News you can use from the Land of SIBA: October 31, 2019
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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 (more info)
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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In 2020, we're transforming our SIBA in the Springtime (SITS) into the March Madness Bookseller Series (MMBS). Might we add another acronym, CYOA, as booksellers may decide to attend multiple events, depending on programming and proximity to host stores.

SIBA’s goal is to have gatherings within 2-3 hours driving distance of all member stores. These one-day gatherings will take place between March 9-20, and run from 10am-3pm with an author luncheon. Morning and afternoon programming will focus on education. 

Would you like your store to be considered as a host store? If so, what kind of educational programming would you want to present to visiting booksellers? What is your store doing really well that you'd like to show off to inspire others? We’d love to hear from you!

Please email  if you’re interested and we'll see what we can work out!


SIBA promotes six new books every month to consumers in our Lady Banks Bookshelf promotion. These titles appear at the top of our weekly Lady Banks Commonplace Book newsletter, which has a circulation of over 60k.  We also feature them above the fold on the homepage of Authors ‘Round the South and on the cover image of the ARTS Facebook page with buy links promoted to our 15,000 Facebook friends. A different member store is featured with the titles every week. 

By promoting through Lady Banks, publishers are making an investment in SIBA member bookstores’ attention and market. SIBA works with them to select titles customers are looking for, and then we drive those customers to SIBA member stores.  Booksellers can boost sales by bringing in Lady Banks Bookshelf titles before the month begins, and putting up a winning display. Send in a photo of your display and earn 20 B3! points, too!

November Titles:


Link to the Edelweiss Collection



Have you ordered extra gift cards for the holidays? They are one of the easiest, and often most pleasing to the recipient, gifts your customers can give to friends and family. 

The trend this year shows an increase in gift card purchasing. The ABA’s IndieCommerce staff reports, “In the first three quarters of 2019, IndieCommerce stores saw a 20% increase in gift card sales compared to the same period in 2018. The average purchase price of a gift card also increased, from $48 to $50. With the majority of gift card purchases taking place between November 1 and December 31, now is the time for your store to promote gift card sales to your customers by email, prominent banners on your website, and social media promotions. This is the perfect way for your customers to support independent booksellers.” 

Whether your store uses gift cards that run through your POS, or paper cards filled out by hand, now's a great time to take an inventory of your supply and put in any necessary reorders.


The trade floor was a dizzying dream. We were thrilled to meet in person our reps, who we'd been emailing with for weeks. We came away with dozens of ARCs and galleys that we've been gobbling up since returning home. It was great to put faces to names, and to take in such great swaths of the publishing landscape.

The conversations that I had with other booksellers, veterans and newbies, were SO helpful and heartening. Real connections were made that I believe will last. I feel buoyed by the time I spent in Spartanburg, determined to make our store the best it can be, and eager to join such a thriving community. The timing couldn't have been better--we're looking at an early-to-mid November grand opening, so it was a perfect way to reflect, prepare, and brave (joyfully!) for what's ahead. (read more)

~Kristen Iskandrian, Thank You Books, AL 

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.


Hundreds of booksellers have been evacuated from their homes due to the wildfires happening in California right now, at least a dozen bookstores are temporarily closed, and more are trying to stay open without power and only a few customers coming through the doors.

How You Can Help Booksellers Right Now

Email Binc at or call 866.733.9064. Kit, Pam, or Kate will talk you through the possible assistance options. More information here



Joe's Place, a truly beautiful bookstore in Greenville, SC featuring new and used books, coffee, a wine bar, and local art is up for sale. The owners, Mary and Alix Bernard, cite a desire to transition into retirement as the reason for the sale.

Although they are in the process of listing the property for sale they are also interested in selling the business and/or the assets. The building is being listed by Deanna Hudgens, owner of Signature Commercial Properties LLC. She can be reached through email at or phone 864-517-4600.

On Lady Banks Bookshelf this month:


BESTSELLERS: October 27, 2019


Printable versions for your store displays: Hardcover | Paperback | Children's.

Hardcover Fiction

1. The Dutch House
Ann Patchett, Harper, $27.99, 9780062963673
2. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
3. Agent Running in the Field
John le Carré, Viking, $29, 9781984878878
4. The Water Dancer
Ta-Nehisi Coates, One World, $28, 9780399590597
5. The Guardians
John Grisham, Doubleday, $29.95, 9780385544184

Hardcover Nonfiction

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
5. Blowout
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

Full Throttle: Stories Joe Hill, Morrow, $27.99,The Deserter Nelson DeMille, Alex DeMille, S&S, $28.99,Touched by the Sun: My Friendship with Jackie Carly Simon, FSG, $27,The Pioneer Woman Cooks: The New Frontier: Fantastic Favorites for Everyday Eating Ree Drummond, William Morrow Cookbooks, $29.99,Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years Julie Andrews, Hachette Books, $30,Know My Name Chanel Miller, Viking, $28,I Really Needed This Today: Words to Live By Hoda Kotb, Putnam, $24,How to Be an Antiracist Ibram X. Kendi, One World, $27,Olive Kitteridge Elizabeth Strout, Random House, $17,Bitter Orange Claire Fuller, Tin House Books, $15.95,A Well-Behaved Woman Therese Anne Fowler, St. Martin's Griffin, $16.99,Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Gail Honeyman, Penguin, $16,The Last Castle Denise Kiernan, Touchstone, $17,The Power of Now Eckhart Tolle, New World Library, $16,The Flame Leonard Cohen, Picador, $18,Tesla: Inventor of the Modern Richard Munson, Norton, $16.95,Churchill: Walking with Destiny Andrew Roberts, Penguin, $24,You Are a Badass Jen Sincero, Running Press, $16,Think Little: Essays Wendell Berry, Counterpoint, $10,Whose Story Is This?: Old Conflicts, New Chapters Rebecca Solnit, Haymarket Books, $15.95,Let's Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc. Jeff Tweedy, Dutton, $17,

see all


Edelweiss+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 to be added.

The Deep In the Dream House Why We Can't Sleep In a Jar 

9781534439863 The Deep 11/5/2019
"This book's concept is absolutely mind-boggling to me, having never heard of Drexciya or Clipping before now. It's incredible, and I hope this game of "artistic Telephone" does continue - imagine this as a film! The world of the wajinru is fascinating and I would love to learn more about the society they've created for themselves, especially how it functions after the ending of the book. This book is a must for anyone interested in history and trauma and how they affect communities lifetimes later." -- Kaley Lowman, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

9781644450031 In the Dream House 11/5/2019
"I have never read a book quite like IN THE DREAM HOUSE: fragmented, yet shatteringly cohesive, experimental, yet utterly confident in its own project. I was mesmerized by the subtly devastating force of Machado’s craft and could barely put the memoir down. (In fact, I will probably re-read it as soon I finish writing this review.) IN THE DREAM HOUSE is both heartbreakingly honest—grounded in Machado’s lived trauma—and breathtaking in its examination of queerness, abuse, and societal memory. Part poetry and part socio-cultural analysis, yet wholly personal, IN THE DREAM HOUSE is one of the bravest literary projects I have encountered, and should be required reading for every one of us."-- Zach Claypole White, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

9780802147851 Why We Can't Sleep 1/7/2020
"I cannot say enough about this book! I want everyone to read it! Gen-X women are having a unique menopausal experience in the history of humanity. As the generation raised to “have it all”, Gen-X women born from about 1965-1980 are dealing with a set of circumstances unlike Boomers and Millennials about whom much more has been studied. The last generation to not “get a trophy” for everything is feeling like a failure at midlife. A lot of women my age and those around them are being profoundly affected by the issues studied by Calhoun: credit card debt, divorce, underemployment, exhaustion, profound anxiety. And we are being told to “lean in”, take “me time”, “tidy up” and a host of other suggestions usually just another way to sell us stuff based on our fears. This easy to read book offers practical suggestions, but more than that: it offers the voices of other women in the same place, dealing with the same issues, providing a much needed source of empowerment for Gen-X women like myself and those who love us. " -- Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

9780525514596 In a Jar 1/21/2020
"My little sister was a collector, like Llewellyn. The corners of our shared bedroom were dotted with pinecones, rocks, and our books were filled with pressed leaves and flowers. I love the sweet premise and absolutely gorgeous illustrations of IN A JAR and I know our littlest readers will too. This is the kind of picture book I will want everyone I know to spend a moment with." -- Cristina Russell, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

More bookseller reviews

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