FIRST THINGS FIRST:
10/21: Deadline to apply for the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Bookseller Activists (here)
11/6: B3! Webinar: Launching a Book Festival in Your Community (rsvp)
11/8: Southern Book Prize Ballot opens (vote here)
11/8 - 11/17: Love Your Bookstore Week
SIBA Office Hours: Wednesdays from 2:00 - 5:00 PM EST
In the Land of SIBA Blog
Using SIBA's Holiday Catalog?
Sign up for the Catalog Newsletter, powered by Shelf Awareness
SIBA booksellers share that talking shop with other booksellers, discussing what’s going well, or not, at their stores, makes a big, positive, difference. Conversations can spark a new approach to author events, the creation of a press kit, a reexamination of training practices, the decision to switch to another POS system, or maybe a road trip to visit other bookstores and be inspired.
Beginning in 2020, we’re extending the resource roundtable experience we offer at our Discovery Show into a monthly event on zoom. These zoom events will offer a face-to-face opportunity to discuss areas in your business, peer-to-peer, that you’d like some feedback on, or wish to share success stories about.
What subjects would you like to see as topics for roundtable discussion? Would you like to be one of the hosts for a particular discussion? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk!
The SIBA Holiday Catalog: What you need to know
Stores that are participating in SIBA's Holiday Catalog program should be receiving their catalogs within the next couple weeks. Here are the next steps you should take to make the most of the catalog and maximize your holiday sales:
1) Place your orders for holiday catalog titles.
Here is a link to the catalog title list: Edelweiss | Spreadsheet
Ingram is also offering a promotion on catalog title orders: Get +3% OFF any title in the Regional Holiday Catalogs No promo code needed. Plus, get FREE freight for qualifying orders. Order Now! Offer valid from October 2 – December 14.
2) Upload your email newsletter materials
All stores participating in the catalog also get email catalog newsletters sent to your customer list. The newsletters, which are created and powered by Shelf Awareness, will be sent in four separate emails, once a week, between November 8 and December 12. Ecommerce capability is not required.
Click here to upload your store logo and mailing list
3) Make sure your holiday catalog is on your website.
SIBA stores using IndieCommerce and IndieLite will be able to link to the catalog on their own sites. They will go live before the end of the month.
SIBA stores who do not use IndieCommerce can request the web-version of the catalog for their stores from SIBA. Email email@example.com.
SIBA stores without ecommerce-capable websites can request a "no click" version of the catalog for their website. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
4) Plan your in-store displays
While the catalog itself is an invaluable tool for capturing holiday sales, you can boost your sales with in-store catalog displays and signage. Here is a slit card/shelf talker for use in your displays and to highlight catalog titles wherever they are found on the shelf:
Holiday Catalog Slit Card (pdf)
Name: Andrea (Andi) Richardson
Store and location: Fountain Bookstore, Richmond VA
Position at the store: Bookseller/Assistant Buyer
Store's Social Media Stats: We have 12.3k Twitter followers, thanks to Kelly's viral tweet about a certain unnamed online retailer! last December. We have a strong presence on Facebook and Instagram as well, with different employees heading up different branches of social media.
Events and buyer contact info: Kelly Justice, email@example.com
Number of years as a bookseller: Almost two years.
Best part about being a bookseller? Books! And people, and helping people find their new favorite author or book :)
What book(s) are you reading? I am almost done with Her Sister's Tattoo, a story about two sisters who were pulled apart during the anti-Vietnam protests in the late 1960s. It's really powerful and follows their story and the consequences their actions have for years after.
Favorite handsell of 2019: This is a tough one! I loved Where the Crawdads Sing but that doesn't need much help selling. A mystery that I try to get everyone to read is An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena.
Best thing you did this year at your store: I love all of our events, but my favorite one was getting to interview Mesha Maren about her incredible novel Sugar Run back in February.
What are some ways you work with your community? We partner with other businesses in our neighborhood and will be putting on a festival later this month to celebrate Halloween in the community. We also have events at some great offsite venues like the Poe Museum, American Civil War Museum, Sam Miller's restaurant, and several others!
Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life? I play in a local branch of an international all-female pinball league and I've recruited several coworkers to join me. It's such a fun, supportive environment with an amazing group of women! I love that my bookseller sisters get to be a part of it with me.
Top priority for 2019:We have a new plan in our store called #SellOneMoreBook, and the intention is to get just one extra book into a customer's hands. The impact it can make in sales is really powerful. We are also dedicated to continuing to bring fun, interesting events to our community as often as possible.
Favorite SIBA programming benefit: I love meeting and connecting with other booksellers, and getting to talk to the publishers and authors. The authors are all like rock stars to me, and being in the bookselling world is a dream come true.
The 2019 SIBA Discovery Show was an incredible experience, one filled with learning, networking, amazing new reads, and a jam-packed weekend that made me even prouder to be a part of the Southern bookselling world than when I started. I came to #SIBA19 hoping to hone my understanding of the industry, especially as it relates to the many things that make bookstores so special in the South. I was able to accomplish this and much, much more. I spent time learning about management best practices, handselling techniques, how to improve and refine our e-commerce platform. Meeting other first-time attendees and booksellers who are faced with some of the exact same challenges and rewards I am was inspiring and encouraging. The trade show floor was a veritable cornucopia of delights and opportunities, offering the chance to source sidelines, new reads, meet and network with reps from the big five publishers and small presses alike. I spent time getting to know authors, thinking about new ways to feature and highlight southern writers in my shop, and gained a much better understanding of the industry landscape and just how and why one small shop fits into that landscape. #SIBA19 was truly a chance at discovery, and I am so thankful and grateful for the chance to have attended and the scholarship funds that made it possible.
~Nora Ketron, Bookseller & Coordinator of Many Things, Star Line Books, Chattanooga, TN
Next week on Lady Banks Pick of the Week:
Read more about SIBA's Circle of Sites Program (aka the "banner for dues" program) and find out whether your store is eligible to participate and receive free membership dues.
On Lady Banks Bookshelf this month:
Printable versions for your store displays: Hardcover | Paperback | Children's.
1. The Dutch House
Ann Patchett, Harper, $27.99, 9780062963673
2. The Water Dancer
Ta-Nehisi Coates, One World, $28, 9780399590597
3. The Testaments
Margaret Atwood, Nan A. Talese, $28.95, 9780385543781
4. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
5. Red at the Bone
Jacqueline Woodson, Riverhead Books, $26, 9780525535270
1. Talking to Strangers
Malcolm Gladwell, Little Brown, $30, 9780316478526
Rachel Maddow, Crown, $30, 9780525575474
Tara Westover, Random House, $28, 9780399590504
4. The Book of Gutsy Women
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, S&S, $35, 9781501178412
5. How to Be an Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi, One World, $27, 9780525509288
Special to the Southern List
Books that appear on the Southern Bestseller List, but not on any other region's list
THE BOOKS YOUR COLLEAGUES ARE TALKING ABOUT
Some of the reviews submitted this week on Edelweiss+ from your fellow SIBA booksellers. SIBA members earn B3! points for every review if they join the SIBA community on Edelweiss. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added.
9780374283247 Vernon Subutex 1 11/5/2019
"Punk and funny yet somehow graceful, Vernon Subutex defies the odds as a book and as the titular character. This novel analyzes the rapid societal development and France's political polarization through the lens of one getting left behind in modern progression. The lengths to which some characters must go to survive are comical on the surface, but truthful to the experiences of many in today's political and economic circumstances. Written like art, it is a fascinating story and cast of characters." -- Karyn Cumming, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA
9780451491992 Blitzed 12/3/2019
"This book is 6 out of 5 stars. Brynn, our leading lady, is a strong female who runs a bar for women and is an actual, certified badass. Her hunk is a shy, quiet, super sensitive guy who also just happens to be a professional football player. That's right: this is not your mamma's trope romance. There are so many supportive and uplifting female characters, so much positive masculinity, so many shared successes, and so much general wholesomeness I could explode. Alexa Martin is the contemporary romance author you've gotta read."-- Lizy Coale, Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL
9780823438730 Overground Railroad 1/7/2020
"In a story of the Great Migration, a young girl travels with her family by train from North Carolina to New York. How James Ransome hasn’t been awarded a Caldecott yet is beyond me … his art is divine and the accompanying words by Lesa Cline-Ransome are poetic. A wonderful and important picture book for elementary school-aged children." -- Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
9781948226547 Night Theater 1/14/2020
"A literary page-turner, Paralkar’s Night Theater is an engaging exploration of life, death, and the afterlife. The novel follows a jaded, washed-up surgeon in rural India - under-staffed, under-supplied, and overly cynical. Late one night, a young family, recently murdered yet somehow walking and talking, visits his clinic telling the surgeon that they can have a second chance at life only if he is able to repair their wounds that night before they are fully reanimated. What follows is a tautly paced, at turns gruesomely humorous, fable-like novel that almost feels like a wonderfully remixed version of A Christmas Carol or It’s a Wonderful Life but with emergency surgery on the walking dead. Insightful, philosophical, and endlessly readable, I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Vikram Paralkar’s dimly lit, roach-infested clinic." -- Caleb Masters, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC
More bookseller reviews
Thank you for your interest in SIBA,
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
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