FIRST THINGS FIRST:
10/28: 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
1/8/2020: B3! Book Club Discusses Brave New Work by Aaron Dignan (rsvp)
1/15/2020: Independent Bookstore Day Catalog is published (here)
2/3/2020: Deadline to place your IBD orders (no late orders this year!) (here)
SIBA Office Hours: Wednesdays from 2:00 - 5:00 PM EST
In the Land of SIBA Blog
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November 6 at 2 PM
Would you like to begin a festival in your town? It’s a lot of work, but can add another dimension and revenue stream to your bookstore, deepen your relationships with community partners, publishers, and authors, and foster a greater appreciation for reading and author interactions in your region and beyond. Listen to four veterans discuss the book festivals they initiated or partner in, and learn some great tips on how to do it right and have fun doing it. Please rsvp firstname.lastname@example.org to attend.
Jamie Rogers Southern is the Operations Director of Bookmarks, a literary arts nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem, NC. Bookmarks' annual Festival of Books & Authors is a four-day celebration of reading and writing in Winston-Salem. Jamie oversees almost all areas of the festival, including programming, authors, working with hotels, and many other logistical elements, as well as putting together the festival’s printed program and press release.
John Evans opened Lemuria Books in 1975, a store nationally known for specializing in signed first editions, with a First Editions Club that’s been going strong for over 25 years. John is one of the founders of The Mississippi Book Festival, a nonprofit launched in August 2015 on the State Capitol grounds, which draws thousands to its annual “literary lawn party” and book lovers’ celebration.
Mitchell Kaplan founded Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida in 1982 and has since opened numerous locations including stores in Key West and the Cayman Islands. Mitchell is a co-founder of the Miami Book Fair, which now extends to eight days of events. The first Miami Book Fair took place in 1984. Since then, it has become recognized as the nation’s finest literary festival.
Catherine Bock is the adult buyer and inventory manager at Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN. She’s now the main point-person for Parnassus’ role as the official book supplier for the Southern Festival of Books. She is also in charge of book sales at the Music City Food and Wine Festival, and assists with the SCWBI’s annual conference.
Last week SIBA hosted the B3! webinar “Bringing Used Books into the Mix for Higher Sales and Profit.” Megan Bell and Josh Niesse from Underground Books in Carrollton, GA and Hills & Hamlets in Serenbe, GA, Cathy Graham from Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, FL, Frank Reiss of A Cappella Books in Atlanta, GA, and Shane Gottwal’s from Gottwals Books (franchising nationwide as "Walls of Books") of Macon, GA and beyond presented their best tips. Because all the presenters began as used booksellers adding in new books, stores transitioning in a similar way will also find this webinar quite informative.
- Josh noted the “incredible variety of approach to including used books” among the panelists. He and Megan prefer to buy book collections from private homes rather than allowing folks to bring boxes of books to the store.
- Cathy emphasized that “more isn’t better" and they only buy "gently-used" books.
- Frank cautioned that “it’s a challenge to do both (new & used books) well...respect how much time used books can take...if you’re going to do both, then have a lot of focus.”
- Shane’s buying philosophy is one of bringing in as much product as you can in categories that do well for you.
Questions from attendees including paying for used books with credit and/or cash, charging for shipping, online sales and pricing, and whether adding used books undermines new book sales.
Link to view the webinar (you must log in to view)
Additional resources included are Cathy Graham’s tips and pitfalls when adding used books to your new book inventory, Josh and Megan’s Used Book Sorting Chart, and tipsheet on evaluating used book values, and Shane’s 2017 Winter Institute presentation on bringing used books into your inventory. All are available at the link above and in our Peer Brain Trust under Working with Business Resources.
What made you decide to come to the SIBA Discovery Show?
Our good friends at Bookmarks here in Winston-Salem first told us about SIBA and had connected us to several SIBA stores who are now selling our items (shout out to Page 158, Quail Ridge, Sunrise, Wonderland, Read With Me, Books to Be Red, Downtown Books, and Ducks Cottage). When Bookmarks found out that SIBA was going to be so close in 2019, they really encouraged us to attend and we took them up on it.
Did it meet your expectations?
Absolutely. Our goal for the next few years is to grow our business with independent bookstore partners, and having the chance to meet so many of them in person was truly fantastic. We added at least 10 new bookstores thanks to the show, with more contacting us each week now, it seems. Add to that the fact that bookstore people are just generally delightful folks to get to know, and it was a lovely two days.
What did you learn from attending the show?
Having the chance to talk to so many different stores gave us great insight into their buying patterns, how they choose their sidelines, and how they time their purchases to account for holidays and events. That knowledge will be invaluable as we continue to grow our partnerships with independent bookstores. Plus, we made some new friends, so that’s always a plus.
Why do you think the independent bookstore market is important?
For our business, book people are the target market - and no one is better at attracting book people than independent bookstores. But more than that, we love the idea that our little creations can help independent bookstores make money to keep their enterprises going. The value an indie bookstore adds to a community is immeasurable, and it makes us so happy to know our items might be helping their bottom lines!
Describe Bookish Birds and how it got started:
It’s a strange story. We are best friends and former college roommates both with full time non-Bookish Birds jobs. In 2014 we were finally living in the same town again (on the same street, actually) after 20+ years apart. Diana had a great idea to make some holiday ornaments for her husband’s office at Wake Forest University and people loved the ornaments so much we thought there might be a market in them to sell. So, we started with those and then met with a small business adviser who said we really needed to find something that would sell better year round. As we were pondering what that might be, we took a girls trip to London together and saw some page art for sale in Covent Garden Market. Those were mostly images printed on old book pages, but it dawned on us that book quotes on book pages could be popular - and the other half of Bookish Birds was born. That was in 2015, and we have steadily grown since then.
What are your newest products for the holiday season?
We’ve been working to add more quotes from African American authors and now have several new Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison prints. We also have the personalized pages we made for each SIBA store, so any store that did not pick theirs up at the Discovery Show can just contact us and we will happily send it along to them. We would love to partner with bookstores to provide staff gifts, author gifts, or donor gifts that can be personalized for the specific need.
Who should booksellers contact if they want to place an order?
They can just email email@example.com and we can send the order forms to them!
I feel so lucky to have had the chance to attend SIBA this year in Spartanburg, a town that is so vibrant and changing. Having the opportunity to attend as a scholarship recipient is something I will always be grateful for. It was amazing to be able to immerse myself completely in every seminar, meal with an author, and publisher meeting that was offered. I also am so grateful for the chance to connect with other booksellers and events staff - to have the chance to see how they thrive and struggle in similar and different ways than our own shop and how we can grow together as a greater community of indie bookstores in the South.
~Christy, Events Assistant and Bookseller, Avid Bookshop, GA
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.
Independent Bookstore Day: Mark your calendar with these important IBD dates:
- January 15, 2020: The IBD catalog goes LIVE on www.indiebookstoreday.com
- February 3, 2020: ORDER DEADLINE (we can't accommodate any late orders this year)
- March: IBD tote bags and bookmarks arrive
- April 25, 2020 (the LAST SATURDAY in April): INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE DAY!
Up to 75% OFF IBD EXCLUSIVES: Sometimes a few IBD exclusives get left behind at Ingram. And now, they're for sale at bargain basement prices, like, up to 75% off! Get them in time for the holidays. Tui Sutherland, Charles Bukowski, Maggie Stiefvater, Miriam Towes, Angie Thomas, and more!
Order Here on iPage
(look for the link on the right side of the page. Promo code: IP)
Sneak peek of 2020: We are working closely with publishers and authors to bring you exclusives from:
- Amor Towles
- Ottessa Moshfegh
- Jon Klassen
- Dav Pilkey
- Shea Serrano
Carla Gray Scholarship Deadline Extended to Oct. 28: The Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists is unlike any other scholarship the Binc Foundation has offered. This year-long professional development scholarship is intended to help a bookseller with fewer than five years of experience connect with other booksellers, publishers, and authors and to establish the long-term relationships that keep the book industry thriving. The scholarship includes funds to attend Winter Institute 2020 and a 2020 fall regional trade show. The bookseller will also be granted funding to support a community outreach project of their own design.
Applications are open now.
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 Testaments
Margaret Atwood, Nan A. Talese, $28.95, 9780385543781
3. The Water Dancer
Ta-Nehisi Coates, One World, $28, 9780399590597
4. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
5. The Guardians
John Grisham, Doubleday, $29.95, 9780385544184
1. Me: Elton John Official Autobiography
Elton John, Holt, $30, 9781250147608
2. Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators
Ronan Farrow, Little Brown, $30, 9780316486637
3. Talking to Strangers
Malcolm Gladwell, Little Brown, $30, 9780316478526
4. The Body: A Guide for Occupants
Bill Bryson, Doubleday, $30, 9780385539302
Rachel Maddow, Crown, $30, 9780525575474
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.
9781984806093 The Bromance Book Club 11/5/2019
"Thea and Gavin are separated. Turns out that Thea had been faking it for pretty much their entire marriage and when Gavin finally realizes it, he leaves. But now he's come to his senses and wants her back, but she's having none of that. Enter: the Bromance Book Club. The club is a group of professionals from Nashville, mostly professional sports players, who read romance novels to better understand their girlfriends or wives. And now they're here to help Gavin. This sweet, funny look at a second chance romance had me flying through the pages. I appreciated that things weren't as one-sided as they first appear and we get growth and character development from more than just one character. I eagerly await the sequel! " -- Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Roswell, GA
9780316485340 Little Weirds 11/5/2019
"Little lovely weirds from the big, lovely, weirdness of Jenny Slate's brain. I am recommending that you get both a physical copy to beautify your shelves and the audiobook so that Slate can croon her little weirds into your ears and that way your hands are free for snacking or petting the dog or arranging acorns on your mantle. You will laugh and sigh and wish her words could bring these things to life because she is, after all, a magical person so it should be a thing she can do. And who knows? Maybe she will. "-- Kate Towery, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA
9781524787042 Tomorrow I'll Be Kind 1/14/2020
"I love any picture book that helps children learn how to understand their feelings and be more intentional in their lives. Having a three year old niece and nephew, I struggle to find ways to help them understand their emotions - "be nice" only goes so far. TOMORROW I'LL BE KIND is a beautiful story with plenty to look at and talk about with the kiddos in our lives!" -- Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC
9780525541905 Such a Fun Age 12/31/2019
"I can't wait to read this one with my book club! I often say that books are either windows or mirrors. Windows allow the reader to see into the lives of others and gain understanding. Mirrors allow the reader to look inside themselves, reflect, and grow. Kiley Reid has created a cast of characters and a plot that provides both the window and the mirror. Reading and discussing this book with a diverse group is sure to spark great conversation and have a positive impact on everyone in the group." -- Angela Redden, Reading Rock Books, Dickson, TN
More bookseller reviews
Thank you for your interest in SIBA,
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
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