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Virtual Trade Show Orientation and Lively Q & A

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Please join us on Thursday, August 27 at 1 PM EDT to learn more about the SIBA/NAIBA New Voices, New Rooms virtual trade show.

As we've begun listing our schedule of author events, educational programming, and networking opportunities on our site, we sense you might be wondering, "Where do I even begin?" So much to choose from, schedule into your calendar, and register for. We hope you find the schedule a bounty of delights and resources to sustain and inspire you and your bookstores as we head into the holiday season.

Included in this session:

  • Quick tour of NVNR website
  • How to view the four programming tracks
  • How to make appointments with publishers and vendors
  • How to download events into your calendar
  • Which events have limited attendance and require special registration

The SIBA and NAIBA teams will be on hand to answer questions and help you make the most of your experience at the show.
Link to register for this Orientation session.

Tags:  booksellers  trade show 

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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 lindamarie@sibaweb.com 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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Reader Meet Writer Update

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The Future of Reader Meet Writer

It is SIBA's goal to continue Reader Meet Writer after a two week break from June 15-July 1.  Half of the books that have been featured on Reader Meet Writer have made the Southern Indie Bestseller List the week following their appearance.  That bodes well for the program if that keeps up, and we need to hear from stores who are participating. These virtual events have been well received by booksellers, publishers, and authors alike.

Beginning in July, SIBA is going to offer two virtual events a week, one in the afternoon on Tuesdays and in the evenings on Thursdays.  We have confirmed Kristen Harmel on July 21st, and Odie Lindsey on August 6th.  We will fill in the remaining dates over the next few weeks and keep the calendar updated at the Reader Meet Writer site for booksellers.

All SIBA member bookstores are invited to participate, and join this list of participating bookstores. Just email wanda@sibaweb.com to be added to the list.

Tags:  #readermeetwriter  authors  booksellers  Covid-19  online events  Zoom Meeting 

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RMW Hosts 13 Events in MAY

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Monday, April 27, 2020

Reader Meet Writer Virtual Author Events for May

If you haven't signed up to participate in Reader Meet Writer Virtual Author Events, you can do so by simply emailing wanda@sibaweb.com.

Join this list of bookstores and choose from this list of events to present to your customers.  Stores are handling the events as they would handle their own virtual events. Some are selling the book as the ticket to attend.  Some are selling tickets for a flat rate that can then be used as a credit towards the book or any purchase from the store. Each store determines how they want to use the events to assist in selling more books. It is our hope that we are offering stores an easy way to sell books without the headache of managing a new tool.

When asked "Are you pleased with the outcome?", a resounding YES from participating booksellers:

  • "Yes! It came together very quickly for us and we're delighted that people joined in and bought some books. Thank you for putting this together."
  • "Yes - this was an opportunity to have an author event at a time when we otherwise could not at all."
  • "Yes-- I was super late in getting the word out so this was more than I'd hoped. I'd ordered 2 in for the store and they might not have sold without this. I sold those 2 locally, did one Direct-to-Home shipment and 1 on Bookshop."
  • "Yes, it attracted some readers that haven't attended our events in the past."
  • "Very pleased. Excited to participate again soon."
  • "Yes. We had I believe 86 RSVPs, but it looks like only 2/3 or so actually attended the event. 17 books in less than 24 hours for an online event is nothing to turn up our noses at! Some of these customers also purchased other books in their orders."
  • "Yes. My customers loved the chance to hear from such a beloved author!"
  • "Yes! Normally I sell ZERO hardcover debuts."

Last, and most important, only 18 of the current 60 participating bookstore have completed the events survey.  This is a really important final step.  We need the data to carry this program forward.  Please complete this form for each event.  Thanks!

Tags:  #readermeetwriter  authors  booksellers  Covid-19  online events  Zoom Meeting 

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Introducing Reader Meet Writer Virtual Author Series

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Monday, April 20, 2020

reader meet writer

BRING AUTHOR EVENTS RIGHT TO YOUR CUSTOMERS...

SIBA has created the Reader Meet Writer Author Series as an alternative for bookstores that—now that most of the country in under some version of a shelter-in-place order—are seeking to create ways to engage with their customers online. Participating stores will be able to invite their customers to exclusive video events with authors which are only available to SIBA stores. Events will be hosted by SIBA and can be attended by up to 1000 people. Bookstores handle all ticket and book sales from their customers.

Booksellers: Share your event feedback!

Publishers: Submit to the Call for Authors form!

Additional Resources:
Reader Meet Writer Code of Conduct
Reader Meet Writer Schedule
List of Participating Booksellers

Email Linda-Marie at lindamarie@sibaweb.com if you'd like to add your store to the list of participating bookstores.

Tags:  #readermeetwriter  authors  booksellers  Covid-19  online events  Zoom Meeting 

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Looking Good for Zoom

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Monday, April 20, 2020
Lighting Tips for Virtual Appearances
  1. Find a place where you have natural light on your face.
  2. Consider also putting a standing lamp or light source facing you. Invest in a ring light.
  3. Be thoughtful that your back ground isn’t distracting.
  4. Crop your video to include your bust and hands should you want to hold up a book or gesture the way you might naturally.
  5. If you need water be sure to have it in reach.
  6. Wear a solid color, not white.

Tags:  #readermeetwriter  authors  booksellers  Covid-19  Zoom Meeting 

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RMW - Lee Smith & Ruthie Lindsay Coming Next

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Reader Meet Writer Update

We are adding authors to the schedule.  First, if you haven't signed up to promote the Reader Meet Writer (RMW) events and sell the books to your customers and want to, email wanda@sibaweb.com.  We have two events coming up next week.  Lee Smith is on Tuesday, and Ruthie Lindsay is on Wednesday.  Their books, Blue Marlin, and There I Am: The Journey from Hopelessness to Healing - A Novel, are both perfect books for the times.  And we will soon be offering three or more events a week.  Lee Smith has signed a limited number of bookplates in preparation for her SIBA Reader Meet Writer event (April 21 at 4 p-m). Booksellers who are interested in having some bookplates for their readers and/or those who are interested in hosting virtual events should email Lynn York at lynn@blairpub.com.  

Let us know how the events are working for you by participating in our survey, and by sending us quotes we can use for promotion with publishers or naysayers.  Is this helpful?  Is it working?  Let us know.  We are happy to do this heavy lifting but not if we are getting in the way.  

There is an Edelweiss collection of RMW titles and new titles will be added and, of course, we are keeping the website as up to date as possible.  Finally, some of you have asked for all of the zoom links and passwords in advance and I'm happy to provide these if  you want to get everything created in advance.  These passwords simply cannot end up on any public-facing websites or social media.  Let us know if you'd like to have all of that in advance. 

PARTICIPATING BOOKSTORES
AUTHOR SCHEDULE

What booksellers are saying about Reader Meet Writer:

Doing Great today!
"Our web traffic had fallen off then I sent out the notice for Lee Smith in (our version of) Shelf Awareness and we now have more than 35 participants and more than 20 books sales. 
 I am working hard to get the promos going on the rest of them. I don’t know if the others will be as popular - Lee Smith is a favorite in the mountains as you know - but its a great profit to effort ratio - thanks your and Wanda’s efforts. 
Our sales were only averaging about $200 a day - but we’ve hit $550 plus today. 
Hope you’re finding some fun time out there. I enjoy your flowers and outdoor pics on Facebook. I hope it won’t be too long till I can post grandkid pictures again." 

Stay safe
Doloris Vest
Book No Further
112 Market St SE | Roanoke, VA 24011
dolorisvest@booknofurther.com | www.booknofurther.com
540-206-2505

Tags:  #readermeetwriter  authors  booksellers  Covid-19 

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Reader Meet Writer Update

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Reader Meet Writer, Okra Pick  with Steven Wright Coming Up April 16th @ 5 pm – Are you in?

Steven Wright

It was so wonderful to hear Steven Wright at #SIBA19 and I’m excited for him to share his book with readers across the south.  If you haven’t signed up to participate in SIBA’s Virtual Author Series Reader Meet Writer, you can do so by emailing  wanda@sibaweb.com.

And if you have, Steven’s The Coyotes of Carthage is “a blistering and thrilling debut—a biting exploration of American politics, set in a small South Carolina town, about a political operative running a dark money campaign for his corporate clients.” (Edelweiss)

The Reader Meet Writer bookseller site is now active.  Visit it today and often.

Steven Wright is a clinical associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, where he co-directs the Wisconsin Innocence Project. From 2007-2012 he served as a trial attorney in the Voting Section of the United States Department of Justice. He has written numerous essays about race, criminal justice, and election law for the New York Review of Books.

Tags:  #readermeetwriter  authors  booksellers  Covid-19  online events 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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