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Independent Bookstore Day, a Tale of Two NC Cities

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Two indie stores, Sassafras on Sutton in Black Mountain and Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh had great Independent Bookstore Days, for different reasons.


I visited with Susanne Blumer, co-owner of Sassafras, as the day began. The weather was beautiful and the store was hopping by 11am. Sassafras had to close after a heavy snow in December caused the roof of their building to collapse. They just reopened in March. Assistance through their Libris business insurance kept the staff employed and morale up during the months of closure. Since reopening, business has been up 80% over last spring. The community is very supportive of the store, and Black Mountain is also a booming tourist destination and well-known writer, artist, and music community.  Right now, Susanne is working hard to keep up with orders for her Southern Lit Candles (she somehow finds time to make her own candle line AND run a business) and the increase in business in the store.


On dealing with an unexpected closure that stretched on for months, Susanne said, "I would say that the entire industry was extremely supportive when we had our collapse. We heard from other bookstores, publishers, vendors, industry professionals… so many. Since we’ve reopened, we’ve received hand-written notes and phone calls congratulating us on reopening. The community couldn’t have been more supportive when we closed. I received multiple offers of places to move the store temporarily, offers to help move merchandise, to clean, promises that they would be back when we open. And since we’ve reopened, the community has come out in full force. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t come in and tell us how much they missed us and how glad they are that we are back open. We all really missed it when we were closed!"



Over in the Piedmont, Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh also had a terrific Independent Bookstore Day! General Manager Sarah Goddin said, “Our sales were up 70% over a typical Saturday this time of year, but more importantly we had a store full of people most of the day, all of whom were having a great time supporting independent bookstores. We had lots of kids' events throughout the morning, the Poetry Fox in the afternoon, really good cookies all day along with give-aways every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Elaine Neil Orr, author of Swimming Between Worlds, brought in a basket full of treats for the Quail Ridge Books staff, becoming even more beloved by booksellers. One customer, Criss Crissman, brought in her 2019 calendar "North Carolina's Literary Luminaries and the Bookshops That Love Them" with stamps from all 12 Piedmont, NC indie bookstores stores featured. Now that is indie love!


Tags:  independent bookstore day  Quail Ridge Books  Sassafras on Sutton 

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Independent Bookstore Day Deadlines: News you can use from the land of SIBA!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hello and Happy New Year, most beloved SIBA Booksellers!

There are a few imporant deadlines coming up, so please take a moment to read through the news below:

Check your account | Independent Bookstore Day | Binc Scholarship Program | Children's Book Week


1. Check your account!
Please take a moment to view your SIBA profile and ensure all the information is accurate:

You username
Your name
Your email
Your store
Your member type (store/staff)
Your membership expiration

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

Your oustanding SIBA credit
Your B3! points

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

Square footage of your store
Store location
Store town size
Year incorporated


Indie Bookstore Day2. Independent Bookstore Day:
It is time to place your IBD Order!

We are proud to present the 2017 list of 11 exclusive items for Bookstore Day! Don't miss out on stuff from Michael Chabon, Jenny Lawson, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Oliver Jeffers and more.


How do I sign up to participate?
A: Just place your order for a minimum of 15 items and you're in!

Who is eligible to participate?
A: All brick-and-mortar bookstores that are dues-paying members of their regional independent booksellers association.

What else do I have to do?
A. Plan a great party for April 29, 2017.

For a complete list of FAQs and party planning ideas:

For complete Rules of Participation, please see the ORDER FORM.


3. Binc Higher Education Scholarship Program

Binc Higher Education Scholarships 

January 16 was the start of the application period for the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s annual Higher Education Scholarship Program. Applications will be accepted until March 6, 2017. Binc will award up to $109,000 in scholarships to eligible current bookstore employees/owners, Independent Bookseller Association employees, as well as former Borders Group employees. Dependents of these employees are also eligible to apply. The awards will be broken down as follows: twenty-four (24) awards of $3,500, two (2) awards of $10,000, and one (1) Karl Pohrt Tribute Scholarship award of $5,000 granted to an independent bookstore candidate who has overcome learning adversity or is a non-traditional student.

Apply here


Children's Book Week4. Children's Book Week May 1-7

Stores that do children's events and programming are encouraged to sign up to be an official event location for Children's Book Week, May 1-7. Stores just need to host a story time, activity hour, or voting for the awards the week of May 1-7. In return, stores get original posters and bookmarks, are part of a national online map, AND every store, library and school that signs on will count towards a national children’s book donation.


Tags:  binc  children's book week  independent bookstore day 

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News (#PatConroyWeek, #OkraPick, #BannedBooksWeek , #BookstoreDay) you can use from the land of SIBA

Posted By Nicki Leone, Friday, October 14, 2016

Dearly beloved booksellers,

Before you dive into the madness of the holiday shopping season, please take note of the following information, which is of the utmost importance or at least likely to be of use:

Pat Conroy Week 

I. Pat Conroy Week is October 24-28

Email for brochures to give your customers
Visit the bookstore resource page for helpful materials
Blanket the internet with the #PatConroyWeek hashtag


Gertie's Leap to Greatness 

II. Okra Pick Shareables Page

SIBA has created a "shareables" page for the Okra Picks with memes that are optimized for instagram, facebook and twitter. Use them to promote the Okras to your own customers, and link back to your own store websites.


III. Banned Books Week: ABFE Survey Seeks Bookseller Input

American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE), an initiative of the American Booksellers Association, is asking booksellers to help plan next year’s Banned Books Week by filling out a short survey on their experiences during this year’s event, which ended on Saturday, October 1.

To access the survey, click here.


IV. The Husdon Group is seeking an assistant book buyer

Starting salary is $31,200 full time with benefits. Applications can be sent to

Hudson Group operates stores in airports and transportation hubs across the country and the book office in Marietta, GA, north of Atlanta, selects all of the books for the bookstores and newsstands. We are members of the ABA and have relationships with independent bookstores in several cities. We seek an Assistant Buyer with an understanding and appreciation of the book world to work in the office, supporting the Book Team in all book-related endeavors.”


V. Independent Bookstore Day Literary Map

IBD is creating a literary map of the country and is looking for people to name and vote on the best/favorite/quintessential book sent in their home state. They are seeking help from bookstores in getting a social media campaign rolling. Tweet and Share to spread the word:

Tags:  abfe  banned books week  independent bookstore day  okra picks  pat conroy week 

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