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Celebrate Independents! Announcing the 2018 Southern Book Prize Winners

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Updated: Monday, July 2, 2018

Celebrate Independents!  Announcing the 2018 Southern Book Prize Winners

Southern Book PrizeThe best in southern literature, from the people who would know . . . Southern Independent (and independently minded!) Booksellers

Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2018 Southern Book Prize.

Nominated by booksellers and their customers, vetted by bookstores and selected by a jury of Southern booksellers, these are the Southern books that Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most “you’ve got to read this” and “hand sell” moments in stores across the South. They represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.

2018 Southern Book Prize Winners

Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric DysonMy Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott KingFlame in the Mist by Renee AhdiehTumble and Blue by Cassie Beasley
Before We Were Yours by Lisa WingateGradle Bird by J C SasserThe Last Ballad by Wiley CashYoung Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

FICTION

Women & Family –
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin)

“Zevin uses her unique voice to tell this sometimes hilarious and witty story in three points of view.  Strong, smart women! A joy to read, and quite meaningful.” – Jean Lewis, Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL

Literary -
The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash (William Morrow & Company)

“We need more women (and men) like Ella Mae Wiggins in this world. Someone who is willing to stand up for a better world no matter the cost. This is her story, and we are all better for having come to know it."” – George Williams, MoonPie General Store, Pigeon Forge, TN

Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense -
Gradle Bird by J. C. Sasser (Koehler Books)

“This story is the epitome of Southern Fiction, with its wild cast of characters and small-town setting.” – Bess Long, My Sister’s Books, Pawley’s Island, SC

Southern Fiction -
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (Ballantine Books)

“Lisa Wingate is a master storyteller, and I am particularly attached to her historical fiction. Each time I read one of the books, I learn of a part of our southern past that is mostly forgotten.” – Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Juvenile Fiction -
Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley (Dial Books)

“Sweet, magical, and wholly enjoyable—a little bit of magic, a grandparent in trouble, insurmountable obstacles, and selfless acts of friendship and love. Adorable, well-written, and sweet as fresh swamp water.”  – Mary Ruthless, Foggy Pine Books, Boone, NC

Flame in the Mist by Rene Ahdieh (G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers)

“A fantastical tale woven like fine silk, Flame in the Mist transports readers to feudal Japan where we meet Mariko, and follow her on a quest that’s conclusion will have her questioning everything she thinks she knows about family, honor, and love.” – Star Lowe, Star Line Books, Chatttanooga, TN

NONFICTION

Biography & History -
My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King
(Picador USA)

 “I'm glad the first chapter is "We Don't Have Time to Cry" because it, and Mrs. King, give strength and honesty if we are to face what our country is (and because I sure had a hard time stopping crying at times). Beautiful straight talking.” – Angie Fleming, Givens Books, Lynchburg, VA

Nonfiction -
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
(St. Martin's Press)

"Michael Eric Dyson is an urgent and impassioned cry for racial justice— justice that will not be reached without a reckoning by white Americans' acknowledgment of its passivity and complicity to its addiction to power." – Caroline Green Christopoulos, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC

For more information about the Southern Book Prize, visit
https://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/discover-southern-authors/siba-book-awards

Tags:  southern book prize 

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Winner of the Book Expo's 2018 "Introduce an Indie" Scholarship Shares Her Experience

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, July 2, 2018
Star Lowe, owner of Star Line Books in Chattanooga, TN, was one of eighteen booksellers who received the "Introduce an Indie" scholarship to attend this year's Book Expo in NYC. The program, designed in collaboration with the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and nine regional bookseller associations, offered a unique opportunity to be fully immersed in the book industry. Star shares her first-ever experience of Book Expo:
 
"I was shocked to be awarded a scholarship! Even up to the last minute, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to swing it. The shop is having some growing pains, and I was super busy meeting with my accountant and lender negotiating a potential new location for Star Line Books. I was also dealing with a heavy events calendar, and helping my oldest move into his first house! I was so grateful to have attended the SIBA-sponsored How to Prepare a Press Kit for Your Store and How to Pitch Your Store to Publicists webinars with Maribeth Pelly. Katie worked on it, and with the help of Kelly Justice of Fountain Bookstore, we got it revised and pitch ready. The How to Pitch Your Store webinar included role-playing, which let me know what I was walking into with the speed dating session I attended at Book Expo. I wasn’t signed up for any, due to my aforementioned timing issue, but Kelly allowed me to use the last two minutes of her 11-minute sessions. I couldn’t have asked for a more gracious mentor. She and her colleague, Carl Kranz, have taken Katie and me under their wings, and no question is seen as too insignificant. I had a catbird’s seat watching Kelly pitch before my turns. Having done no publisher prep ahead of time to familiarize myself with their upcoming tour grids, I learned on the fly, and used what I gleaned from Kelly’s pitch to fit my store’s pitch. I was confident enough following the speed dating sessions to cold call some of the publishers with authors I knew I wanted to host in Chattanooga.
 
I now know exactly how I need to prep to hit the ground running next year. I’ll have my publisher wish lists, and be familiar with the tour grids, and sign up early for the publisher meetings. Despite my lack of preparation, I managed to make some valuable contacts. Also, I was surprised at how few books I collected to send home. I just didn’t waste time in signing lines, and although my booksellers were a bit disappointed at the lack of ARCs I snagged, I feel like I finally did the job I have been trying to learn to do for over three years. I operated like the owner and manager of an indie bookstore who hustled my shop. It was uncomfortable at first, but I sucked it up, stepped up to the plate, and got a base hit! I consider this my biggest success. Side note, HOLY COW! Nothing prepared me for what it was like to step into the Javits Center in full Book Expo glory! Going back to the baseball metaphors, it was like taking the field for the first game of the World Series."

 

 

 Star is pictured above with author Susanna Kearsley, and to the left with mentor Carl Kranz from Fountain Bookstore of Richmond, Va.

Tags:  BEA  booksellers  education  Kelly Justice  Star Lowe 

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THE BOOKS YOUR COLLEAGUES ARE TALKING ABOUT

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, July 2, 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, Bookmiser, Fiction Addiction, Flyleaf Books, Fountain Bookstore, Malaprop's, Page & Palette, Page 158 Books, and The Country Bookshop.

9781478964179 Calypso 5/29/2018
"If there is a "King of Audiobooks", it has to be David Sedaris."

9780735230378 Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse 8/14/2018
"A touching and illuminating example of the hope, beauty, and resilience that resides in the mind and imagination of a child."

9781454926849 Business Pig 9/4/2018
"It's impossible to read this picture book and carry on with your life without feeling absolutely charmed by the acquaintance. "

9781419727726 The Good Neighbor 9/4/2018
"We grew up with Fred Rogers and at some point in my teens I was too cool for him. I was wrong."

9780763688424 Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise 9/11/2018
"Every great story has an elephant, um... an element, of surprise. A very "pun-ny" read-aloud just perfect for storytime."

9780062668691 The Labyrinth of the Spirits 9/18/2018
"Magnificent tales about books, booksellers and authors and life. He also has such imagination and is a masterful weaver of tales you can’t imagine."

9781947793033 When Rap Spoke Straight to God 9/18/2018
"Dawson summons biblical mythology, diverse poetic forms, demons both ancient and contemporary, rap lyrics, and gristle, creating out of it all something with a pulsing vibrancy."

9780062696878 The Light Between Worlds 10/23/2018
"Filled with magic and poetry, this book is heartbreaking in the best way."

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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2018 Summer Okra Picks

Posted By Nicki Leone, Sunday, July 1, 2018
Updated: Saturday, June 30, 2018

Okra PickSummer is the season for Okra. . .Picks! Southern Indie Booksellers have chosen their favorite Southern books of the summer, a literary harvest of forthcoming hand sell hot picks and future bestsellers.

All the Okra Picks have a strong Southern focus and publish between July and September, and all have fans among Southern indie booksellers. Eighteen forthcoming titles—including fiction, nonfiction, young adult and children’s literature—have been picked by booksellers as the Southern books they are most excited about. The answer to every reader’s favorite question – What should I read next? – can be found here.

JULY

Don't You Ever: My Mother and Her Secret Son by Mary Carter BishopWilla of the Wood  by Robert BeattySmack Dab in the Middle of Maybe  by Jo HacklThe New Inheritors by Kent WascomThe Lost Country by William GayThe Wrong Heaven by Amy Bonnaffons

Don't You Ever: My Mother and Her Secret Son  by Mary Carter Bishop
Harper | 9780062400734 | 27.99 | July 2018

Willa of the Wood  by Robert Beatty
Disney-Hyperion | 9781368005845 | 16.99 | July 2018

Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe  by Jo Hackl
Random House Books for Young Readers | 9780399557385 | 16.99 | July 2018

The New Inheritors by Kent Wascom
Grove Press | 9780802128171 | 26.00 | July 2018

The Lost Country by William Gay
Dzanc Books | 9781945814525 | 26.95 | July 2018

The Wrong Heaven by Amy Bonnaffons
Little Brown and Company | 9780316516211 | 26.00 | July 2018

AUGUST

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America  by Beth MacyWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia OwensSurviving Adam Mede by Shannon KlareThe Line That Held Us by David JoyRush by Lisa PattonOne Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy  by Carol Anderson

Dopesick: Doctors, Dealers, and the Drug Company That Addicted America  by Beth Macy
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | 9780316551243 | August 2018

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
G.P. Putnam's Sons | 9780735219090 | 26.00 | August 2018

Surviving Adam Mede by Shannon Klare
Swoon Reads | 9781250154378 | 16.99 | August 2018

The Line That Held Us by David Joy
G.P. Putnam's Sons | 9780399574221 | 27.00 | August 2018

Rush by Lisa Patton
St. Martin’s Press | 9781250020666 | 26.99 | August 2018

The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival  by Terry Roberts
Turner | 9781684421633 | 16.99 | August 2018

SEPTEMBER

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy  by Carol AndersonSouthernmostMerci Suárez Changes Gears  by Meg MedinaThe Law of Finders Keepers  Wake by Sheila TurnageDrive by Joyce Moyer HostetterOur Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy  by Nicole Seitz (editor)Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist  by Eli Saslow

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy  by Carol Anderson
Bloomsbury Publishing | 9781635571370 | 27.00 | September 2018

Merci Suárez Changes Gears  by Meg Medina
Candlewick Press | 9780763690496 | 16.99 | September 2018

The Law of Finders Keepers  Wake by Sheila Turnage
Kathy Dawson Books | 9780803739628 | 16.99 | September 2018

Drive by Joyce Moyer Hostetter
Calkins Creek Books | 9781629798653 | $18.95 | September 2018

Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy  by Nicole Seitz (editor) and Jonathan Haupt (editor)
University of Georgia Press | 9780820354484 | $29.95 | September 2018

Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist  by Eli Saslow
Doubleday Books | 9780385542869 | $26.95 | September 2018

Find more information about the Okra Picks at AuthorsRoundtheSouth.com/okra

Southern indie booksellers: We grow good books!

Tags:  okra picks 

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Meet the Bookseller: Sara Luce Look, Charis Books and More, Atlanta, Geogia

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, June 28, 2018

MEET THE BOOKSELLER: SARA LUCE LOOK

Sara Luce LookName: Sara Luce Look

Store and location: Charis Books & More, Atlanta, GA

website || facebook || twitter || instagram

Number of years as a bookseller: 26 years and Charis has been in business since 1974

Best part about being a bookseller? Getting to work at a job I love and feel passionate about...




Charis Books Charis Interior
Charis Event Charis Display

A Certain LonlinessWhat book(s) are you reading?:
A Certain Loneliness: A Memoir by Sandra Gail Lambert (out in Sept.)
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
About to start the galley of Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver



Confessions of the FoxFavorite handsell of 2018:
I am looking forward to selling Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg when it comes out at the end of June.
I have been selling the paperback of The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, which was my favorite fiction book last year

 

 

 

Best thing you did this year at your store:

Not in our store, but getting to go to Washington DC and be honored as The We Need Diverse Books Bookseller of the Year was pretty huge!
Also selling books at Tayari Jones' book release party for An American Marriage to a sold out crowd at the Alliance Theatre.

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

Twitter (@chariscircle): 2300
FB (@charisbooks): 6426
IG (@charisbooksandmore): 2081
3500 subscribers on email list.

What are some ways you work with your community?

Because we are a mission-driven feminist bookstore with a non-profit programming arm, we work more directly with our community than many stores. Charis Books co-sponsors public events and sell books at libraries, churches, pre-schools, therapy conferences, conferences, festivals, academic gatherings and more. Our non-profit, Charis Circle, sponsors over 270 events a year at our store and in partner venues, centered around the mission of fostering sustainable feminist communities, working for social justice and encouraging the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. Charis Circle accomplishes its mission by working with artists, authors, and activists from across the South and around the world to bring innovative, thoughtful, and life-changing programming and events to Atlanta's feminist communities. Charis is Atlanta's only publicly accessible dedicated feminist space open 7 days a week, 360 days a year. Charis events range from writing groups, to poetry open mics, to children's story hours, to yoga, to activists strategy sessions and so much more. Charis Circle's work extends beyond the walls of Charis Books and into the schools, streets, and homes of our beloved community members. We exist as a popular education resource for our customers, their families, and the city at large.

Do you have any community partners you work with regularly?
Some of our partnerships include:

  • Atlanta Pride
  • Atlanta Radical Book Fair
  • Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
  • The Center of Civil and Human Rights LGBT Institute
  • The Crunk Feminist Collective
  • The Decatur Book Festival
  • Different Games Collective
  • Emory University
  • Feminist Women’s Health Center
  • First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta
  • Georgia Center for the Book
  • Georgia Safe Schools Coalition
  • The Icarus Project
  • Men Stopping Violence
  • Phillip Rush Center
  • Project South
  • Raksha
  • Spelman College
  • Southerners on New Ground (SONG)
  • A Striving Parent
  • Trans and Friends
  • Women Healing Women, Inc.
  • ZAMI NOBLA (National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging)

Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life?
I collect cookbooks (mostly regional New England, Portuguese cooking, and vintage baking)

Top priority going into 2018:
Getting ready to move! We will be moving to the campus of Agnes Scott College in 2019. We will be partnering with ASC, bringing our independent feminist bookstore and non-profit to campus. We will not be selling textbooks, but will be adding "school store" items (spirit-wear/t-shirts, toiletries, snacks, school supplies, etc) to our shelves.

Favorite SIBA programming benefit: SIBA trade show

Tags:  booksellers 

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Calendar

7/17/2018 » 7/23/2018
Circle of Sites: Willa of the Wood

7/20/2018
Bookseller Revival at The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC

7/24/2018 » 7/30/2018
Circle of Sites: Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe

7/25/2018
B3 Webinar: Creating and Managing a Successful Online Sales Campaign

7/31/2018 » 8/6/2018
Circle of Sites: Chariot on the Mountain