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Deadlines you don't want to miss: News you can use from the Land of SIBA

Posted By Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hello, dearest and most beloved booksellers,

Here in the land of SIBA we have our eyes fixed on September in New Orleans. The Discovery Show schedule is constantly being updated so do check it often to see who will be coming to the Show.


  1. Welcome your new Board members
  2. Top 10 things to do at #SIBA17
  3. Two very, very, VERY important deadlines!


Elected and Re-elected

Erica Merrell of Wild Iris Books in Gainesville, Florida was re-elected to another 3 year term for the SIBA Board.  We are glad to have Erica continue as a valuable member of our Board.

Erica Merrell

We also welcome to the SIBA Board, Kelly Justice, owner and operator of The Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia.  Kelly will serve a 3 year term beginning January 1, 2019.  Most of you know Kelly as she has worked in independent bookstores since 1989, as manager of The Fountain Bookstore since 2000 and became its owner in 2008.  Kelly JusticeKelly has served on the SIBA Board and as SIBA President.  Kelly has also served the ABA on its Nominating Committee and Bookseller Advisory Council. 

As many of you already know, Linda-Marie Barrett resigned from Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe on June 1, 2017.  She also resigned from the SIBA Board as board members must be affiliated with a store that is a SIBA Core Member to be on the Board.  Your SIBA Board felt compelled to fill the open board position for the rest of the calendar year, so, upon Kelly's election to the Board we asked if she would let us appoint her to the open board seat for the rest of 2017; she has accepted and will begin immediately helping us decide on how we can serve our membership most effectively. 

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in NOLA at the Ease Into SIBA Breakfast. 

And stop by for a drink in the bar with the board at our "Meet the Board" session before or after you've visited the SignArounds between 4 & 5 pm on Friday.

Doug Robinson
President, SIBA
Eagle Eye Book Shop-Decatur, Georgia

The #SIBA17 Discovery Show#SIBA17 TOP TEN

  1. If you haven't registered for the #SIBA17 Discovery Show, now's the time.  New Orleans will not be the same without you. Register here.
      Your username to login is @@username@@

  2. Get your hotel room.  Rooms deadline is Aug. 15th. Gold Star First-Time Booksellers should plan to attend the First-Timers Gold Star Orientation on Saturday morning from 9-9:30 in the Rampart Room.

  3. And if you are coming in early for ABA's Diversity Session, register here, RSVP for the Bookstores Tour, and get back in time for the TrioLive @ Nine.

  4. The print show directory will be on-site but in advance of the show and to prep orders for the Buyers Raffle, check early and often the online Exhibitor Listings for show specials.

  5. And the stellar line-up of writers will blow you away.

  6. Thanks to the University of South Carolina Press' sponsorship, Heads or Tails is back! With more ways to win the $500.  Supporting booksellers supports us all.

  7. Wanna' win $1000?  Create your best table display showcasing one, some or all of the Southern Book Prize Winners.  Or create more than one in the store and see which are the most successful.  Pack up and bring it the show.  But first, email your intent to enter by Sep. 10.

  8. SocialLink Surprises – We'd like to see every bookseller engaged on SocialLink. To that end, we will be offering a multitude of prizes only on SocialLink and the first bookseller to comment "Claimed" will win the prize which can be picked up from the sponsor's booth.  Take a moment to download our new app: "SocialLink Mobile App" from the app store on your phone.  Log in with your SIBA username: @@username@@.
    Email if you need help.

  9. SIBA's NOLA On-site Concierge Service: Michael Murphy, former VP with Random House, then Publisher of William Morrow, has been a resident of and enthusiast for New Orleans the last 10 years. He is a licensed tour guide and has written five books about his beloved home. Michael is available to suggest restaurants, music venues, out-of-the-way, non-touristy spots to visit, as well as emergency needs like dry-cleaning, masseuse, child care, etc. You may additionally contact Michael before coming to New Orleans to secure hard-to-get reservations or book tours ahead of time.  He may be reached by email ( or text (504-377-7745).

  10. Remembering Kristin Keith, Carla Gray, John Luckett, Don Morrison and other Friends – From 9-10 pm on Saturday night in the Oak Alley room, join together to bid farewell to the industry friends we lost in this last year. 



The deadline to order your imprinted Holiday Catalog is August 14. Don't miss out on one of the most useful and profitable tools your store can have for the holiday season. Place your store order here.

The nomination deadline for the Fall Okra Picks is September 1. Take a moment to submit the books you are most looking forward to this Fall. Books must be Southern in nature, and publish between October and December. Nominate here

Sign up for the Okra Picks Newsletter!
See a sample | Sign up for the newsletter here


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Join Wednesdays With Wanda for SIBA Office Hours Starts Today @ 1PM

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hello Dearest Bookseller,

Starting August 2nd, you’re invited to join me for Wednesdays With Wanda Office Hours from 1-4 pm weekly. I’ll be on Zoom during these hours available to answer any questions, concerns, or suggestions that members may have. Please feel free to consult with me during off-hours as well about any concerns you may have.

To participate in the weekly Office Hours:

Visit set up your free account and follow the directions below to join weekly.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +14086380968,,328846384# or +16465588656,,328846384#

Or Telephone:

Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)

Meeting ID: 328 846 384

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.


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News You Can Use from the Land of SIBA

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, July 17, 2017
Updated: Sunday, July 16, 2017

It may be July, but here in the land of SIBA we have our eyes fixed on September in New Orleans. The Discovery Show schedule is constantly being updated so do check it often to see who will be coming to the Show.


  1. Holiday Catalog Update: Deadline to order is August 14!
  2. Scholarships for #SIBA17 Registration is open!
  3. The Summer 2017 Okra Picks Newsletter is available
  4. The Circle of Sites/Banner-for-Dues Program has been upgraded
  5. The return of Shelf Reliance


The deadline to order your imprinted catalogs is August 14!

It's been brought to our attention that there is an error in the "Mark Your Calendar" sheets and on the Booksellers Benefits Package cover calendar that says the deadline to order your SIBA Holiday Catalogs is July 15. That's obviously wrong! The deadline for ordering imprinted catalogs is August 14th.

The link to order catalogs for your store is now live though, so there is no reason to wait to place your orders.

The #SIBA17 Discovery Show#SIBA17 SCHOLARSHIPS

The best kept secret about the Discovery Show that we wish wasn't a secret!

SIBA is committed to helping every bookseller who wishes to attend The Discovery Show find a way to come. Every year financial assistance is made available via the generous support of publishers and organizations who recognize what a vital resource the show is for stores and want to help them access it. After all, stronger bookstores mean better sales for their books.

Click here to see all the available scholarships for booksellers

And a word to the wise -- New Orleans, like Savannah, is a popular destination. We had sellout crowds in 2013 and expect the same this year. Meal tickets, especially, went very quickly.

Make your travel plans early:


"Opened my Okra box today. Love the new bookmark size and list of Okra Picks on the back. Shelf Talkers are also really wonderful. You just made my Okra display look so professional and so easy to do. Much thanks!" --Annell Gerson, The Bookmiser

By now every store should have received their summer Okra Picks mailing, complete with the newly redesigned bookmarks, and back by request, shelf talkers for each Okra Pick title. One of the reasons we were able to provide shelf talkers this season is that we received some stellar quotes from SIBA member bookstores about each of the books they nominated. Keep that in mind when you send in your nominations. Your enthusiasm is what makes people want to pick up these books!

The Okra Picks Newsletter is now open for SIBA stores to sign up!

Modeled after the Indie Next newsletter for readers, the Okra Picks newsletter is store branded with "Buy Now" buttons linked to your store's website. It is sent out four times a year in the middle of each Okra Season, thus featuring books that are brand new or about to be released.

Stores that participate in the Okra Picks Newsletter retain ownership of their email list and materials. Each participating store will receive 200 B3! points for the first mailing, and 50 point for each subsequent mailing.

To see a sample of the Okra Picks Newsletter for the Spring season,

Sign up for the newsletter here:


Deactivation of old banner code is now in progress

If your store is participating in the Banner-for-dues program you have already heard the system is being upgraded to a more effective, stable, and secure platform. Upgrades are now complete and all participating stores have been notified. If you have not upgraded your banner code, or not received any notification about upgrading, then contact immediately. As of August 1, any store not running the upgraded banner code will be taken off the list.

Have you signed up for IndieLite? Then your store is eligible to be in the CoS program!

If you have ecommerce on your store site and are not doing the Banner-For-Dues program, you can contact Nicki to see if you are eligible. Basically any site where you can search for a book by ISBN qualifies. Once your banner is up, you don't have to do anything else, so it is an easy, hassle-free way to keep your SIBA membership current.

Currently appearing on Circle of Sites, (aka Lady Banks' Pick of the Week):


If you have been checking in to the member hub or following SIBA on facebook and twitter, you've seen the posts and pictures from Linda-Marie Barrett as she travels around SIBA territory, visiting member stores as a "Rep on the Road," and listening to bookseller ideas and concerns. What you might not have realized is that she is also serving as SIBA's Author Liaison, helping authors learn the bookselling business from an indie bookseller perspective, and working to create profitable relationships between authors and bookstores.

Among other things, Linda-Marie has re-launched the Shelf Reliance Blog for authors, specifically targeted towards authors who want to work with independent bookstores. Every bookseller knows authors who find themselves doing their own promotion and marketing, and could use some guidance. We encourage you to tell them about Shelf Reliance, or use anything Linda-Marie says in your own talks with the authors interested in working with you.

Linda-Marie can be reached at

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The 2017 Southern Book Prize Winners

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Updated: Monday, July 3, 2017

Celebrate Independents!  Announcing the 2017 Southern Book Prize Winners

Southern Book PrizeThe best in southern literature, from the people who would know . . . Southern Independent (and independently-minded!) Booksellers
Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2017 Southern Book Prize

Formerly the "SIBA Book Award," the newly 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. They represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.

2017 Southern Book Prize Winners


Commonwealth A Lowcountry Christmas Chasing the North Star

Coming of Age

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (Harper, 9780062491794)

Family Life
A Lowcountry Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe (Gallery Books, 9781501125539)

Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan (Algonquin Books, 9781565126275)

Over the Plain Houses The Kept Woman The Whole Town's Talking Redemption Road

Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks (Hub City Press, 9781938235214)
Mystery & Detective
The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter (William Morrow & Company, 9780062430212)

Southern Stories & Stories by Southerners
The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg (Random House, 9781400065950)

Redemption Road by John Hart (Thomas Dunne Books, 9780312380366)

Lily and Dunkin

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart (Delacorte Press, 9780553536744) 


The Home Place Deep Run Roots Hillbilly Elegy

Biography, Autobiography, & Memoir
The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature by J Drew Lanham (Milkweed, 9781571313157) 

Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South by Vivian Howard (Little Brown and Company, 9780316381109)

Creative Nonfiction
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J D Vance (Harper, 9780062300546)

For more information about the Southern Book Prize, visit

Tags:  southern book prize 

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2017 Summer Okra Picks!

Posted By Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Saturday, July 1, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The 2017 Summer Okra Picks have been selected: A sampling of savory Southern fare for the book-lover's brain! Hand-picked by Southern indie booksellers–people with impeccable taste in books.

All Summer Okra Picks have a strong Southern focus and publish between July and September, and all have fans among Southern indie booksellers: the people who are always looking out for the next great writer to fill your reading plate. So the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore and someone says, "You've got to read this!" and hands you one of these books, dig in! Better yet, ask for a second helping. Great books are always good for you!

The 2017 Summer Okra Picks

The Devil's Muse The Bookshop at Water's End The Almost Sisters Refugee

The Devil's Muse by Bill Loehfelm
Sarah Crichton Books, Hardcover, 9780374279776
Publication Date: July 11, 2017

The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry
Berkley Books, Trade Paperback, 9780399583117
Publication Date: July 11, 2017

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
William Morrow & Company, Hardcover 9780062105714
Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Refugee by Alan Gratz
Scholastic Press, Hardcover, 9780545880831 
Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Shadow of the LIons
 Blight A Kind of Freedom Young Jane Young

Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann
Algonquin Books, Hardcover, 9781616205003. 
Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Blight by Alexandra Duncan
Greenwillow Books, Hardcover, 9780062396990
Publication Date: August 1, 2017

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Counterpoint, LLC, Hardcover, 9781619029224
Publication Date: August 15, 2017

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
Algonquin Books, Hardcover, 9781616205041
Publication Date: August 22, 2017

Rabbit If the Creek Don't Rise The Hidden Light of Northern Fires Sing, Unburied, Sing The Salt Line

Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by Patricia Williams
Dey Street Books, Hardcover, 9780062407306
Publication Date: August 22, 2017

If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss
Sourcebooks Landmark, Trade Paperback, 9781492647454
Publication Date: August 22, 2017

The Hidden Light of Northern Fires by Daren Wang
Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9781250122353
Publication Date: August 29, 2017

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781501126062
Publication Date: September 5, 2017

The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones
G.P. Putnam's Sons, Hardcover, 9780735214316
Publication Date: September 5, 2017

For more information about the Okra Picks, visit

Tags:  okra picks 

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Circle of Sites: Alabama Spitfire

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