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Wiley Cash: Conroy Legacy Award Toolkit

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 9, 2019

"Our lives are worth literature. it doesn't matter where you come from, or who your parents were, or how broken or torn apart your home was, the life you lived was worth writing about." -- Wiley Cash

When Wiley Cash was chosen to be the 2020 Conroy Legacy he was able to sit down and talk to Linda-Marie about Pat Conroy, independent bookstores, and what it means to be a writer in his home state of North Carolina.

Wiley Cash on Pat Conroy 

"The first time I met Pat Conroy was in 2013. I was in a room with him and it was like a solar system with a black hole, all of the energy in the room was going towards him just by his presence." --Wiley Cash

Those videos, along with a list of Cash's books, graphics to share on social media, and downloadable posters are available to SIBA booksellers in the Wiley Cash Conroy Legacy Award Toolkit (link requires login)

Tags:  conroy legacy award 

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SIBA19: "I felt like I was coming home"

Posted By Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, Monday, October 7, 2019
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2019

This year at SIBA was one of my best experiences. I felt like I was coming home, so many friends and authors that I have seen in the past felt much more comfortable. I sensed a lightness of spirit throughout the total event. There was more laughter and optimism in the meal events and in the workshops.   The AUTHORinteraction which revolved around Pat Conroy’s friends was especially jovial. Delightful to attend!
I’m very grateful to have been able to attend this year and thank SIBA for their support of indie booksellers! SIBA is my family!
~Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, AL

Tags:  #siba19 

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Meet TJ Klune!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, October 3, 2019

One of the highlights of last month's #SIBA19 was the Parapalooza event, held in the hotel bar -- for ambiance -- and by all accounts a riotously funny hour filled with authors reading short paragraphs from their books, WITH FEELING.

But for all its hilarity and deep-felt moments, the night was missing something, or rather, someone. T.J. Klume, author of the much-looked-for "The House in the Cerulean Sea" had been scheduled to read, but instead became the victim of a capricious set of circumstances when his flight was delayed because of mechanical problems (not the sort of thing a passenger wants to hear), making him late for his connecting flight, which after being rescheduled was also delayed...because of mechanical problems.

Since he couldn't be on-site at the show, we asked him to record video so booksellers would have a chance to meet him (and his cat) and hear about his wonderful book.

The House in the Cerulean Sea"1984 meets The Umbrella Academy with a pinch of Douglas Adams thrown in." (Gail Carriger)

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret. An enchanting love story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours. The House in the Cerulean Sea is Lambda Literary Award-winning author TJ Klune’s breakout contemporary fantasy.

TJ Klune is an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company. He has won the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance and the 2016 the Gold Medal from the Florida Publisher’s Association. Visit him online at, on Twitter at @tjklune or on Instagram as @tjklunebooks.

Tags:  #siba19 

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Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, October 3, 2019

Edelweiss+Some of the reviews submitted this week on Edelweiss+ from your fellow SIBA booksellers. SIBA members earn B3! points for every review if they join the SIBA community on Edelweiss. Email to be added.

Roll with It Get a Life, Chloe Brown Reputation Blitzed 

9781534442559 Roll with It 10/1/2019
"Ellie's voice makes this book un-put-down-able. She is complex, refreshingly honest, and sassy. She doesn't sugarcoat her experiences in a wheelchair or with cerebral palsy, and she is defined by those experiences either. Every person needs to read this book." -- Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

9780062941206 Get a Life, Chloe Brown 11/5/2019
"Get a Life, Chloe Brown is one of the best romances of the year. The humor and wit are spot on, and the romance will make your heart ache and your cheeks blush. Word of advice: don't read this in public - you'll be completely swept into Chloe Brown and Red's tempting romance and be blind to the world around you. If you're looking for a fun and flirty romance that will make you laugh and tug on your heartstrings, then Get a Life, Chloe Brown is the one for you!"-- Gennifer Eccles, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

9781524742904 Reputation 12/3/2019
"Elite Aldrich University is mired in controversy when a hacker releases the contents of every single person's email who is connected to the university. Many scandals come to light, but after Kit finds her husband Greg, who has a scandal of his own, dead in their kitchen, the action ramps up to an entirely new level.Shepard's books have so many plot twists, the reader is likely to suffer literary whiplash...and enjoy every minute of it. You'll suspect everyone in Reputation. And you just might be right." -- Jennifer Jones, The Bookmiser, Roswell, GA

9780451491992 Blitzed 12/3/2019
"This was another cute romantic comedy by Alexa Martin! I loved the inter-racial relationship and the world that Alexa Martin has created in this series. I also couldn't stop laughing at the way Brynn and her friends, the wives and girlfriends of the Denver Mustangs, interacted with one another. Not only was this an entertaining romance, it also was a great book of female empowerment of a woman owning her own business and also have strong supportive friends in her circle. Alexa Martin continues to write books that keeps me hooked! " -- Deanna Bailey, Story on the Square, McDonough, GA

More bookseller reviews

Tags:  Edelweiss 

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2019 Fall Okra Picks

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Announcing the 2019 Fall Okra Picks

Okra Picks(Asheville, NC) –Southern indie booksellers have announced their 2019 Fall Okra Picks, a fresh harvest of great Southern books, Southern voices, and Southern stories hand picked by Southern independent booksellers. The Fall Okra Picks release in October, November, and December, and every book on the list has a Southern bookseller ready to put it in the hands of readers with that most exciting phrase in the English language, “You’ve got to read this!

Southern independent bookstores – we grow good books!

2019 Fall Okra Picks Edelweiss Collection

10 Blind DatesWatershedOrpheus Girl How We Fight For Our LivesThe Giver of StarsLifestyles of Gods and Monsters

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
Disney-Hyperion, October 2019

Watershed by Mark Barr
Hub City Press, October 2019

Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry
Soho Teen, October 2019

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones
Simon & Schuster, October 2019

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Pamela Dorman Books, October 2019

Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 2019

Holding On to NothingTell Me a StoryNothing to See HereThe Name of All ThingsWatch What You SayThe RevisionersThe Bromance Book Club

Holding on to Nothing by Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne
Blair, October 2019

Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat Conroy by Cassandra King Conroy
William Morrow & Company, October 2019

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
Ecco Press, October 2019

The Name of All Things by Jenn Lyons
Tor Books, November 2019

Watch What You Say by George Weinstein
Sfk Press, November 2019

The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Counterpoint LLC, November 2019

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Berkley Books, November 2019

Find more information about the Okra Picks at

Tags:  okra picks 

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New "Shop South” Opportunity for SIBA Members!

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Monday, September 30, 2019

New "Shop South” Opportunity for SIBA Members!

SIBA and Matchbook Marketing are collaborating to offer a new website promotional program to highlight SIBA book prize winners. Matchbook Marketing will work with booksellers to incorporate these book prize promotions into their websites, and where possible, link them to online sales pages. The prize lists include the Southern Book Prize, Circle of Sites/Lady Banks, Okra Picks, Southern Indie Bestsellers List, and the Pat Conroy Legacy.

Once stores sign on to the program, the Shop South lists will be updated on their sites automatically. 
Cost of the Program: $80 setup (this will be offset with 8,000 B3 SIBA points, which can be exchanged for SIBA dues, meal tickets to the SIBA Discovery Show, and even free travel and hotel accommodations) + $40/month maintenance. All participating booksellers will be required to have an active SIBA membership. 
If you would like more website support (maintaining store specific content or website redesign), Matchbook Marketing is offering two additional program tiers as part of the Shop South promotion. Contact for more information or for samples of website mockups that illustrate what the promotion would look like on your site.
To sign up, simply email Gwyn Ridenhour at Once 10 stores have signed on, Matchbook will launch the program.

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Who gets a bonus?

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Friday, September 27, 2019

Take Note: October 12 Deadline for James Patterson’s Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program

Booksellers, publishing professionals, authors, and bookstore customers are encouraged to nominate any current indie bookstore employee of an ABA member store to receive a bonus as part of author James Patterson’s 2019 Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program. This year’s campaign is open to all U.S. independent bookstore employees through October 12.

James Patterson logoPatterson is pledging a personal contribution of $250,000 to independent bookstore employees, which will be granted in amounts of $500 bonuses to 500 individual booksellers. New this year, 100 of the bonuses will be set aside for children’s booksellers. 

To help booksellers promote the program, here are a variety of social media posts that can be adapted for use (Patterson’s social media handles are @JamesPatterson on Facebook; @JP_Books on Twitter; and @jamespattersonbooks on Instagram).

All past recipients of Patterson grants are eligible, and booksellers can self-nominate. Bonuses will be distributed in December 2019. In all cases, the vetting process will include obtaining approval from the bookstore employee and store in question to confirm current employment.

The grant application asks one simple question: “Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?” Patterson will select winners from bookstores all across the country to receive bonuses this holiday season.

Learn more about the program here.

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Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, September 26, 2019


Edelweiss+Some of the reviews submitted this week on Edelweiss+ from your fellow SIBA booksellers. SIBA members earn B3! points for every review if they join the SIBA community on Edelweiss. Email to be added.

Imaginary Friend The Beautiful The Gallows Pole Nothing to See Here 

9781538731338 Imaginary Friend 10/1/2019
"Immediately compelling, Imaginary Friend has the grip of those timeless cautionary tales, but related through a child's genuine sense of wonder and apprehension. Real-deal darkness, just peaking around the edges of the rich prose and Mayberry-esque setting.." -- Jilleen Moore, Square Books, Oxford, MS

9781524738174 The Beautiful 10/8/2019
"Ahdieh sets her gritty underworld in the perfect environment of New Orleans in the late 19th century. It's dark and dramatic and filled with intense passion. Ahdieh drew me in and left me so frustrated. I need the next book. NOW. This is the YA fantasy you need in your life right now."-- Miriam Meeks, E Shaver, bookseller, Savannah, GA

9780997457858 The Gallows Pole 10/15/2019
"A grimy, visceral historical crime novel with prose that feel like they were written with a sledge hammer. Entertaining, yes, but with plenty to say about power and class." -- Justin Souther, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC

9780062913463 Nothing to See Here 10/29/2019
"I don't think I've read something so absurd and equally endearing ever before in my life. Kevin Wilson serves us a tale spun around heartbreak, what it means to be family, and honest to God unconditional love. When Lillian's childhood friend, Madison, calls her with a job to be the governess to her step-children, the deal sounds too good to be true. But once Lillian meets Bessie and Roland, she learns exactly what her job is: keep the kids from catching on fire, at (quite literally) all costs. The sweetness of this story is fragrant with smoke and sweet tea, and Wilson leaves the reader feeling completely satisfied and fulfilled by the entirety of Lillian's story involving this twisted and fantastical family." -- Delany Holcomb, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

More bookseller reviews

Tags:  Edelweiss 

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Heads or Tails, every bookseller wins!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, September 25, 2019

BincAnyone who has attended a regional trade show or the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute or Children's Institute has had the chance to play "Heads or Tails" -- the popular game/fundraiser the last person standing takes home a $500 prize. If you haven't played, you have at least watched, smiling as your colleagues, adorned with flashing pins, tried to decide whether to put their hands on their heads ("heads") or their rears ("tails"). A coin is flipped, heads or tails is called, and pins are turned off as players guess wrong. Every pin represents a $20 donation to Binc. The more pins a player is wearing, the longer they can stay in the game, but eventually only one person is left, still blinking.

At the SIBA Discovery Show the Binc Heads or Tails Fundraiser is one of the last events of the show -- held on the exhibit floor amid a general air of hilarity as booksellers, exhibitors, and even authors ham it up trying to stay on their feet until the end. The event has proved so popular -- and is for such a good cause -- that many authors in the show program who can't stay for the whole weekend arrange for proxys to stand in for them so they can still play. The lucky winner of this year's contest was Rebecca Kauffman, author of The House on Fripp Island, due out in June of 2020.

The fundraiser, which was sponsored by SIBA, raised approximately $3500.

So what, exactly, were all those folks doing by wearing flashy pins and patting their heads?

They were helping SIBA booksellers in need.

"Within 24 hours, Kit called to report that Binc was stepping in to assist with several months of rent payments. What a godsend. It was like I could breathe again." -- Jamie Anderson, Downtown Books & Duck's Cottage, Outer Banks, NC, after Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael

Binc exists to be a safety net for booksellers facing a financial crisis. This has special significance for bookstores in SIBA territory, which face severe natural disasters and weather events with increasing rapidity. Rarely does the South make it through a hurricane season without some of our stores being affected -- by flooding, building damage, lost inventory, lost work, lost wages. Here is what Binc has done for SIBA booksellers since 2014:

  • Bookstore Disaster Recovery: 2 grants for a total of $12,073
  • Disaster Relief: 2 grants for a total of $7,975
  • Financial Assistance: 27 grants for a total of $62,678
  • Matching Grants: 5 grants fora total of $10,000

All in all, Binc has provided more than $92,000 in aid to Southern bookstores in the last five years. They have helped booksellers pay their rent, keep the lights on, meet serious medical expenses, and provide immediate disaster assistance.

That means if you have ever played "Heads or Tails" with Binc and didn't win, you still won. Your contribution has strengthened the bookselling community by directly benefiting its booksellers.

Tags:  binc 

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What’s on Lady Banks’ Bookshelf in October?

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, September 25, 2019

SIBA promotes six new books every month to consumers in our Lady Banks Bookshelf promotion. These titles appear at the top of our weekly Lady Banks Commonplace Book newsletter, which has a circulation of over 60k.  We also feature them above the fold on the homepage of Authors ‘Round the South and on the cover image of the ARTS Facebook page with buy links promoted to our 15,000 Facebook friends. A different member store is featured with the titles every week.


By promoting through Lady Banks, publishers are making an investment in SIBA member bookstores’ attention and market. SIBA works with them to select titles customers are looking for, and then we drive those customers to SIBA member stores.  Booksellers can boost sales by bringing in Lady Banks Bookshelf titles before the month begins, and putting up a winning display. Send in a photo of your display and earn 20 B3! points, too!

Link to the Edelweiss Collection

October Titles:

The Moonshiner's Daughter by Donna Everhart 

Meander Belt: Family, Loss, and Coming of Age in the Working-Class South by M. Randal O’Wain

Angel Mage by Garth Nix

Holding On To Nothing by Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne

Survivors of the Holocaust: True Stories of Six Extraordinary Children edited by Kath Shackleton

Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Jake Gaither, Florida A & M, and the History of Black College Football by Derrick E. White



Tags:  lady banks bookshelf 

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