SIBA Express
Blog Home All Blogs
This began as a collection of posts provided to the no longer Bargain Book News for all booksellers from SIBA, with love. But it is switching to a blog for the industry with news that we hope is valuable for the industry at large, from SIBA, with love.


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: discovery show  #siba18  #siba19  lady banks bookshelf  publisher picks  advertising  authors  Bookseller education  booksellers  eblast  Edelweiss  ladybanks  publishers  rep picks  #okrapicks  B3! Webinars  Book Expo  books  buy  circle of sites  exhibit  holiday catalog  independent bookstore day  okra picks  social media  southern book prize  Sponsorship  tips  ARTS Calendar  B3! 

Okra Pick Nominations Due 3/1 -- Remind Your Accounts!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Okra PicksEncourage your accounts to speak up for your books! Okra Pick Nominations due 3/1

Nominations for the Spring Okra Picks are due on March 1. Booksellers can nominate a book by reviewing it on Edelweiss, or by submitting a nomination form:

To be eligible, books must be Southern in nature or by a Southern author (or both) and have a publication date of 4/1-6/30. Nominations must come from SIBA member booksellers, so now is the time to reach out to your accounts and encourage them to speak up on behalf of your books!

Tags:  #okrapicks 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

The 2019 Put Your Money Where Your South Is!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Put Your Money Where Your South IsPut Your Money Where Your South Is!

SIBA's 2019 Industry brochure, "Put Your Money Where Your South Is" is now available to download. An overview of promotional and marketing opportunities available to publishers looking to reach the Southern market, the 2019 brochure is designed to make it easy for publishers to make the most effective use of their -- always limited -- marketing budget.

In response to feedback from its publisher partners, SIBA has enahnced Put Your Money Where Your South Is, prioritizing the information users have said they most need to see:

  • An overview of the reach and impact of the Southern independent bookselling market

  • A breakout of programs by target audience, publication calendar, and delivery vehicle.

  • A concise breakdown of the most important facts for each promotional program: stats, reach, audience, support, tips, run time, deadline, specs, and cost.

  • Updated pricing and publication schedules

Whether you are looking to generate pre-pub buzz or give a title an extra push on social media, SIBA has a promotional program that will suit your needs and your budget.

Download Put Your Money Where Your South Is

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

SIBA Booksellers aka Voracious Readers aka Amazing Cheerleaders

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, January 15, 2019

"This absolutely adorable rhyming story will have young readers assssssking to read it again and again."Snakes on a Train by Kathryn Dennis, reviewed by The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC

Read This!SIBA booksellers talk about a lot of books. Just ask their customers. They also sell a lot of books. Just ask their suppliers. And SIBA booksellers review a staggering number of books. Just ask Edelweiss.

In the past year, SIBA booksellers submitted over 1000 book reviews to Edelweiss: 1032 reviews of books published in 2018, to be exact. It's an amazing outpouring of enthusiasm and love of literature of all kinds. Over a third of SIBA's member stores submitted reviews -- 50 different stores -- and more than a third of those posted more than 30 reviews.

"Say Jonathan Strange, Mr. Norrell, and Lolita had a ménage à trois in a quaint English village inhabited by the likes of Jack the Ripper and Little Dorrit. Wonderful, readable, oddly moving and also...odd."
Unclay by TF Powys, review by Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

The top five stores for posting reviews are

  1. The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC (121 reviews)
  2. Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA: (117 reviews)
  3. Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC: (98 reviews)
  4. Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA (91 reviews)
  5. Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC (77 reviews)

Malaprop's in Asheville, NC, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC, and The Bookmiser in Marietta, GA all posted over 50 reviews.

"This is an honest look at how to keep parental relationships good while blending new partners into the mix, and it will make you feel great about your own dysfunctional family."
The Adults by Caroline Hulse, reviewed by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

Who sees reviews posted on Edelweiss aside from publishers and industry insiders? SIBA does. SIBA looks to the reviews posted on Edelweiss by its member stores as indicators for which books are going to be important to its members, and buzzed to southern readers. We use posted reviews in a variety of ways to help the buzz along:

  • SIBA publishes highlights from the week's reviews in our weekly newsletter to booksellers (SIBALAND) and to industry (SIBA Express), letting booksellers know what books their colleagues are especially excited about.

  • SIBA treats reviews of eligible titles as de facto nominations to its Okra Picks and Southern Book Prize programs

  • We reprint reviews once the books are published in the Lady Banks newsletter which has a reach of approximately 60,000 readers. Books are always linked back to the reviewing store for purchase

  • SIBA posts the reprinted reviews as books are published on its consumer-targeted website, (ARTS) "READ THIS! Books with Street Cred" has become a phenomenal resource of recommended reading (100% Algorithm Free!) from Southern booksellers. Books are tagged by topic, award, and IndieNext and are searchable by title, author, and keyword:

    Graphic Novels | Romance | Travel Literature | Feminism | Beach Reads

    Reviews are shared on social media and always link back to the reviewing store. "Read This" is one of the most visited and popular sections of the ARTS website.


Tags:  Edelweiss  read this! 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Price Reduced on Okra Pick Extended

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Monday, December 10, 2018

SIBA Determines New Lower Price for Okra Pick Extended

In order to maximize sales and exposure of Okra Picks titles, SIBA offers the Okra Picks Extended Program (OPX). Books that are part of the program have high quality, full color bookmarks printed promoting the title and distributed to SIBA member bookstores. Each bookmark is specially designed and contains a unique QR code that will allow readers to download a copy of the first chapter of the book.

The Okra Picks Extended program is only available for books that have been selected as Okra Picks. Cost has dropped from $1499 to $999 to participate. 

The Okra Picks are a batch of fresh titles chosen each season that SIBA Indie Bookstores want to handsell. A regional variation of the Indie Next list, Okra Picks are a coordinated region-wide marketing program designed to allow stores to promote the new southern books they are especially excited about and thus demonstrate the power of indie booksellers to break out new titles and sell more books. SIBA actively promotes these titles to both consumers and booksellers at, and across our social media networks. Lady Banks introduces The Okra Picks to over 30,000 consumer subscribers.

Okra Picks…extended:
demonstrating the power of indie bookstores to break out new southern titles

Stats: 500,000 bookmarks are distributed annually by bookstores to customers in search of the next great Southern read, first chapter downloads average 60 per title
Reach: 150 bookstores
Audience: consumers
Support: OP titles are featured in Lady Banks Commonplace book newsletter & The Calendar of Events @ Lady Banks, #OkraPick for social media, #OkraPick email newsletter provided for stores
Tips: OP authors are invited to submit short (~500 word) piece from the author about the importance of indie bookstores, or about their own hometown indie, or "What I'm reading now" or "Books that changed my life" book list.
Run time: 3 months
Deadline: 15 days prior to announcement
Specs: hires book jacket, and pdf of first chapter
Cost: $999

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

The 2019 Southern Book Prize: Get everyone involved!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Southern Book Prize The 2019 Southern Book Prize: Get everyone involved!

Nearly 1000 ballots have already been submitted for the Southern Book Prize.

On November 1 SIBA announced a new format and timeline for the Southern Book Prize -- bringing the voting period forward to February 1st, and opening up the voting on the finalists to the Southern indepedent bookstore-supporting public -- that is, to anyone who works at or shops at a SIBA-member bookstore

The response has been enthusiastic, to say the least. Bookstores have rallied their customers to get involved and vote for their favorite Southern books. Authors and publishers with books on that ballot have asked if they are allowed to promote the Southern Book Prize and have their friends and followers to encourage them to vote.

The answer is yes. Here is what you need to know:

The finalists
The ballot
The deadline: February 1, 2019
Winners announced: February 14, 2019

  1. Ballots must come from or via a SIBA member bookstore.
    The list of member stores is here. The ballot has a place to note which store the voter works or shops at. If the space is left blank, or lists a store not on SIBA's member list, then the ballot will not be counted.

  2. The goal of the Southern Book Prize is to raise the visibility and drive traffic to our member stores.
    The online ballot is located at, but many SIBA member stores also have information on their own websites. SIBA encourages publishers and authors to point voters to store websites whenever appropriate.

    Here's a list of stores featuring the Southern Book Prize on their websites:

    The list grows as more and more stores get involved, so check back

  3. Submitted and completed ballots are entered in a drawing to win a complete set of the Southern Book Prize finalist titles.
    SIBA is coordinating with participating stores to hold other drawings for individual finalist titles. The hashtag we're using to promote the ballot is #VoiceYourChoice.

Tags:  southern book prize 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Coming in 2019: Rep Picks via Zoom!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Coming in 2019: Rep Picks via Zoom!

SIBA is offering a new program to bring sales reps and booksellers together outside of store visits and the Discovery Show: Bi-Monthly Rep Picks via Zoom!  These sessions will be particularly beneficial to SIBA member publishers whose reps may not get to visit all 150 SIBA member stores.

Every other month SIBA will host sessions where reps can promote their favorite new titles to booksellers. Booksellers will earn B3! Points (which translate into dollars to pay for SIBA dues and events) for attending, get to know the territory’s reps, and discover some new titles to add to their store shelves. Buyers and frontline booksellers will be encouraged to attend.

Would you like to present your titles at a future rep picks session? Please email Space for rep presentations is limited for each session.

2019 Reps Picks Schedule:

FEB - Small Presses Present Spring & Summer Lists

APR - Summer Reading for Kids

JUN - Fall Fiction

AUG - Small Presses Present Fall & Winter Lists

OCT - Sidelines for Holiday Sales & Beyond

Tags:  B3!  bookseller education  rep picks  Zoom Meeting 

Share |
PermalinkComments (1)

Supporting your investment in the Holiday Catalog

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, November 15, 2018

Supporting your investment in the holiday catalog

Holiday Catalog

The SIBA Holiday Catalogs have shipped, and are currently being distributed in bookstores, inserted into newspapers and stuffed into bags. 60 bookstores across the South have made the holiday catalog an integral element in their holiday promotions. Year after year, bookstores cite the holiday catalog as one of the most valuable benefits of being a member of SIBA.

For that reason, SIBA offers extensive support for our member stores using the catalog, and by extension, extensive support to publishers who have invested in this important resource for indpendent bookstores.

  • The catalog is available in a mobile-friendly online edition to all stores using the Indiecommerce platform (sample)

  • Mobile-friendly online catalogs are available to any SIBA store, customized to work with their own ecommerce platforms. (sample)

  • The catalog is featured on SIBA's consumer site, as its Holiday Gift Guide, with order fulfillment supplied by a rotating list of SIBA member stores (sample)

  • Catalog titles are featured in the Lady Banks Commonplace Book newsletter every week between Thanksgiving and Christmas

  • The catalog is promoted on our ARTS Facebook page for the entire month of December

NEW THIS YEAR -- The Holiday Catalog Newsletter

SIBA's new store-branded holiday catalog newsletter is sent directly to the mailing lists of participating stores in six weekly editions between Thanksgiving and Christmas, reaching anywhere between 1000 and 15,000 readers, per edition, per store, depending on the size of the store's list.

Sample stats from the first issue, featuring children's picture books:

open rate engagementplatform


See a newsletter sample | Catalog information for publishers

Tags:  holiday catalog 

Share |
PermalinkComments (1)

SIBA Offers 25% Off for IndieNext Titles

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, November 7, 2018

SIBA Offers 25% Off for IndieNext Titles

We've been seeking a way to assist publishers in promoting IndieNext picks to southern bookseller and readers. Beginning in 2019, we will be offering a 25% discount on all SIBA advertising products (except the Holiday Catalog) to any book that appears on an IndieNext list.  Here's details on a couple of popular products:


Stats: Average Open Rate: 33%, Average Click Through Rate: 6%
Reach: 850 booksellers
Audience: Industry
Support: Optimized for mobile devices, detailed campaign results available upon request
Tips: Issue a call to action to collect the contact info of interested booksellers or link to Edelweiss.
Run time: one time, as scheduled
Deadline: Five business days before run date
Specs: 800x800, jpg, gif, png, URL links and eblast subject lines must be provided by client
Cost: Member Price: $549 / Non Member Price: $799

Lady Banks’ Bookshelf:                                           
Stats: LBB Banner averages 10,000 impressions, click thru .23% per month +FB promotion averages 30,000 impressions, click thru .1 % per month

Reach: 40,000 readers
Audience: Consumers     
Support: SIBA pays for boosted posts of the top-pinned post @Authors Round the South on FB. Featured booksellers are notified and offer support to the post on FB.
Tips: LBB banner runs on ARTS site and in every Lady Banks newsletter in the month.  Tag your author and share the post.
Run time: month
Deadline: Second to last Friday of the preceding monthSpecs: jacket image of book (jpg, gif) and no more than 250 word ad copy
Cost: Member Price: $549 / Nonmember Price: $799


This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Announcing the Finalists for the 2019 Southern Book Prize

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 1, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Announcing the Finalists for the 2019 Southern Book Prize

In response to input from bookseller members, SIBA revamped the Southern Book Prize to streamline the selection process and encourage more bookseller and customer engagement, with a goal towards increasing excitement and sales around the holiday season.

Alongside the usual website nomination process, nominations to the prize were expanded to include SIBA bookseller member reviews submitted to Edelweiss for books that met the Southern Book Prize criteria – titles Southern in nature or by a Southern author (or both) and published in the 2018 calendar year. The expanded nomination list included more than 100 titles. The 2019 Southern Book Prize Finalists below were selected according to the number of nominations and/or reviews they received.

Winners will be chosen by popular vote, and SIBA stores will be encouraged to involve their customers in the voting process by creating in-store displays of the finalist titles as part of their holiday promotions. Each store will be provided postage-paid postcard ballots to hand out to booksellers and customers. An online ballot will also be available. Returned ballots will be entered into a raffle to win a complete set of the finalist titles.

In-store voting will begin the week of the Love Your Bookstore Challenge, November 10-16, building on the momentum of the grassroots campaign to encourage book buying at local bookstores and giving store customers chances to win more prizes. Voting will run from November 10 through February 1, 2019.

“We have heard from many of our members that they want more opportunities to promote Southern Book Prize titles during the holiday shopping season,” said SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell, “so we moved the timeline of the Prize forward.”  She noted that by including titles which received strong bookseller reviews on Edelweiss, the Southern Book Prize is drawing on books that have deep bookseller support and enthusiasm.
Southern Book Prize winners will be announced on February 14, Valentine’s Day.

2019 Southern Book Prize Finalists


A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin’s Press)
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)
Florida: Stories by Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books)
Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown (St. Martin’s Press)
Scribe by Alyson Hagy (Graywolf Press)
The Line that Held Us by David Joy (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)


The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table by Rick Bragg (Knopf)
Calypso by David Sedaris (Little, Brown & Company)
One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Southern Discomfort by Tena Clark (Touchstone)


Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BYR)
I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton (Push)
Lions & Liars by Kate Beasley (Farrar, Straus & Giroux BYR)
Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Watson Hackl (Random House BYR)

Honorable Mentions
Books which did not receive quite enough nominations to be finalists, but whose nominations were especially enthusiastic.

Anatomy of a Miracle by Jonathan Miles (Hogarth)
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco)
Treeborne by Caleb Johnson (Picador)
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper)
Varina by Charles Frazier (Ecco)
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)

Tags:  southern book prize 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Targeting your audience: Reaching the gift-buyer

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 25, 2018

Targeting your audience: Reaching the gift-buyer

Happy Holidays'Tis the season. For the next ten weeks booksellers are going to be 110% focused on making the most of the holiday shopping season. Holiday catalogs have shipped, holiday orders have been placed, events have been scheduled and seasonal decorations have been...if not put up then at least unpacked.

One of SIBA's great strengths is its promotional programs that reach directly to the consumer market, something that publishers can take advantage of during the holiday season. Build on the excitement and momentum created by the holidays to target gift-buyers and give your products an extra push:

Consumer-targeted promotions:

Circle of Sites: a banner that appears on the home page of more than 50 participating Southern bookstores, and in the week's edition of the Lady Banks Newsletter. The most extensive web-based consumer-targeted promotion SIBA offers. Space is limited.


Social Blast: Social media promotional posts sent out across all of SIBA's social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The most flexible promotion offered, social blasts can be published on any day of the week, and at any time of the day. They are tagged to reach SIBA's member bookstores and their customers, as well as SIBA's own following of readers and gift buyers.


Social Blast example

Lady Banks Banners: Banner ads are available in the popular Lady Banks newsletter, which reaches over 7000 people directly as well as being shared on social media. In publication for over ten years, the Lady Banks newsletter has perhaps the most committed following among Southern readers. Header Banners (most visible) and inline banners are both available.

Example Header Banner:

All of SIBA's consumer-targeted promotions are designed to increase book sales at our member stores. Click-through links go to SIBA store product pages for purchasing.

Contact Linda-Marie for more information

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Page 5 of 10
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10