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March Madness at Fiction Addiction on March 16!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Updated: Monday, December 9, 2019

jill hendrixJoin us for our March Madness event at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC on March 16 from 10-3 PM.

 The day begins with the educational session Creating Your Ideal Week: Time-Management Practices for Booksellers. Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction, Past President of SIBA, and now a Bookstore Business Coach, will walk you through exercises to help tame your overwhelm, increase your productivity, and make sure you are doing the right things instead of #allthethings.

After the morning presentation, we'll break for an author luncheon with Caroline Cooney, author of Before She Was Helen, a new mystery launching in May 2020. Caroline B. Cooney is the bestselling author of teen suspense, mystery, and romance novels that have sold over 15 million copies worldwide, including The Face on the Milk Carton.

The afternoon session includes a store tour, and time for networking, sharing ongoing concerns, success stories, and more.

Link to register for this event and other March Madness Bookseller Series events. March Madness Bookseller Series events are free to SIBA booksellers and include lunch.

More info about owner Jill Hendrix:

Jill worked briefly in the Editorial Department of St. Martin's Press and then for a series of internet startups in New York City, including Juno Online Services. The startup bug proved contagious and she decided in 2001 to return home and open her own business, Fiction Addiction, which she has managed ever since.

In 2009, she launched the successful Book Your Lunch author event program, which has brought bestselling authors like Elin Hilderbrand and Dorothea Benton Frank to Greenville and introduced readers to debut novelists like Beth Hoffman. She has served as the Treasurer of the South Carolina Academy of Authors and as the president of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. To learn more about Jill's Bookstore Business Coaching services, click here.

Tags:  education  SITS 

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March Madness at Fountain Bookstore on March 12!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, December 9, 2019

kelly justiceJoin us for our March Madness event at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA on March 12 from 10-3 PM. The day begins with the educational session Cultivating an Infinite Mindset for Resiliency in a Changing World. Session description: It's tempting to go for the short game in bookselling and in life. Quick rewards make us feel important and, in the case of our businesses, provide immediate financial gains. Spending time developing an "infinite mindset" and doing the challenging work of defining who we are as leaders, as companies, and as individuals takes time and is not as easily defined as simple "wins" and "losses." Working on broad areas of your company like defining your values and purpose, using design to manifest those definitions, creating a workplace culture where we feel safe, are inspired to work more, and feel satisfied and secure when we are not at work can lead to ultimate sustainability, security, and financial and emotional health.

Fountain Bookstore owner Kelly Justice, an independent bookseller for 30 years who is continuously working on her own "infinite mindset" journey, will lead this interactive workshop. Attendees should expect a candid presentation followed by a series of exercises designed to assist attendees in defining the next steps in their own journeys.

Link to register for this event and other March Madness Bookseller Series events.

Tags:  education  SITS 

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Stay Connected with SIBA in Edelweiss + Communities

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Edelweiss announced the release of their new “Edelweiss +Communities” this week. This allows groups of users with similar interests or functions to share reviews, collections, nominations, and more. If you are a bookseller member of SIBA, you most likely are already in our community.  SIBA provided Edelweiss a list of our membership, which they used along with their own list of SIBA Edelweiss users to create the SIBA community. However, if you do not see SIBA among your communities, please join us. You can find SIBA in the list of available communities to join. 


You can access the communities set up tool by clicking on “people” in the top menu, beneath the search bar. Clicking on “people” directs you to the “communities set up tool,” which you can click on for more information beyond the list of available communities to join. 



One important change is the removal of the “Send to SIBA” option with reviews. You can still share your reviews with SIBA by choosing the SIBA community box, along with any other community you’re including in the review share. By sharing with SIBA, your reviews count as Okra Pick and Southern Book Prize nominations, earn you B3! points, plus potential inclusion in our newsletters to booksellers and our industry partners, on our consumer-facing ARTS site, in Lady Banks newsletter, and more. You’re also alerting other SIBA booksellers to the books you’re loving and recommending in your store, which helps everyone stay on top of what’s new and noteworthy. When SIBA booksellers get behind a book, it becomes a regional and, often, national bestseller. So, let’s stay connected in the SIBA “community” on Edelweiss and make great things happen.  If you have any problems joining the SIBA community or accessing "Communities" on Edelweiss, please contact us. We're here to help you!

 


Tags:  Edelweiss  education  SIBA 

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A Year of Reading with SIBA

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Year of Reading with SIBA


Through SIBA’s B3! Book Club 2018 selections and recommendations from a EUREKAsiba presentation by Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC, we’ve compiled a great list of books to help you, your staff, and your bookstore improve your business and morale. From assessing how you look at “profit” and your budget, to the timing of meetings and scheduling of staff, to coming up with creative ways to change-up bookstore events to put the emphasis back on meaningful purpose--this list has it all.


Want to make reading and discussing books that will help your business a priority? Then join SIBA’s B3! Book Club and resolve to read with us in 2019! We communicate via facebook and  read and discuss a book via zoom every other month. Meeting with other booksellers and sharing ideas and challenges is a big part of the fun. Email lindamarie@sibaweb.com to join. Our first book for 2019 is #Chill: Turn off Your Job and Turn on Your Life (William Morrow) by Bryan E. Robinson, with a date TBA soon!


All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan by Amelia Warren Tyagi and Elizabeth Warren (Free Press)


Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living by Elizabeth Willard Thames (HarperBusiness)


Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster Into a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz (Portfolio)


Your Leadership Edge: Lead Anytime, Anywhere by Ed O’Malley and Amanda Cebula (Kansas Leadership Center)


Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond by Paco Underhill (Simon & Schuster)


Driving Eureka!: Problem-Solving with Data-Driven Methods & the Innovation Engineering System by Doug Hall (Clerisy Press)


When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink (Riverhead Books)


The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters by Priya Parker (Riverhead Books)


The Signals are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe is Tomorrow’s Mainstream by Amy Webb (PublicAffairs)



Tags:  B3! Book Club  education 

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Book Subscription Services B3! Webinar with Jamie Rogers Southern and Julie Jarema on Wednesday, January 9 at 2PM

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Thursday, December 6, 2018

Book Subscription Services B3! Webinar with Jamie Rogers Southern and Julie Jarema on Wednesday, January 9 at 2PM


Want to launch a subscription service at your store, or improve an existing one? Two booksellers with successful subscription services will share their approaches and offer advice to attendees.  


Jamie Rogers Southern is the Operations Director of Bookmarks, a literary arts nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem, NC. Bookmarks offers a Signed First Editions Club and a Young Reader Subscription Service. Customers can choose between a six-month or yearly subscription and have the option of receiving the books by mail or picking them up in-store.


Julie Jarema is a Bookseller and the Book Subscriptions Manager at Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA.  Avid’s subscription service includes all reading levels and  is tailored to suit each customer’s individual tastes. It  is available in six-month and twelve-month options.


Please rsvp lindamarie@sibaweb.com to attend.

 

Tags:  B3! Webinars  education  subscription services 

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Geek Out at the #SIBA18 Discovery Show! Sign up for an Escape Room Experience!

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

Geek Out at the #SIBA18 Discovery Show! Sign up for an Escape Room Experience!

After taking off in Asia, Western Europe, and the West Coast, escape rooms are popping up across the country. Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor for The New York Times, says it makes sense that escape experiences have become the puzzling trend of the moment. "If you were a brainy person 20 or 30 years ago, it was looked down upon. Nowadays, nerds have some of the biggest incomes in the U.S. and want to get together to geek out."  Now you have an opportunity to geek out at #SIBA18! 

Escape rooms are real-life team-based puzzle games, where you are locked in a room and have to solve puzzles together to get out.  Once your team solves the mystery or reaches the end of the time limit, you're "set free.”  

Escape rooms aren’t just problem-solving exercises. They’re fun and engaging, and encourage working together to crack codes, solve puzzles and follow clues. Studies have found that those who play games are better learners. Think what this could do for your team!

Want to sign up your team for an hour? Or get on the schedule to be part of a team? Contact wanda@sibaweb.com and get ready for some fun!

REGISTER FOR #SIBA18     CHECK OUT SCHEDULE OF EVENTS     SEE CONFIRMED AUTHORS

Tags:  #siba18  education  team-building 

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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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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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Come to the SIBA revival at The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines on July 20!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, July 11, 2018

If you need a better reason than "it’s hot and sales are slow and I want to see my bookselling friends" to come to the SIBA revival at The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines on July 20, then here it is: we made more on the $2,000 in retail sales of Proof (a book we published) in June 2018 than we did in the $5,000 retail sales of Range Bucket List in June 2017.


That’s why I’m inviting you all to come, as you’ll meet the man who knows all about this stuff, Josh Floyd of Ingram Spark, and some of the people who‘ve helped us get this little publishing venture (shakily) off the ground. There are a lot of variables in the numbers above so we’ll examine them and take a look at the talent needed and costs that go into making these books and these sales possible. I especially encourage North Carolina bookstores to attend as we will spend lunch brainstorming for North Carolina's Map/plan for IBD 2019.


Also... our town is really something special. Within two blocks of our store you’ll find two yoga studios, an ice cream shop, a cheese shop, a wine shop, an outdoor goods shop, a toy shop, a running shop, a guitar shop, a yarn shop, a theater called The Sunrise, a pizza parlor, a tack shop (horse stuff and cool leather things), some GREAT restaurants, lots of clothing boutiques, the best park in the world, a store that sells chic purses famous nationwide and made by military spouses, two coffee shops, and a growler company. Five blocks away you’ll discover The Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, and the Southern Pines Brewing Company. Did I mention that all these are independent, locally owned, or a non-profit?


Come to the revival, check out our town, and see how easy it is to increase your margins and your offerings.


Shoot me an email if you have any specific questions about directions or the town or specific concerns within (or outside) of our topic that you want to discuss. Please rsvp lindamarie@sibaweb.com to let us know you’re coming.


Look forward to seeing y'all soon!


Kimberly


140 NW Broad Street

Southern Pines, NC 28387

910.692.3211 (store)

910.690.1370 (cell)


Tags:  Education  Ingram  Revival  SIBA  The Country Bookshop 

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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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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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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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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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Fostering Dialog and Better Understanding at Quail Ridge Books' Bridging the Divide Book Club!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, June 4, 2018
Updated: Monday, May 28, 2018

A First Year Retrospective of Bridging the Divide Book Club by Sarah Goddin, General Manager of Quail Ridge Books

 

In response to the current deep political divisions in our country and community, where people with one view find it hard to comprehend how others could hold a different view, Quail Ridge Books launched a monthly book club with the goal of fostering dialog and better understanding. The book club, called Bridging the Divide, has moderators and book selections representing issues and viewpoints across the political spectrum: left, right, and central. The aim of each discussion is to promote understanding ... “Ah, now I understand how they can think that!” ... rather than to convince anyone of a particular point of view.

We started in May 2017 and had large turnouts for our first 3 meetings: 50, 47, and 87 people respectively. Then things started to slow down and for the next 4 meetings we had 23, 6, 25, and 2 (a low point, for sure!). Since then we have rebounded and have had 25 to 34 at the last several meetings, which is a really good number for discussion.


My original idea was to have 2 moderators, one liberal and one conservative, and let them take it from there, choosing the books and running the meetings. That didn’t work out and I think it would actually be pretty hard, maybe not possible, to do it well without a lot of hands-on involvement from someone on the store staff.


To find moderators, Rene Martin, our events coordinator, and I put our heads together and came up with a short list of local folks who were both political and open-minded. Our mission statement says we have moderators across the political spectrum and we don’t identify anyone as liberal or conservative, though it's pretty obvious who is what. We have just one person moderate each discussion although the other moderator often attends, too. We’ve had several guest moderators as well, including a psychology professor from NC State University who led the discussion on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me.


One issue with having moderators from outside the store was that that some of them didn’t really know how book clubs work and, though I met with them in advance, described the discussion process, and provided tip sheets, they started out doing more of a lecture than leading a group discussion. It was good to be on hand and intervene to get the discussion started. After the first time repeat moderators got much better at opening it up to more give and take.  They have started bringing a short list of potential discussion questions that we hand out at the beginning of each meeting which is very helpful in keeping the discussion on track. We limit each meeting to an hour, starting at 7 and ending at 8.


While the discussions have all been very civil, we have frequently had an attendee who hasn’t quite grasped the concept and makes somewhat partisan and derogatory comments. The moderators have handled it well and done a good job of not letting anyone dominate the discussion. One good tip, especially with larger groups, is to say “Is there anyone we haven’t heard from yet who would like to comment?” I’ve also had complaints from attendees about moderators, saying they weren’t representing "their side” strongly enough, i.e. conservatives complained the conservative moderator wasn’t conservative enough and the liberals complained the liberal moderator wasn’t liberal enough. I considered that a sign we were doing something right! I do explain that isn’t the purpose of the discussion. I do a welcome and introduction at each event and explain our mission (we always have people who haven’t been to one before) and also give my contact info and invite people to talk to me afterwards or email or call me to give me feedback or suggest topics or books.


I’ve listed below the books we’ve discussed so far. It has been a challenge finding the right books and we haven’t posted selections more than a couple months in advance because I keep wanting to learn what works as we go along. One observation is that the more abstract and wonkier the book, the fewer people show up, even though we may sell a bunch of books. For instance, the book on environmental conservatism by Roger Scruton was pretty dense and philosophical and while we sold 21 copies, only 6 people showed up for the meeting. The previous book, How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate, was short and readable and we had 23 people and a great discussion. That was from a series called The Stanford Briefs and I wish they had more good issue-oriented books like that but their other topics are not as useful. I think one of the reasons we had decent crowds for Hillbilly Elegy and Between the World and Me was because so many people had already read those books and were eager to discuss them.


Another challenge has been to get a more diverse attendee group, including people of color and conservatives. When I asked our conservative moderator why we had so few conservatives, he suggested they assumed bookstores were liberal havens and didn’t trust them to be fair to conservatives. We’re still working on that and on getting more diversity in race and other representation. Both have improved considerably in the last few meetings with a good representation across gender, age, race, and political orientation.


My wish starting out was that we would have a core group of attendees from across the political spectrum who would get to know one another and be eager to explore and, ultimately, respect each other’s views. Initially, people seemed to attend based on whether or not the particular book, issue, or moderator was one they knew or were interested in. A year in we're getting a core group of regulars plus a few new faces at each, which is good for more trust and more honest discussions.


Our main expenses are staff time in organizing, communicating, promoting, and setting up and breaking down the event space. I give both moderators the discussion book free so they can prepare (unless they already own it) and I occasionally give them a $25 store gift card as a thank you. We’re still learning a lot from each selection and discussion and I’m very eager to hear and learn from any of you if you try your own versions.


Books chosen so far:

May: Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert Putnam

June: Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010 by Charles Murray

July: no meeting because of holiday

August: Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

September: How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate by Andrew Hoffman

October: How to Think Seriously About the Planet: A Case for Environmental Conservatism by Roger Scruton

November: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehesi Coates

December: Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman

January: no meeting because of holiday and inventory

February: Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

March: The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech by Kimberley Strassel

April: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

 May:  Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations  by Amy Chua

June: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

September: The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know  by Phillip Cook and Kristin Goss


Some books we’ve considered or possible future choices:

The Age of American Unreason in a Culture of Lies, newly updated edition by Susan Jacoby

Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer

Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News by Bernard Goldberg

The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies by John Lott

Living with Guns: A Liberal's Case for the Second Amendment by Craig Whitney

Shame: How America's Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country by Shelby Steele

The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic by Ganesh Sitaraman

 



Tags:  authors  education  Quail Ridge Books 

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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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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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