News you can use from the Land of SIBA, March 12, 2020
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From the Land of SIBA A message from SIBA to its membership

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First Things First...

Mar 9-19: March Madness Bookseller Series
Mar 11: Application deadline for Binc Higher Education scholarships
Mar 11: Tin House Scholarship Deadline
Mar 14: Deadline to apply for ABA/Bookexpo Bookseller Grant program
Mar 25: B3! Webinar: Keeping It Indie with Bookstore Link
Apr 13: IBD Exclusive Materials Ship to Stores
2020 SIBA Discovery Show Registration is Open!

SIBA Office Hours on Zoom:

Wednesdays from 2:00 - 5:00 PM EST
(by appointment in November and December)
803-994-9530 |

In the Land of SIBA Blog

B3! Webinar: Keeping It Indie with Bookstore Link

Join us on Wednesday, March 25 at 2PM EST for our B3! Webinar: Keep it Indie with Bookstore LinkMark Pearson, CEO and co-founder of, the first audiobook company to support independent bookstores, will discuss their new venture, Bookstore Link. When someone links to a book on Bookstore Link, the reader chooses their independent bookstore and is connected to that bookstore's website to make their purchase. Mark will explain how indie bookstores can get behind Bookstore Link, and he'll take your questions, too. Please rsvp to attend.

i link to local bookstores

Click here for more info on Bookstore Link.

About our Presenter:

Mark Pearson is the CEO and co-founder of, the digital audiobook platform for more than 900 independent bookstores. He lives in Seattle where he enjoys running in the rain, playing tennis when the sun makes an appearance, over and undercooking food, and reading The New York Times on paper.

Read more


March Madness: Bookseller Series Events Continue as Scheduled

March Madness at Horton's Bookshop

SIBA has received a few queries from booksellers as to whether the current COVID-19 crisis is having any effect on our MMBS Schedule.

All events are continuing as scheduled. For those events which have scheduled presentations from the American Booksellers Association and Matchbook Marketing, both the ABA and Gwyn Ridenhour will be presenting remotely, via video conference. See the Shop South video

The full MMBS Schedule is here, and registration is still open for later events:

Luckily, the format of March Madness -- a series of small gatherings which people can drive to -- is the type of event least likely to be impacted by current travel concerns. Naturally, SIBA encourages anyone who feels sick to remain at home and take care of their own health. If you have questions about a specific March Madness event, contact SIBA at

Still to come:

Mar 13: Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC
Four Part Harmony: Bookmarks presents their best tips for Authors in Schools, Tracking Your Data, Subscription Clubs, and Planning Tools

Authors In Schools: A Chocolate and Peanut Butter Combination with Ashley Bryan. No Math Required: Demystifying Data Tracking with Beth Seufer Buss. Sign Me Up: Cultivating Loyalty Through Subscriptions with Jamie Rogers Southern. Help! My To-Do List is Out of Control with Beth Seufer Buss

Mar 15: Story & Song in Fernandina Beach, FL
Bookstore Make-Over: Low-cost and No-cost Ways to Freshen and Update Your Space

Lift up your store's look for the enjoyment of customers, staff, and you. During this workshop you'll see photos of creative bookstore design and merchandising ideas from bookshops around the world. Bring a diagram of your space with fixtures located. We'll talk about circulation, sight lines, focal point displays, and adding your "Wow" factor to give new energy to your bookstore.

Mar 16: Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC
Creating Your Ideal Week: Time Management for Booksellers

Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction, past president of SIBA, and now a Bookstore Business Coach, will walk you through exercises to help tame your overwhelm, increase your productivity, and make sure you are doing the right things instead of #allthethings.

Mar 19: Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA
PR and Messaging: Dealing with Big Changes or Challenges to the Business with Honesty and Positivity

In this session, Avid Bookshop leaders Janet Geddis, Rachel Watkins, and Luis Correa will speak about how they've communicated with customers and staff about big changes and challenges in their business over the years. "How do you express vulnerability without coming across as the weak underdog? How do you keep up morale and enthusiasm while ensuring that your staff and supporters understand the precariousness of running an independent bookstore in 2020? Every business will undergo changes for sustainability and continued growth. However, we have found that how these changes are communicated to your customers are almost as important as the changes themselves."

March Madness Main Page | Register

This 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.

In Brief: ABA launches page to track Coronavirus Updates

As the American Booksellers Association continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), booksellers are invited to visit a new page on that details event updates, general information about the outbreak, and resources for retailers.. Read more

In Brief: ABA/Bookexpo Bookseller Grant Deadline is 3/14

This program was designed to make it possible for significant booksellers like you to experience and benefit from all that BookExpo has to offer, in the publishing Capitol of the world, New York City. Participants will receive:

  • A complimentary 3 night stay at the official ABA Hotel, the Wyndham New Yorker
  • $150 in BookExpo Bucks to be used towards placing orders with any of our 100+ UnBound exhibitors at the show

Read more.

Okra Picks

This month on Lady Banks Bookshelf:

lady banks bookshelf

Read This! Highest Rated Reviews from SIBA Booksellers

Reviewed by Booksellers

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.

City Spies by James Ponti, 3/10/2020
Reviewed by Julie Jarema, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA
On Edelweiss

James Ponti has written another fast-paced, compelling mystery that left me dreaming of tunneling through the catacombs of Paris. Sneak off with this talented group of tween spies from all over the world, and let them take you on an adventure that will leave you looking for patterns and hiding spots so that you can read more!

Most Likely by Sarah Watson, 3/10/2020
Reviewed by Annie Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA
On Edelweiss

I put aside all other necessary reading and dove into this YA novel that opens in 2049, at the inauguration of our first female president. The plot then flashes back to 2019, with four best friends facing the challenges of their senior year. It's left up to the reader to determine which of these young women ultimately becomes the leader of the free world, and I was here for every bit of it. I thought the premise was fun and original, and I had a blast reading it. Highly recommend.

Green on Green by Dianne White, Felicita Sala (Illus.), 3/17/2020
Reviewed by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC
On Edelweiss

This stunningly beautiful ode to the seasons practically begs to be read aloud. For Storytime, bedtime or anytime a new season comes around, Green on Green will delight young listeners and fulfill the desires of readers when new seasons begin to peek their heads our of the weather worn earth.

More bookseller reviews

The Southern Independent Bestseller List

southern bestseller list

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

For the week ending 3/7/2020.


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


1. The Splendid and the Vile Erik Larson, Crown, $32, 9780385348713
2. A Very Stable Genius Philip Rucker, Carol Leonnig, Penguin Press, $30, 9781984877499
3. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Charlie Mackesy, HarperOne, $22.99, 9780062976581
4. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone Lori Gottlieb, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9781328662057
5. The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross Jon Meacham, Convergent Books, $22, 9780593236666

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 on Zoom:
Wednesdays from 2:00 - 5:00 PM EST
Available during regular business hours at 803-994-9530, or anytime at

In the Land of SIBA Blog
Southern Indie Bestsellers (HC | PB | Kids)
The Booksellers' WaterCooler | Ongoing publisher promotions
In the last issue: ABACUS Resource Roundtable

Thank you for your interest in SIBA,
Nicki Leone



SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805
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