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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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Fill Out the ABACUS Survey to Earn an Extra Spot at Winter Institute 2019!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, June 11, 2018
Updated: Friday, June 8, 2018

Fill Out the ABACUS Survey to Earn an Extra Spot at Winter Institute 2019!

 

The deadline to participate in the annual ABACUS financial independent bookstore survey is Friday, June 15. Bookstores that have never submitted to ABACUS that participate in ABACUS-17 will this year have the option of registering an additional staff person for the upcoming Winter Institute, set for January 2019 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


This year, each region with at least 35 reporting stores will receive a data aggregate specific for their own region’s respondents. This data will be provided in Excel and will include all the metrics shown in the ABACUS report. And all participating bookstores from eligible regions will also receive the regional data in their individual company performance reports. Let's make this happen for the SIBA region, folks!

 

What we learned the last time we received a regional report (from 2014 data):

  • SIBA stores had a lower COGS and higher gross margin than ABA average
  • SIBA stores had lower payroll costs than ABA average
  • SIBA mid-range stores had higher occupancy and operational costs than ABA average
  • With the exception of mid-range stores, all SIBA stores did better than ABA average

  

SIBA Board President Doug Robinson, owner of Eagle Eye Book Shop, writes this about ABACUS, "Using my Quickbooks reports, I finished the survey in about 1.5 hours. I am strongly urging all of you to participate in the survey. ABACUS is a yearly, members-only survey which gathers valuable information that can help improve a bookstore's operations...and bottom line. Input from hundreds of ABA members results in valuable data that help ABA establish the benchmarks recommended for stores to improve business operations and profitability....What do you get out of this?...You'll get the ABACUS executive summary and a customized report for your store that analyzes the financial results...and you'll be helping all indie bookstores to better understand their financial results."

 

ABA member bookstores can begin the submission process by going to www.ABACUSbenchmarking.com. If stores participated last year, the store account information has been carried forward. New participants will need to create an account to access the site.

 

Stores with questions about ABACUS can email Michael Becher of Industry Insights, the company that assists ABA in compiling and creating the annual report.

Tags:  ABA  Abacus  booksellers 

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Practice Your Pitch at Book Expo with Maribeth Pelly!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, May 28, 2018
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018

 

 

 

Developing and maintaining an active, growing author event program is the key to success for most bookstores. One of the biggest challenges is getting your store on author tours, especially when you’re off the beaten trail, or in competition with a number of stores nearby. SIBA booksellers who attended our webinars with Maribeth Pelly-- How to Prepare a Press Kit for Your Store and How to Pitch Your Store to Publishers--are putting the final touches on their press kits and marketing efforts in advance of Book Expo, where they’ll attend publicist speed dating events, and meet publicists and reps at their booths and meeting rooms.


Want to practice your pitch before the meetings, or show your press kit to an expert? Maribeth Pelly will be at the ABA lounge on Wednesday (5/30) from 10-1145am, and 2-3pm to go over your pitches. We hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to check in, finesse your approach, and walk confidently into those meetings! You can email Maribeth in advance to schedule an appointment, or just show up during those times.


Maribeth Pelly is a marketing consultant who helps transform new and underperforming businesses. She’s also the event planner at her local independent bookstore, Booktowne.

Tags:  authors  b3! webinars  BEA  booksellers  bookselling  education 

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Four SIBA booksellers selected in the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s 2018 Higher Education Scholarship Program!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Sunday, May 27, 2018
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018

Twenty-seven booksellers have been selected to receive more than $100,000 as part of the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s 2018 Higher Education Scholarship Program. Providing financial assistance to help booksellers achieve their dreams is one of the most rewarding parts of maintaining the bookseller safety net, according to Binc Executive Director Pam French. “Booksellers are people who make the world a better place. We hope that by providing them with the opportunity to learn and grow through higher education, we are helping them change the world even more,” she said. “Congratulations to all of the college scholarship winners!”

The recipients were selected from 159 applicants comprised of bookstore owners, booksellers, former Borders Books employees, or their dependents. In total, $109,000 was awarded to help booksellers from 23 stores in 21 states reach their educational goals at 27 different schools. 

Four of the recipients are SIBA booksellers: Abigail Parkes of FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA,  Hannah Richardson of Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC, Sarah Skinner of Island Bookstore in Duck, NC, and Julie Wade of Downtown Books & News in Asheville, NC. 

A list of scholarship recipients, including their goals and favorite books, can be found here. Information about how bookstore employees can apply for the 2019 Higher Education Scholarship Program will be released early next year.

Tags:  booksellers  brilliant booksellers  education  scholarship 

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Bridging the Divide and the Open Discussion Project with Sarah Goddin and Chris Finan on Wed, 5/23 at 2PM!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Bridging the Divide and the Open Discussion Project with Sarah Goddin and Chris Finan on Wed, 5/23, at 2PM via Zoom!
 
Join Sarah Goddin of Quail Ridge Books as she discusses her store’s success with their “Bridging the Divide” book club. The club's goal is to foster dialog and better understanding between people with different political viewpoints and to provide a safe space for civil discourse on controversial or divisive topics. Chris Finan of The National Coalition Against Censorship will discuss The Open Discussion Project, which seeks to create a new kind of reading group that will bring people of opposing views into dialogue about the issues that divide us. Booksellers will have an opportunity to ask questions of Sarah and Chris, to explore how this programming could serve their stores and communities. Please RSVP lindamarie@sibaweb.com to sign up to attend.

Sarah Goddin is general manager of Quail Ridge Books, a 9000 square foot store in Raleigh, NC. She has been a bookseller for 40 years, starting with Waldenbooks in 1978, then opening and running her own store, Wellington's Books, in Cary, for 10 years, finally landing at Quail Ridge Books in 1996. Sarah has served on various ABA committees such as  the Booksellers Advisory Council, Education and Abacus task forces, and as chair of the Spring 2017 Indies Introduce adult book selection committee.

Chris Finan is executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, an alliance of 56 national non-profits, including the American Booksellers Association.  He has defended the First Amendment rights of booksellers for many years and most recently led American Booksellers for Free Expression.  He is the author of From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: A History of the Fight for Free Speech in America.  His new book is Drunks: An American History, which will be released in paperback on June 5. 

Tags:  b3! webinars  booksellers  bookselling  education  siba member hub 

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Make the Most of May: Join Us for Three Educational Opportunities to Be a Better Bookseller!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Make the Most of May: Join Us for Three Educational Opportunities to Be a Better Bookseller!



Wednesday, May 16 at 2PM:  B3! Bookclub discusses Your Leadership Edge: Lead Anytime, Anywhere by Ed O’Malley and Amanda Cebula. Sarah Bagby, owner of Watermark Books in Wichita, KS, praises this book as one that “teaches—or refreshes—skills for anyone to be a leader…[and] presents a step-by-step process designed to break down barriers in order to create change...This small book is a big gem.” Some things to consider in advance of our book club discussion: What are your leadership challenges? Are they technical or adaptive (the book will explain what this means)? Are you in a position of authority at your store? Are you fully-whelmed at work, or do you find yourself under/overwhelmed? Please email Linda-Marie if you need a copy of the book or have any questions about the book club.


Wednesday, May 23 at 2PM: Bridging the Divide and The Open Discussion Project with Sarah Goddin and Chris Finan. Join Sarah Goddin of Quail Ridge Books as she discusses her store’s success with their “Bridging the Divide” book club. The club's goal is to foster dialog and better understanding between people with different political viewpoints and to provide a safe space for civil discourse on controversial or divisive topics. Chris Finan of The National Coalition Against Censorship will discuss The Open Discussion Project, which seeks to create a new kind of reading group that will bring people of opposing views into dialogue about the issues that divide us. Please email Linda-Marie to sign up or if you have any questions.


Thursday, May 24 at 2PM: How to Pitch Your Store to Publishers with Maribeth Pelly. This is our second webinar with Maribeth Pelly, event planner at Booktowne and independent marketing consultant. Booksellers will find out how to have productive conversations with publishers, what publishers want to know (and what they don’t), and how to build a successful author event program, no matter what your store size. We’ll also observe a SIBA bookseller pitch to a publicist at Penguin Random House, and discover some great tips for online and in-person pitching. Attendees of this webinar are invited to a meet & greet pep talk with Maribeth at Book Expo before Publicist Speed Dating begins. Please email Linda-Marie to sign up or if you have any questions.

Tags:  authors  b3! webinars  BEA  booksellers  bookselling  education  siba member hub 

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Let's Meet at Book Expo!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Updated: Monday, May 7, 2018

SIBA's Zone of Influence: 850 indie booksellers x one million readers = unbeatable promotion of your authors and frontlist titles!

 

Wanda Jewell

Linda-Marie BarrettLet's meet and discuss how we can partner with you to bring new titles and promotions you're excited about to our audience. We're setting up appointments to meet industry folks who want to learn more about SIBA's 2018 Discovery Show in Tampa, FL, our annual Holiday Catalog, and our targeted promotions to member booksellers and a wide consumer audience. We'd love to meet with you!

Please email lindamarie@sibaweb.comto schedule a meeting with Wanda Jewell, Executive Director of SIBA and Linda-Marie Barrett, Assistant Executive Director. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Tags:  #siba18  authors  BEA  booksellers  content marketing  Linda-Marie Barrett  trade show  Wanda Jewell 

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Planning Your "Year of Profitability" with help from the ABA!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, April 30, 2018
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2018

ABA CEO Oren Teicher and Senior Strategy Officer Dan Cullen presented “A Year of Profitability” at the SIBA Spring Forum in March. The forum was hosted by Flyleaf owner Jamie Fiocco, Vice President/Secretary on the ABA’s Board of Directors. Oren and Dan took turns presenting recommendations for scheduling bookseller tasks and strategy on a quarterly basis. Items discussed: routine operations, industry events, literary awards, marketing, finances, and holidays & celebrations. The large gathering of booksellers, mostly from North Carolina, had opportunities to ask questions, and offer their own suggestions on how they schedule their inventory, returns, marketing plans, and more. Thoughtful host Jamie Fiocco brought in delicious coffee, sandwiches, and cookies from a nearby indie business for the lunch break. 


For those who couldn’t make the forum, here’s a link to the ABA's powerpoint presentation, which covers the heart of the presentation. When the flyer handed out during the presentation becomes available, we’ll send out another alert and add to our Peer Brain Trust. Both will be under “Business Resources.” Happy Planning!

Tags:  ABA forums  booksellers  education 

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Benefits of Reporting to the New York Times Bestseller List

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The New York Times Best-Seller Lists, posted on the web on Wednesday nights and published every Sunday in the print Book Review, reflect sales reported by vendors offering a wide range of general interest titles. The sales venues for print books include independent book retailers; national, regional and local chains; online and multimedia entertainment retailers; supermarkets, university, gift and discount department stores; and newsstands.

It’s increasingly important for independent booksellers to make their voices heard on a national level. Please, demonstrate the importance of the indie sales channel by reporting your sales to this important national outlet for book news.

If you do not yet report your sales to the New York Times, you can submit a request for an application at https://bestsellers.nytimes.com/newstoreapp.

If accepted, you would be expected to send your confidential report with sales from the previous Sunday-to-Saturday period by noon on Tuesday Eastern time each week.

Reporting stores receive the following:

    Every Tuesday, you’ll receive an email letting you know what titles will be covered in the Book Review that weekend, giving you advance notice to order these titles for your loyal readers.
    The Times Digest with the pdf containing the Best-Seller Lists hours before they appear online and 10 days before they are listed in the print Book Review.
    A complimentary copy of the printed Book Review sent directly to your store.

Tags:  booksellers  bookselling  brilliant booksellers  education  events 

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What We Learned at the Press Kit Webinar!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

SIBA booksellers who attended Maribeth Pelly’s webinar “How to Prepare a Press Kit for your Store” are now working on creating or retooling their store press kits in advance of trips to Book Expo. Pelly, the event planner for Booktowne (NJ) and a professional marketing consultant,  live-critiqued eight press kits from small and large stores with different approaches to their events programming. Pelly noted SIBA-member stores tend to focus on their story and place in their community, which is very positive. However, she emphasized the importance of including an up-to-date grid, something lacking in most press kits critiqued, showing numbers for attendees, venue seating, and books sold at successful author events. Pelly’s Easy Press Kit Checklist and Press Kit Template are now available in SIBA’s Peer Brain Trust under “Working with Publishers.” Pelly’s next webinar with SIBA is How to Pitch Your Store to Publicists on Thursday, May 24 at 2PM. Attendees will learn how to have productive conversations with publishers at Book Expo’s Speed Dating, and to stay on publishers’ radar all year long. Please sign up to join us!


A recording of Pelly’s Press Kit webinar will be available soon. Booksellers who attended shared the following:


“It helped me de-clutter and focus on what is essential...It was very helpful to take notes and listen to her responses and critiques; her criticisms of all of the different press kits were the best part as she allowed her honest reactions and thought processes to come through rather than just leaving us to rely on her tip sheet...We're putting direct input from the webinar onto the page!” --John Cavalier, Owner of Cavalier House Books


Having our newly minted press release critiqued by Maribeth was affirming. She thoroughly explained the rationale behind the advice she gave us for changes and helped me see how well we were and weren't communicating our strengths. Maribeth offers fresh eyes combined with real focus on the appropriate goals for each element of a press kit.” --Adah Fitzgerald, Owner of Main Street Books


“I enjoyed seeing what everyone else does and seeing the examples...I am planning on attending the next one and think it will be a great build on the previous material. I did make a quick reference numbers sheet which was something we were lacking. I have since shared with publicists and reps so hopefully will see some traction from that!”

--Jamie Rogers Southern, Operations Director of Bookmarks


“Avid definitely benefited from having our press kit reviewed by Maribeth. It was great to hear what we were doing right, and things we could improve upon. It was definitely worth my time to attend the webinar.” --Rachel Watkins, Communications Director of Avid Bookshop 

 

"The press kit webinar was so helpful. We learned so much and hope to implement what we learned very soon. The most helpful part was just being able to wrap our minds around what a press kit actually is, and what that consists of. The examples were phenomenal. Walking through what publishers look for and other things that give you a leg up when talking with publishers was an eye opener in the best way. We're still babies at this, so we really appreciate the time and effort y'all put in to this presentation." --Lauren Brown, Assistant Manager of The Story Shop

 

"I got a whole lot out of it.  I will be designing the [press kit] solely off what I have learned and it helped us out a whole lot.  I am so glad I got to be a part of it."--Jamille Christman, Marketing Director of of Eagle Eye Book Shop

 

"As quickly as we move past IBD, I will be using the template, and the copious notes I took during the presentation to design my very first store press kit. I found the evaluations of other bookstore press kits super helpful, as I am a visual learner. I will fashion mine according to the best examples Maribeth pointed out, and look forward to shopping it at BOOK EXPO."--Star Lowe, Owner of Star Line Books

 

 

Tags:  b3! webinars  booksellers  bookselling  education  Peer Brain Trust 

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SIBA's Collective Clout is Bustin' Out!

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Over 80% of SIBA’s bookstore members report to the New York Times Bestseller List, review books on Edelweiss, submitting to IndieNext, publishers, and SIBA plus maintain an extensive local media list. Over 90% report to the ABA Indie Bestseller List.

Combined our southern bookstores support over 1100 book clubs across the south reaching thousands of southern readers. The themes for these book clubs run the gamut and include:  Adult, Children, YA, YA for adults, Signed 1st Edition Clubs, Teen, Black Feminist Fiction, Sci Fi, Political, Mystery, Classic, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, International Literature, Women’s Voices, “Monday Morning”, Romance, Spanish, Small Press, Social Justice and many more.

SIBA stores combined have over 500,000 Facebook friends, over 300,000 Instagram, and over 200,000 Twitter followers.  In addition, SIBA and her stores email nearly 500,000 readers regularly. SIBA’s social network reach is 22,000 on Facebook, 5000 on Twitter, and 1000 on Instagram making the total reach of SIBA and her stores well over one million!

Over 60% of SIBA bookstores attend the SIBA Discovery Show sending more and more booksellers every year increasing attendance by 10% on average since 2014.

We can carry this momentum forward into the future and imagine a day where we determine to send a message out to our million+ southern readers!

 

Tags:  #siba18  booksellers  brilliant booksellers  events  read this!  SIBA  social media  trade show  trade shows 

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Did you get your Okra Pick box?

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Monday, April 9, 2018
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2018
You should have received your Okra Pick box this week.  You can identify it by the Okra Pick tape that is used to seal the box.  It's packed full of goodies.  Starting with 400 full-color beautiful bookmarks. There are two full-color posters. One promoting the Okra Picks for the Season, and another for the inaugural #ReadThisNext list.  These are general books that southern booksellers are excited to sell.  Come to the B3! webinar on August 25th, and learn your way around Edelweiss to get your name and bookstore on the next list. See a sample of the Shelf Talkers available for download here. Find enclosed the form to report your OP Sales for B3! credit, and use the included registration form to sign up for #SIBA18 in Tampa, FL.

Tags:  booksellers  bookselling  okra picks 

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Call for 2019 Conroy Legacy Award Nominations!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, March 30, 2018
Call for 2019 Conroy Legacy Award Nominations!

Dear SIBA booksellers,

Now is the time to nominate your choice for the 2019 Conroy Legacy Award. This award represents a “Lifetime Achievement”. The Conroy Legacy Award honors the example of beloved author Pat Conroy and recognizes writers who have achieved a lasting impact on their literary community. Recipients have the following attributes:

  • Support for independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general.
  • Writing that focuses significantly on their own home place.
  • Support of other writers, especially new and emerging authors.

The Conroy Legacy Award is given to one writer in SIBA territory per year. A juried panel of SIBA member booksellers will choose among nominated writers to determine the year’s winner.

Although it is not necessary for a nominated writer to have a new book out in the award year, nominated writers must be living, and must have books in print. Nominations must come from SIBA member bookstores. The Legacy Award provides an opportunity for its member stores to recognize writers who have been important in their community.

Both a donation to the Pat Conroy Literary Center and a donation to a literary entity close to the heart of the writer will be made in the name of the Legacy Award recipient.

Nominations close on April 30th. Nominate your choice today!

Tags:  authors  booksellers  conroy legacy award  pat conroy southern book prize  SIBA  siba book awards  siba member hub  southern book prize 

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