Discovery Show Info for Attendees
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Scholarships & Financial Assistance

**Application deadline for all scholarships is August 15**

SIBA is committed to helping every bookseller who wished to attend The Discovery Show find a way to come. Every year financial assistance is made available via the generous support of publishers and organizations who recognize what a vital resource the show is for stores and want to help them access it. After all, stronger bookstores mean better sales for their books.

This year SIBA has the following financial assistance and scholarship opportunities available. Check back, as scholarship opportunities are added as they become available.

The UNC Press Scholarship
This scholarship is meant to help defray the costs of travel, lodging, meals, and other expenses.  We urge booksellers from typically underrepresented groups to apply for the scholarship.  As part of our commitment to continued training and staff development, we hope to help a dedicated bookseller who wants to attend, but otherwise couldn't.  Please write a letter of need and desire and email to

The Stephanie Crowe Scholarship / The Doug Robinson Scholarship
In gratitude for Stephanie & Doug's service on the SIBA board, a scholarship is gifted to a bookseller in each of their names to attend the SIBA Discovery Show. Each scholarship covers one room for 3 nights room & tax plus one All Pass to 8 meal functions. Write a letter of need & desire and email to

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

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

The Pat Conroy Scholarships, sponsored by Penguin Random House
Two scholarships are designated specifically for booksellers who have never attended a SIBA Discovery Show, held in September, 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 first-timers.  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

  • 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.

Bibb Pick

Matt Bibb

The BIBB Pick – "Bibb's Independent Bookstore Best of the Year"

Is your store warm, welcoming, inclusive, and knowledgeable, always with a smile?  

This Bibb Pick was created to honor Matt Bibb, long-time SIBA Show staffer who passed away far too soon in 2013. The award is given to a bookstore that demonstrates the qualities we have always associated with Matt: warm, welcoming, inclusive, knowledgeable, and always with a smile.  

To be eligible and on the ballot, a store must be registered to attend the SIBA Discovery Show by September 1. During the show, authors in the program will vote for their choice while on-site, and commit to supporting the winning store in the upcoming year. 

This kind of support cannot be bought.  It may take the form of of putting the store name in a novel, or writing an original piece for the store newsletter, from joining your store as a staff member for a day, to making a donation to the fund that will bring the store staff to the next years' Discovery Show.  This is an exciting new component inspired by Matt and initiated by an anonymous author who wants to ensure that Matt's spirit remains at the trade show. 

The chosen bookstore also receives two rooms for three nights at the upcoming Discovery Show.  The store can bring as many people as will fit in those two rooms, and will receive free all-passes for those people, plus a travel stipend up to $500 total.  

This prize does not combine with other promotions.


Parapalooza takes place on Saturday before the Saturday Supper. Authors are invited to read with meaning, feeling, and enthusiasm, a single favorite hand-picked paragraph from their book.

FAQs for Attendees

Is the trade show open to the public?
No. This is an industry show, and not open to the public. You must be a member of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance to attend.

I'm an author. Can I still come to the show even if I'm not exhibiting?
If you are a member of SIBA, you can come to the show, but only authors of exhibiting publishers are featured and please do not solicit at the show.

I'm a bookseller. Can I bring my staff with me to the show?
All show attendees receive three free badges.

Why do you discriminate against online bookstores by making them pay more?
It is not our intention to discriminate but to delineate. Brick and mortar stores have to put up an initial investment to get a physical bookstore off the ground and into the hearts of their communities. It takes both time and money. The great thing about the Internet is it does not require the ongoing overhead and initial investment that a brick and mortar business does require and in most cases, it has become an absolute necessity that these brick and mortar bookstores also have an online concern. The difference in dues payment is only $350, when we ask that a brick and mortar bookstore member buy or lease a building, buy books & other products, outfit the store with point of purchase areas and shelving, buy insurance, hire staff, and many, many other very expensive things which we do not ask of online bookstores. What we do ask of online bookstores is a demonstration of commitment via a mere $500 in dues payment.

As a bookseller, what can I bring onto the show floor?
Purses, book bags, back packs and shoulder totes are allowed. Wheeled carts, rolling luggage and any containers that are not carried are not allowed, except for medical reasons. Permits can be applied for at the registration booth on site.

My plans have changed. Can a get a refund for my registration?
The cut-off date for refunds is August 31.