News you can use from the Land of SIBA: June 21, 2018
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7/1: Summer Okra Picks announced
7/11: B3! Book Club: Why We Buy, the Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill, updated and revised edition. (rsvp)
7/20: Bookseller Revival at The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC
7/25: B3! Webinar - Creating and Managing a Successful Online Sales Campaign with Kelly Justice (rsvp)

Strut your store stuff!
SIBA needs good store photos of its members! (email Nicki)
SIBA is seeking examples of store swag, especially bookmarks! (email Nicki)

Important and useful links:

#SIBA18 Discovery Show
Coming up on Lady Banks' Pick of the Week
The current Southern Indie Bestsellers (PDF): HC | PB | Kids
Bookseller Benefits Package
|| The Booksellers' WaterCooler || Read This!


On Monday afternoon at about 6 pm SIBA's hosting company experienced a database server crash that caused SIBA's "Social Link" membership portal and related resources to become inaccessible. While the crash did not incur any loss of data and SIBA's main website remained online, the system's database server had to be rebuilt, a process that took a full 24 hours to complete.

During the downtime, no scheduled emails were sent, and no orders, reservations, or submitted forms could be processed.

If you happened to be placing an order or submitting a request on the site when the system went down, your transaction may have been interrupted and not completed. If you did not receive a confirmation of your order or your submission, please check with us to make sure that your transaction went through. Contact


Sadly, B & L Books will be closing June 30th and is liquidating all inventory and fixtures. Inventory is priced from $1.50-$3. If interested or for more details contact:

Jan Packwood
B & L Books
990 N State Road 434, Suite 1140
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714


We've seen a great response to the newly upgraded Lady Banks Bookshelf promotions. Every week we feature a different SIBA member store, so we thought it would be helpful to let stores know what books will be featured in the upcoming months:

The Lost Country by William Gay (Dzanc Books), 978-1-945814-52-5. "Like so many fans of Gay's, I've been waiting to read this seemingly mythical work,The Lost Country, for quite some time....Gay's elegiac prose sings once again as he breathes life into his characters and mines his patch of soil with the skill of the old masters...It's a helluva good ride and I can't wait to recommend it.”-Cody Morrison of Square Books

Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk by John Lingan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), 978-0544932531. "John Lingan's Homeplace is . . . a perfectly rendered elegy for an iconic music venue that tells a much larger story: how our dreams, desperation and hope become transcribed in the landscape that surrounds us and embedded in the songs we pass down as our legacy.”-Colin Dickey, author of Ghostland

The Dying of the Light by Robert Goolrick (HarperCollins), 978-0062678225. "A mesmerizing, evocative novel brimming with passion and tragedy. [Goolrick’s] portrait of a depleted Southern family, hoping to reinvigorate itself and its magnificently neglected estate, is at once thrilling and devastating.” -Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty (Disney/Hyperion), 978-1368005845. "A moving, atmospheric journey of hope.”-Kirkus Review

Steal Away Home by Billy Coffey (HarperCollins), 978-0718084448. "I wasn’t expecting Billy Coffey’s Steal Away Hometo work the kind of number it did on me. Reading it was like sitting on the church pew, thinking the preacher wrote his Sunday sermon especially for me because it was exactly what I needed to hear that day. It brought me back to my childhood.”- J.C. Sasser, author of Gradle Bird

What Blooms From Dust by James Markert (Thomas Nelson), 978-0785217411. "In this enchanting allegory, Markert (All Things Bright and Strange) crafts an imaginative tale of the Dust Bowl . . . Markert creatively portrays the timeless battle between good and evil, making for a powerful story of hope and redemption.”-Publishers Weekly


Dave SchallenbergerName: Dave Shallenberger

Store and location: Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, Georgia

website || facebook || twitter || instagram

Number of years as a bookseller: We opened 13 years ago and that's when I first became a bookseller

Best part about being a bookseller?: Interacting with superb co-workers and wonderful customers, all of whom never cease to amaze me with their friendliness, intelligence, wit, and love of the written word.

Little Shop of Stories inside Author Illustrations
Good Night Moon Room The Penny Floor

The ShadesWhat book(s) are you reading?:
I've just about finished The Shades by Evgenia Citkowitz (6/19/18), which is superb, The Family Tabor (7/17/18) by Cherise Wolas which was also quite good, Felicity by Mary Oliver, and A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman which is just as entertaining as everyone told me.

I run our Poetry & Wine group. Next month we'll be discussing The Way Under the Way by Mark Nepo.
Just starting: The Brother by Rein Raud.

It's been a marathon, but my "Friday afternoon sitting at the bar and having a beer" book is Ron Chernow's Grant. (It's one of my favorite times of the week for two reasons.)

On deck: OK, Mr. Field by Katherine Kilalea (7/17/18)

Orphan IslandFavorite handsell of 2017: Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder. The book, a middle-grade novel which was longlisted for a National Book Award, was creative and challenging, raising moral and philosophical questions. (What a great thing for a kids' book to do!) Laurel is local and we love her. We're thrilled that her Charlie and Mouse won the Geisel Award this year.

Picture Book
Sarabella's Thinking Cap by Judy Schachner. It's all about creativity and finding your own unique way. I always love Judy's illustrations.

Middle Grade
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder. Laurel's newest novel was longlisted for a National Book Award and was creative and challenging, raising moral and philosophical questions. (What a great thing for a kids' book to do!) Laurel is local and we love her. We're thrilled that her Charlie and Mouse won the Geisel Award this year.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone. Nic is also a local author and this is her rather stunningly excellent debut novel. I very much look forward to her future work.

Best thing you did this year at your store:
In the past year I served on the Indies Introduce and the Indies Choice / E.B. White Read-Aloud Book Awards panels. It's been a great opportunity to read numerous excellent books and converse with fellow booksellers from all over the country.

Social Media Stats (FB likes, Twitter followers, etc)
Web site: averages about 8,500 page views per month
Email newsletter subscribers: 7,742
Facebook: 8,357 likes
Instagram followers: 3,250
Twitter followers: 2,688

What are some ways you work with your community?
We're extremely engaged with our local community and always try to find more ways to do so. Little Shop hosts four storytimes each week and nine book groups each month. We send authors and hold many, many bookfairs at schools in the Atlanta area. We have our own Summer Reading Program with rewards from local businesses. About 600 kids sign up every year. We run nine weeks of (mostly) book-themed camps every summer. Little Shop has been intimately involved in the Decatur Book Festival since its inception. On The Same Page is our community-read program in which we encourage families to read the same book. We work with a number of local organizations to distribute several hundred free books to kids who might not be able to afford them. The finale features an author visit. Little Shop also installs the community Christmas Tree on our roof each Christmas season. The annual tree lighting, complete with a visit from Santa and a performance of a school choir, draws hundreds of folks.

Top priority going into 2018:
Mine is to improve the appearance of the shop. Little Shop expanded into an adjoining space about 18 months ago and we've been working on integrating the look with our established space. We've been covering our floor with pennies (4+ years and counting). One of our employees, Jason, has finished our Goodnight Moon room, complete with replicas of the paintings, a fireplace mantle, green and yellow curtains ... the whole bit! Now we'll expand the focus to the exterior, installing planters with flowers and maybe doing some painting to make our shop look more inviting.

Galleys & Giveaways

SIBA and participating publishers are giving away the galleys and other materials below to southern indie booksellers on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are interested simply email the publisher to request a copy. Supplies are limited, so act quickly!

Liked what you read? Let everyone know!

N.B. These are review copies only, and not for resale.

Eat. Sleep. Read. Southern.

Boomer1 by Daniel TordayBoomer1: A Novel by Daniel Torday. 
On Sale September 18, 2018 from St. Martin's Press. 
ISBN: 9781250191793, $27.99. eBook ISBN: 9781250191809, $14.99. 

"Torday is a singular American writer with a big heart and a real love for the world. He has the rare gift for writing dynamic action scenes while being genuinely funny."  —George Saunders

Bluegrass musician, former journalist and editor, and now PhD in English, Mark Brumfeld has arrived at his thirties with significant debt and no steady prospects. His girlfriend Cassie—a punk bassist in an all-female band, who fled her Midwestern childhood for a new identity—finds work at a “new media” company. When Cassie refuses his marriage proposal, Mark leaves New York and returns to the basement of his childhood home in the Baltimore suburbs. 

Desperate and humiliated, Mark begins to post a series of online video monologues that critique Baby Boomers and their powerful hold on the job market. But as his videos go viral, and while Cassie starts to build her career, Mark loses control of what he began—with consequences that ensnare them in a matter of national security.  

Told through the perspectives of Mark, Cassie, and Mark’s mother, Julia, a child of the '60s whose life is more conventional than she ever imagined, Boomer1 is timely, suspenseful, and in every line alert to the siren song of endless opportunity that beckons and beguiles all of us.

To request a review copy, email Jordan Hanley at

The Holy Ghost Speakeasy adn Revival by Terry RobertsTitleThe Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival
Author: Terry Roberts
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Pub DateAugust 21st, 2018
ISBN and Price: Paperback (9781684421633/$16.99) Hardback (9781684421640/$29.99) Epub (9781684421657/$16.99) 

Jedidiah Robbins is a man on a crusade. From town to town, his Gospel train rides the rails of 1920s Appalachia, spreading the Good News with his daughter and a loyal group of roustabouts in tow. But Jedidiah’s traveling revival company has a secret: in addition to offering the gifts of the Holy Spirit, it also delivers spirits of another kind. Prohibition is in full swing, but The Sword of the Lord train keeps the speakeasies in the towns it visits in business by providing the best that mountain stills have to offer. While beyond the gaze of federal agents, the operation eventually runs afoul of an overzealous small town sheriff and a corrupt judge, setting in motion a series of events that could land them all in chains. Told with haunting lyricism, this is the story of a preacher full of contradictions, a man for whom the way is never straight and narrow. It bends like the river, a river that leads him in the paths of a different brand of righteousness—and perhaps even to salvation.

Contact: Lindsey Johnson, Marketing Director email at

NOWHERE BOY by Katherine Marsh
Roaring Brook Press
Pub Date: 08/07/2018
ISBN: 9781250307576

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed is stuck in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Belgium, Ahmed fled a life of uncertainty and suffering in Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey to the shores of Europe. Now Ahmed’s struggling to get by on his own, but with no one left to trust and nowhere to go, he’s starting to lose hope.

Then he meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy. Lonely and homesick, Max is struggling at his new school and just can’t seem to do anything right. But with one startling discovery, Max and Ahmed’s lives collide and a friendship begins to grow. Together, Max and Ahmed' will defy the odds, learning from each other what it means to be brave and how hope can change your destiny.  

Set against the backdrop of the Syrian refugee crisis, award-winning author Katherine Marsh delivers a gripping, heartwarming story of resilience, friendship and everyday heroes.

Email to request a review copy: 

Feiwel & Friends
Pub Date: 10/02/2018
ISBN: 9781250189509

A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe. And a girl who’s about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.

Suzy Smith believes in science. Then the Impossible Postal Express comes roaring through her living room and her world turns upside down. After sneaking on board, Suzy suddenly finds herself Deputy Post Master aboard the train, and faced with her first delivery—to the evil Lady Crepuscula.

Then, the package itself begs Suzy not to deliver him. A talking snow globe, Frederick has information Crepuscula could use to take over the entire Union of Impossible Places. But when protecting Frederick means putting her friends in danger, Suzy has to make a difficult choice—with the fate of the entire Union at stake.

Hand to fans of Serafina and the Black Cloak and The School for Good vs. Evil.

Email to request a review copy: 



Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Bookmarks, Fountain Bookstore, Malaprop's, McIntyre's, Novel, Page & Palette, Square Books, The Country Bookshop and The Story Shop.

9781555978181 Scribe 10/2/2018
"SCRIBE is the brutal Appalachian dystopian folktale you never knew you needed"

9780385543965 This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us 7/31/2018
"Underneath the zany surface lies a really great mystery plot full of all the Marlowe-esque California noir vibes that I love so much. "

9780525522775 Ghosted 7/24/2018
"There's more than a touch of suspense and mystery in this complicated romance, and there may have been a few tears (mine)"

9781328858689 Backyard Bears 10/23/2018
"a great reminder to pay attention to the natural world no matter how urban and hip we aim to be."

9781683690122 We Sold Our Souls 9/18/2018
"Hendrix conjures the anguish of betrayal and the frustration of powerlessness in this novel about what passion is worth and how long to keep fighting to keep it alive."

9781481441797 Stop That Yawn! 10/16/2018
"Stop That Yawn is one of my new favorite favorites."

9781786270771 The Ink House 9/25/2018
"a love song to creativity just perfect for artists, dancers, musicians and thinkers of any age"

9780399252525 Harbor Me 8/28/2018
"a beautiful experience in things both big and small, full of joy and full of sorrow."

More bookseller reviews

If your store does not have an Edelweiss+ account and need help setting one up, contact Linda-Marie

In the last issue: The Bridging the Divide Book Club

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Thank you for your interest in SIBA,

Nicki Leone

Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
51 Pleasant Ridge Drive, Asheville, NC 28805
Fax: 309.410.0211

#siba18: Fall Discovery Show
Sept 13-15 THU-SAT | Tampa, FL

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