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Regionals & What I’m Excited About

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Thursday, May 5, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Welcome back to our column in the Bargain Book News (BBN).  There is so much coming up that I am excited about.  It is the face-to-face time with southern booksellers that gets me so excited.  My passion right now is focused on Regional Reads – region-wide handselling challenges. 

What am I excited about?

·         SIBA hosts her first One Book, One South, Jr. with Kate DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale at the close of Children’s Book Week on May 6th on Facebook.  Show your support here

·         I’m looking forward to being in Chicago at BookExpo America.  SIBA is hosting a Happy Hour for southern booksellers on Tuesday evening pre the PRH Kick-Off Party, and we will all be together again after Stacy Mitchell’s talk on New Localism on Wednesday morning.

·         The SIBA Team heads to Savannah to meet with the hotel and begin laying out #SIBA16.  This is always an exciting time.  We will be laying out the show, meeting with local folks in Savannah, building excitement for #READ: Savannah, our consumer component, as well as our industry Discovery Show.

·         I’ll be visiting SIBA store Page 158 when Martin Lindstrom, author of Small Data, comes to fulfill Page 158’s prize of an on-site evaluation with Mr. Lindstrom.  I’m eager to see him in action and hopeful it will inform SIBA’s Peer Reviews. 

·         Then we’re off to the ABC Children’s Institute in Orlando, Florida, and what caught my eye there was besides Kate DiCamillo’s Keynote is the Roundtable – Coordinating a Regional Handselling Challenge on Wednesday afternoon.  I’m so hoping all of the southern booksellers will be there.

·         And then SIBA will have a huge booth at the American Library Association Annual Conference and Exhibition.  We’ll be joined by Phonesmith & Founder of Call Me Ishmael phone, and successful CrowdFunder Logan Smalley, and Working Title Farmer and TRIO Founder Shari Smith, SIBA Board Member Erica Merrell, and Page 158 Bookseller Sue Lucey plus any SIBA member who’d like to extend their Institute stay by two nights in exchange for one free night at #SIBA16.  We’ll be promoting our bookstores, our programs, including the Trio Exhibit, the Call Me Ishmael phone, and the hundreds of other ways libraries and bookstores can work together.

·         I’d like to talk about Regional Handselling Challenges.  Basically, all of the programs SIBA puts together for her stores, from Lady Banks Pick of the Week, to the Book Prize, the Okra Picks to Trio, and the Holiday Catalog are all Regional Calls to Handsell.  This is a large collection of books mostly selected by booksellers that SIBA hopes her stores will accept as handselling challenges.  When any of these titles show up on our Indie Bestseller list, it tells everyone, we accepted the challenge, and met it.  Let’s do more of that, and please tell me how to help.

And finally, here's where my heart is for the month of May so don't be surprised if you hear about this from me in Chicago:

Regional Bookstore Challenge
East, west, north, south or mid-America; which region has more heart?Binc board membersDeb Leonard(Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association) andWanda Jewell(Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) have put out a challenge to all independent bookstores to find out!
During the month of May bookstores can begin or increase a sustaining donation to earn points. The winning region will win a special party from Binc during their fall trade show.Here are the rules>


The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and the Great American Bargain Book Show (GABBS) have partnered up in many ways that have proved beneficial but we mostly want our efforts to benefit booksellers and with that goal in mind, BBN has agreed to give us a little space in their popular, far-reaching newsletter.  So, a few housekeeping details.  We are hoping to benefit all booksellers but a few columns may be SIBA-specific and we’ll let you know up front when that’s the case.  We’d also like to invite booksellers to offer up guest posts so if you have an idea or concept that you’d like to share, simply email

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