News you can use from the Land of SIBA, February 6, 2020
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From the Land of SIBA A message from SIBA to its membership

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First Things First...

Feb 12: Small Presses Present Spring and Summer Lists
Feb 14: Southern Book Prize Winners Announced
Feb 26: ABACUS Resource Roundtable with Jill Hendrix
Mar 1: Deadline to Register for Find Waldo Local 2020
Mar 9-19: March Madness Bookseller Series

Mar 25: B3! Webinar: Keeping It Indie with Bookstore Link

SIBA Office Hours:

Wednesdays from 2:00 - 5:00 PM EST
(by appointment in November and December)
In the Land of SIBA Blog

March Madness: Emergency Preparedness: Preparing for Natural Disasters, Man-made Events, and Whoopsie Daisies

March Madness at Cavalier House Bookshop

March 17, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Cavalier House Books, Denham Springs, LA
with John Cavalier

 You've heard it all before ..."By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" ... But you still haven't put a plan in place! Big things can happen and little actions can mean the difference between persevering and closing up shop. What threats can affect your store? Your community? Our Industry? We'll talk generally and specifically about each of these and we'll walk away with a list of concrete steps you can take to build resiliency for your store's future and daily operations..

More information |March Madness Main Page | Register

Circle of Sites and, the new online bookselling platform designed to support independent bookstores, officially launched at the end of January. The platform offers a solution to stores with no or limited e-commerce, and creates a feasible affiliate alternative to Amazon for book-oriented websites.

One of the most common questions at the webinar SIBA hosted in December was whether or not Bookshop would work with SIBA's own banner-for-dues program, Circle of Sites. SIBA has worked with to make the banner-for-dues program compatible with Bookshop. As of February 1, stores using can receive free SIBA membership by participating in the program. is a viable option for stores that want to participate in Circle of Sites and either have no e-commerce, such as stores left without an alternative when Baker & Taylor discontinued My Books and More, or have limited e-commerce -- stores using Square or other shopping cart platforms not linked to a books in print database.

Sign up information

March Madness: 10 Best Secrets to Handselling, Upselling and More

March Madness at Page & Palette

March 10, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
with Stephanie Crowe, Leigh Buckley, and Stacy Sheehan-Wilson

Inspired by the question, "How far are you willing to go to develop a loyal customer base?" booksellers Stephanie Crowe, Leigh Buckley, and Stacy Sheehan-Wilson will share practical tips on how they've done it so successfully at Page & Palette.

More information | March Madness Main Page | Register

Controversy as Opportunity: SIBA Booksellers Respond to American Dirt

When American Dirt went from one of the most anticipated novels of the year to one of the most controversial, SIBA reached out to booksellers to find out how the backlash against the book had affected their own plans for promoting the book.

Most have viewed the controversy as an opportunity for discussion and raising awareness. “I have been discussing with customers the controversy of the book, and how the publishing industry has overlooked authors #OwnVoices," said Deanna Bailey of Story on the Square in McDonough, GA. "Criticisms are valid, and I'm happy to listen to them," said Angel Schroeder of Sunrise Books in High Point, NC. "Any book that generates discussion and debate is welcome in the bookstore," said Laura Taylor of Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL.

Store owners also all responded that they had talked with their staff about how to respond to customers who might challenge the book. "Don't shy away and be open to learning from the customers as well," advises Jamie Fiocco of Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC. "We try to not "take the bait" when someone wants to argue and instead explain our commitment to free speech and that we carry books that sell, although we try out books from all viewpoints (this usually comes into play when we get beaten up for not carrying books by folks coming from one part of the political spectrum, our town tends to lean heavily one way) We also have the First Amendment Emergency posted so all staff are reminded that we are committed to defending the First Amendment."

And because booksellers are a group that believes reading more about an issue can only help, many of them expanded their store displays to include other books about immigration, discrimination, and Latinx and Mexican culture, like Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, NC:

Lady Banks' Bookshelf

Charis Books & More, the feminist bookstore in Atlanta, anticipated the controversy and posted to their social media followers after Oprah selected American Dirt for her book club, along with, naturally, a suggested reading list:

1. Citizen Illegal by José Olivarez
2. Mean by Myriam Gurba
3. Una casa propia Historias de mi vida by Sandra Cisneros
4. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
6. Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester
7. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa
8. The Affairs of the Falcóns: A Novel by Melissa Rivero
9. Native Country of the Heart: A Memoir by Cherríe Moraga
10. Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Read More

This week on Lady Banks Pick of the Week:

lady banks pick of the wee

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.

In Brief: Apply for a 2020 Bookselling Without Borders Fellowship

Founded in 2016, BWB awards fellowships to American booksellers to attend international book fairs, where they meet with publishers, editors, authors, agents, and other publishing professionals; connect with booksellers and with bookseller trade associations from around the world; speak on and attend panels; and visit local bookstores, distributors, cultural agencies, and literary arts organizations. 

Bookselling Without Borders also offers a residency program that allows US booksellers to spend an extended period working at bookstores abroad and thus to take a deeper dive into a foreign book market.

Application period closes mid-February.  Apply here.

In Brief: Find Waldo Local 2020 Deadline is March 1

Find Waldo Local

Now in its ninth year, Find Waldo Local is a community-wide Shop Local scavenger hunt hosted by ABA-member bookstores with participation from dozens and dozens of merchants in their towns. In July 2020, Waldospotters, young and old, are eligible for prizes throughout the month. The hunt culminates with a celebratory party held at your store.

Read more details in the brochure

Register your store. Deadline is March 1

Okra Picks

This month on Lady Banks Bookshelf:

lady banks bookshelf

The Southern Independent Bestseller List

southern bestseller list

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

For the week ending 2/2/2020.


1. American Dirt Jeanine Cummins, Flatiron Books, $27.99, 9781250209764
2. Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
3. The Dutch House Ann Patchett, Harper, $27.99, 9780062963673
4. A Long Petal of the Sea Isabel Allende, Ballantine, $28, 9781984820150
5. The Giver of Stars Jojo Moyes, Pamela Dorman Books, $28, 9780399562488


1. A Very Stable Genius Philip Rucker, Carol Leonnig, Penguin Press, $30, 9781984877499
2. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Charlie Mackesy, HarperOne, $22.99, 9780062976581
3. Talking to Strangers Malcolm Gladwell, Little Brown, $30, 9780316478526
4. Profiles in Corruption Peter Schweizer, Harper, $29.99, 9780062897909
5. The Body Bill Bryson, Doubleday, $30, 9780385539302

See what's special to the Southern List!

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Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
Supporting independent bookstores in the South
SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805

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
In the last issue: Libro Bookstore Link

Thank you for your interest in SIBA,
Nicki Leone


ingram inkreadible

SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805
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