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Galleys and Giveaways: Armies of Deliverance

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, November 5, 2018

Galleys & Giveaways

SIBA and participating publishers are giving away the galleys and other materials below to southern indie booksellers on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are interested simply email the publisher to request a copy. Supplies are limited, so act quickly!

Liked what you read? Let everyone know!

N.B. These are review copies only, and not for resale.

Eat. Sleep. Read. Southern.

We the Resistance

Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War
Elizabeth R. Varon
ISBN: 9780190860608
Oxford University Press
528 Pages | 74 halftones and 34 maps
March 2019

Description: Loyal Americans marched off to war in 1861 not to conquer the South but to liberate it. So argues Elizabeth R. Varon in Armies of Deliverance, a sweeping narrative of the Civil War and a bold new interpretation of Union and Confederate war aims. Northerners imagined the war as a crusade to deliver the Southern masses from slaveholder domination and to bring democracy, prosperity, and education to the region. As the war escalated, Lincoln and his allies built the case that emancipation would secure military victory and benefit the North and South alike. The theme of deliverance was essential in mobilizing a Unionist coalition of Northerners and anti-Confederate Southerners.

Interweaving military and social history, Varon shows that everyday acts on the ground--from the flight of slaves, to protests against the draft, the plundering of civilian homes, and civilian defiance of military occupation--reverberated at the highest levels of government. Varon also offers new perspectives on major battles, illuminating how soldiers and civilians alike coped with the physical and emotional toll of the war as it grew into a massive humanitarian crisis.

The Union's politics of deliverance helped it to win the war. But such appeals failed to convince Confederates to accept peace on the victor's terms, ultimately sowing the seeds of postwar discord. Armies of Deliverance offers innovative insights on the conflict for those steeped in Civil War history and novices alike.

Request a review copy

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Southern Book Prize Finalists: A Special Offer from Baker & Taylor

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, November 5, 2018


Baker and Taylor is offering a special 45% discount offer on all the Southern Book Prize finalists, through December 1st. No promo code is required. Here's a link to an order sheet you can use:


Southern Book Prize Finalists Order Sheet

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The 2019 Southern Book Prize Finalists

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, November 1, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The 2019 Southern Book Prize: The Finalists

..wait, what? Aren't those announced in the Spring?

In response to input from bookseller members, SIBA revamped the Southern Book Prize to streamline the selection process and encourage more bookseller and customer engagement, with a goal towards increasing excitement and sales around the holiday season.

So what, exactly, has been "revamped"?

Nominations: Nominations have been expanded to include reviews of eligible books posted by SIBA booksellers to Edelweiss. Nominations can also be submitted via the nomination form.

The Timeline: the selection of the Southern Book Prize finalists has been moved up to the Fall in order to take advantage of the holiday season and the popularity of the "best of the year" lists that predominate during that period. Nominations will close on October 15, and Finalists will be announced on November 1st. Winners will be announced on February 14.

Streamlined Selection Process: Voting on the "long list" (the full list of nominated books) has been eliminated. Finalists are selected according to the number of nominations and/or reviews they receive.

More customer engagement: Voting on the finalist ballot is now open to the customers of SIBA member bookstores. The ballot is available online and can be embedded on member store websites. Member stores also receive postage-paid postcard ballots they can hand out to customers in store. The voting season extends through the holiday season and into the New Year.

Link to official PR

Link to customizable PR

Link to SBP Finalist and Honorable Mentions Edelweiss collection

Link to To-Do Checklist for Making the Most of the SPB in Your Store

2019 Southern Book Prize Finalists


A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin’s Press)
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)
Florida: Stories by Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books)
Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown (St. Martin’s Press)
Scribe by Alyson Hagy (Graywolf Press)
The Line that Held Us by David Joy (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)


The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table by Rick Bragg (Knopf)
Calypso by David Sedaris (Little, Brown & Company)
One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Southern Discomfort by Tena Clark (Touchstone)


Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BYR)
I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton (Push)
Lions & Liars by Kate Beasley (Farrar, Straus & Giroux BYR)
Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Watson Hackl (Random House BYR)

Honorable Mentions
Books which did not receive quite enough nominations to be finalists, but whose nominations were especially enthusiastic.

Anatomy of a Miracle by Jonathan Miles (Hogarth)
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco)
Treeborne by Caleb Johnson (Picador)
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper)
Varina by Charles Frazier (Ecco)
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)

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Holiday Catalog for Store Websites: Instructions

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Holiday Catalog for Websites: Instructions

Instructions are now available for IndieCommerce stores that want to link the holiday catalog to their websites. Catalog pages are mobile-friendly, and non IndieCommerce stores can choose to have their catalogs hosted on their own website or hosted by SIBA.

TITLE LIST: Spreadsheet | Edelweiss

CATALOG ON PDF:  Cover 1 | Cover 2


  • IndieCommerce Stores: IndieCommerce and IndieLite stores can link to the holiday catalog by appending this their website URL: "/holiday/SIBA/holidaycatalog.html"

    For example, if Fountain Bookstore wants to link the catalog to their site, it would be

    When customers click on the 'Buy this Book' button on the catalog, they will be taken to Fountain's website to purchase the book.

  • Stores with other e-commerce: SIBA has created a single mobile-friendly catalog page, with a place for your own store logo: online sample. Email

  • Stores without ecommerce:
    SIBA can provide a no-link verson of the html catalog for you to include on your website(s). Email

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Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Bookmarks, Bookmiser, Fiction Addiction, Fountain Bookstore, Inkwood Books, Lincoln's Loft, Page & Palette, and The Country Bookshop.

9780062449252 I'm Tough! 10/9/2018
"Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for a good truck and the same goes for books about trucks."

9781982101633 You Know You Want This 1/15/2019
"A collection full of interesting, dark stories about the power structures within all kinds of relationships. Some are playful and some will knock your socks off."

9781250144546 The Gilded Wolves 1/15/2019
"This book is going to transport you into the world of gilded wolves were everything is shiny and magical, but you have to remember that all wolves have teeth."

9780062358202 The Last Romantics 2/19/2019
"Memories are such powerful things and affect our lives in compelling ways.There is so much love in this story! It’s absolutely wonderful!"

9780062691316 We Set the Dark on Fire 2/26/2019
"If you enjoy The Handmaid's Tale, but are looking for a more YA twist, this is the the book for you."

9781683691044 Race Me in a Lobster Suit 3/26/2019
" delightful romp about what happens when you follow a "bad idea" to its conclusion."

More bookseller reviews

If your store does not have an Edelweiss+ account and need help setting one up, contact Linda-Marie

Tags:  Edelweiss 

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Order "Book Life" trucker caps, t-shirts, and more for holiday gift sales!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, October 29, 2018

Order "Book Life" trucker caps, t-shirts, and more for holiday gift sales! 

From the fine folks of Independent Bookstore Day, order “Book Life” trucker caps for those customers who love all things literary, especially when it comes in the form of a stylish cap! They’re available in bundles of 5 for $60, with free shipping, Order by MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5

Book Life tees and sweatshirts are also available in a variety of sizes and styles. Order here!



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Holiday Catalog HTML and PDF editions now available

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 24, 2018

2018 Holiday Catalog

Holiday Catalog HTML and PDF editions are now available

The SIBA Holiday Catalogs have dropped, and stores should be receiving shipments shortly if they haven't received them already. Drop shipped catalogs have been schedule to arrive at their specified locations as requested.



If you haven't already done so, here is a link to the title list so you can place your orders: Spreadsheet | Edelweiss


We also have pdfs of the catalog available: Cover 1 | Cover 2


HTML versions of the catalog are available for stores that want to post them on their websites. The html catalog has been made responsive and mobile friendly.

  • IndieCommerce Stores: The ABA has the catalog and is installing it on your servers. You'll receive a notification when it is ready to be linked to.

  • Stores with other e-commerce: SIBA has created a single mobile-friendly catalog page, with a place for your own store logo: online sample

    SIBA can either send you the files to host on your own website, or we can host the catalog for you. (If we do that, the web address of your catalog will be SIBA's, not your store's).

  • Stores without ecommerce:
    SIBA can provide a no-link verson of the html catalog for you to include on your website(s).

Email Nicki for more information


The Holiday Newsletter is sent out to your store mailing list, a la Shelf Awareness for Readers, in six editions between November 12 and December 17, with each edition highlighting books from a different section of the holiday catalog. Links click through to the store's own website for purchase:

Email Nicki for more information.



The SIBA Holiday Catalog receives promotional support from SIBA during the holiday shopping season:

  • Catalog titles are featured in the Lady Banks newsletter between Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • The Holiday Catalog is featured on Facebook as the December "Lady Banks Bookshelf"
  • A Holiday Catalog Gift Guide is published at (ARTS), linked to a rotating list of SIBA member stores




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Diane Chamberlain: My Love Affair with the Stacks

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 24, 2018

My Love Affair with the Stacks
by Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain“Why do you always pick books that no one else ever reads?”

That’s what my sister’s husband asked me when I, still in high school, came home from the library with four books I’d carefully selected from my public library. I still remember the books: Reynolds Price’s A Long and Happy Life, Sinclair Lewis’s Kingsblood Royal, Joanne Greenberg’s brand new I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, and a fourth book I’ll mention later. I wasn’t bothered by my brother-in-law’s question. One of my favorite things to do was to rove through the fiction stacks at my public library to see what jumped out at me. Yes, I also read the books all my friends were reading, but when it came to fiction, I was always hungry for more than just the bestsellers.

Why did I pick those books? I’d never heard of Reynolds Price—and in retrospect, I’m surprised his first novel was in my New Jersey library—but he looked kind of sexy on the back cover and I liked that his protagonist was a teenaged girl. That was enough for me, and reading A Long and Happy Life turned me into a lifelong Price fan intrigued with southern fiction.

A Long and Happy LifeAs for Sinclair Lewis, I’d read Arrowsmith and Main Street in my English class and I was utterly smitten by Lewis’s writing and the social values expressed in his stories. Kingsblood Royal actually became my favorite of his many books. In it, Lewis’s 1940’s protagonist is a white man who learns he is 1/32nd black. The knowledge changes his sense of self as he begins exploring the black culture of the day with new eyes. Growing up in a well-integrated town during the civil rights era, I was fascinated by this story and it gave me much to think about as my treasured hometown endured riots and unrest.

I picked up I Never Promised You a Rose Garden before the book took off and long before it was made into a movie. I was a ‘troubled teen’ at the time (are there untroubled teens?). I was drawn in by the story of a sixteen-year-old girl fighting her psychological demons. It’s a book that will always stay with me.

"One of my favorite things to do is to wander without direction through the nonfiction stacks to see what books jump out at me."

The stacks, both in the library and in bookstores, have played a role in many of the books I’ve written as well. In a way, they’ve been my brainstorming buddies. One of my favorite things to do is to wander without direction through the nonfiction stacks to see what books jump out at me. Years ago, for example, I stumbled across a book about the CIA mind control experiments performed on psychiatric patients during the fifties.  I sat in a corner of the library, devouring that book, as the idea for my novel Breaking the Silence began to take shape in my mind. That was only one of my books that found its inspiration in the stacks.

I Never Promised You a Rose GardenWhen I research my books, I turn often to the Internet for help of course, but I also visit my library and two of my favorite Indies, Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, North Carolina and Quarter Moon Books in Topsail Beach. Since more than half of my twenty-six books are set in North Carolina, there is no place like the local stacks to find the esoteric North Carolina information I need to fuel my stories.

What was the fourth book I picked up at the library that day long ago? It was a small book by Helen Perlman, the 1962 edition of So You Want to be a Social Worker. Although I longed to be a writer, it never occurred to me that I’d be able to support myself with a writing career, so yes, I became a social worker. A social worker who spent time in the stacks, thinking and dreaming. Just as I do today.


The Dream DaughterDiane Chamberlain is the New York TimesUSA Today and Sunday Timesbestselling author of 26 novels published in more than twenty languages. Influenced by her former career as a social worker and psychotherapist, she writes suspenseful stories that touch both heart and mind. Her most recent book, The Dream Daughter, was just released in October, 2018 and is a SIBA Okra Pick.

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Bren McClain Receives $10,000 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction for

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Bren McClain Receives $10,000 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction for


Author Ann Kidd Taylor given Special Recognition for The Shark Club
Distinguished panel honors life and writings of Pat Conroy
Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry Announced

Bren McClain 

The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction has named the recipient of its 2017 literary award: Bren McClain for her novel One Good Mama Bone (Story River Books). McClain was honored at a ceremony at the New York Yacht Club where she received the award’s $10,000 prize. Author Ann Kidd Taylor received Special Recognition at the ceremony for her novel The Shark Club, for its originality and insight.

Since its inception in 2008, the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, founded by novelist Reba White Williams and her husband Dave H. Williams, has recognized annually a writer whose work is set in the South, exemplifies the tenets of Southern literature—quality of prose, originality, and authenticity of setting and characters—and reflects, in the words of Willie Morris, “hope for belonging, for belief in a people’s better nature, for steadfastness against all that is hollow or crass or rootless or destructive.”  Past recipients include Mindy Friddle, Stephen Wetta, Terry Roberts, Katherine Clark, and Kim Wright, 2016’s honoree for her novel Last Ride to Graceland.   

2017 award winner Bren McClain is a native South Carolinian, who now resides in Nashville, TN. One Good Mama Bone is her debut novel and in addition to widespread acclaim was also a finalist for both the Southern Book Prize by the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Alliance and the 2018 Crook’s Corner Book. She is a two-time winner of the South Carolina Fiction Project and the recipient of the 2005 Fiction Fellowship by the South Carolina Arts Commission. She is now at work on her next novel, Took, which received the gold medal for the 2016 William Faulkner –William Wisdom Novel-in-Progress.  

 "I wrote the book of my heart, held it up to the world and said Here's what I think is beautiful.

On learning that One Good Mama Bone won the 2017 Willie Morris Award, McClain said, "I wrote the book of my heart, held it up to the world and said Here's what I think is beautiful. And for that beautiful to be honored in this glorious way is an humbling like no other." 

“Like all the best Southern fiction, One Good Mama Bone is about the mysterious, powerful bonds of family and the eternal longing for home,” says judge Clair Lamb. “Bren McClain finds the universal in a very specific story about two mothers — one human, one animal — equally committed to their offspring. It's a book that lingers in both the mind and the heart.”

New to the ceremony this year was a panel of distinguished guests honoring the life and writings of Pat Conroy. The panel, moderated by Jonathan Haupt, executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, included Conroy’s widow Cassandra King, president of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Jonathan Galassi, and Willie Morris judge, past recipient, and author of Conroy’s oral biography My Exaggerated Life, Katherine Clark. “Our Willie Morris Award shows a similar interest to the Pat Conroy Literary Center, recognition of and promoting the best of contemporary southern fiction,” remarked Dave Williams.  “So, it seemed only natural that we collaborate with them on a panel celebrating those shared interests. We are pleased and honored to have had them play such a special role in this year’s award ceremony.”

The Willie Morris Awards also announced news of its expansion with the Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry, which will include a prize of $2,500 for an original, unpublished poem that exudes the American South in spirit, history, landscape, or experience. The inaugural poetry award, judged by Susan Kinsolving, will be given in 2019 during the 2018 Willie Morris Award ceremonies.

Reba and Dave Williams were inspired to create the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction in 2008 after Reba learned that her two nieces in high school in Charleston, SC had never read Harper Lee’sTo Kill a Mockingbird.   Reba, who was born in Mississippi and raised in North Carolina, remembered how her own introduction to classic Southern novels as a young student sparked a lifelong love and appreciation for Southern literature and its unique style, elaborate prose, evocative language, and sense of place. Envisaging the future of the Southern literary tradition, Reba decided that Southern writers and novels—especially contemporary works—deserved more attention.  The result was the Willie Morris Award, named for celebrated Southern writer and long-time Williams family friend Willie Morris.  A native of Yazoo City, Mississippi, Morris was a journalist, editor-in-chief of Harper’s magazine, and author of several novels set in the South, some of which remain required reading in public schools in his home state.

Authors, agents, publishers and booksellers are invited to submit books for consideration. The winner is selected by a prestigious panel of academics and writers, including previous award winners.  In addition to the $10,000 prize, recipients receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to attend a luncheon and reception in their honor, joined by nearly 100 members of the Southern literary community and New York City publishing community.  

The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction is now accepting submissions for the 2018 prize, to be awarded in 2019.  



FOR MORE INFORMATION about The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, including submission guidelines, please visit

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Weekly Publisher Promotions, courtesy of NAIBA

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Publisher Promotion Offers, courtesy of NAIBA

The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association, NAIBA, has given SIBA permission to pass along their weekly list of publisher promotion offers. The program was created by NAIBA as a way to get special deals in front of the booksellers at the time they are placing orders. NAIBA compiles on-going specials into a spreadsheet that is updated and shared every Monday morning:

SIBA will include the link at the top of their weekly newsletter to booksellers, "In the Land of SIBA."

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SIBA's B3! Book Club discusses The Signals are Talking by Amy Webb