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New Voices, New Rooms: SIBA and NAIBA Partner for a 2020 Virtual Show!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, May 19, 2020

New Voices New Rooms

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) are coming together to produce a combined virtual conference and tradeshow. In a nod to Truman Capote, the acclaimed writer with roots in both territories, this year’s theme is New Voices, New Rooms. Booksellers, publishers, authors, and other industry partners will gather in intimate and larger virtual rooms offering creative, customizable programming not possible at in-person shows.

New Voices, New Rooms will feature a fresh format spanning five days, crafted with care to answer the community’s call for shared spaces, networking, discovery of new titles and bookselling best practices, and plain old fun! Mark your calendars to join us September 21-25.

Registration for the fall shows have been temporarily suspended while the conference is reconfigured to its new format. Attendees who have already registered will be contacted to convert their registration to the new platform

A new format means new opportunities!

Eileen Dengler, executive director of NAIBA, and Linda-Marie Barrett, executive director of SIBA, are brainstorming new and creative ideas for programming and want to hear from booksellers and publishers. Everyone is welcome to share their desires, expectations, and possible challenges with a virtual show format. Feedback and ideas can be submitted here.

Visit or for up to date information as it is confirmed.

Tags:  discovery show  naiba 

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Visiting Spartanburg, Host City for #SIBA19's Discovery Show

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, May 14, 2019

SIBA’s Discovery Show in Spartanburg, SC is going to be extra special, with a full schedule of author events, educational programming, and gatherings where seeing old friends and making new ones is top of the list. SIBA's Wanda Jewell and Linda-Marie Barrett visited recently for a site visit, and met with Patricia Byrd of the Spartanburg CVB, Anne Waters, Meg Reid and Betsy Teter of Hub City Bookshop & Press, and the good folks at the Spartanburg Marriott AKA Discovery Show Central. 

The Marriott is in downtown Spartanburg, a walkable distance from restaurants, the book shop, and other beloved local attractions. The hotel is lovely, spacious, and well-appointed, featuring three restaurants, a bar, and a cafe. After the day’s activities you can settle in, schmooze, and connect with other booksellers, authors, reps, and more. Here’s a peek at where you’ll be staying.

But you won’t want to stay in the hotel the whole time. Spartanburg-affectionately known as Hub City and Sparkle City- has so much to offer culturally. Come early as we’ll be offering a variety of things to do on Thursday, September 12, including a visit to Hub City Writers Project, and The Johnson Collection Gallery. Art lovers will also want to wander down to the AC Hotel and view the 40+ objects on view at the hotel—paintings, works on paper, sculpture and textiles—created by faculty members and students at the experimental arts enclave of Black Mountain College. The collection is really extraordinary, as is the hotel’s rooftop bar!

Word on the street is that SIBA’s 2019 Discovery Show is drawing a record number of booksellers, as Spartanburg is within driving distance of so many bookstores in NC, SC, VA, TN, and GA. We want you to be there, too. Here’s a link to find out more info and register.

Tags:  Discovery Show 

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Share Your Smarts with SIBA Booksellers!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Booksellers, authors, and other publishing industry colleagues sharing their best practices, creative insights, and life hacks is what makes SIBA's educational programming so valuable to members. If you'd like to be part of our educational programming at the #SIBA19 Discovery Show September 13-15 in Spartanburg, SC, we welcome your proposals. Although we can't guarantee your proposal will be selected for this event, it may be considered for future programming.  Please fill out this form and we'll be in touch. Thank you so much for your time and interest!


Tags:  Bookseller education  Discovery Show  eurekasiba 

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Don’t Miss TrioLive at The SIBA Discovery Show on Wed, Sept. 12 at 9pm!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, August 17, 2018


Don’t Miss #TrioLive at The SIBA Discovery Show on Wed, Sept. 12 at 9pm!

TRIO is a traveling exhibit of art, music, and literature that celebrates the inspirational power of great storytelling. First conceived by Shari Smith of Working Title Farm,

TRIO starts with a book, which is given to a musician and a visual artist, who then write a song, a piece of music, and a work of art inspired by the story. 


TrioLive is a music-filled discussion of  TRIO and how it can impact your store, inspire your customers, and sell more books. TrioLive introduces the #2019 exhibit and presents some of the authors, artists, and songwriters.  Beginning in January of 2019,  the exhibit travels around the South for the next nine months, hosted and sponsored by SIBA member bookstores.


Join Trio founder Shari Smith and hear from Eddie Heinzelman, songwriter for The Hundred Story Home, Eric Erdman, songwriter for The Vain Conversation and Lorraine, the Girl Who Sang Away the Storm, Anthony Grooms (The Vain Conversation), Donna Everhart (The Forgiving Kind), Jana Sasser (Gather at the River Anthology), Elaine Neil Orr (Swimming Between Worlds), Michael Nemeth (The Undiscovered Country), Kathy Izard (The Hundred Story Home), and Nicole Sarrocco (Lit by Lightning).


Tags:  discovery show  Shari Smith  trio 

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An Interview with Doni Kay, Sales Representative for Penguin Young Readers

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, August 1, 2018


An Interview with Doni Kay, Sales Representative for Penguin Young Readers


NameDoni Kay


Employer: Penguin Young Readers


States in your territory: DC, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL


Number of years as a rep:16


Best part about being a rep: Visiting bookstores and meeting with my buyers.


What were you doing before you became a rep? I was the children’s buyer for Books & Books in Coral Gables. I also ran the bookfair operation and managed the kid’s room with Michelle Krinzman. Before that, I was a flight attendant with Air Florida back in the late 70’s!


What's the coolest thing/a great idea you've seen at one of your stores? I love the Goodnight, Moon room at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia. It’s magical!


Do you see Edelweiss reviews from booksellers? Yes, I do. All the time. I encourage my buyers to make sure they praise the galleys they love in Edelweiss. Knowing that once a buyer has gone through the catalog and marked their order that they may not ever go back in, I tell them I will sit right there while they write a review, even if it is in the middle of our sales call.


Do you follow any stores especially closely on social media? What are they doing right? I follow many of my accounts on social media. In the last couple of years I have seen so many of them step up their game on social media, specifically Instagram. Many have assigned a specific employee to manage their social media accounts, which I think is a great idea. Also, at Penguin Young Readers, we make sure to send out Social Media ready assets that make it super easy for our accounts to post a picture or post a contest or pre-order campaign, without them needing to put it all together in their very limited amount of time. We would rather they are hand selling in the store, rather than trying to figure out how to post something. I am really impressed with a few of my newer stores, that have jumped right into social media.


What can a bookseller do to make a sales call more effective? I always hope that my buyers have gone through my Edelweiss mark up ahead of time and marked up their initial order, so that we can spend our time wisely…….fine tuning the order and making sure they have noticed some of the mark up notes that I have added, such as where the author lives or possibly something local that we can use as a selling tool.


Most memorable thing that’s happened during a sales call?

I can’t think of one most memorable thing, but probably my favorite thing is when my buyers gets called away for a few minutes and I get to be a bookstore staff member again…….doing what I love best……hand selling!


What’s one thing you wish bookstores would do, or do more often? I love feedback. I tell all of my buyers to write me a quick email or text me or call me and let me know any little thing that is happening in their store or with their customers, so that I can stay on top of trends in the marketplace. If a new employee is madly in love with one of my books and is hand selling it like crazy, I want to know, so that I can make sure to send galleys specifically to that staff member and be better able to target my mailings.


Favorite book you’re currently promoting: Picture book: Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse, (on sale in August 2018), Jackie Woodson’s new books……The Day You Begin and Harbor Me and Sheila Turnage’s finale to the Mo & Dale Mysteries which began with Three Times Lucky……The Law of Finders Keepers. Sooooo good!


What do you enjoy most about the SIBA Discovery Show? Seeing all my fellow reps and finding out what books they are excited about. Catching up with my customers and getting to know new-comers to the bookselling world. I really enjoy getting a chance to talk to some of the owners and buyers at some of the smaller accounts in my territory that I won’t necessarily see while on the road. It is a great way to build relationships and to personally show them the exciting books we have coming up!

Tags:  #siba18  children's books  Discovery Show  Edelweiss  Sales representative 

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Hop on the Bookstore Tour at the Discovery Show!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, July 30, 2018

Hop on the Bookstore Tour at the Discovery Show!

You'll need some downtime after the morning with Doug Hall's Driving Eureka! A Bookstore Tour to Oxford Exchange, Inkwood Books, and Mojo Books & Records will be just the right transition. Make plans to join the tour on Wednesday, Sept 12, 1:30-730 pm which includes lunch, store visits, and so much fun with your author tour guides: Laura Mize, MarkDeNote, and Mark Muncy!   

The tour begins at 1:30pm. What better inspiration than seeing what your colleagues are doing at their stores, and visiting their communities? Thanks so much to Arcadia Publishing/History Press for providing tour authors steeped in Florida lore, who promise to deliver lots of Florida trivia. Laura Mize is the author of Florida Made: The 25 Most Important Figures Who Shaped the State, Mark DeNote is the author of Tampa Bay Beer: A Heady History, and Mark Muncy is the author of Freaky Florida: The Wonderhouse.

If you'd like to join us, please email for more details.

Thanks to Generous Inkreadible Sponsor Baker & Taylor for making the tour possible!







Tags:  #siba18  Bookstore tour  Discovery Show 

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