the future. At present, there are hundreds and hundreds of books (actually 985, and counting--by the time you read this we will be closing in on 1000!) in the review database. Each review links directly to the reviewer's store's online retail (if available) and regardless of whether a store has ecommerce, the review links to the reviewer store's website.

SIBA wants to make ARTS even more of a resource for our members and their customers. Your store is welcome and encouraged to make use of any and all existing and future ARTS content (you don't need to ask permission) in any way you think might be helpful. To that end: 

  • We have expanded the number of reviews featured on the home page, and are updating it much more frequently. Our goal is to feature as many as we possibly can. Individual reviews can be linked to and shared.
  • The Read This! database is now featured directly on the home page as well as on the main Read This page. Every category can be linked to and/or shared directly via social media or email.
  • We make an effort to feature as many SIBA stores as possible, and as mentioned above, ARTS does not limit the featured reviews to stores with ecommerce.
  • All SIBA stores that participated in the 2019 Holiday Catalog program--including stores without ecommerce--have a customized, white-label page that's still accessible: https://authorsroundthesouth.com/read-this/holiday-catalog.

In addition to bookseller recommendations on ARTS, SIBA also features the weekly Southern indie bestseller list (usually updated on Wednesday afternoons subject to when the ABA releases the information), and creates a list of titles special to Southern indies, with the current list also displayed on the home page. Each week, ARTS features a different member store with ecommerce on its "Special to Southern" list. We also create a "white-label" list with no SIBA or ARTS branding list available on sibaweb.com, and provide the code (automatically updated weekly at this same link) for stores to use on their own sites and link titles to their own ecommerce platform.

In the works:

  • The existing Read This! page on ARTS will be converted to a weekly update of recent reviews, plus a featured database category that can be easily shared via social media.
  • We're converting the PDF Southern bestseller lists flyers into a "white label" HTML format, similar to the "special to Southern" bestseller list for stores to share to their email lists and link to on their sites, and making that code available for stores to add their own ecommerce links if desired.

We're brainstorming ways to make all ARTS content even more useful, adaptable, and accessible to SIBA member stores. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know!

SP Rankin / sp@sibaweb.com
Authors 'Round the South

Tags:  ARTS  booksellers  Covid-19 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Tallahassee's Midtown Reader Releases Video Parody of AI

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Midtown Reader in Tallahassee, Florida created a wonderfully entertaining and instructive promotional video that emphasizes the power of "Actual Intelligence" over "Artificial Intelligence." In the video, a man asks an artificially intelligent device for book recommendations, to which the device responds with a series of unhelpful answers. The man then visits Midtown Reader, where a friendly bookseller quickly ascertains which book he is looking for (he can’t remember the title, only the illustration on the cover) and shows him where it is. The bookseller’s name? Alexis. (Her name is actually Alexis, and she’s an actual Midtown Reader bookseller.)

 

Fundamental to the mission of Midtown Reader is a belief that independent bookstores remain cultural treasures because they offer something online retailers cannot. In a brick-and-mortar bookstore with flesh-and-blood booksellers, recommendations are both personal and powered by actual intelligence (as opposed to the artificial variety). What’s more, with regular events like author readings and book clubs, independent bookstores function as community spaces where people can connect over stories, ideas, and perspectives.

 

Midtown Reader was opened in November of 2016 by Sally Bradshaw, who, after a career in politics, decided to make her childhood dream of owning a bookstore a reality.

 

“My sister and I spent many hours in our small Mississippi Delta hometown at both our local library and our neighborhood bookstore, sadly long gone now, a victim of Amazon,” Bradshaw wrote in the store’s email newsletter. “Books led me to believe I would grow up to be a detective (thank you Nancy Drew), or a lawyer (thank you Atticus Finch). Ultimately, I settled on public policy, and left home with dreams of changing the world in the political arena. I never imagined that my best and lasting chance to change the world would come in a bookstore.”

 

After only three years in business, Midtown Reader has become a “destination bookstore” and a bustling community space, with multiple events every week and meaningful partnerships with community organizations and non-profits across Tallahassee. Bradshaw believes that it’s this kind of connectedness, along with caring, knowledgeable booksellers and warm, personal customer service, that make independent bookstores disruptive in an age of online retailers and invaluable always.

Tags:  booksellers 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The Indie Bookseller Maker Marketplace: An Indie 2 Indie Opportunity!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Thursday, June 27, 2019

NCIBA, with the help of SIBA’s Executive Director Wanda Jewell, is launching The Indie Bookseller Maker Marketplace, a way for booksellers and bookstores creating unique items to wholesale market to other bookstores. Do you make journals, cards, notebooks, magnets, buttons, bookmarks, or other items that you believe could reach a larger market? The Indie Bookseller Maker Marketplace will promote your items through regional newsletters and other industry sources. 


The link with the info on how to participate is here.

Tags:  booksellers  marketing  nciba 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

An Interview with The Family Book Shop

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, January 21, 2019

An Interview with The Family Book Shop

Name: Kerry & Kaaren Johnson, co-owners

Store: The Family Book Shop

Location: 1301 N. Woodland Blvd, Deland Florida 32720. Deland is a community between Orlando and Daytona Beach, Florida. We are a general interest new and used bookstore. We have over 7000 Sq. ft. of space and approximately 350,000 books available.

Phone & Fax: (386) 736-6501

Email: familybookseller@yahoo.com

Website:  http://www.familybookshopdeland.com.

FaceBook: @thefamilybookshop: 1.5k followers

Instagram: familybookshop, 300+ followers

Monthly newsletter: 800 subscribers

Events Coordinator and Buyer contact info: familybookseller@yahoo.com, Attn: Kerry or Kaaren

Number of years as a bookseller: We have owned the store for four years but it has been here for about 35 years.

Best part about being a bookseller?: The best part about being a bookseller is helping a reader find a title they want and/or introducing them to a new book or author.

What book(s) are you reading?: Kaaren just finished The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Kerry is re-reading The Haunting of Hill House.

Favorite handsell of 2018: Our favorite handsells were Beneath a Ruthless Sun by Gilbert King, The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan, Hush by John Hart, and Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo.

Best thing you did in 2018 at your store: We re-designed our "room 2" to create an event area with tables, chairs and new carpeting. Not an easy task, moving about 5000 books to new shelving and changing the customer flow.

What are some ways you work with your community? We are very active in our education community with sponsorships, book giveaways and our huge teacher appreciation sale each year.

Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life? We have always had a shared passion for reading and Kerry's first job was at a bookstore in high school and he worked at bookstores in college. We have had a lifelong love of collecting books and spent many days hunting out books in bookstores all over the world.

Top priority for 2019: Our top priority for 2019 is to hold more events and open our store to more authors and book clubs.

Favorite SIBA programming benefit: Our favorite part of SIBA is the Fall Discovery Show with the combined networking and learning opportunities that are available. We also love the holiday catalog and its success.

 

Tags:  bookseller interview  booksellers 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Letter from Dan Simon, Founder & Publisher, Seven Stories Press

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, January 4, 2019

Letter from Dan Simon, Founder & Publisher, Seven Stories Press


In May 2018, Seven Stories Press launched an online Pride Month special collection. Eileen Dengler, executive director of NAIBA, emailed with a request: Couldn’t we find a way for booksellers to participate, and not compete, in what we were doing online? I loved the question, and wrote to our sales and distribution partners at Penguin Random House. They, too, loved the idea and were willing to make the titles we selected for themed collections available to booksellers through a special promotion. Together with NAIBA, we launched periodic themed collections:  “Women in Translation” and “For Human Rights, Against War.” Seven Stories included a prize for the best in-store display, juried by NAIBA, based on photographs the booksellers sent in, with half the prize money going to the store and the other half going to the individual staff person who designed the display.


We’ve learned that the right answers come if you continue asking the right questions. We don’t think we have all the answers; we’re experimenting. But we are also listening. And we enjoyed the conversations over the course of those months. There was a lot that the president of NAIBA, Todd Dickinson, and Eileen were saying that made all kinds of sense to us. The initiative succeeded well enough for us all to want to continue it. 


After a few months, we decided to expand, inviting a small group of independent publishers to participate in 2019.  Eileen has reached out to all the regional bookseller associations to participate. We’ve chosen three months for the collections: March, June and October. The upshot will be that not only will a bond be strengthened between independent publishers and independent booksellers, but also that within stores there will be a special place for readers to find an “Indie Playlist.” 

 

Out of that ongoing conversation, we’ve now altered our online profile. In solidarity with our friends at independent bookstores across the nation, we are excluding from any discount all new books and all frontlist titles, meaning anything published in the past year, and our top twenty all-time best-selling titles. Consumers will find these at their local indie bookseller, along with the other discoveries that physical independent stores are all about. We still have our annual sale for the holidays, and other online initiatives. But we no longer automatically discount all the books on our site. Consumers can still come to our website for deep discovery. Physical stores may find the right book for you, but they can’t carry in their limited space the thousand or so political and literary titles on our backlist. We’ll continue to send the ebook version (gratis) of any book with an email copy of a receipt showing the purchase from an indie bookstore. 

 

Tags:  booksellers  publishers 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

A Great Start to the Holiday Season for Many SIBA Stores

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Great Start to the Holiday Season for Many SIBA Stores

It was a big weekend for booksellers across the country. In SIBA territory, the reports coming in are exuberant! I volunteered on Saturday at Avid Bookshop’s Five Points location in Athens, GA, where customers were greeted personally and guided to books they wanted and some they didn’t know they wanted! Avid’s sideline selection is stunning--by turns hilarious and honoring of all things literary and unique. I purchased a lovely hand-felted angel ornament for a friend, and a birthday card from Red Caps Press. I intend to pick up a set of “Journals for the Middle Child” on a future visit. A gift to myself :)


I worked with John and Christy, both on Avid’s events team, and with Janet, the store’s owner. This is the first year of The Avid Bookshop Bash (TABB), five days of celebration centered around the weekend after Thanksgiving. After each purchase, Avid booksellers offered customers prizes ranging from gift cards to commemorative bookmarks. As I wrapped gifts, I overheard so many customers praising the store and staff and making plans to come back before TABB ended on Giving Tuesday.


More reports from SIBA stores about their weekend sales:


Kimberly Daniels Taws, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC:

“Small Business Saturday was a big day for us. We gave everyone 10% off (something new for us) and we were up 42% over last year! This is really interesting and I think driven by our "spend $50 and get a gift" because we only had 8 more transactions than last year but sold 121 more units. The incentive of a gift at that price point, just higher than a hard cover and a paperback caused people to really increase their units per purchase. We saw a GREAT many out-of-towners, and locals who are discovering the bookshop for the first time, or making an annual pilgrimage.


We sold a lot of the staff picks, big books (Obama, Sparks, Jeff Kinney), and saw a real drive for autographed books. We also sold A LOT of The Broken Ornament. The Invisible Ink little books by Lee Publications are at very low price point and have sold very well for us.”


Jamie Rogers Southern, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC:

“We had a great weekend! Because of our nonprofit status, we cannot flat out do "shop small" promotions so ours is more of a quiet attack. We had board members in to provide free gift wrapping throughout the weekend and our board president offered to match all purchases as a donation to our Book Build initiative during her shift. She ended up donating $1,400!


We were up 33% on the weekend and top selling items were: Becoming, We Should All Be Feminists, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, Wimpy Kid Meltdown, and Shade. Some of these titles were because we have our staff picks of 2018 reading up and people heavily shop off of them at the holidays. We did not do much programming this year, just our regular storytime and book art by a local artist on Saturday afternoon.


I loved seeing so many of our regular customers and volunteers bring in family and friends who were visiting from out of town and overhearing them talk about the bookstore as theirs!”


Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, Fairhope, Alabama: “Page & Palette had a busy day on Saturday, which included author visits by Karyn Tunks, author of Mardi Gras in Mobile and Michael and Sarah Hewes, authors of The Tempestuous Trial of Maybelline Meriweather.”

 

Pictured below from left to right are the authors visiting Page & Palette, a scene from Bookmarks, and the front and back sides of Avid's commemorative TABB bookmarks.

    

 

 




Tags:  booksellers  small business saturday 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Holiday Prep for Your Store: Have you made your list and checked it twice?

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, November 5, 2018

Holiday Prep for Your Store: Have you made your list and checked it twice?


New research, and likely your instincts, suggests that consumer interest during the holiday season actually peaks almost one month earlier than Black Friday. That means right now! Don’t be overwhelmed if you haven’t launched your holiday campaign yet. You can join forces with Love Your Bookstore week (November 10-16) and encourage your customers to celebrate local bookstores. Here’s a list of bookseller resources, including downloadable images, to get you started.


Consider this great checklist of “9 Great Practices to Get Shoppers to Buy During the Holidays.” Simple things like providing your customers with baskets, gift-wrapping items ahead of time for easy shopping (with unwrapped similar items nearby, or stickering wrapped items with sku/isbn), making sure your store hours are correct on Google, and catching customer attention with a display that moves (perhaps a toy train or rotating display of bookmarks festooned with lights) can promote bigger sales.


For your store’s internal checklist, here’s a tip from a veteran--keep bottles of hand sanitizer and boxes of tissue by the registers, and wipe down shared keyboards and phones with Clorox wipes daily. ‘Tis the season!


Join our Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Group on Facebook to share your tips for Holiday success in keeping sales and morale high in your stores!

   

 

Tags:  booksellers  holidays 

Share |
PermalinkComments (1)
 

Make a Bookseller's Holiday and nominate them for a James Patterson Holiday Bonus!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Thursday, August 30, 2018

 

Make a Bookseller's Holiday and Nominate Them for a James Patterson Holiday Bonus! 

Author James Patterson’s Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program has pledged a contribution of $250,000 to provide independent bookstore employees with some extra cash around the winter holidays.

Patterson is partnering with the American Booksellers Association for the fifth time to distribute the bonuses, to be granted in amounts of $750 to $1,500 to individual booksellers. The process to submit nominations is open through September 30, and anyone can nominate. All past recipients of Patterson grants are eligible for this year's bonus, and booksellers can self-nominate. The grant application asks one question: “Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?” After reviewing the answers, Patterson will select the winners from bookstores across the country. Here's a link to the grant application. Good luck to all nominated booksellers!

In 2017, Patterson donated a record $350,000 to bookstore employees; in 2016, $250,000 to 149 independent bookstore employees across the country; and in 2015, $250,000 to 87 recipients. In 2014, he awarded $1 million in grants to 178 independent bookstores. Over the past decade, Patterson has also given away more than a million books to students all over the United States and visited hundreds of schools to advocate for youth literacy.

Tags:  bonuses  booksellers  holidays  James Patterson 

Share |
PermalinkComments (2)
 

Applications for the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists open July 9!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, July 30, 2018
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018

Applications open for the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists

Applications are now open for the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists.

Would you like to attend Winter Institute, your regional trade show in 2019,  and receive funding to create a program at your store that impacts your community in a positive way? 

Then you should consider applying for this first-ever year-long scholarship provided by the Binc Foundation and the Friends of Carla Gray.  

Carla Gray believed that books could change people and that people change the world.  This memorial scholarship in her honor connects on both fronts, at the intersection of books and activism.  Supporting emerging booksellers and their efforts to make a difference in one's community were essential to Carla. The community outreach project can be anything from providing books to underserved children or bringing a special speaker to your store, the sky is the limit. We want you to think outside the box and hopefully, your project could be shared with other stores. 


You are eligible to apply if you:

  • Have at least one year but fewer than 5 years of bookselling experience.
  • Work part-time or full-time at a bookstore in good standing with the ABA and your regional association.
  • Are willing and able to commit one year to complete the scholarship and you intend to remain employed as a bookseller through the implementation of your project.
  • Your store owner agrees to partner with you on your community outreach project.
Click here to apply today!

Questions please feel free to contact Kit Steinaway - kit@bincfoundation.org


Tags:  booksellers  education  scholarship 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Meet the Bookseller: Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette, Fairhope, AL

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Stephanie Crowe with Taylor BrownName: 
Stephanie Crowe

Store and location: 
Page and Palette
32 S. Section Street
Fairhope, Al 36532

website || facebook || twitter || instagram

Number of years as a bookseller: 
Almost 10 (Oct)

Labyrinth of the SpiritsBest part about being a bookseller?:
I get all the books I want to read and more, love the customers, and want them to read the books I love. 

What book(s) are you reading?:

Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King, Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan, The Rain Watcher by Tatiana De Rosna

The OverstoryFavorite handsell of 2018:
The Overstory by Richard Powers

Best thing you did this year at your store:
Harper Collins Live facebook video; I also was able to get Paula McLain to come to store

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Bragg with the Page   & Palette staffAn event at Page and Palette


Social Media Stats (FB likes, Twitter followers, etc)

facebook 13,000
twitter 3500
instagram 1000
email subscribers: 6,000

What are some ways you work with your community?
We work with partners when we need a larger space: our library, Fairhope United Methodist Church, retail partners like Running Wild.

Do you have any community partners you work with regularly?

Denham Springs Main Street, Denham Strong and the Livingston Parish News are our more frequent collaborators.

Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life?
My passion is the book, sales reps, authors, SIBA board and the store and that is my life.

Top priority for 2018:

To get wonderful authors to come to Page and Palette

Favorite SIBA programming benefit:
The fall Discovery Showis absolutely the best event I attend each year. It is like coming home

Tags:  booksellers 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Social Media Class for Booksellers at a HUGE discount for SIBA Members! Register by July 31!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Thursday, July 12, 2018

Social media and content marketing can be stressful and confusing. Many booksellers need to know how to be more efficient and effective so the time and energy they spend marketing online has greater impact and creates results.

If you’ve seen Sarah Benoit, co-founder and lead instructor at the JB Media Institute, present at the ABA’s Winter or Children’s Institute, you know you’re learning from someone passionate about helping booksellers improve their social media and content marketing strategies. Sarah has developed an online course for booksellers: Social Media and Content Marketing Basics for Booksellers.

Topics covered include:

  • content branding

  • keyword and hashtag research

  • content calendars

  • website usability

  • Instagram and Facebook tracking

  • social media tracking on Google Analytics

  • Facebook and Instagram advertising

  • event marketing


Sarah introduced this course to SIBA booksellers and staff this spring and we are loving and already using what we’ve learned. Sarah’s three-month self-paced online course is now being offered nationally for $299. Contact SIBA for a special code and SIBA member stores enroll for just $149! Registration open till July 31.


Would you like a preview? Attend a FREE introductory webinar on Monday, July 16 from 12-1pm EST.

  • Join the meeting on your computer or laptop go to: https://join.me/jbmediagroup  It will prompt you to download the Join.me desktop app for easier participation or you can click the link to join with your browser.  Conference ID: 804-325-388 #

  • To join using your mobile device like a smartphone or tablet download the mobile apps: https://www.join.me/apps

  • To dial in by phone: (404) 400 - 8750


"The JB Media social media class is very well designed - its structure and flow can help any one at any level of social media expertise! This class is very adaptable to any schedule. The online lessons allow you to work completely at your own pace and Sarah is always available for questions and discussion. This class can answer just about any question regarding social media or content marketing that you have ever had and if the class itself can't, then Sarah can! Highly recommend!”-- John Cavalier, Cavalier House Books


"It's one thing to post a couple photos or links, or like a couple videos, and quite another to create a dynamic, engaging, and attractive presence online that enhances and compliments your real-world, brick-and-mortar business. JB Media's holistic approach to social media is the best I've seen for doing that. It goes far beyond just providing a series of tips or tricks to manage a Facebook page. Your course gives people the tools they need to navigate social media effectively and use it productively. You know the proverb "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for life"? JB Media teaches people how to fish.”--Nicki Leone, SIBA




Tags:  booksellers  education  Sarah Benoit  social media 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Winner of the Book Expo's 2018 "Introduce an Indie" Scholarship Shares Her Experience

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, July 2, 2018
Star Lowe, owner of Star Line Books in Chattanooga, TN, was one of eighteen booksellers who received the "Introduce an Indie" scholarship to attend this year's Book Expo in NYC. The program, designed in collaboration with the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and nine regional bookseller associations, offered a unique opportunity to be fully immersed in the book industry. Star shares her first-ever experience of Book Expo:
 
"I was shocked to be awarded a scholarship! Even up to the last minute, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to swing it. The shop is having some growing pains, and I was super busy meeting with my accountant and lender negotiating a potential new location for Star Line Books. I was also dealing with a heavy events calendar, and helping my oldest move into his first house! I was so grateful to have attended the SIBA-sponsored How to Prepare a Press Kit for Your Store and How to Pitch Your Store to Publicists webinars with Maribeth Pelly. Katie worked on it, and with the help of Kelly Justice of Fountain Bookstore, we got it revised and pitch ready. The How to Pitch Your Store webinar included role-playing, which let me know what I was walking into with the speed dating session I attended at Book Expo. I wasn’t signed up for any, due to my aforementioned timing issue, but Kelly allowed me to use the last two minutes of her 11-minute sessions. I couldn’t have asked for a more gracious mentor. She and her colleague, Carl Kranz, have taken Katie and me under their wings, and no question is seen as too insignificant. I had a catbird’s seat watching Kelly pitch before my turns. Having done no publisher prep ahead of time to familiarize myself with their upcoming tour grids, I learned on the fly, and used what I gleaned from Kelly’s pitch to fit my store’s pitch. I was confident enough following the speed dating sessions to cold call some of the publishers with authors I knew I wanted to host in Chattanooga.
 
I now know exactly how I need to prep to hit the ground running next year. I’ll have my publisher wish lists, and be familiar with the tour grids, and sign up early for the publisher meetings. Despite my lack of preparation, I managed to make some valuable contacts. Also, I was surprised at how few books I collected to send home. I just didn’t waste time in signing lines, and although my booksellers were a bit disappointed at the lack of ARCs I snagged, I feel like I finally did the job I have been trying to learn to do for over three years. I operated like the owner and manager of an indie bookstore who hustled my shop. It was uncomfortable at first, but I sucked it up, stepped up to the plate, and got a base hit! I consider this my biggest success. Side note, HOLY COW! Nothing prepared me for what it was like to step into the Javits Center in full Book Expo glory! Going back to the baseball metaphors, it was like taking the field for the first game of the World Series."

 

 

 Star is pictured above with author Susanna Kearsley, and to the left with mentor Carl Kranz from Fountain Bookstore of Richmond, Va.

Tags:  BEA  booksellers  education  Kelly Justice  Star Lowe 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Meet the Bookseller: Sara Luce Look, Charis Books and More, Atlanta, Geogia

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, June 28, 2018

MEET THE BOOKSELLER: SARA LUCE LOOK

Sara Luce LookName: Sara Luce Look

Store and location: Charis Books & More, Atlanta, GA

website || facebook || twitter || instagram

Number of years as a bookseller: 26 years and Charis has been in business since 1974

Best part about being a bookseller? Getting to work at a job I love and feel passionate about...




Charis Books Charis Interior
Charis Event Charis Display

A Certain LonlinessWhat book(s) are you reading?:
A Certain Loneliness: A Memoir by Sandra Gail Lambert (out in Sept.)
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
About to start the galley of Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver



Confessions of the FoxFavorite handsell of 2018:
I am looking forward to selling Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg when it comes out at the end of June.
I have been selling the paperback of The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, which was my favorite fiction book last year

 

 

 

Best thing you did this year at your store:

Not in our store, but getting to go to Washington DC and be honored as The We Need Diverse Books Bookseller of the Year was pretty huge!
Also selling books at Tayari Jones' book release party for An American Marriage to a sold out crowd at the Alliance Theatre.

Social Media Stats (FB likes, Twitter followers, etc)

Twitter (@chariscircle): 2300
FB (@charisbooks): 6426
IG (@charisbooksandmore): 2081
3500 subscribers on email list.

What are some ways you work with your community?

Because we are a mission-driven feminist bookstore with a non-profit programming arm, we work more directly with our community than many stores. Charis Books co-sponsors public events and sell books at libraries, churches, pre-schools, therapy conferences, conferences, festivals, academic gatherings and more. Our non-profit, Charis Circle, sponsors over 270 events a year at our store and in partner venues, centered around the mission of fostering sustainable feminist communities, working for social justice and encouraging the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. Charis Circle accomplishes its mission by working with artists, authors, and activists from across the South and around the world to bring innovative, thoughtful, and life-changing programming and events to Atlanta's feminist communities. Charis is Atlanta's only publicly accessible dedicated feminist space open 7 days a week, 360 days a year. Charis events range from writing groups, to poetry open mics, to children's story hours, to yoga, to activists strategy sessions and so much more. Charis Circle's work extends beyond the walls of Charis Books and into the schools, streets, and homes of our beloved community members. We exist as a popular education resource for our customers, their families, and the city at large.

Do you have any community partners you work with regularly?
Some of our partnerships include:

  • Atlanta Pride
  • Atlanta Radical Book Fair
  • Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
  • The Center of Civil and Human Rights LGBT Institute
  • The Crunk Feminist Collective
  • The Decatur Book Festival
  • Different Games Collective
  • Emory University
  • Feminist Women’s Health Center
  • First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta
  • Georgia Center for the Book
  • Georgia Safe Schools Coalition
  • The Icarus Project
  • Men Stopping Violence
  • Phillip Rush Center
  • Project South
  • Raksha
  • Spelman College
  • Southerners on New Ground (SONG)
  • A Striving Parent
  • Trans and Friends
  • Women Healing Women, Inc.
  • ZAMI NOBLA (National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging)

Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life?
I collect cookbooks (mostly regional New England, Portuguese cooking, and vintage baking)

Top priority going into 2018:
Getting ready to move! We will be moving to the campus of Agnes Scott College in 2019. We will be partnering with ASC, bringing our independent feminist bookstore and non-profit to campus. We will not be selling textbooks, but will be adding "school store" items (spirit-wear/t-shirts, toiletries, snacks, school supplies, etc) to our shelves.

Favorite SIBA programming benefit: SIBA trade show

Tags:  booksellers 

Share |
PermalinkComments (1)
 

Applications Open for the 2018 PAT CONROY SCHOLARSHIPS

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Thursday, June 28, 2018

Applications Open for the 2018 PAT CONROY SCHOLARSHIPS, sponsored by PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) invites booksellers to apply for the 2018 Pat Conroy Scholarships. The scholarships honor the late author whose lifetime achievements have meant so much to Southern booksellers. They are made possible by Penguin Random House, whose Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, and Random House Audio imprints publish Mr. Conroy’s works in hardcover, paperback, and audio editions respectively.

These scholarships are for booksellers who have never attended a SIBA Discovery Show, in keeping with Penguin Random House’s tradition of supporting educational programming for booksellers at the event.  The scholarships will cover up to $1,000 of the recipient’s travel, hotel, and meal expenses for the Discovery Show first-timers. To be eligible, a bookseller must be a full-time employee of a SIBA-member bookstore, working at any level or capacity.

SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell said, “We believe that nurturing the next generation of career booksellers is one of the best things we can do to advance the future of bookselling.  These scholarships Penguin Random House is endowing mean so much to the booksellers chosen. They benefit from new educational opportunities, and connect with other booksellers, authors, and publishers. They also bring a refreshing and inspiring energy to the show, which is so gratifying to witness.  How appropriate that these awards honor Pat Conroy, who was so kind and generous with all of us, and in particular, to those new to our industry.”

“Pat Conroy is beloved by his readers, his publisher, Penguin Random House, and by SIBA. So, it is with great devotion for our author and enormous respect for the members of SIBA, whom he ardently supported, that we endow this next generation of bookseller-education scholarships for them in his honor,” added Jaci Updike, President, Sales, Penguin Random House.

To be considered for a Pat Conroy Scholarship, booksellers can self-nominate, or be nominated by other booksellers or sales reps. Owners and managers are strongly encouraged to nominate frontline booksellers who are interested in bookselling as a career. The deadline for nominations for the 2018 Pat Conroy Scholarships is July 15, 2018.

Scholarship recipients will be announced on August 1.

The #2018 SIBA Discovery show will be held September 13-15 at the Innisbrook Resort in Tampa, Florida.

To apply, the nominated bookseller should fill out the information below, and email it to wanda@sibaweb.com:

  • YES! I have never been to SIBA and I would love to go.

  • Name

  • Address

  • E-mail address

  • Bookstore: where do you work? How long have you worked there and what is your current role?

  • Make Pat Conroy proud! Please write a short (two paragraphs is ideal) description of why you love being a bookseller and what you hope to get out of SIBA.

Tags:  booksellers  education  Pat Conroy  scholarship  trade show  Wanda Jewell 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Booksellers: Make Your Mark with SIBA!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

 

Booksellers: Make Your Mark with SIBA!


We have very exciting news to share with you. This spring, SIBA researched the ability of our organization and our member stores to generate sales and events in our territory. The results are fantastic, and included in our new SIBA Press Kit. Please take a look! The collective clout of SIBA stores is mighty impressive!


Southern indie booksellers, together with SIBA, reach more than 1.5 million readers. This translates into an average of 10,000 readers weekly per bookstore. You host over 15,000 events annually, and support over 1100 book clubs regionwide. One fourth of you participate in our Circle of Sites homepage banner ad promotion, which generates 2 million impressions annually. Just imagine if every store participated! Your events are promoted in Lady Banks Commonplace Book newsletter to a weekly audience of 60,000 readers. You distribute 500,000 Okra Pick bookmarks and 900,000 Holiday catalogs annually.


Curious how many SIBA member stores report sales to the NYT and Indie bestseller lists? What percentage submit reviews on Edelweiss? How many attend our Discovery Show? It’s all here, and more.


We hope this data will inspire you to consider your part in SIBA’s zone of influence and explore where you might increase effort and engagement to reach more readers and grow your sales. You are making your mark!

Tags:  #makeyourmark  booksellers  circle of sites  events  lady banks  okra picks 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Bookseller Revival at The Country Bookshop: Improving Margins while Offering Original Content to your Customers

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, June 22, 2018

 

Bookseller Revival at The Country Bookshop: Improving Margins while Offering Original Content to your Customers

 

Mark your calendar and join us for a Bookseller Revival at The Country Bookshop, hosted by owner & SIBA Board member Kimberly Daniels Taws. Josh Floyd of IngramSpark will give an overview of how bookstores are utilizing their services in various ways, including producing store-branded journals. Kimberly will share how her team works with local authors, and their approach to publishing with IngramSpark. The afternoon will include time for brainstorming, and addressing questions booksellers might have regarding how they can use what they've learned and adapt for their stores. Lunch provided courtesy of IngramSpark. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.

 

When: Friday, July 20, 10am-3pm

Where: The Country Bookshop, 140 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines, NC 28387

RSVP: lindamarie@sibaweb.com

 

Tags:  booksellers  bookselling  Country Bookshop  education  Ingram  revival 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Get Ready for July on Lady Banks Bookshelf!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Get Ready for July on Lady Banks Bookshelf! Here are our featured titles:


The Lost Country by William Gay (Dzanc Books), 978-1-945814-52-5. "Like so many fans of Gay's, I've been waiting to read this seemingly mythical work, The Lost Country, for quite some time....Gay's elegiac prose sings once again as he breathes life into his characters and mines his patch of soil with the skill of the old masters...It's a helluva good ride and I can't wait to recommend it.”-Cody Morrison of Square Books


Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk by John Lingan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), 978-0544932531. "John Lingan's Homeplace is . . . a perfectly rendered elegy for an iconic music venue that tells a much larger story: how our dreams, desperation and hope become transcribed in the landscape that surrounds us and embedded in the songs we pass down as our legacy.”-Colin Dickey, author of Ghostland


The Dying of the Light by Robert Goolrick (HarperCollins), 978-0062678225. "A mesmerizing, evocative novel brimming with passion and tragedy. [Goolrick’s] portrait of a depleted Southern family, hoping to reinvigorate itself and its magnificently neglected estate, is at once thrilling and devastating.” -Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain


Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty (Disney/Hyperion), 978-1368005845. "A moving, atmospheric journey of hope.”-Kirkus Review


Steal Away Home by Billy Coffey (HarperCollins), 978-0718084448. "I wasn’t expecting Billy Coffey’s Steal Away Home to work the kind of number it did on me. Reading it was like sitting on the church pew, thinking the preacher wrote his Sunday sermon especially for me because it was exactly what I needed to hear that day. It brought me back to my childhood.”- J.C. Sasser, author of Gradle Bird


What Blooms From Dust by James Markert (Thomas Nelson), 978-0785217411. "In this enchanting allegory, Markert (All Things Bright and Strange) crafts an imaginative tale of the Dust Bowl . . . Markert creatively portrays the timeless battle between good and evil, making for a powerful story of hope and redemption.”-Publishers Weekly

 

 

Tags:  booksellers  bookselling  ladybanks 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Meet the Bookseller: Dave Schallenberger, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, Georgia

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, June 14, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Dave SchallenbergerName: Dave Shallenberger

Store and location: Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, Georgia

website || facebook || twitter || instagram

Number of years as a bookseller: We opened 13 years ago and that's when I first became a bookseller

Best part about being a bookseller?: Interacting with superb co-workers and wonderful customers, all of whom never cease to amaze me with their friendliness, intelligence, wit, and love of the written word.




Little Shop of Stories inside Author Illustrations
Good Night Moon Room The Penny Floor


The ShadesWhat book(s) are you reading?:
I've just about finished The Shades by Evgenia Citkowitz (6/19/18), which is superb, The Family Tabor (7/17/18) by Cherise Wolas which was also quite good, Felicity by Mary Oliver, and A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman which is just as entertaining as everyone told me.

I run our Poetry & Wine group. Next month we'll be discussing The Way Under the Way by Mark Nepo.
Just starting: The Brother by Rein Raud.

It's been a marathon, but my "Friday afternoon sitting at the bar and having a beer" book is Ron Chernow's Grant. (It's one of my favorite times of the week for two reasons.)

On deck: OK, Mr. Field by Katherine Kilalea (7/17/18)

Orphan IslandFavorite handsell of 2017: Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder. The book, a middle-grade novel which was longlisted for a National Book Award, was creative and challenging, raising moral and philosophical questions. (What a great thing for a kids' book to do!) Laurel is local and we love her. We're thrilled that her Charlie and Mouse won the Geisel Award this year.

Picture Book
Sarabella's Thinking Cap by Judy Schachner. It's all about creativity and finding your own unique way. I always love Judy's illustrations.

Middle Grade
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder. Laurel's newest novel was longlisted for a National Book Award and was creative and challenging, raising moral and philosophical questions. (What a great thing for a kids' book to do!) Laurel is local and we love her. We're thrilled that her Charlie and Mouse won the Geisel Award this year.

YA
Dear Martin by Nic Stone. Nic is also a local author and this is her rather stunningly excellent debut novel. I very much look forward to her future work.

Best thing you did this year at your store:
In the past year I served on the Indies Introduce and the Indies Choice / E.B. White Read-Aloud Book Awards panels. It's been a great opportunity to read numerous excellent books and converse with fellow booksellers from all over the country.

Social Media Stats (FB likes, Twitter followers, etc)
Web site: averages about 8,500 page views per month
Email newsletter subscribers: 7,742
Facebook: 8,357 likes
Instagram followers: 3,250
Twitter followers: 2,688

What are some ways you work with your community?
We're extremely engaged with our local community and always try to find more ways to do so. Little Shop hosts four storytimes each week and nine book groups each month. We send authors and hold many, many bookfairs at schools in the Atlanta area. We have our own Summer Reading Program with rewards from local businesses. About 600 kids sign up every year. We run nine weeks of (mostly) book-themed camps every summer. Little Shop has been intimately involved in the Decatur Book Festival since its inception. On The Same Page is our community-read program in which we encourage families to read the same book. We work with a number of local organizations to distribute several hundred free books to kids who might not be able to afford them. The finale features an author visit. Little Shop also installs the community Christmas Tree on our roof each Christmas season. The annual tree lighting, complete with a visit from Santa and a performance of a school choir, draws hundreds of folks.

Top priority going into 2018:
Mine is to improve the appearance of the shop. Little Shop expanded into an adjoining space about 18 months ago and we've been working on integrating the look with our established space. We've been covering our floor with pennies (4+ years and counting). One of our employees, Jason, has finished our Goodnight Moon room, complete with replicas of the paintings, a fireplace mantle, green and yellow curtains ... the whole bit! Now we'll expand the focus to the exterior, installing planters with flowers and maybe doing some painting to make our shop look more inviting.

Tags:  booksellers  little shop of stories 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Looking to Engage Young Readers During the Summer Break? Promote the Solo Summer Reading Program with Conroy Legacy Award-Winner Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Looking to Engage Young Readers During the Summer Break? Promote the Solo Summer Reading Program with Conroy Legacy Award-Winner Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess!


Here’s a perfect in-store opportunity for a summer reading program based on Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess. Kwame Alexander, SIBA’s 2018 Conroy Legacy Award-winner, is a Virginia-based poet, educator, Newbery winner, and bestselling author. He’s a charismatic speaker with a passion for poetry and inspiring kids to read. He and Hess are leading a four-week program that readers engage with through email and facebook, and in-store programming supported by educator guides. Use this link  (which directs readers to buy at their local independent bookstore or via Indiebound.org)  to sign yourself up, and for use in social media and store websites to encourage readers to read Solo.


https://kwamealexander.com/solo-indie/

 


Solo, co-written with Mary Rand Hess, tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, whose life is bombarded with scathing tabloid covers and a constant reminder that his famous father is struggling with just about every addiction under the sun—including a desperate desire to make a rock-n-roll comeback. Haunted by memories of his mother and the ruin his father’s washed-up legacy has brought the family, Blade’s only hope is in the forbidden love of his girlfriend. But when he discovers a deeply protected secret—one that has him questioning his own identity—he’s thrown into a tailspin. Blade sets out on a journey across the globe that will change everything he thought to be true. Booklist praises, “Alexander has a history of appealing to teens of all sorts and a Newbery to his name; don’t expect this collaboration to stay on shelves long.”





Tags:  book club  booksellers  conroy legacy award  kwame alexander 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Don't Miss Out on These Scholarships to the SIBA Discovery Show!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, June 11, 2018

 

Don't Miss Out on These Scholarships to the SIBA Discovery Show!

SIBA is committed to helping every bookseller who wishes to attend The Discovery Show find a way to come. Every year financial assistance is made available through the generous support of publishers and organizations who recognize what a vital resource the show is for stores. After all, stronger bookstores mean better sales for their books. This year SIBA has the following financial assistance and scholarship opportunities available.

The Macmillan Bookseller Professional Development Scholarship

In partnership with the Binc Foundation, The Macmillan Bookseller Professional Development Scholarship aims to encourage a greater number of individuals from underrepresented groups to choose and/or continue careers in bookselling. This scholarship will allow up to one bookseller to attend their regional trade show. Deadline is July 1. Click here to apply for the scholarship.


Binc Scholarship

Based on financial need, this scholarship is available for a bookseller who has not been to SIBA in recent years because they have been unable to afford it.  Write a letter of need & desire and email to wanda@sibaweb.com.

The Reba & Dave Scholarship Fund

Open to any bookseller, this scholarship allows ten bookstores, each with up to two booksellers, one hotel room for three nights, and two allpass tickets to the meals at the show. Includes up to $300 in  travel expenses.

Write a letter of need & desire and email to wanda@sibaweb.com.

The Pat Conroy Scholarships, sponsored by Penguin Random House

Two scholarships are designated for booksellers who have never attended a SIBA Discovery Show. This scholarship is in keeping with the Penguin Random House’s fifteen-year tradition of supporting educational programming for booksellers at the event.  The 2 scholarships will cover up to $1,000 of the winner’s travel, hotel, and meal expenses for the Discovery Show. To be eligible, a bookseller must be a full-time employee of a SIBA-member bookstore, working at any level or capacity.

To apply, the nominated bookseller should fill out the information below, and email it to wanda@sibaweb.com:

  • YES! I have never been to SIBA and I would love to go.

  • Name

  • Address

  • E-mail address

  • Bookstore: where do you work? How long have you worked there and what is your current role?

  • Make Pat Conroy proud! Please write a short (two paragraphs is ideal) description of why you love being a bookseller and what you hope to get out of SIBA.



Scholarship winners will be announced before September 1.

Tags:  binc  booksellers  education  scholarship  SIBA  siba member hub  trade show 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 1 of 2
1  |  2