(Columbia, SC) – In what is becoming a tradition for the organization, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) has just released a video book trailer of B.J. Novak’s best-selling children’s book, The Book With No Pictures. The video features authors who appeared at SIBA’s Discovery Show in September in Norfolk, each of whom reads a page from what has been described as a “wildly funny” and “irresistibly silly” book about the joys of made-up words, wacky sounds, and reading out loud to kids (both the real kind and the inner-child kind).

The Book With No Pictures

Clearly, some of the participating authors had no trouble tapping into their own inner child in order to read out “I am a robot monkey” (M.O. Walsh, My Sunshine Away) or “My head made of blueberry pizza” (J.E. Thompson, The Girl from Felony Bay), or even to break into a musical rendition of “Glug, glug, glug” --for which author Rachel Vail (Unfriended) deserves the SIBA version of a Grammy.

The Book With No Pictures

The video was produced by Linda Watson (Fifty Weeks of Green: Romance & Recipes) with her husband, videographer Bruce Watson, and is the second book trailer released by SIBA, the first being a rendition of It’s a Book, Lane Smith’s amusing look at the perks of print versus e-books, which was created at the 2013 SIBA Trade Show in New Orleans.

SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell came up with the idea for the book trailers as a way to harness the talent of the authors who attended the show. “Every year the show draws an incredible collection of  amazing, talented, funny writers who adore books,” she said. “The videos give them a fun way to share that passion, promote their own books a little bit, and also gives our member bookstores something fun and unique to share with their own customers.”

The Book With No Pictures has already spent six weeks on the Southern Indie Bestseller List.

SIBA Logo(Columbia, SC) The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) announced today that it has received a $40,000 grant from the Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts. The grant, which honors SIBA’s 40 years of support for Southern independent bookstores, will be dedicated to bringing every SIBA member store to SIBA’s 40th Anniversary Discovery Show in Raleigh, North Carolina, September 18-20.

"It is a marvelous statement of support for the importance of independent bookselling,” said Executive Director Wanda Jewell, "and we’re going to rise to the challenge to bring 100% of SIBA member bookstores to Raleigh in 2015.  Reba and Dave will be on hand to kick off the show as the Keynotes at our Industry Breakfast in Raleigh on September 18,2015.”

Bloody Royal Prints"As Southerners, however displaced in Yankee-land, Dave and I are big believers in Southern books and bookstores, and the Southern literary tradition,” said Reba Williams. "We just celebrated our 7th annual Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction—the prize going to Liza Palmer for her Nowhere But Home, the first time we’ve had a winning book set in Dave’s home state of Texas.” Dave added, "There’s some self-interest here, too. Reba’s third Coleman and Dinah Greene mystery, Bloody Royal Prints, will be published next year, and my memoir of our 40 years of print collecting, Small Victories: One couple’s surprising adventures building an unrivaled collection of American prints will be out in December.”

Small VictoriesJewell said The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation has been a strong supporter of SIBA in the past –sponsoring scholarships for bookstores to attend the annual fall trade show in 2013 and 2014. "Our members regularly tell us their experience at the show—the things they learn and the connections they make with publishers and other booksellers—is one of the most valuable business resources they have. Large store or small, everyone seems to come away from the show with new ideas and new energy,” said Jewell.

SIBA’s membership averages between 150 and 175 independent, brick-and-mortar bookstores. But because SIBA’s territory extends across the entire lower eastern quarter of the United States, it can be difficult for some booksellers to travel the distances required, or arrange for time away from their own shops in order to attend the show, Jewell went on to explain. "But in 2015, no more excuses!” she said smiling. Thanks to the Reba and Dave Williams Foundation, which has been named SIBA’s 2015 Signature Sponsor, SIBA feels it has the resources to get every single one of its member bookstores to their 2015 show.

The BIBB Pick – "Bibb's Independent Bookstore Best of 2015" is Malaprop’s Bookstore & Café in Asheville, NC!

Voted warm, welcoming, inclusive, knowledgeable, and always with a smile by over 100 writers in attendance at #SIBA14…

The 2015 Bibb Pick is Malaprop’s Bookstore & Café in Asheville, NC. Founder and Owner Emoke B’Racz was pleased beyond words to be presented The Bibb podium.

(LtoR) Lauren Donohoe, Emoke B’Racz, and Linda Marie Barrett
all of Malaprop’s in Asheville, NC.

Besides voting, and signing the Bibb podium, nearly 80 authors committed to some form of support to the store over the next year. Over 30 authors will be linking their website directly to the Malaprop’s website. Fifteen authors have agreed to place the bookstore name – Malaprop’s Bookstore & Café – in their upcoming novel. Twenty-five writers have offered to create a video in support of the store for the store to use online or in store. Sixteen authors have agreed to invest in Malaprop’s store swag and promote virtually or in real time their love of Malaprop’s. Fifteen want to support Malaprop’s Indies First effort. Malaprop’s and her army of authors are going to make this inaugural Bibb Pick a Big One.

So what are those criteria again? Warm, welcoming, inclusive, knowledgeable, and always with a smile – Hopefully stores are inspired to bring these qualities to the forefront in hopes of winning the BIBB’s Independent Bookstore Best of 2016 in Raleigh, NC in September 2015.

About the Bibb Pick – Anonymously endowed, the BIBB Pick was created in 2014 in memory of Matthew Bibb, a long-time SIBA employee who handled Registration and a million other details at many SIBA Trade Shows. Matt died unexpectedly on Thanksgiving Day 2013.

okra picksColumbia, SC -- Fall is upon us, which means that it is time to pick some Okra! The Fall 2014 Okra Picks have just been announced--the best southern lit, fresh off the vine.  All the chosen books have a strong Southern focus and are published between October and December, 2014, and all of them have fans among Southern indie booksellers; people who are always looking out for the next great writer who should be on your plate and in your TBR stack.  So it is very likely the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore, someone will hand you one and say, “You’ve got to read this!”

The 2014 Fall Okra Picks

Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia by Fiona Ritchie  
9781469618227 | University of North Carolina Press 10/1/2014 | 39.95

Each Shining Hour: A Novel of Watervalley by Jeff High
9780451419279 | New American Library | 10/07/2014 |15.00

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain  
9781250010711 | St. Martin's Press 10/07/2014 | 26.99

Sister Golden Hair by Darcey Steinke  
9781935639947 | Tin House Books 10/14/2014 | 15.95

Heritage by Sean Brock  
9781579654634 | Artisan Publishers 10/21/2014 | 40.00

Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg
9780062078223 | Harper 10/28/2014 | 27.99

Compulsion by Martina Boone
9781481411226 | Simon Pulse 10/28/2014 | 17.99

Risky Undertaking: A Buryin' Barry Mystery by Mark de Castrique  
9781464203084 | Poisoned Pen Press 11/04/2014 | 14.95

Citizens Creek by Lalita Tademy  
9781476753034 | Atria Books 11/04/2014 | 26.00

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
9780316405058 | Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 11/04/2014 | 18.00

In the Heart of the Dark Wood by Billy Coffey
9781401690090 Thomas Nelson 11/11/2014 | 15.99

Wink of an Eye: A Mystery by Lynn Chandler Willis  
9781250053190 | Minotaur Books 11/18/2014 | 24.99







Okra Picks are chosen every season by Southern Independent Bookstores. For more information visit

SIBA is pleased to announce the addition of two new board members to the SIBA Board whose terms begin in 2015: Linda Barrett, with Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café in Asheville, NC, and Erica Merrell, of Wild Iris Books in Gainesville, FL  Sadly, Erica Merrell will not be able to join us at our upcoming trade show Norfolk but Linda Barrett and our current board members will be on hand starting with the Industry Breakfast where Linda and Erica will be welcomed to the board.  SIBA appreciates the support of every core member is pleased with the boards’ continued ardent representation of her members.  Join us in welcoming Linda & Erica.

Linda Barrett

Linda Marie Barrett is the General Manager of Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café in Asheville, NC, where she has worked since 1988. She began bookselling at Malaprop’s shortly after completing her MA in Russian Literature and Slavic Linguistics from Cornell University. Linda Marie is a member of the American Booksellers Association’s Booksellers Advisory Council and has assisted the ABA on a number of advocacy and marketing initiatives and forums.

Linda Marie edited and contributed a chapter to the collaborative serial novel, Naked Came the Leaf Peeper, published by Burning Bush Press of Asheville, the publishing imprint of Malaprop's. She is currently working with author Alan Gratz on two more projects--a prequel chapter as part of a promotional offer to buyers of Alan's forthcoming League of Seven novel (TOR) and a serial novel by regional YA/middle grade authors to be published in 2015.

Erica Merrell

Once upon a time in a land far, far away – or actually in the late 70’s in Connecticut, a baby girl was born. When she was still a wee little babe, her parents planted the love of books deep inside her heart. They showered this seed with bedtime stories and visits to the bookmobile and it would live inside of her for all of her days to come.

She also grew to love travel and after living in five states by the time she was 18, she would become flexible around all kinds of people, and exploration would became vital to her existence. At the turn of the century, she would begin her work with Borders Books in Miami and would only leave them to chase her one true love. She also found herself drawn to the world of non-profit service and would wield her powers for good against the modern day dragons of oppression and inequality. She has taken seats at numerous round tables including Planned Parenthood of North Florida, City of Gainesville Equal Opportunity Board, Gainesville Area National Organization for Women, Gainesville Commission on the Status of Women, and others.

One day in 2004 she would stumble across Wild Iris Books in Gainesville, FL, a feminist bookstore that matched her fire and she would grow with their roots until she became co-owner in 2009. Finally she would create a home that combined all of her loves and allowed her to flourish as a mentor to young people, a champion of the underdog, and voice for the silenced. She is currently living out her happily ever after with her husband and their cat.

Linda Barrett and Erica Merrell join board members Jamie Fiocco, Jill Hendrix, and Doug Robinson. Stepping down are Tom Lowenburg of Octavia Books in New Orleans, and Jeff McCord of Bound to be Read Books in Atlanta. We appreciate the hard work of Tom Lowenburg and Jeff McCord.  SIBA will offer two frontline scholarships to #SIBA15, The Tom Lowenburg Scholarship and The Jeff McCord Scholarship.  Thank them for their service when you see then in Norfolk!