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A new Okra Picks Benefit: News you can use from the land of SIBA

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, May 3, 2017

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Hello, dearest and most beloved booksellers,

As we get ready for the summer, here are the latest thing happening in the land of SIBA you should know about. Note especially the new Okra Picks Newsletter opportunity --


  1. Entering events on the ARTS Calendar is easier than ever!
  2. Announcing the Okra Picks Newsletter
  3. The Circle of Sites/Banner-for-Dues Program is being upgraded
  4. A video guide to the SIBA Member Hub
  5. Be a judge for the Southern Book Prize
  6. Registration is open for #SIBA17 in the Big Easy


Over the last couple months, SIBA has received a rising number of requests from our members about how to enter their store events into the Calendar at Authors Round the South ( The truth is, the ARTS Calendar is based on an older platform, and has always required a separate log in process, which is confusing for many members (and for SIBA Staff!). So we've simplified and streamlined the process:

  • You can now enter events from your own account at SIBA. You do not need to be on your store master account. You do not even need to be logged in, (although it will be easier for you if you are).
  • There are fewer "required" fields, so you don't need to know book ISBNs or enter event descriptions if you don't want to.
  • You can add all the information and upload book and author photos in one step.
  • If you want to enter multiple events at once, you can download a spreadsheet template, fill it out, and email it to SIBA at

It will take about 24 hours for any submitted event to appear on the calendar, so plan accordingly. And remember that you earn B3! points when you submit events yourself, instead of letting the SIBA elves enter them on your behalf.

Enter your store events here:


SIBA is now offering a quarterly newsletter for your customers featuring the seasonal Okra Picks -- the books you have chosen as the most excited hand sell titles of the season. Share the best in new Southern Literature, as picked by the people who would know. . .Southern indie booksellers like you!

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.

SIBA's test run of the newsletter with Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC, showed an open rate for the email of 49%. "We sold two copies of Lisa Wingate's book right off the newsletter," reported owner Dave Lucey.

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 by May 10th:

Customizing the newsletter for your store does take a couple days, so act quickly to be eligible to send out the Spring edition.


If your store is participating in the Banner-for-dues program you need to know the system is being upgraded this spring to a more effective, stable, and secure platform. This will require you to post new code on your websites. Contact for the code. The deadline is July 1, after which the old code will no longer be supported.

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):


The new SIBA member hub has become more and more active as members sign on, check in with the site, and explore the different ways they can communicate with others and manage their own accounts. To help members understand the new site layout, SIBA Board member Stefanie Crowe and staffer Nicki Leone have been recording a series of short videos that take a quick tour through some of the site features.

The SIBA Member Hub: An Introduction

Here's the link to view all the videos as they are posted (about twice a month)


There is still time to be a judge for the Southern Book Prize! Judges must be owners or staff of a current SIBA member bookstore, and will receive copies of all the finalists to be judged in their assigned category.

If you are interested in being a judge, fill out the form at the link below:

You can see a list of the finalists and their categories here.


It's never too early to register!
SIBA returns to the Big Easy this coming September for the #siba17 Discovery Show. We'll be at the Sheraton New Orleans, right on Canal Street, the same hotel we were in the last time we visited NOLA in 2013.

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:

Is your membership current?
Your name: @@first_name@@ @@last_name@@
Your store: @@employer@@
Your member type (store/staff): @@member_type@@
Your membership expiration: @@membership_exp_date@@ *

**if your member type says "staff" then your expiration date is whenever your bookstore's membership expires.

Renew here | Booksellers Benefits Package

SIBA is mobile! Download our "SocialLink" app from your Apple or Google Play Store.

Thank you for your interest in SIBA,

Nicki Leone

Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Avenue, Columbia, SC 29205
Fax: 309.410.0211

#siba17: Fall Discovery Show
Sept 15-17 FRI-SUN | New Orleans, LA

Many thanks to our 2017 Inkreadible Sponsors below:

BookazineBaker & Taylor
Ingram Content Group 

The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts

SIBA | 3806 Yale Dr. | Columbia, SC 29205
You are receiving this email at @@email@@. If you wish to stop receiving email from us, you can simply remove yourself by replying with "unsubscribe" in the subject or by visiting: @@unsubscribe_url@@

Tags:  ARTS Calendar  okra picks  southern book prize 

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