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Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Bookmiser, Fiction Addiction, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, and The Country Bookshop.

9781682630730 Hansel & Gretel 10/1/2019
"the cathartic retelling of a classic fairytale I needed...Bethan has slyly done a service to the next generation of Hansels, Gretels, and witches."

9780143133025 I Think, Therefore I Draw 10/30/2018
"for English majors and anyone in favor of smirk inducing humor."

9780525554158 Animalphabet 10/30/2018
"a beautiful die cut format of graduated animals and insects. Each page will keep your attention and astound the reader."

9781524747060 The April 3rd Incident 11/13/2018
"These short stories are weird in the best way"

9780062875464 The Night Agent 1/15/2019
"This is literally a stay-up late, can't put it down action thriller.."

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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Meet Megan Bell & Josh Niesse, co-owners of Underground Books and Hills & Hamlets Bookshop

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, October 8, 2018

Meet Megan Bell & Josh Niesse, co-owners of Underground Books and Hills & Hamlets Bookshop


Megan Bell & Josh Niesse 

Store and location:

Co-owners of Underground Books in Carrollton, GA and Hills & Hamlets Bookshop in Chattahoochee Hills, GA 

Number of years as a bookseller:

Megan full time 5 years; Josh full time 8 years

Best part about being a bookseller?:

Someone shared a Guardian piece in one of the bookseller groups this week titled “Bookselling is the most over-romanticized job in the world.” There were some good points in it, but overall we think we should be emphasizing the romance of bookselling. It IS romantic in many ways. It’s how we met (Megan came in the bookstore 2 weeks after Josh opened it and never left), eventually getting married and now co-owning the business. We have a deep love of books and reading and are grateful we’ve created careers for ourselves where we get to spend our days with books. Being more naturally introverted, retail customer service can be challenging at times, but having ongoing years-long conversations with regulars, seeing a child walk down our steps into the bookstore and say “WOW,” and any of the numerous beautiful bookstore moments that happen every day make it all worth it. 

What book(s) are you reading?: 

Megan: I’m a monogamous reader, and I alternate fiction and nonfiction. I just finished Rebecca Solnit’s new collection Call Them by Their True Names.  I’m currently reading the new ARC from Charlie Jane Anders, The City in the Middle of the Night, which I picked up at the SIBA Discovery Show. I’m a huge fan of Anders’ Nebula Award-winning debut, All the Birds in the Sky. It was a dream meeting her at SIBA!

Josh: I’m listening to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine ( has turned me into an audiobook addict!) and I’m just finishing reading Against Elections by David Van Reybrouck and getting ready to start an ARC of Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James.

Favorite handsell of 2018:

Megan: First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson. This is a book I didn’t know I needed, and it’s been incredible to really feel I’m making a difference when I put this book in the hands of fellow readers struggling with anxiety. It’s a beautiful book inside and out.

Josh: So far this year I’ve been handselling Yuval Noah Harari’s books nonstop, but I’m currently really excited about a new memoir just out called Southern Discomfort by Tena Clark. Tena has such an incredible life story, and we have 75 tickets pre-sold to our event with her this Friday, October 12th.

Best thing you did this year at your store: 

We pulled off our first really large (for us, anyway) author event, hosting Rick Bragg in our city’s arts center auditorium and selling 200 copies of his newest book. Megan has also been having some major successes experimenting with creative social media videos and promotions that have really resonated with our customers and have helped us reach a huge new audience.

Social Media Stats (FB likes, Twitter followers, etc)

Underground Books

  • Facebook: 6,400
  • Instagram: 2,200
  • twitter: 770
  • Pinterest: 2,000 

Hills & Hamlets Bookshop

  • Facebook: 1,000
  • Instagram:  1,160

What are some ways you work with your community?

Community partnerships have been a major part of the success of our bookstores. Before opening our second location (Underground Books opened in 2011, Hills & Hamlets in 2016), we spent nearly a year meeting with neighborhood residents and community organizations and businesses. We partner with arts organizations at both locations, and Josh is on the board of the artist in residence program in the community where Hills & Hamlets resides (writers who have been through the residency program and signed books at our store this last year include Jason Reynolds, Sarah Kay, Eve Ewing, and Brendan Wenzel, among many others). Underground Books is closely allied with our local university and Hills & Hamlets with the local charter and Montessori schools. At Underground Books, we host an international literature book club sponsored and led by the University of West Georgia-they receive funds to buy the books from us, and we hand them out free to people who sign up for the club. We also host several book clubs, do pop-up bookselling booths at numerous community events, host various artist and writer receptions, donate ARCs and damaged books to our local jail, donate gift cards to most charitable organization requests, and so on. 

Do you have any community partners you work with regularly?

AIR Serenbe, Serenbe Playhouse, the University of West Georgia (see previous answer).

Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life?

We’re not sure there’s a difference between bookselling life and regular life for us! As co-owners of two bookstores we’re definitely on the clock most waking moments.

Megan: The bookstore has been a way to focus and sustain my creativity. Through the needs of our bookstore, I’ve discovered a passion for marketing, especially creating, directing, and editing videos, but also copywriting, social media photography, and managing campaigns. I love that through our social media, you can see on one hand a celebration of reading, learning, nerd culture, and the beauty of books and on the other hand pure silliness and unself-conscious fun that I hope gets across that reading is really for everyone.

Josh: My personal educational background and passions are philosophy and urban/town planning, and for 6 years out of college I worked in and then managed an AmeriCorps literacy tutoring program with youth-at-risk. Bookselling has been an amazing way to combine my intellectual passions with a kind of quiet/gentle community activism.

Top priority for 2018: We did over 100 events in 2017 between our two stores, and this is just the two of us and 4 part time employees. Like most bookstores, events have seemed like a way to try to add value and get people in the doors during a time when they can easily (and usually more cheaply) just get a book online from Amazon. We looked back on 2017 though and said to ourselves, “We’re killing ourselves doing so many events; is this sustainable?” We’ve really been scaling back and trying to focus on doing fewer events but doing them really well and making sure they are profitable. With the time we’re saving from fewer events we’ve been refocusing on our higher margin specialty of rare & antiquarian books. We’ve also been focusing on creating really great social media marketing that celebrates print, book collecting, and bookish culture in general. In terms of bookstore owners, we’re on the younger end of the spectrum, and we’re trying to take a long view. If we want to do this professionally for another 20-30 years, we need to be investing time in cultivating the next generation of serious book collectors and lovers of print media, and we try to let that view inform our marketing efforts.

Favorite SIBA programming benefit: Coming from a background in used & antiquarian books, we’ve been tip-toeing into SIBA and the ABA over the past few years. The trade shows and in-person gatherings have been amazing. Its hard to beat getting to spend time with other booksellers, sharing the joys and headaches of our business and learning directly from each other.  We’ve learned so much through SIBA’s eurekaSIBA event and, just recently, our first Discovery Show. We’ve also gone to the last two Winter Institutes and the most recent SIBA show inspired us to take the leap and commit to going to Albuquerque this year and make it 3 years in a row.


Tags:  bookseller interview 

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Need inspiration? Become a member of SIBA’s B3! Book Club!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, October 5, 2018

Need inspiration? Become a member of SIBA’s B3! Book Club! 

At SIBA’s B3! Book Club, we read books that have the potential to spark insights and change in our approaches to work. Over the last year, we’ve discussed timing, leadership, and the science of shopping. We’re currently reading The Art of Gathering in advance of Priya Parker’s webinar on October 31st, and will be looking at trends in November when we discuss The Signals are Talking by Amy Webb.

One of the great pleasures of being in a book club is sharing perspectives. Whenever booksellers gather to discuss any topic that might improve their business, great ideas, sometimes life and work-changing ideas, come forward. And that is our main goal with the club, to provide booksellers with intriguing books and a forum for discussion that will benefit everyone involved.

We host a B3! Book Club group on facebook that is only open to SIBA booksellers. If you can’t make it to the book club discussion, the facebook group offers another way to connect and discuss the books we’re reading, and to see posts on related topics.

Want to join the club? Please do! Just email Free copies of each book club selection are provided by the publisher.

Past reads:

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink

Your Leadership Edge by Ed O’Malley and Amanda Cebula

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters by Priya Parker

Next up is The Signals are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe is Tomorrow’s Mainstream by Amy Webb. We’ll be meeting on Wed, November 14 at 2PM.

Tags:  B3! Book Club 

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Galleys and Giveaways: BenBella Books

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Galleys & Giveaways

Welcome to SIBA’s Galleys & Giveaways—our alert of review copies and resources available to booksellers, first-come, first-serve.

  • Nominate for an Okra Pick
  • Submit to IndieNext
  • Review on Edelweiss+ (choose the"SIBA" option in the review box)

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

Eat. Sleep. Read. Southern.

Breakfast With EinsteinBreakfast with Einstein by Chad Orzel

BenBella Books | 9781946885357 | $16.95 | trade paperback | December 11, 2018 | science

Your alarm goes off, and you head to the kitchen to make yourself some toast and a cup of coffee. Little do you know, your ordinary morning routine depends on some of the weirdest phenomena ever discovered. In Breakfast with Einstein, Chad Orzel illuminates the surface of our regular lives by digging into the surprisingly complicated physics involved in our day-to-day. From the sun, alarm clocks, and the red glow of a toaster’s hot filaments to the chemistry of food aroma, a typical day is rich with examples of quantum oddities. Your ordinary mornings will never seem quite as ordinary again.

As supplies last.

Mail to:


The Positive ShiftThe Positive Shift by Catherine Sanderson

BenBella Books | 9781946885449 | $17.95 | trade paperback | January 29, 2019 | psychology/self-help

It’s the reason why spending time on Facebook makes us feel sad and lonely. Why expensive name-brand medicines provide better pain relief than the generic stuff, even if they share the same ingredients. In The Positive Shift: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity, Dr. Catherine Sanderson breaks down the science of thought and shows how our mindset—or thought pattern—exerts a substantial influence on our psychological and physical health. Most important, this book demonstrates how, no matter what our natural tendency, with practice we can make minor tweaks in our mindset that will improve the quality—and longevity—of our life.

As supplies last.

Mail to:


Tags:  galleys and giveaways 

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Ho-Ho-Holiday Catalog Info

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Ho-Ho-Holiday Catalog Info

The season is upon us and your print holiday catalogs will drop soon. But SIBA is offering any member store the opportunity to sell the holiday catalog titles even if you did not take the print version.  We have two ways to help you sell more books this holiday season.

First, we will offer you your own html version of the catalog that you can post to your website, and books will link back to your details pages for purchase.

Second, and new this year, we are providing six emails to be sent to your customers on your behalf weekly starting the week of November 12th, and ending the week of December 17th. Each email will focus on a different category:

Kids Birth to 10
Kids 10 & Up 
Biography / History 
Last Minute Great Gift Ideas 


Sign up here


Looking for some ideas about where to distribute your print holiday catalogs?  The Influencers Team shared some ideas you may find useful:

Place them in an Arts & Entertainment Weekly paper.
Place them in local public, college, and school libraries, grocery store racks, doctor and dentist offices, and hotels.
Host a holiday book club event and share them with book clubs.
Take them to your Neighborhood Association Meeting and work a trade with other vendors.  
Let us know how you plan to distribute your holiday catalogs by emailing

Final Note:  Additional Item:  CROSSWORD JIGSAW® DOUBLE CHALLENGE PUZZLE, 2nd EDITION Babalu (9781944247300) $17.95 & CROSSWORD JIGSAW® DOUBLE CHALLENGE PUZZLE Babalu (978194426969) $17.95 will be available from Baker & Taylor.  

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2018 Fall Okra Picks

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Okra Picks2018 Fall Okra Picks

The end of summer and beginning of fall brings with it a new harvest of Okra (Picks). Southern indie booksellers have chosen a bushel of the best Southern books of the upcoming season, October to December.  Each of the 18 books on the list was hand-picked by an enthusiastic Southern bookseller as something they are especially looking forward to. Okra Picks are the “You’ve Got to Read This!” list for the upcoming holidays.

Becoming Mrs. LewisBook of the Just: Book  Three of the Bohemian TrilogyThe Dream DaughterSouthern Discomfort: A  MemoirLouisiana's Way HomeScribe

Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis by Patti Callahan
Thomas Nelson | Hardcover | 9780785224501 | 10/02/2018

Book of the Just: Book Three of the Bohemian Trilogy by Dana Chamblee Carpenter
Pegasus Books | Hardcover | 9781681778587 | 10/02/2018

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
St. Martin's Press | Hardcover | 9781250087300 | 10/02/2018

Southern Discomfort: A Memoir by Tena Clark
Touchstone Books | Hardcover | 9781501167942 | 10/02/2018

Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
Candlewick Press (MA) | Hardcover | 9780763694630 | 10/02/2018

Scribe by Alyson Hagy
Graywolf Press | Paperback | 9781555978181 | 10/02/2018

LorraineNovember RoadInstantly Southern: 85  Southern Favorites for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker, and Instant Pot(r)Decorating a Room of  One's Own: Conversations on Interior Design with Miss Havisham, Jane Eyre,  Victor Frankenstein, Elizabeth Bennet, Ishmael, and Other Literary NotablesQuiverCharlie Hernández &  the League of Shadows

Lorraine by Ketch Secor
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky | Hardcover | 9781492616924 | 10/02/2018

November Road by Lou Berney
William Morrow & Company | Hardcover | 9780062663849 | 10/09/2018

Instantly Southern: 85 Southern Favorites for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker, and Instant Pot(r) by Sheri Castle
Clarkson Potter Publishers | Paperback | 9781984822475 | 10/09/2018

Decorating a Room of One's Own: Conversations on Interior Design with Miss Havisham, Jane Eyre, Victor Frankenstein, Elizabeth Bennet, Ishmael, and Other Literary Notables by Susan Harlan
Abrams Image | Hardcover | 9781419732379 | 10/09/2018

Quiver by Julia Watts
Three Rooms Press | Paperback | 9781941110669 | 10/16/2018

Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
Aladdin Paperbacks | Hardcover | 9781534426580 | 10/23/2018

Backyard Bears:  Conservation, Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban WildlifeYellow Stonefly Hide with MeIn Too DeepCongratulations, Who  Are You Again?: A Memoirove Like Sky

Backyard Bears: Conservation, Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban Wildlife by Amy Cherrix
Houghton Mifflin | Hardcover | 9781328858689 | 10/23/2018

Yellow Stonefly by Tim Poland
Swallow Press | Hardcover | 9780804012072 | 10/23/2018

Hide with Me by Sorboni Banerjee
Razorbill | Hardcover | 9780451478351 | 11/06/2018

In Too Deep by Lynn H Blackburn
Fleming H. Revell Company | Paperback | 9780800729295 | 11/06/2018

Congratulations, Who Are You Again?: A Memoir by Harrison Scott Key
Harper Perennial | Paperback | 9780062843302 | 11/06/2018

Love Like Sky by Leslie C Youngblood
Disney-Hyperion | Hardcover | 9781368016506 | 11/06/2018

Find more information about the Okra Picks at
Southern indie booksellers: We grow good books!


Tags:  okra picks 

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​ There's One Week Left to Apply for the Carla Gray Scholarship!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, October 2, 2018

There's One Week Left to Apply for the Carla Gray Scholarship!


The Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists is unlike any other scholarship the Binc Foundation has offered. This year-long professional development scholarship is intended to help a bookseller with fewer than five years of experience connect with other booksellers, publishers, and authors and to establish the long-term relationships that keep the book industry thriving. The scholarship includes funds to attend Winter Institute 2019 and a 2019 fall regional trade show. The bookseller will also be granted funding to support a community outreach project of their own design. Applications are open now. 


You have till October 9 to apply!


Tags:  regional shows  scholarship  winter institute 

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B3! Webinar: The Art of the Pitch: Handselling Books & Sidelines to Customers

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, October 1, 2018



B3! Webinar: The Art of the Pitch: Handselling Books & Sidelines to Customers

November 7 at 2PM, via Zoom!


Listening to customers, discerning their needs, and suggesting the best match is an art form that, when mastered, results in bigger and better sales. As we head into the biggest retail season of the year, what better time to listen to these veterans share their tips and tricks to profitably connect with your customers?


This webinar, for new booksellers learning the ropes, and veterans who seek a fresh look at handselling, offers tips and tricks from three experts: Toni Hetzel (sales representative at Penguin Random House), Caroline Green Christopoulus (gift and book buyer at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe), and Pete Mock (book buyer at McIntyre's Books). They’ll each present on a different aspect of hand selling/pitching, and take your questions during the second half of the webinar.


Toni (right) is a life-long reader starting with her school library and the library book mobile. She worked for 6 years for Chapter 11 Bookstores in Atlanta and has been a Random House sales rep for 18 years. She grew up in a small town in western North Carolina and currently lives in Decatur, GA with her husband, two kids, one dog, and three cats.


Caroline works at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, where she has been a bookseller for seventeen years and buyer for thirteen. She bought children's books for a number of years, and is now one of Malaprop's sidelines buyers and the consignment buyer. She and her husband live in Asheville and are proud foster parents. 


Pete calls them as he reads them. He came to McIntyre’s Books in 1995 and has developed a reputation for recommending lesser-known mystery authors and often-missed authors from other genres. He’s never short on opinions but is willing to back up what he has to say. Customers come in and call regularly to check on what he’s reading and make plans accordingly!


Please rsvp to reserve your spot in the webinar.

Tags:  B3! Webinars  Bookseller education 

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Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, September 27, 2018


Submitted this week on Edelweiss+ using the "send to SIBA" option. Thanks to Avid Bookshop, Bookmiser, Fiction Addiction, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, and The Country Bookshop.

9781524798628 Daisy Jones & The Six 3/5/2019
"This is a 24 hour freight train of a book that I couldn't put down."

9781250307460 The Beast Player 3/26/2019
"Not since LeGuin's A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA or the Harry Potter series have I felt so wonderfully immersed in a fantasy novel."

9780062388209 The Other Miss Bridgerton 11/20/2018
"Eloisa James hasn't written a bad book. They are all excellent and this one is no exception."

9780525577942 The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein 9/25/2018
"sure to put a creepy cold chill into the heart of every reader"

9780393652369 Essential Essays 8/28/2018
"This is a book to give to anyone - young or old - who wants to deepen their experience of meaning."

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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Priya Parker on the Art of Gathering for Booksellers: a fresh look on how to approach author events, book clubs, staff meetings, and more.

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Priya Parker on the Art of Gathering for Booksellers: a fresh look on how to approach author events, book clubs, staff meetings, and more. 

B3! Webinar with Priya Parker, author of "The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters"

Time: Wed, Oct 31 at 2pm via Zoom.


In The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker argues that we rely too much on routine and the conventions of gatherings when we should focus on distinctiveness and the people involved. At a time when coming together is more important than ever, Parker sets forth a human-centered approach to gathering that will help everyone create meaningful, memorable experiences, large and small, for work and for play.


Drawing on her expertise as a facilitator of high-powered gatherings around the world, Parker will discuss what works, what doesn't, and why. For booksellers hosting author events, book clubs, community gatherings, staff meetings, and more, this webinar offers an opportunity to hear from an expert, ask questions, and receive advice to enhance and improve this area of your business.


Please to attend.

Tags:  B3! Webinars  Bookseller education 

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