News you can use from the Land of SIBA: May 2, 2019
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5/8: B3! Webinar - How to develop a successful podcast (rsvp)
5/15: Deadline for Summer Okra Pick Nominations (here)
6/5: B3! Webinar - Keep Your Expenses on a Tight Leash (rsvp)
6/26: Publisher Picks: Fall Fiction (rsvp)

SIBA Office Hours: Wednesdays from 2:00 - 5:00 PM EST
In the Land of SIBA Blog

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How to develop a successful podcast



Keep Your Expenses on a Tight Leash


On Lady Banks Bookshelf this month:

Next week on Lady Banks Pick of the Week:


Okra Picks Deadline Change: Deadline for SUMMER Okra Picks nominations is May 15

Okra PicksBeginning in May, SIBA's Okra Picks program calendar has been updated to give booksellers and publishers more time to promote each season's titles and to allow for active pre-order campaigns for the forthcoming books. Accordingly, nomination deadlines for each season have been pushed back by two weeks. The new Okra Picks schedule is as follows:

  • Spring (April-June titles):
    Nomination Deadline: February 15
    Okra Picks Announced: April 1

  • Summer (July-September titles):
    Nomination Deadline: May 15
    Okra Picks Announced: July 1

  • Fall (October-December titles):
    Nomination Deadline: August 15
    Okra Picks Announced: October 1

  • Winter (January-March titles):
    Nomination Deadline: November 15
    Okra Picks Announced: January 1

Nominations are only accepted from SIBA member booksellers, and may be submitted in any of the following ways:

Via the Okra Picks nomination form
By submitting a review to Edelweiss
By emailing the nomination to

Current Season Okra Picks | Okra Picks Archive


Booksellers, authors, and other publishing industry colleagues sharing their best practices, creative insights, and life hacks is what makes SIBA's educational programming so valuable to members. If you'd like to be part of our educational programming at the #SIBA19 Discovery Show September 13-15 in Spartanburg, SC, we welcome your proposals. Although we can't guarantee your proposal will be selected for this event, it may be considered for future programming.  Please fill out this form and we'll be in touch. Thank you so much for your time and interest!

Schedule | Hotel | Register



When: Wednesday, June 5 at 2PM EST on Zoom  

Jill Hendrix, Owner of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC is highly respected for her bookselling business acumen. She'll discuss how every expense needs to tell you a story about how it fits into your business. Paying for Trello Gold or When I Work are productivity expenses, meant to let you do the same amount of work in less time. Your rent and most of your staffing expenses are hopefully bringing you direct income and thus are "rainmaking" expenses. Learn to catalog, analyze, and reduce your expenses in this interactive webinar. 

Please rsvp to attend the webinar.


On Wednesday, June 26 at 2PM EST, SIBA is hosting “Fall Fiction” as part of our Publisher Picks: Best Bets for SIBA Booksellers series.  In this bi-monthly series, publishers, editors, marketing directors, and reps present their favorite frontlist titles via Zoom to booksellers. Besides forging important connections with publishers and their reps, attending booksellers will discover new titles to add to their store shelves and earn 10 B3! points. The following industry folks will present: Eric Svenson, sales representative for HarperCollins, Bob Werber, sales representative for IPS, Gavin Grant, publisher of Small Beer Press, and Doni Kay, sales representative for Penguin Young Readers. Please rsvp to attend.



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!

read more


Edelweiss+Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Bookmarks, Bookmiser, Books & Books, Copperfish Books, Fiction Addiction, Flyleaf Books, Fountain Bookstore, Givens Books, Lincoln's Loft, McIntyre's Books, Page & Palette, Park Road Books, Parnassus Books, Righton Books, Sundog Books, and The Country Book Shop.

9781524759780 Recursion 6/11/2019
"Fast-paced and intelligent thriller that proves an interesting look at the consequence of time travel. Great characters and a page-turner plot make this an easy go-to summer read recommendation." -- Dwan Dawson-Tape, Sundog Books, Santa Rosa, FL

9781524732011 Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory 6/11/2019
"I didn't know I could feel so much through so many different stories and writing styles, but that's exactly what Raphael Bob-Waksberg has done to me." -- Delany Holcomb, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

9781409170754 The Strawberry Thief 7/9/2019
"If you ever read Chocolat or saw the movie you will surely want to read this sequel." -- Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

9781571313782 Late Migrations 7/9/2019
"A blend of memoir, nature writing, and poetry, Renkl beautifully observes and captures what it is to live, love, and lose, whether you are a mother or a daughter, a bluebird or a monarch butterfly" -- Gaël LeLamer, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

9780385537070 The Nickel Boys 7/16/2019
"This is the kind of book that’ll grow on you–you start reading and you don’t really know what’s going on, but you’re have to get to the next page, the next chapter, and before you know it you’ve accidentally gotten to the end and you’re not sure what time it is or where your day went" -- Lizy Coale, Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL

More bookseller reviews

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

Important and useful links:

SIBA Office Hours: Wednesdays from 2:00 - 5:00 PM EST
In the Land of SIBA Blog
Southern Indie Bestsellers (HC | PB | Kids)

The Booksellers' WaterCooler | Ongoing publisher promotions

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*staff and sub accounts expire when their master account expires

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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


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