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Circle of Sites now available to Stores

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, February 6, 2020, the new online bookselling platform designed to support independent bookstores, officially launched at the end of January. The platform offers a solution to stores with no or limited e-commerce, and creates a feasible affiliate alternative to Amazon for book-oriented websites.

One of the most common questions at the webinar SIBA hosted in December was whether or not Bookshop would work with SIBA's own banner-for-dues program, Circle of Sites. SIBA has worked with to make the banner-for-dues program compatible with Bookshop. As of February 1, stores using can receive free SIBA membership by participating in the program.

What is Circle of Sites?

Also known as "the banner-for-dues program," COS allows SIBA to place a banner on bookstore websites. The banner is controlled by SIBA and paid for by publisher advertising partners. Advertised books are always in print and available at industry standard terms. The banner always clicks through to the hosting store's own e-commerce for purchase. As long as the banner is active, the bookstore's SIBA membership is considered current.

How does Circle of Sites work with

One of the requirements of COS is that browsers can click on the banner to buy the book. If a store is using for their e-commerce, then the banner will click through to using their affiliate account, and the sale will be credited to the store. is a viable option for stores that want to participate in Circle of Sites and either have no e-commerce (such as stores left without an alternative when Baker & Taylor discontinued My Books and More), or have limited e-commerce -- stores using Square or other shopping cart platforms not linked to a books in print database.

How do you sign up?

1) Sign up to be a affiliate. Regular affiliates earn 10% of any sales they generate. Bookstore affiliates earn 25%. Your store must be a member of the ABA to be a Bookstore affiliate. To sign up, contact Sarah High at

Bookstore One Sheet | Become a Bookshop Affiliate

2) Once you have your affiliate account, contact Nicki Leone at for your banner. You will need to have your Bookshop affiliate ID available. SIBA will generate banner code specific to your store, which you can add to your website.

Once these two steps are done, you are effectively a member of SIBA forever!

Tags:  circle of sites 

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Moving beyond My Books and More: Popular Bookseller E-commerce Platforms

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, May 6, 2019

The news this week that Baker & Taylor will cease serving the retail bookselling market has many SIBA members scrambling to adjust. Everyone at SIBA has been discussing what the organization can do to help its members make the transition away from relying on Baker & Taylor as a supplier and service provider.

Most immediately, stores who run SIBA's "Circle of Sites" banner and use "My Books and More" for online orders face some pressing repercussions from Baker & Taylor's decision. "Circle of Sites," also known as the "Banner for Dues" program, requires participating stores to have an ecommerce platform compatible with the program.

SIBA recognizes that choosing and implementing a new ecommerce solution is big decision that doesn't happen overnight. Here is what we will be doing to help:

  1. When My Books and More is discontinued on June 30, SIBA will convert the banner running on all stores using that platform to be "nonclickable" so that visitors to your site are not taken to any error pages by accident. You will not have to make any changes to your site or banner code.

  2. Store memberships will remain active until the end of the year, in order to give everyone time to implement a new e-commerce platform on their websites. As new e-commerce systems are adopted, SIBA will be on call to help stores re-activate their banners. At the end of the year, stores that haven't converted to a new e-commerce system will be removed from the program and the banner taken down from their site. (Stores can still earn their dues by participating in the B3! Bookseller Engagement Program).

  3. Over the next couple months, SIBA will do everything it can to help stores find the resources they need to choose a new e-commerce option. Stores can also post questions to SIBA's "Watercooler" group ( Questions about websites and compatibility with SIBA programs can be addressed to

The American Booksellers Association has responded to the announcement from Baker & Taylor with a special introductory offer for stores to sign up to their IndieLite program. Anyone interested should contact the IndieCommerce team at The ABA is a natural partner for bookstores and IndieCommerce is tailored to indie bookseller needs.

Here is a list of booksellers who are familiar with some of the popular e-commerce systems and are willing to answer questions:

Ask a Bookseller! E-Commerce Platform Users
System Contact
more info

Chris Fanning | A Cappella Books | store website

more info

Jill Hendrix | Fiction Addiction | store website

more info

Donna Paz | Story and Song Bookstore | store website

more info

Dave Lucey | Page 158 Books | store website

more info 
Booksellers Using Square Facebook Group

Square Space
more info

Josh Niesse | Hills and Hamlets | store website


Tags:  Baker & Taylor  circle of sites  e-commerce 

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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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Important information: What's new for you from SIBA in 2017?

Posted By Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Thursday, February 9, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hello, dearest and most beloved booksellers.

Forgive the length of this email, but 2017 has brought with it some changes and new features to your SIBA membership, so this is a quick guide to what's new, upcoming, and ever so important. Please take the time to read through.


  1. SIBA in the Springtime (3/6-3/7) is open for regstration. Click here. Hotel reservation deadline is 2/17. Click here for that
  2. Introducing the Idea Box: Send your ideas about the perfect Discovery Show to SIBA. Click here.
  3. Introducing the Conroy Legacy Award! The Southern Book Prize nomination deadline is Valentine's Day. Click here to nominate.
  4. The 2017 Booksellers Benefits Package is now available. Download it here
  5. B3! -- it's way easier! Click for details
  6. Circle of Sites/Banner for Dues: upgrades are happening this spring. Email Nicki for details and new code
  7. Programs you might not know about, but would be huge help: Trio | Peer Reviews
  8. Welcome to the new Member Hub! Now mobile friendly and with Facebook login. Check your account. (Your username is: @@username@@)


SIBA in the Springtime 

Writing the future of the SIBA Discovery Show

Open to everyone with a vested interest in the show:
booksellers, exhibitors, publishers, sales reps
$99 (meals included), Free for core member bookstores

March 6-7, 2017
The Crowne Plaza - Airport in Atlanta

Reservations: Call 866/750-3365, use Group Code SIB
Room Rate: $119 + 7% state sales tax.
Online hotel reservations


Online Event Registration

If you could change something about the SIBA Discovery Show, what would it be?

You will remember that last fall the talk of the Discovery Show was the plan to move the Fall Show to the spring, and partner with the GABBS show in Atlanta. Although the closure of the GABBS show has meant that plan will not go forward, the announcement has generated a lot of great discussion on the future of the SIBA Discovery Show, and how to keep it relevant and useful for our members.

To that end, SIBA is hosting it's regular "SIBA in the Springtime" education, with a focus on "writing the future of the SIBA Discovery Show." Join your fellow booksellers and book industry professionals for a day of brainstorming about the future direction of the Show. Imagination in encouraged. Bring all your dreams -- big and small.

The two-day event includes an author dinner on March 6 with three of your "Okra Pick" authors -- Michael Knight (Eveningland), Gina Kolata (Mercies in Disguise), and Taylor Brown (The River of Kings) plus two favorite Atlanta-based writers -- Patti Callahan Henry (The Bookshop at Water's End) and Joshilyn Jackson (Almost Sisters).

The American Booksellers Association will also be on hand to host a lunch, forum, and spring education presentation on March 7.

It is so very important that we hear from you. SIBA in the Springtime is FREE to core-member bookstores, so don't wait, register now.


If you can't make SIBA in the Springtime next month, or if you can, but you've already got so many ideas you just can't contain them all, then you can put your thoughts in THE IDEA BOX.

The Idea Box is a new benefit for SIBA members, a place to submit feedback, hopes, wishes, and dreams to the SIBA staff and indeed the entire SIBA membership. Ideas can be reviewed and voted on by members. SIBA uses the votes to gauge member interest and get an idea of how strongly you feel about something.

Right now, the Idea Box is geared towards re-envisioning the Discovery Show. So submit your ideas about what you think would be the perfect show. What you submit will help frame the discussion in Atlanta.

Click here to share your great ideas!


The nomination deadline is Valentine's Day, less than a week away. Make sure your favorite southern books are represented. Click here.

New this year is the "lifetime achievement" category, the Conroy Legacy Award. The Conroy Legacy Award recognizes writers who have achieved a lasting impact on their literary community. Recipients will have shown the following attributes:

  1. They support independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general.
  2. Their writing focuses significantly on their own home place.
  3. They support other writers in their community, especially new and emerging authors.

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

Nominate an author here


The 2017 edition of the Booksellers Benefits Package, which explains the details of your SIBA membership and all the programs and benefits is now available to download. Click here.

Even if you think you know what's available, it's worth taking a look at the new edition, which covers new programs and changes for 2017. Plus the front cover is a handy calendar of upcoming deadlines and important dates that really should be posted right on the staff room door!





The B3! Engagement Program, whereby bookstores can earn points and rewards, up to and including an all-expenses paid trip to the SIBA Discovery Show, has been simplified to make it easier to use and track.

  1. Fewer Levels -- we've kept the important milestone levels in the program, but did away with the intermediary ones.
  2. Simplified Social Media Tracking. Now, to earn points for social media activity you simply have to tag SIBA on Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter: @LadyBanks, @ReaderMtWriter

Facebook: @ReaderMeetWriter, @SouthernIndependentBooksellersAlliance, @LadyBanks

Useful hashtags: #okrapick,#southernbookprize,#siba17, #parapalooza, #southernindie, #readbuygive, #trio


If your store is participating in the Banner-for-dues program you need to know the system is being upgraded this spring to a more effective, stable, and secure platform. This will require you to post new code on your websites. Contact for the code. The deadline is July 1, after which the old code will no longer be supported.

If you have ecommerce on your store site and are not doing the Banner-For-Dues program, you can contact Nicki to see if you are eligible. Basically any site where you can search for a book by ISBN qualifies. Once your banner is up, you don't have to do anything else, so it is an easy, hassle-free way to keep your SIBA membership current.


TrioTRIO: TRIO is a traveling exhibit of art, music and literature. The TRIO exhibit debuts at the SIBA Discovery Show, and then travels around the South for the next twelve months, hosted by and sponsored by SIBA member bookstores.

SIBA sees TRIO as a unique opportunity for its members. It is an example of the of the real world power of real world connections, and can’t be mimicked in a virtual environment. By bringing TRIO to their town, a SIBA store can create create ties with other community organizations, reach new audiences, and bring attention to the store. Click here for more info.



Circle of SitesPEER REVIEWS: Simply put, a peer review is booksellers helping booksellers. If you feel like there is room for improvement in your store (and who doesn’t feel this way?), friendly fellow booksellers will visit your store, look at areas that are causing you concern, and off er constructive and confi dential feedback. Contact Wanda at to schedule a review or become a reviewer.


Over Christmas SIBA launched its new "Member Hub" designed to be easier to access, easier to navigate, and easier to participate in. Some of the highlights:

  • You can now log in with your Facebook account.
  • It is mobile-friendly, so create a shortcut on your phone and check in often.
  • It is modeled on a Facebook-like layout, so you have a "feed" with all the important recent SIBA news.
  • It is easy to upload and share information.

Put a shortcut on your phone and login to see for yourself.And while you are there, make sure your account information is up to date. Here's what we have for you:

You username: @@username@@
Your name: @@first_name@@ @@last_name@@
Your email: @@email@@
Your store: @@employer@@
Your member type (store/staff): @@member_type@@
Your membership expiration: @@membership_exp_date@@ *

**if your member type says "staff" then your expiration date is whenever your bookstore's membership expires.

and some more information that may be useful (for bookstores only):

Your oustanding SIBA credit: ##CREDIT##
Your B3! points: ##B3TOTAL##

Are you a Circle of Sites store?: ##CIRCLEOFSITESBANNER##
Your ecommerce system: ##ECOMMERCESYSTEM##
(if you have ecommerce, but are not a Cirle of Sites store, contact about participating)

Square footage of your store: ##SQUAREFEET##
Store location: ##MAINSTREET##
Store town size: ##TOWN##
Year incorporated: ##YEARINCORPORATED##


Tags:  b3!  circle of sites  peer reviews  siba in the springtime  southern book prize  trio 

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