November 2011

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{Call for nominations for the SIBA Book Award}

absolutely jam-packed with great things for book people!

November, 2011

In This Issue

Inkreadible Sponsors

Upcoming on
Circle of Sites


Stress: Climbing Out of the Pits with God
(Greater Insight Publishing


Lady Banks Pick of the Week

Previous Issues

About Us

SIBA is a trade organization for independent brick and mortar bookstores in the South.
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Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance

What's in this edition of SIBA eInk? It's time to nominate books for the 2012 Book Award and the next season of Okra Picks. We give you 5 things to do to make your customers' online experience with your store so much better, and some best practices for your store's book clubs. Plus, the #siba11 survey results are in, we're looking for stores to feature in Lady Banks, and have you read any of the books that are special to the southern list?

Call for SIBA 2012 Book Award Nominations

Call for SIBA Book Award nominationsSIBA celebrated her 2011 Book Award with a wedding, and plans are already being hatched for our 2012 Book Award writers.  But we need to know which southern books are your favorites of 2011.

Nominate your picks for the 2012 Book Awards here:

To be eligible, a book must be southern in nature or by a southern author, or both. They must have been published in 2011 (no reprints, please). Nominations can come from booksellers or readers, but they must be associated with a SIBA member bookstore, either as an employee or a customer.

Get your customers involved, and drive traffic to your website and facebook pages!

To help you get your customers involved in (and excited about) the SIBA Book Awards, this year, if you promote the nomination form on your Facebook page SIBA will send a free copy of a previous Book Award finalist book to one of the first ten people who nominates an eligible title and cites your store.

To help you promote the book award nominations to your customers, SIBA has badges, banners and logos available for you to download at the SIBA Book Award page:
and here:

Be sure to tag us when you post to Facebook:

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Call for SIBA Book Award nominations

Next Okra Picks Deadline is December 1

okra picksThe nomination deadline for the Winter/Spring Okra Picks is December 1. We're looking for the next season's great southern books. Books should be published between December 2011 and March 2012.

Nominations can be emailed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Or, you can use our nomination form

SIBA12 contest!

Show off your Okra!

You can win a free trip to #siba12 in Naples, Florida next year just for displaying your Okra Picks cards! Tag us in a photo of your Okra Picks display on your Facebook page, post it on your website (and let us know), send it out on twitter (#okrapicks), or email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and be entered to win an all expense paid trip to #SIBA12.

If you haven't already received your free display and set of Fall Okra Picks cards, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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5 Things You Can Do to Enhance Customer Experience Online

These are some of the "best practices Facebook suggests for maximizing your online reach with your real world customers!

  1.  Make sure your website url is in the About section on your Facebook page.
  2. Make sure customers can subscribe to your newsletter on the homepage of your website.
  3. Put a Facebook LIKE button on your website.
  4. Offer a “whisper code” on your Facebook page.  Post something like:  “Only today, come in the store, and say – I love shopping here!” And get an instant 10% off your purchase.  This whisper good only for today and only in store.
  5. Use store in-store signage print marketing materials to promote your Facebook page.

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Shout Out to Members Making SIBA News

Shout Out to Members Making SIBA News
Let us know and we’ll let the world know!

SIBA makes a concerted effort to spread the word about our member stores. So if you tell us, we'll tell everybody. If you are on facebook or twitter, make sure you friend and follow us. If you do an email newsletter, make sure we get it:

Tag us when you post on Facebook or Twitter – At Twitter use @ReaderMtWriter and at Facebook, use @Authors Round the South; and we will see it, we will share it, we will spread the word and highlight you here in ongoing SIBA Inks.  Let us know when you put the Holiday Catalog on your IndieCommerce site or when you promote the Okra Picks on your website, or when you post a photo of your Okra Picks card display for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to #SIBA12.  We can’t enter you if we don’t know you have done it.  So – start spreading the news….

A big thanks to the following stores:

Myra Meade of Hall Book Exchange posted a picture of their Okra Picks card display on Facebook

Cavalier House Books
is featuring this season’s Okra Picks on their home page:

Island Books posted the holiday catalog to their home page:

Thanks to these stores for reporting to the Southern Indie Bestseller List via ABA, with North Carolina stores leading the charge!

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Special to the Southern List

SIBA is tracking books that are Special to the Southern List

Special to the Southern ListWhat do Stacy Schiff's Cleopatra, Amor Towles' Rules of Civility, Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible and any book written by Karen White all have in common?  They are all Special to the Southern List!

Each week SIBA tracks the books that appear on the Southern Indie Bestseller List, but not on the national list. Until recently, they were simply listed as part of the regular southern indie list. But now we have a special section on ARTS just for these books.

These are the books that are our homegrown bestsellers, books important to you, and to your customers. We encourage you to pay special attention to the special-to-siba books in your bestseller displays, because you are the reason for their success!

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SIBA Bookstore Feature in Lady Banks

Has your store been featured in Lady Banks?

This past summer SIBA began publishing the Lady Banks newsletter on a weekly basis, and devoting a section in each issue to profiling one of its bookstore members. If you would like your store to be featured, please copy the questions below into a new email, and send your answers to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:

Store Name:
Store Website:
Store Email:
Store Facebook:
Store Twitter:

What books do you love and wish everyone else would read?

What forthcoming books are you most looking forward to?

What book/author would you like to see come back into print?

What's your favorite book surprise of the season?

A local author(s) you think more people should know about?

Weirdest customer question?

Favorite moment on the sales floor?

What should visitors not miss when they come to your town?

How did you get into bookselling?

What do you look forward to most about going in to work?

What is your store's specialty?

What's your favorite weird item in the store?

What are you reading now?

Why do local businesses matter?

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 Book Club Best Practices from #SIBA11

“The Buying Power of Book Clubs: Examining Their Potential, Loyalty, and Community”
from Jamie Rogers Southern, Southern Celebrations, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

One of the most popular sessions at the Trade Show this year was Jamie Rogers Southern's presentation on "The Buying Power of Book Clubs." Here are some highlights from her talk:

Best Resources for Book Clubs:
Book Club Classics
Book Club Girl
Book Divas
Book Group Expo
Book Lust by Nancy Pearl
Book Browse
Book Movement
Indie Next List
Library Thing
Reading Group Choices
Reading Group Guides
Women’s National Book Association

Summary of Notes:

In today’s society people are hungry for personal relationships. We will continue to see book club numbers rise as people look for ways to connect with their community. (Book clubs are a source of cheap entertainment!)
You, as a bookseller, can create an environment that welcomes book clubs, even if you don’t have the physical space for them to meet.

Book Clubs are meeting more virtually as well. What does this tell us? (People want to talk about books!) Create a place virtually for book clubs to meet.

What are some ways you can reach out to markets in your area? Think of: Senior Living Centers, schools, church groups, recently relocated residents, etc.

Work with other small businesses in your neighborhood. Is there a potential market for a book club through them? (example of a local restaurant starting a Food Lovers book club)

Develop a book club loyalty program.

Be reliable. Order on time and order plenty of copies. Offer suggestions and let them know if a particular title is out of print or hard to find.

Offer your services and knowledge to book clubs. Meet with them to suggest titles for next year.

Have materials on hand to give out to book clubs, such as: reading guides, publisher flyers, your top picks for book clubs, etc.

Market your regularly scheduled events and programs to your book club members. Give them a chance to meet the author, have books signed, and have a private book club chat.

Talk to your publisher reps about ways to promote their titles to book clubs…and get co-op!

Use social media to promote your clubs and reach out to new potential members.

Develop a list of local authors who are willing to meet with book clubs and discuss their books.

Think of ways to start new clubs. Try a book club social!

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Fall Okra Picks

 #SIBA11 Trade Show Survey

#SIBA11 Trade Show Attendees Survey Results are IN…

One third of SIBA’s attendees responded to the survey and to each of you SIBA is quite grateful.  These answers and thoughtful responses help us to be better and do better.  Here are the survey results:

Which #SIBA11 Education Sessions did you attend?

The most-attended education sessions at #SIBA11 were What a Great Bookstore! with Paz & Associates, and 60 Reps. 60 Seconds Each. 60 Books You Don’t Want to Miss! 

When we asked what topics you'd like to see in future SIBA education, here's what you wrote:

  • Getting the most out of merchandise money
  • I can buy some books cheaper online than I can from the publishers!
  • How to survive in this financial climate.
  • Marketing, displays, social media and getting help in the store such as bloggers, PR etc.
  • Like to have a roundtable sessions so we can freely talk about our store operations, etc.
  • Success stories, bottom-line oriented stuff
  • More specific advice on dealing with brave new world of ebooks for small booksellers.
  • Address the impact of the e-reader on the traditional bookstore and how other bookstores are dealing with this
  • I could use help navigating the SIBA website. (We have set up a siba website one-on-one tour with this bookseller and we’d like to do the same for you so let us know if you’d like your very own guided tour!)
Read the rest of the survey results


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Thank you for your interest in SIBA,

Wanda Jewell, Executive Director
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Avenue, Columbia, SC 29205
Fax: 309.410.0211

Thank you to SIBA's Inkreadible Sponsors 2011:
Baker & Taylor

Trade Show #SIBA12: Sept 7-9, 2012 at Naples Grande Beach Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Collection

Find your favorite authors at Authors 'Round the South
What I'm blogging: Wanda's Wonderful Book Blog
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