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Celebrate Independents! Announcing the 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Winners

Posted By Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Monday, July 4, 2016
Updated: Sunday, July 3, 2016

For immediate release
Contact:
Wanda Jewell, Executive Director
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Ave
Columbia, SC 29205
wanda@sibaweb.com

Celebrate Independents!  Announcing the 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Winners

The best in southern literature, from the people who would know . . . Southern Independent (and independently-minded!) Booksellers

The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize(Columbia, SC) Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize.

"What a delicious gumbo of literary works--salty, spicy, bittersweet, and sour. I loved all of these books for the sole reason that they tell the world in colorful, rich and diverse language just what it so special and, yes, crazy about the American South." – Hub City Bookshop, Spartanburg, SC

Formerly the “SIBA Book Award,” the newly reborn Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize features an expanded list of categories, inspired by the tastes and inclinations of Southern readers. Nominated by booksellers and their customers, vetted by bookstores and selected by a jury of Southern booksellers, these are the Southern books that Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most “you’ve got to read this” moments and “hand sell” moments in stores across the South. The nine winners chosen from a field of nearly forty finalists. Together, they represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.

My Sunshine Away Above the Waterfall Bull Mountain The Bone Tree
Soul Food Love Dispatches from Pluto Jacksonland
Mosquitoland
Serafina and the Black Cloak

The Great Santini Fiction Prize Winner: 
My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

“This debut author spins a tale that will grab you from the first page and keep you turning pages until the last.”– Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

The Prince of Tides Literary Prize Winner: 
Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash (Ecco Press)

“Beautiful language, I could not put this book down.  Read it in one day.” – Garden District Bookshop, New Orleans, LA

The Beach Music Mystery Prize Winner: 
Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

“ Reads like a twisty, dark TV series you can't help but binge-watch.” – Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

The Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize Winner: 
The Bone Tree by Greg Isles (William Morrow & Company)

“Iles has written an intense, tightly plotted narrative with more than one shocking turn of events that will have readers racing to finish, but then pining away for the third installment of this massive and electrifying trilogy.” – Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize Winner: 
Soul Food Love by Alice Randall (Clarkson Potter Publishers)

I really appreciate the goal of this cookbook - to make Soul food quick, inexpensive, tasty and healthy! The family history part of the cookbook was very interesting and I appreciated the honesty of the authors. I loved the pictures of the family & the finished product of the recipes.” – Joe’s Place, Greenville, SC

The Death of Santini NonFiction Prize Winner: 
Dispatches from Pluto by Richard Grant (Simon & Schuster)

"In Dispatches From Pluto, Richard Grant brings clarity, insight, and wit through his outsider's observations of a small and forgotten community in the Mississippi Delta. The situations he writes of and the people he comes to know as friends are brought warmly and enrichingly to life as he settles his family in a rotting and dilapidated plantation home in Pluto, Mississippi." – Pass  Books, Pass Christian, MS

The Water is Wide History & Life Stories Prize Winner: 
Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep (Penguin Press

“Great history! Loved the book, very well written”  – Books Unlimited, Franklin, NC

Poppy's Pants Young Adult Prize Winner: 
Mosquitoland by David Arnold (Viking Books for Young Readers)

“Mim's voice in this amazing amalgam of a love story, a road trip novel, and a coming-of-age story, will stay with you long after you finish .” – Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Poppy's Pants Youngster's Prize Winner: 
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty (Disney-Hyperion)

“A wonderfully thrilling mystery for young readers that is as much a celebration of being "different" as it is pitch-perfect creepiness.” – Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Nine great books for your Southern reading list. But remember that they come from a "gumbo of literary works--salty, spicy, bittersweet, and sour" to quote one Southern bookseller. To round out your literary diet, be sure to look at the full list of Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Finalists.

For more information on the SIBA Book Awards please visit SIBA’s website for Southern literature, http://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/read-this/siba-book-awards

 

 

Tags:  pat conroy southern book prize  siba book awards 

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A Sizzling Hot Season of Summer Okra Picks!

Posted By Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Friday, July 1, 2016
Updated: Thursday, June 30, 2016

(Columbia, SC) – The heat is on and Southern Indie booksellers are cooking up a sizzling plate of summer Okra Picks! The 2016 Summer Okra Picks have just been selected–a hearty helping of great summer reading that will make your beach book bag look a little more nutritious. They're a baker’s dozen of great books representing the best in forthcoming southern lit, according to the people who would know–Southern independent booksellers. 

All the picks have a strong Southern focus and are publishing between July and September 2016, and all have fans among Southern booksellers: the people always on the lookout for the next great writer who belongs in your to-be-read stack. So on your next Southern Indie bookstore visit, expect to hear “You’ve got to read this!” and find one of these titles in your hands. Great books are always good for you!

The 2016 Summer Okra Picks   

The Cantaloupe Thief The Promis of Jessie Woods Underground Airlines Let the Devil Out

The Cantaloupe Thief 
by Deb Richardson-Moore
Lion Fiction, July 2016   
Fiction, 9781782641926

The Promise of Jesse Woods
by Chris Fabry
Tyndale House Publishers, July 2016
Fiction, 9781414387772

Underground Airlines
by Ben Winters
Mulholland Books, July 2016
Fiction, 9780316261241

Let the Devil Out: A Maureen Coughlin Novel
by Bill Loehfelm
Sarah Crichton Books, July 2016
Fiction, 9780374298579

Lowcountry Bookcllub Ninety-nine stories of God The Heavenly Table Cotton

Lowcountry Book Club
by Susan M. Boyer
Henery Press, July 2016
Fiction, 9781635110456

Ninety-Nine Stories of God
by Joy Williams
Tin House Books, July 2016
Fiction, 9781941040355

The Heavenly Table
by Donald Ray Pollock
Doubleday Books, July 2016
Fiction, 9780385541299

Cotton 
by Paul Heald
Yucca Publishing, July 2016
Fiction, 9781631580864

The Fire This Time The Risen Perfume River Nine Island Darktown

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race
by Jesmyn Ward
Scribner Book Company, August 2016
Nonfiction, 9781501126345

The Risen
by Ron Rash
Ecco Press, September 2016
Fiction, 9780062436313

Perfume River
by Robert Olen Butler
Atlantic Monthly Press, September 2016
Fiction, 9780802125750

Nine Island
by Jane Alison
Catapult, September 2016
Fiction, 9781936787128

Darktown
by Thomas Mullen
Atria, September 2016
Fiction, 9781501133862

Okra Picks are chosen every season by Southern Independent Bookstores. For more information visit authorsroundthesouth.com/okra.

Tags:  okra picks 

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Announcing the winner of The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction

Posted By Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Thursday, June 16, 2016
Updated: Monday, June 13, 2016

The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts

Katherine Clark’s The Headmaster’s Darlings Wins
The 2015 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction

Sarah Addison Allen Given Special Recognition


The Headmaster's DarlingsThe 2015 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction has been won by Katherine Clark for her The Headmaster’s Darlings. The novel, Clark’s first, is the initial installment of a quartet of books set in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Reba White Williams, sponsor of the award, praised The Headmaster’s Darlings for “its originality, Southerness, and uplifting message, all requisite qualities for the Willie Morris Award.”

Sarah Addison Allen was recognized for her six novels published over the past eight years, beginning with Garden Spells (2007) and more recently First Frost (2015). Allen’s novels are noted for their appealing characters, some appearing in more than one book, and the magical realism that infuses people, places and things. Allen sums up her style as “Southern-fried magic realism.” Her Special Recognition is the first-ever for the Willie Morris Award.

The Headmaster’s Darlings is the ninth Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, which is given annually. For more information, see https://williemorrisaward.org/.

Tags:  inkreadible  katherine clark  reba white williams  sarah addison allen 

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SIBA Creates Pat Conroy Scholarships, Sponsored by Penguin Random House

Posted By Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Updated: Monday, June 13, 2016

SIBA CREATES PAT CONROY SCHOLARSHIPS, SPONSORED BY PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) is pleased to announce the creation of The Pat Conroy Scholarships in honor of the late author whose lifetime achievements have meant so much to Southern booksellers.  The scholarships, which will be bestowed to two booksellers annually in each of the next four years, are made possible by Penguin Random House, whose Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, and Random House Audio imprints publish Mr. Conroy’s works in hardcover, paperback, and audio editions respectively.

These scholarships are designated specifically for booksellers who have never attended a SIBA Discovery Show, held in September, in keeping with the Penguin Random House’s fifteen-year tradition of supporting educational programming for booksellers at the event.  The scholarships will cover up to $1,000 of the winner’s travel, hotel, and meal expenses for the Discovery Show first-timers.  To be eligible, a bookseller must be a full-time employee of a SIBA-member bookstore, working at any level or capacity.

SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell said, “We believe that nurturing the next generation of career booksellers is one of the best things we can do to advance the future of bookselling.  These scholarships Penguin Random House is endowing, which deepen and expands this mutual commitment to foster education at the Discovery Show, are forward-looking, and will mean a lot to every SIBA bookseller.  How appropriate that these awards honor Pat Conroy, who was so kind and generous with all of us, and in particular, to those new to our industry.”

“Pat Conroy is a beloved Penguin Random House author,” said Jaci Updike, President, Sales, Penguin Random House, “and it is a privilege for us to honor his legacy in a manner that benefits new booksellers.  Pat deeply loved books and the men and women who sell them and would be made very happy and proud to have an opportunity to enhance their professional education.” 

Pat Conroy’s A LOW COUNTRY HEART: Reflections on a Writing Life, a new nonfiction collection of pieces spanning the author’s long literary career, has been announced for posthumous hardcover and e-book publication by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday on October 25, one day before his 71st birthday.

To be considered for a Pat Conroy Scholarship, booksellers can self-nominate, or be nominated by other booksellers or sales reps. Owners and managers are strongly encouraged to nominate frontline booksellers who are interested in bookselling as a career. The deadline for nominations for the 2016 Pat Conroy Scholarships is July 15, 2016.

Scholarship recipients will be announced on August 1.​

The 2016 SIBA Discovery show will be held September 16-18 at the Hilton DeSoto in Savannah, Georgia.

To apply, the nominated bookseller should fill out the information below, and email it to wanda@sibaweb.com

  • YES! I have never been to SIBA and I would love to go.
  • Name
  • Address
  • E-mail address
  • Bookstore: where do you work? How long have you worked there and what is your current role?
  • Make Pat Conroy proud! Please write a short (two paragraphs is ideal) description of why you love being a bookseller and what you hope to get out of SIBA.

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A Letter from the SIBA President: Your Board needs your help

Posted By Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Monday, May 23, 2016
Updated: Friday, May 20, 2016

Dear SIBA members,

Jill HendrixI hope you all had a fantastic 2nd Indie Bookstore Day! Our area challenged customers to visit 7 Upstate SC stores spread 2 hours apart and we had 9 people complete the challenge to earn a 20% discount for the next year at all 7 stores.

I was at BEA briefly and was pleased to meet Jessica Osborne, the new owner of E. Shaver, Bookseller in Savannah, GA. Jessica tells me that her store is a historical building just across the street from the SIBA trade show hotel, The Hilton Savannah DeSoto, and she invites us all to drop in and visit while we’re in town September 16th-18th. SIBA Registration is currently open and Wanda is excited about all the great authors she’s booking. Last year several of the author meals sold out so be sure to register early.

At BEA I also learned that the ABA has helped negotiate some great backlist promotions that you should be hearing about soon. Karen Torres’ walked me through the Hachette promotion and it looks great. So reach out to your reps and ask them whether their houses have any new backlist promotions you should know about. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of working our way through new catalogs and trying to keep our turns up, we find that we’ve let our backlist selections get too slim. This is a perfect opportunity to make sure those books you’ve read and loved are still on your shelves.

Anecdotally, we have always thought SIBA a strong region, but now we actually have some documentation to back that up. The file linked below shows how the SIBA stores who shared their 2014 financial data last year via the ABACUS survey stack up to the ABA average. Across the board we have lower cost of goods sold and thus a higher gross margin. I credit the GABBS show for helping our region find great product at a great cost and driving those margins up.

Additionally our smallest and largest stores are outperforming their national counterparts with higher net income before taxes. We are slightly concerned about our middle-category stores (those selling $300,00 to $1 million annually) and would invite them to reach out to Wanda with their specific education requests for the trade show or other help they might be looking for to improve operations.

Whether you completed the ABACUS survey or not, each of you might find it helpful to run your own 2014 numbers and compare them to your fellow stores to identify your store’s strengths and weaknesses. This will also show you how easy it is to produce the numbers that the ABA will be soliciting soon for the fiscal year 2015 ABACUS survey.

Click here to download ABACUS South compared to the ABA

Given the passing of Harper Lee and Pat Conroy this year, it made me realize we might want to add an Oscar-style tribute to our trade show. Don’t get your visual expectations up too high but in the meantime, please email me the names of anyone you can think of who should be on our remembrance list.

Lastly, I’d like to ask everyone to please make sure their store has entered the data for 3 new questions we’ve added to the SIBA store profile: your store’s square footage, whether your store is in a small town or a city, and whether your store is located downtown/Main Street or elsewhere. To check, visit https://sibaweb.site-ym.com/members/edit.asp (you’ll be asked to login) and then look for those three questions right after you’re asked for all your social media URLs. Please take a moment to log in and fill in the blanks for us.  This information is needed before we can send out an important survey, so if you forget to fill it in I’ll be calling and asking you for it next week.

Here’s to a successful beach-reads season and a fun summer!

Regards,
Jill Hendrix
SIBA President

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