SIBA Stores seek alternatives to Baker & Taylor services
The news this week that Baker & Taylor will cease serving the retail bookselling market has many SIBA members scrambling to adjust. Everyone at SIBA has been discussing what the organization can do to help its members make the transition away from relying on Baker & Taylor as a supplier and service provider.
Most immediately, stores who run SIBA's "Circle of Sites" banner and use "My Books and More" for online orders face some pressing repercussions from Baker & Taylor's decision. "Circle of Sites," also known as the "Banner for Dues" program, requires participating stores to have an e-commerce platform compatible with the program.
SIBA recognizes that choosing and implementing a new e-commerce solution is big decision that doesn't happen overnight. Here is what we will be doing to help:
- When My Books and More is discontinued on June 30, SIBA will convert the banner running on all stores using that platform to be "nonclickable" so that visitors to your site are not taken to any error pages by accident. You will not have to make any changes to your site or banner code.
- Store memberships will remain active until the end of the year, in order to give everyone time to implement a new e-commerce platform on their websites. As new e-commerce systems are adopted, SIBA will be on call to help stores re-activate their banners. At the end of the year, stores that haven't converted to a new e-commerce system will be removed from the program and the banner taken down from their site. (Stores can still earn their dues by participating in the B3! Bookseller Engagement Program).
- Over the next couple months, SIBA will do everything it can to help stores find the resources they need to choose a new e-commerce option. Stores can also post questions to SIBA's "Watercooler" group (email@example.com). Questions about websites and compatibility with SIBA programs can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Booksellers Association has responded to the announcement from Baker & Taylor with a special introductory offer for stores to sign up to their IndieLite program. Anyone interested should contact the IndieCommerce team at email@example.com. The ABA is a natural partner for bookstores and IndieCommerce is tailored to indie bookseller needs.
Here is a list of booksellers who are familiar with some of the popular e-commerce systems and are willing to answer questions:
Restock program designed as an alternative to Baker & Taylor order fulfillment
Program highlights include:
- A streamlined new-account application (now available online) – no opening order necessary
- A streamlined credit-approval process (for Baker & Taylor customers in good standing)
- Special offer on your first order (includes a lower unit-minimum)
- Dedicated PRH sales director with expertise in helping B&T customers transition to ordering directly from Penguin Random House
- Dedicated PRH sales reps (community bookstore specialists) to help you navigate seasonal frontlist ordering and backlist replenishment
- Special offer from Above the Treeline to help with inventory management
For more information, e-mail IndiesExpress@penguinrandomhouse.com
SIBA is committed to helping every bookseller who wishes 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. Click here for available scholarships
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"Pre-Order" was one of the magic words at SIBA in the Springtime in March. According to the American Booksellers Association, pre-orders are an increasingly important part of a book's marketing campaign, especially in the era of social media marketing and buzz. Indie bookstores that ignore the trend are in danger of losing sales. They may find their customers have already purchased the book long before it could be put on the shelves. Conversely, stores that take advantage of pre-order campaigns may not only increase sales, but also find they have fewer returns and a better sell-through rate.
The ABA keeps a running calendar of books with publisher-supported pre-order campaigns here:
Disney-Hyperion will be launching a pre-order campaign for Southern favorite Robert Beatty for his latest Serafina book, Serafina and the Seven Stars, which publishes on July 9, 2019. SIBA stores that participate in the banner-for-dues program, Circle of Sites, will find the book advertised on their sites for the month of June. The book will also be featured in the Lady Banks newsletter and on the Lady Banks Bookshelf -- which means book will be promoted directly to the fans and followers of stores on Facebook.
It's a great opportunity to capture early sales of a book from an author with a huge following in the South. Disney-Hyperion has created some graphics for stores to use to build on the momentum: Serafina Graphics for Store websites
TOOLS FOR BOOKSELLERS: RICK BRAGG ON INDIE BOOKSTORES
More resources: The 2019 Conroy Legacy Award Toolkit
Terri Leidich is a familiar face to SIBA booksellers. She brings her authors to SIBA in the Springtime, EUREKAsiba, and the Discovery Show, and sponsors programming to bring authors and booksellers together.
You are the president and publisher of BQB and WriteLife Publishing. What inspired you to become a publisher?
As a writer myself, I felt that new and unknown writers were often getting overlooked by the big houses as they clamored to publish books by public personalities. I felt there was a lot of great literature that was sitting in manuscript form because of the lack of publishers dedicated to new writers and I wanted to do something about that.
Does each company have a specific focus?
BQB is our fiction imprint. We publish mostly adult fiction with a few exceptional children’s or YA books. Under WriteLife we publish nonfiction with a heavy emphasis on body/mind/spirit and self-help with a few memoirs as well.
What are some of your most successful titles with independent bookstores?
Under BQB, our children’s picture book What Does a Princess Really Look Like and the coloring book The True Colors of a Princess both by Mark Loewen; the novel River People by Margaret Lukas; and Rock and Roll Voodoo by Mark Paul Smith are doing well with indies. Under our WriteLife imprint, Tina Zion’s books – Become a Medical Intuitive; Advanced Medical Intuition; and Reiki and Your Intuition (releases May 1st) are doing well with indie bookstores that have a strong body/mind/spirit following. And SoulStroller by Kayce Stevens Hughlett has caught the attention of indies in the Western US and Canada.
Any books coming out this summer that you think SIBA bookstore customers will be especially interested in?
Yes. Give, a novel by Erica C. Witsell and Some People Do, a children’s picture book by Frank Lowe and Josh Hara are getting a lot of consumer interest. Both release June 1st.
How are your books available to independent bookstores?
While our books are available through Ingram, the best and easiest way to purchase them is through IPG (Independent Publishers Group). IPG has recently hired an inside rep who is dedicated to indie booksellers in the Southeast. His name is John D’Esposito and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org John tells me that they are able to give indie booksellers a discount that is better than what indies usually receive. If a bookseller has an account with IPG, they can quickly and easily purchase our books. If not, John will be happy to help. IPG represents a large number of amazing indie publishers, including BQB and WriteLife.
You're a continuing and very visible partner with SIBA in our SIBA in the Springtime and Discovery Show.Why are you so committed to bringing your authors to SIBA events?
People in the South love to read and in this region of the US, readers seem to be more dedicated to indie bookstores than other areas of the country. I feel that SIBA is a very strong avenue to getting our books into consumer’s hands. And now that IPG has a dedicated sales rep for indies in the Southeast, our books are more easily accessible. Plus, SIBA is the strongest bookseller association that I’ve interacted with and I’ve come to love the SIBA staff and many of the booksellers I’ve met along the way.
Current ABA Vice President Jamie Fiocco of Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has been elected for a two-year term as ABA president. (see full election results)
THE BOOKS YOUR COLLEAGUES ARE TALKING ABOUT
Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Book No Further, Bookmarks, Bookmiser, Books & Books, Copperfish Books, E. Shaver, Bookseller, Fiction Addiction, Flyleaf Books, Fountain Bookstore, Givens Books, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Octavia Books, Oxford Exchange, Page 158 Books, Parnassus Books, Square Books, Story on the Square, The Bookshop, and Vero Beach Book Center.
9781945448348 Give 6/1/2019
"I closed this astonishing novel only five minutes ago, fully satiated as if after a wonderful meal." -- Janet Geddis, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA
9780525562023 On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous 6/4/2019
"Ocean Vuong has written a beautiful debut that is intensely personal and full of heart." -- Jamie Southern, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC
9781984802798 Ayesha At Last 6/4/2019
"A completely lovely Pride & Prejudice re-telling that does not shy away from depth." -- Cristina Russell, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
9781982109738 Oh Crap! I Have a Toddler 6/4/2019
"An empathetic and informative book for all parents as they enter the toddler years... I found so many nuggets in this book that encouraged and challenged my own relationship with my child." -- Faith Parke-Dodge, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC
9781594634734 City of Girls 6/4/2019
"I adored seeing the world through Vivian's eyes; her coming-of-age is, perhaps more than anything else, a love story, a tribute to the theatre and to New York City" -- Annie Johnson, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA
9780374170660 The History of Living Forever 6/11/2019
"Beautifully written and engaging novel about love, loss, desire, depression, and a globe-trotting quest to crack the code of living forever." -- Jessica Osborne, E. Shaver, bookseller, Savannah, GA
More bookseller reviews
If your store does not have an Edelweiss+ account and need help setting one up, contact Linda-Marie
Thank you for your interest in SIBA,
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
51 Pleasant Ridge Drive, Asheville, NC 28805