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Fostering Dialog and Better Understanding at Quail Ridge Books' Bridging the Divide Book Club!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, June 4, 2018
Updated: Monday, May 28, 2018

A First Year Retrospective of Bridging the Divide Book Club by Sarah Goddin, General Manager of Quail Ridge Books

 

In response to the current deep political divisions in our country and community, where people with one view find it hard to comprehend how others could hold a different view, Quail Ridge Books launched a monthly book club with the goal of fostering dialog and better understanding. The book club, called Bridging the Divide, has moderators and book selections representing issues and viewpoints across the political spectrum: left, right, and central. The aim of each discussion is to promote understanding ... “Ah, now I understand how they can think that!” ... rather than to convince anyone of a particular point of view.

We started in May 2017 and had large turnouts for our first 3 meetings: 50, 47, and 87 people respectively. Then things started to slow down and for the next 4 meetings we had 23, 6, 25, and 2 (a low point, for sure!). Since then we have rebounded and have had 25 to 34 at the last several meetings, which is a really good number for discussion.


My original idea was to have 2 moderators, one liberal and one conservative, and let them take it from there, choosing the books and running the meetings. That didn’t work out and I think it would actually be pretty hard, maybe not possible, to do it well without a lot of hands-on involvement from someone on the store staff.


To find moderators, Rene Martin, our events coordinator, and I put our heads together and came up with a short list of local folks who were both political and open-minded. Our mission statement says we have moderators across the political spectrum and we don’t identify anyone as liberal or conservative, though it's pretty obvious who is what. We have just one person moderate each discussion although the other moderator often attends, too. We’ve had several guest moderators as well, including a psychology professor from NC State University who led the discussion on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me.


One issue with having moderators from outside the store was that that some of them didn’t really know how book clubs work and, though I met with them in advance, described the discussion process, and provided tip sheets, they started out doing more of a lecture than leading a group discussion. It was good to be on hand and intervene to get the discussion started. After the first time repeat moderators got much better at opening it up to more give and take.  They have started bringing a short list of potential discussion questions that we hand out at the beginning of each meeting which is very helpful in keeping the discussion on track. We limit each meeting to an hour, starting at 7 and ending at 8.


While the discussions have all been very civil, we have frequently had an attendee who hasn’t quite grasped the concept and makes somewhat partisan and derogatory comments. The moderators have handled it well and done a good job of not letting anyone dominate the discussion. One good tip, especially with larger groups, is to say “Is there anyone we haven’t heard from yet who would like to comment?” I’ve also had complaints from attendees about moderators, saying they weren’t representing "their side” strongly enough, i.e. conservatives complained the conservative moderator wasn’t conservative enough and the liberals complained the liberal moderator wasn’t liberal enough. I considered that a sign we were doing something right! I do explain that isn’t the purpose of the discussion. I do a welcome and introduction at each event and explain our mission (we always have people who haven’t been to one before) and also give my contact info and invite people to talk to me afterwards or email or call me to give me feedback or suggest topics or books.


I’ve listed below the books we’ve discussed so far. It has been a challenge finding the right books and we haven’t posted selections more than a couple months in advance because I keep wanting to learn what works as we go along. One observation is that the more abstract and wonkier the book, the fewer people show up, even though we may sell a bunch of books. For instance, the book on environmental conservatism by Roger Scruton was pretty dense and philosophical and while we sold 21 copies, only 6 people showed up for the meeting. The previous book, How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate, was short and readable and we had 23 people and a great discussion. That was from a series called The Stanford Briefs and I wish they had more good issue-oriented books like that but their other topics are not as useful. I think one of the reasons we had decent crowds for Hillbilly Elegy and Between the World and Me was because so many people had already read those books and were eager to discuss them.


Another challenge has been to get a more diverse attendee group, including people of color and conservatives. When I asked our conservative moderator why we had so few conservatives, he suggested they assumed bookstores were liberal havens and didn’t trust them to be fair to conservatives. We’re still working on that and on getting more diversity in race and other representation. Both have improved considerably in the last few meetings with a good representation across gender, age, race, and political orientation.


My wish starting out was that we would have a core group of attendees from across the political spectrum who would get to know one another and be eager to explore and, ultimately, respect each other’s views. Initially, people seemed to attend based on whether or not the particular book, issue, or moderator was one they knew or were interested in. A year in we're getting a core group of regulars plus a few new faces at each, which is good for more trust and more honest discussions.


Our main expenses are staff time in organizing, communicating, promoting, and setting up and breaking down the event space. I give both moderators the discussion book free so they can prepare (unless they already own it) and I occasionally give them a $25 store gift card as a thank you. We’re still learning a lot from each selection and discussion and I’m very eager to hear and learn from any of you if you try your own versions.


Books chosen so far:

May: Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert Putnam

June: Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010 by Charles Murray

July: no meeting because of holiday

August: Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

September: How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate by Andrew Hoffman

October: How to Think Seriously About the Planet: A Case for Environmental Conservatism by Roger Scruton

November: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehesi Coates

December: Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman

January: no meeting because of holiday and inventory

February: Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

March: The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech by Kimberley Strassel

April: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

 May:  Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations  by Amy Chua

June: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

September: The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know  by Phillip Cook and Kristin Goss


Some books we’ve considered or possible future choices:

The Age of American Unreason in a Culture of Lies, newly updated edition by Susan Jacoby

Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer

Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News by Bernard Goldberg

The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies by John Lott

Living with Guns: A Liberal's Case for the Second Amendment by Craig Whitney

Shame: How America's Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country by Shelby Steele

The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic by Ganesh Sitaraman

 



Tags:  authors  education  Quail Ridge Books 

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Lady Banks Gets a New Bookshelf

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, May 31, 2018
Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2018

LADY BANKS GETS A NEW BOOKSHELF

SIBA's most popular consumer-targeted promotion gets an upgrade

Beginning in June, SIBA is updating one of its regular promotions to better benefit its member bookstores. "Lady Banks Bookshelf" is a collection of six books that are promoted for the month on Facebook and in the Lady Banks newsletter and AuthorsRoundtheSouth.com website. Publishers pay for placement, and books click through to a page on ARTS where they can purchase the book from a SIBA member store.

What is changing?

1)  A new store will be featured each week. Stores will be notified in advance when their week is scheduled.

Lady Banks Bookshelf2) The promotion will now take users to a mobile-friendly, easily shareable page promoting both the current books and the store for the week. All books will click through to the store's website for purchase.

3) Boosted promotions will now target audiences located geographically near the store.

4) Although the promoted books will still remain constant for an entire month, the promotion will refresh its look weekly, with new images, banners, tag lines, and social media posts.

5) Stores will be able to tag and share Lady Banks Bookshelf directly with their customers. Stores can also create Lady Banks Bookshelf pages on their own websites, making it easier for customers to view all the promoted books.

Sample banner for websites and newsletters:

The Books on Lady Banks' Bookshelf

Tags:  Ads  ladybanks  lbb 

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Getting Your Staff on Edelweiss: B3 Webinar with Jill Hendrix is now available to view

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, May 30, 2018

ISN'T IT TIME YOU LOOKED AT EDELWEISS+?

Getting Your Staff on EdelweissDid you know that SIBA member bookstores have submitted over 500 reviews of books on Edelweiss+ in the last three months? The option to post reviews to SIBA at the same time as they are sent to Indie Next and publishers has proved so convenient and effective that SIBA regularly receives 20+ reviews from booksellers every week. You see some of the highlights below. But from our perspective here at SIBA, having such enthusiastic feedback has been invaluable. When eight different booksellers post rave reviews of Tommy Orange's book, There There, that tells us it's going to be an important title for SIBA members!

But Edelweiss is not just a tool for requesting review copies and posting reviews. Stores use it to communicate with sales reps, create and track orders, gauge the general interest in forthcoming books, research selections for book clubs and community groups, identify potential future events, and inform their staff about forthcoming books.

Watch last month's B3 Webinar, "Getting Your Staff on Edelweiss" to hear Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC, explain the many ways she uses Edelweiss in her store and encourages her staff to participate as well.

Tags:  b3! webinars  Edelweiss 

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THE BOOKS YOUR COLLEAGUES ARE TALKING ABOUT

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Updated: Monday, May 28, 2018

Edelweiss+THE BOOKS YOUR COLLEAGUES ARE TALKING ABOUT

Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Bookmarks, The Country Bookshop, Fiction Addiction, Flyleaf Books, Fountain Bookstore, McIntyre's Books, Novel., Page 158 Books, Quail Ridge Books, Sunrise Books, and Underground Books.

9780802128508 Evolution 9/11/2018
" There's revolution in EVOLUTION, for sure. There's also something very close to revelation in it too."

9780399574221 The Line That Held Us 8/14/2018
"With the Southern grit of Daniel Woodrell and the rich Appalachian cadence of Ron Rash, David Joy is the new voice of Southern noir. "

9781250166623 Bob 5/1/2018
"Friends come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes they are even green with chicken feathers"

9780062673657 All of This Is True: A Novel 5/15/2018
"Before you even pack the sunscreen, put this fast-paced, multi-tiered thriller right on top of the beach bag."

9780525522119 My Year of Rest and Relaxation 7/10/2018
"A wonderful and oddly comic story that we all probably relate more to than we'd like to admit. "

9780062665652 Scream All Night 7/24/2018
"The book is everything the best B Horror movies are- hilarious, haunting and entertaining. "

9781481470377 Ocean Meets Sky 5/15/2018
"This is one of the most stunning picture books I've seen, and it deserves every award ever. "

9781684421633 The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival 8/21/2018
"quick and enjoyable read, but it includes some pretty heavy themes that kind of sneak up on you."

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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Looking for a few good . . . pictures!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018

 

Please help SIBA to help you!

In order to better promote her members to the book industry and the reading public, SIBA is developing an image archive of its member bookstores. We're seeking high-resolution images of store logos, store signs, storefronts, interior shots, events, and store owners and staff. Photos can be emailed to nicki@sibaweb.com. Please include any necessary accreditation, and identification of store personnel. Members will earn B3 credit for every photo submitted.

 

 

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Practice Your Pitch at Book Expo with Maribeth Pelly!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, May 28, 2018
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018

 

 

 

Developing and maintaining an active, growing author event program is the key to success for most bookstores. One of the biggest challenges is getting your store on author tours, especially when you’re off the beaten trail, or in competition with a number of stores nearby. SIBA booksellers who attended our webinars with Maribeth Pelly-- How to Prepare a Press Kit for Your Store and How to Pitch Your Store to Publishers--are putting the final touches on their press kits and marketing efforts in advance of Book Expo, where they’ll attend publicist speed dating events, and meet publicists and reps at their booths and meeting rooms.


Want to practice your pitch before the meetings, or show your press kit to an expert? Maribeth Pelly will be at the ABA lounge on Wednesday (5/30) from 10-1145am, and 2-3pm to go over your pitches. We hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to check in, finesse your approach, and walk confidently into those meetings! You can email Maribeth in advance to schedule an appointment, or just show up during those times.


Maribeth Pelly is a marketing consultant who helps transform new and underperforming businesses. She’s also the event planner at her local independent bookstore, Booktowne.

Tags:  authors  b3! webinars  BEA  booksellers  bookselling  education 

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Four SIBA booksellers selected in the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s 2018 Higher Education Scholarship Program!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Sunday, May 27, 2018
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018

Twenty-seven booksellers have been selected to receive more than $100,000 as part of the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s 2018 Higher Education Scholarship Program. Providing financial assistance to help booksellers achieve their dreams is one of the most rewarding parts of maintaining the bookseller safety net, according to Binc Executive Director Pam French. “Booksellers are people who make the world a better place. We hope that by providing them with the opportunity to learn and grow through higher education, we are helping them change the world even more,” she said. “Congratulations to all of the college scholarship winners!”

The recipients were selected from 159 applicants comprised of bookstore owners, booksellers, former Borders Books employees, or their dependents. In total, $109,000 was awarded to help booksellers from 23 stores in 21 states reach their educational goals at 27 different schools. 

Four of the recipients are SIBA booksellers: Abigail Parkes of FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA,  Hannah Richardson of Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC, Sarah Skinner of Island Bookstore in Duck, NC, and Julie Wade of Downtown Books & News in Asheville, NC. 

A list of scholarship recipients, including their goals and favorite books, can be found here. Information about how bookstore employees can apply for the 2019 Higher Education Scholarship Program will be released early next year.

Tags:  booksellers  brilliant booksellers  education  scholarship 

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Meet the Bookseller: Lyn Roberts, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, May 24, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Lyn RobertsName: Lyn Roberts

Store and location: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi

website || facebook || twitter || instagram

Square Books   Square Books Interior

Number of years as a bookseller: 30 years

Best part about being a bookseller: Books and people and inhabiting that sweet spot where the two meet each other.

The world is a narrow bridgeWhat book(s) are you reading:
Aaron Thier, THE WORLD IS A NARROW BRIDGE.

The Twelve Lives of Samuel HawleyFavorite handsell of 2017: Hannah Tinti, THE TWELVES LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY

Best thing you did this year at your store:
Lots of good things happened in 2017. Our state has two tax-free holidays each year, one for back to school and the other is a "2nd Amendment" sales tax holiday on guns and ammunition. We began lobbying for a "1st Amendment" sales tax holiday and offer a discount to offset the sales tax on the same weekend as the gun sales tax holiday. It's a positive way to show what is important to us and start a conversation.

Social Media Stats (FB likes, Twitter followers, etc)
Facebook: 10k | Twitter: 12k | Instagram: 9.1k

What are some ways you work with your community?
We try to get books to kids. We send authors to the schools when we can and we work with the Lafayette County Literacy Council and other groups to bring an author into town to speak to the 1st and 5th grades. Every student in the county in those grades will receive a free copy of that author's book to keep.

Top priority going into 2018:
It's the same priority every year---be better. That means continuing to provide staff with all the tools they need to be informed about books and make sales. It means reaching out to our community on an individual and group level. It means updating our website so we can give customers the best online experience and encourage them to come to the store. It's having the best curated inventory. It means having strong relationships with authors in our local community and in the larger book industry community. It means fostering healthy relationships and open communication lines with publishers.

Favorite SIBA programming benefit:
I really appreciate the community and access to the combined knowledge of so many booksellers, so the listserv is my favorite.

 

 

Tags:  square books 

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Galleys & Giveaways: Review copies available

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Galleys & Giveaways

Welcome to SIBA's Galleys & Giveaways—our alert of review copies and resources available to booksellers. To help you harvest a great crop of Southern literature, 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!

  • Nominate for the next season of SIBA's Okra Picks!
  • Nominate for the next Southern Book Prize!
  • Send nicki@sibaweb.com your review for the Lady Banks newsletter
  • Submit to IndieNext
  • Review on Edelweiss+ (be sure to click the "SIBA" option in the review box)

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

Eat. Sleep. Read. Southern.


Confound ItConfound It (Dreamwalker Mystery #5), by Maggie Toussaint
Camel Press / 6/1/2018 / $16.95 / Paperback / 9781603815956 

"A complex, multifaceted read that holds many satisfying twists and turns even for the staid detective story reader. Confound It will prove hard to put down and surprising right up to its final revelations." —Midwest Book Review

"In her fifth Dreamwalker novel, Maggie Toussaint pairs a tricky murder plot with her amazingly original supernatural setting…a dream come true for fans of paranormal mysteries." —Leigh Perry, Author of the Family Skeleton Mysteries

"Toussaint's deft writing makes Baxley leap off the page."—RT Reviews

While hosting out-of-town guests at her Georgia home, Dreamwalker Baxley Powell helps investigate a suspicious fire. One of her guests, close friend and fellow dreamwalker Deputy Sam Mayes, accompanies her to the scene.

A meth cook is dead, and when Baxley visits her beyond the Veil of Life, she determines the woman was murdered. Baxley pities Mandy Patterson, a single mother with aspirations for her teenage son Doodle. Unconcerned about the death of a criminal, the authorities pursue the drug-supply chain angle. Baxley worries about Doodle and vows to find his mother's killer.

As the case grows more baffling, Baxley struggles against her attraction to Sam. Although her husband is missing and declared dead, she doesn't feel free to love again until she's sure of his fate.

Two suspects have the strongest motive, but Baxley believes they are pawns in a deeper game. Unless she can stop them, the world will never be the same.

"Full of surprises and borders on the fantasy or paranormal genre…witty and thought provoking!" —Ind' Tale Magazine

"I didn't want the experience to end…this book earned a place on my bookshelf to be read again and again." —Karla Brandenburg

To request a review copy: aubrey@epicenterpress.com or maggietoussaint@darientel.net

Tags:  galleys and giveaways 

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Binc and Macmillan Diversity Scholarship Returns: Nine scholarships will be awarded in 2018

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Binc and Macmillan Diversity Scholarship Returns
Nine scholarships will be awarded in 2018

bincThe Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship, a program sponsored by the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation and Macmillan Publishers to provide professional development to booksellers traditionally underrepresented within the industry, is returning for 2018. The application period will begin on June 1, 2018 and will end on July 1.

The program is intended to encourage a greater number of individuals from underrepresented groups to choose and/or continue careers in bookselling by offering up to a maximum of $500 for a bookseller from a traditionally underrepresented group to attend a regional trade show.

"We were delighted by the response to the scholarships last year and are so pleased to be able to offer them again in 2018. Judging by the responses we received from last year's participants, this is a worthwhile and rewarding program, which opens up a valuable experience to booksellers who would otherwise find it out of reach," said Macmillan Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chairs Monique Patterson, Editorial Director, St. Martin's Press and Angus Killick, VP, Associate Publisher, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group.

MacmillanEach scholarship will cover the cost of travel, lodging, and meals for one bookseller to attend their regional trade show. Nine scholarships are available – one for each regional independent bookseller association. To be eligible to apply for a scholarship, a bookseller must have worked in a bookstore as a regular full or part-time employee for a minimum of 90 days. The bookstore must be a member in good standing of one of the regional trade associations. The applicant will answer three brief essay questions and the winners will be selected by a panel composed of Binc board members, booksellers, bookstore owners, and publishers.

Binc Executive Director Pam French said the Foundation is excited to continue programming that strengthens the bookselling industry by providing support for the diverse booksellers already working hard to make their communities great. 

"The Binc Foundation exists to help booksellers thrive," French said. "By working with Macmillan Publishers to bring diverse voices to regional trade shows, we're enriching conversations and improving the story of the bookselling industry."

Booksellers can find out more details and apply at https://bincfoundation.submittable.com/submit. Applications must be completed by July 1, 2018.

Eligibility:

  1. Applicants must fall into one of the following categories
    a.    People of color, defined as people of African/African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or Native American/Indigenous descent
    b.    People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer
    c.    People with disabilities (includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses).    
  2. Applicant's store must be a member of one of the regional IBA organizations.   
  3. Applicant must be a regular part-time or full-time employee of the bookstore.
  4. Applicant must be currently employed and have 90 days of continuous employment with the bookstore.

About The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation
The Book Industry Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that coordinates charitable programs to strengthen the bookselling community. Established in 1996, the core program provides assistance to bookstore employees who have a demonstrated financial need arising from severe hardship and/or emergency circumstances.
Since its inception, the organization has provided over $6.5 million in financial assistance and scholarships to more than 7,300 families. Support for the Foundation's programs and services come from all sectors of the book industry. The Book Industry Charitable Foundation's mission is to strengthen the bookselling community through charitable programs that support employees and their families. The Foundation was imagined and built by booksellers and proudly continues to be their safety net. It is our vision to be a caring community of book people. Additional information can be found at http://www.bincfoundation.org

About Macmillan Publishers
Macmillan Publishers is a global trade book publishing company with prominent imprints around the world. Macmillan publishes a broad range of award-winning books for children and adults in all categories and formats. US publishers include Celadon Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Flatiron Books, Henry Holt & Company, Macmillan Audio, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, Picador, St. Martin's Press and Tor Books. In the UK, Australia, India and South Africa, Macmillan publishes under the Pan Macmillan name. The German company, Holtzbrinck Deutsche Buchverlage, includes among its imprints, S. Fischer, Kiepenheuer and Witsch, Rowohlt and Droemer Knaur. Macmillan Publishers is a division of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, a large family-owned media company headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. www.macmillan.com

Tags:  #siba18  binc 

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