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A day in New Orleans with Michael Murphy by Broche Fabian, Quail Ridge Books & Music

Posted By Broche Fabian, Quail Ridge Books, Monday, October 30, 2017

A full month after returning from the SIBA Discovery tradeshow, I have yet to send Michael Murphy a thank you card for the infamous "three-hour tour" he gave my coworker, Lizzy, and myself in New Orleans in September. Last week, I opened a ShelfAwareness newsletter to find out it's too late to send him a thank you card now, forever.

When Lizzy and I were writing up our proposals to attend SIBA, I marveled at the idea of a SIBA Concierge. The notice in the trade show schedule read:

9 - 6 On Site Concierge Services - Grand Ballroom Foyer
Michael Murphy, former VP with Random House, then Publisher of William Morrow, has been a resident of and enthusiast for New Orleans the last 10 years. He is a licensed tour guide and has written five books about his beloved home. Michael is available to suggest and/or reserve restaurants, music venues, out-of-the-way, non-touristy spots to visit, as well as emergency needs like dry-cleaning, masseuse, child care, etc.

My understanding of concierge services comes from reading books about people who can afford a level of sophistication far above my budget. In my experience, one might "know a guy" who can fix your car for cheap or get you a discount cell phone, and though I'm a world traveler, the amenities at the places I stay usually begin and end with replacing a forgotten toothbrush. That said, it was my first trip to New Orleans, Lizzy and I had a free half-day on either end of our conference schedule, and perhaps it would be nice to get some suggestions from a "resident…and enthusiast." So we emailed for "any direction you can give us."

"First thing to embrace: the right attitude. Great Cajun Chef, Paul Prudhomme, whom died last fall, uttered the perfect quote, "New Orleans will nudge you in the direction you were meant to go." In other words, don't come with a bucket list. Don't over script your days here. Just let New Orleans wash over you."

NOLA Art MuseumThose were some of Michael's first words in response to our humble inquiry. At Michael's suggestion, we toured City Park, the Botanical Gardens, and the New Orleans Museum of Art (the last two being free for residents on Wednesdays, which we pretended to be). We briefly walked Bourbon Street one afternoon, but agreed with Michael's assessment, even during the day:

"P.S.  DO NOT go to Bourbon Street. It smells awful. Most of the music is cover bands doing Journey and Foreigner decades old hits. People there act like they just turned 18 and can finally drink legally. Hope this helps."

Later, Michael told us that one of the reasons Bourbon Street smells so awful is that they started street renovation projects, only to realize that the entire pipe system beneath the French Quarter needed to be redone, as it was seeping sewage and rancid oil and everything else that had been poured down those pipes for generations. Due to a big upcoming event of some kind (sorry, Michael, I don't remember which), it was decided that the construction would hold until after that event, at which point the streets would be dug up, pipes replaced, and the smell would go back to its normal liquor, piss, and vomit, instead of the added pipe sewage stench. Now how else would Lizzy and I have found that out, if not to tour with Michael? Or about the house Johnny Depp almost purchased but was outbid by a Chinese bank owner, or the well-known haunted house where two evil scientists had performed horrible experiments on their slaves, or where the "real voodoo shops" in town were?

Botanical Gardens

We heard all of this and more during the private tour we had with Michael before we left New Orleans on Monday. Catching a ride from the airport to the hotel when we had arrived had cost us almost $40. As Michael informed us, "Generally, tour guides cost $10 per hour per person but I operate under the guideline that you pay whatever you want. Seriously." After a quick cost-benefit analysis, Lizzy and I determined that if Michael didn't mind dropping us off at the airport at the end of the tour, we would rather splurge and pay a few dollars more than a Lyft ride for the added benefit of local history and insider knowledge. We have no regrets.

In an email with the subject line, "Monday Monday, Don't Trust That Day," Michael confirmed he would pick us up at our AirBnB –

"How'd you choose that location? You are perfectly safe…don't worry at all…but it's kind of funky…Aren't you staring at a warehouse out the front window? I'll be there at 11:30."

 – and would take us on a whirlwind tour before dropping us at the airport.

When we queried about lunch options: "We have 1,420 restaurants," he informed us. "You have (too) many choices."

BacchanalWe decided on Bacchanal ("Bywater. You sit outdoors, a block from the Mississippi, with live music."), a restaurant that had been on an extensive and frankly overwhelming list of suggestions Lizzy and I had compiled from friends' recommendations prior to going. Michael had mentioned it in a helpful email of "relatively inexpensive" places open for lunch on Mondays, and after we chose it, I was impressed when he wrote,

"I just checked the schedule. On Monday, the Tangier's Combo (they play gypsy jazz), perform while you eat from noon to three. I can pick you up at 11:30, get there by 12:00, eat an un-rushed lunch (their bacon wrapped dates are fairly awesome) and get touring around 1:00."

Even knowing the budget Lizzy and I were on, knowing we wouldn't be among the high-rollers he'd mentioned he'd guided around New Orleans (*cough*Sofia-Vergara-and-Joe-Manganiello*cough*), he still did his due diligence in terms of who would be playing Monday lunch at Bacchanal.

Lafayette CemeteryHe picked us up that Monday ("I look like an overweight Confederate general. White beard. White-ish hair. 5'10" tall and let's never talk about my weight.") and from the Garden District to Lafayette Cemetery, Michael gave us what was truly the most charming, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable tour I've ever experienced in any part of the world (which includes places like Japan and New Zealand). The day before he had "bang(ed) out Garden District tours at 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00…Not my preference… by the 5th tour I feel like Tom Jones singing What's New Pussycat... one....more.... time," yet sitting in the back seat while listening to his stories, it felt like he was relating them for the very first time. Michael shook the hands of other tour guides we ran across, regaled us with tales from his publishing days, and gave us a sneak preview of what travel guide he was working on next. His smile when he dropped us off at the airport – with a reminder that a second Dooky Chase was located there ("Dooky Chase in Treme has great history and a great 93-year-old owner/chef, Leah Chase. She remains sharp as a tack and famously chastised President Obama a few years back because he started to put hot sauce in her gumbo. Don't mess with her recipes.") – was as warm as if he'd enveloped us in a hug.

Lizzy and I ate po'boys at Dooky Chase and remarked that the half day spent with Michael was the perfect ending to our time in New Orleans. We went home, and I starred his last email in my inbox to remind myself to send him a thank you card. Now, I'm wrapping myself in that smile again while listening to the Tangier's Combo CD I bought that Monday with Michael, after we licked our fingers from enjoying those bacon-wrapped dates. New Orleans, SIBA, and the entire book industry lost one of its brightest characters on October 19th, and Michael, I hope it's not too late to reiterate, thank you.

Tags:  #siba17  new orleans 

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SIBA & Edelweiss: News You Can Use from the Land of SIBA

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, October 16, 2017

Click here to view online | Like us on Facebook!

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EdelweissVery exciting news!

Starting this week, SIBA bookstore members will be able to send the reviews they post on Edelweiss to SIBA at the same time they send them on to IndieNext. "SIBA" will be one of the options you can select, and your reviews will then come to SIBA.

What does SIBA do with bookseller reviews?

  • Eligible titles become nominations for Okra Picks and the Southern Book Prize.
  • Bookseller staff picks are collected in Read This! --SIBA's book concierge service for Southern readers. And all reviews are linked back to your store for purchase.
  • Reviews are run in the weekly Lady Banks' Commonplace Book newsletter, and also linked back to your store.
  • Every submitted review earns your store 3 B3! points.

Stores that use Edelweiss have frequently asked SIBA for the ability to send SIBA their reviews and nominations via the Edelweiss system. It was one of the most commonly requested features noted in feedback from the SIBA Discovery Show. So we're very pleased to be working with Edelweiss to make this happen for SIBA members.

For more information or questions, contact Linda-Marie Barrett at


The Fall Okra Picks have been announced, and we are seeing Okra Pick authors appearing in your event calendars and on the bestseller lists. SIBA is looking for bookseller blurbs of Okra Pick titles! If you've read and loved any of these books, email us and tell us about it!

The Fonville Winans Cookbook The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd
Tales of a Cosmic Possum: From the Appalachia Mountains to the Cotton Mills by Sheila Ingle Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly
Hotel Scarface: Where Cocaine Cowboys Partied and Plotted to Control Miami by Roben Farzad Dear Martin by Nic Stone The Art of Loading Brush: New Agrarian Writings by Wendell Berry
Heaven's Crooked Finger by Hank Early Perennials by Julie Cantrell The Sisters of Glass Ferry by Kim Michele Richardson The Ice House by Laura Lee Smith A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert


From Executive Director Wanda Jewell:

I can't thank you enough for your support of SIBA's Free Book Stimulus Plan over the years. We have been sent hundreds of books to your customers for nearly nine years. Inspired by President Barack Obama's Stimulus Plan in 2008, I wanted to create away for all of the books that had come into my home over nearly 20 years to work in service of indie bookstores. And so was born. I will be out of books soon but am committed to fulfilling all of the requests thru the end of the year.

I need to make a request if you continue to use Free Book Stimulus Plan for the rest of this year. Please begin directing your customers to the website rather than providing the form. This is a way I can communicate to all of them that the program is ending and how their requests will be handled. The website is:


Did you know? The downloadable versions of the Southern Indie Bestseller lists have undergone a makeover: Hardcovers | Paperbacks | Children's

The pdf versions are updated every week when the Southern indie bestsellers are updated.

We've also recently made the "Special to the Southern" lists -- the books on the Southern bestseller list but not the national list -- available for you to install on your store website: Indiecommerce | MyBooksandMore | No ecommerce | SIBA hosted | Installation instructions

read thisAnd we now have a monthly "staff recommendations" flyer available for download: This is a flyer of all the books that have been recommended by SIBA booksellers and featured in "Read This!" for the month. Instant display, instant book club resource!

More at the Peer Brain Trust

Is your membership current?
Your name: @@first_name@@ @@last_name@@
Your store: @@employer@@
Your member type (store/staff): @@member_type@@
Your membership expiration: @@membership_exp_date@@ *

**if your member type says "staff" then your expiration date is whenever your bookstore's membership expires.

Renew here | Booksellers Benefits Package

Thank you for your interest in SIBA,

Nicki Leone

Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Avenue, Columbia, SC 29205
Fax: 309.410.0211

#siba18: Fall Discovery Show
Sept 13-15 THU-SAT | Tampa, FL

Many thanks to our 2017 Inkreadible Sponsors below:

BookazineBaker & Taylor
Ingram Content Group 

The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts

SIBA | 3806 Yale Dr. | Columbia, SC 29205
You are receiving this email at @@email@@. If you wish to stop receiving email from us, you can simply remove yourself by replying with "unsubscribe" in the subject or by visiting: @@unsubscribe_url@@

Tags:  Edelweiss  Peer Brain Trust 

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Rep Pix and #SIBA17 Handouts: News you can use from the Land of SIBA

Posted By Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Monday, October 2, 2017

Click here to view online | Like us on Facebook!

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The #SIBA17 Discovery Show#SIBA17 REP PICKS

"Rep Picks" is always a fast, furious, and fun part of the SIBA Discovery Show. But 2.5 minutes -- the amount of time every rep had to make their case for their favorite books -- does not leave any time for asking questions or taking notes!

So here's an Edelweiss link to the books that were talked about at Rep Picks: #SIBA17 Rep Picks


Author information sheets, School Request Forms, Store Publicity Sheets, Trends slide shows. . . materials from the #SIBA17 educational sessions are now available to download:

#SIBA17 Handouts


Formerly called "The Document Library," the newly revamped Peer Brain Trust has been streamlined and simpliified into a repository of documents and resources that have been road-tested by your colleagues -- SIBA member bookstores.

The Peer Brain Trust

Recently added:



Tubby & Coo's owner Candice Huber has introduced a host of board game-related programs in conjunction with the New Orleans store's third anniversary,  including board game rental and exchange programs and a board game club. "We've been selling board games since we opened, but the specific board game-café model is what's new for the third anniversary," said Huber.

Read more here


Okay, so the winner of the Binc Heads-or-Tails Fundraiser may have looked like SIBA Show Staffer Steve Jewell, but that was just a clever disguise. Steve is part of the Author Green Room Team -- the SIBA team that makes sure authors have all the information they need and get where they are supposed to be at the Show. The Green Room Team made a special effort this year to encourage authors to participate in the Binc Heads-or-Tails fundraiser, and agreed to act as proxies for authors who couldn't be present at the time the game kicked off. The results were astounding. Presenting authors contributed over $1000 to Binc. And Heads-or-Tails raised about $3000 total at the show.

Other #SIBA17 winners: include:

  • Fiction Addiction won the Buyer's Raffle prize of $1000
  • Hub City Book Shop won the Scavenger Hunt and a free trip to #SIBA18 in Tampa, FL
  • Fiction Addiction also won a trip to #SIBA18 as part of the APPetite for Prizes competition
  • Square Books was voted the 2018 Bibb Pick winner
  • Eagle Eye Books won the Southern Book Prize Table Display Contest and $1000!

Is your membership current?

Renew here | Booksellers Benefits Package

Thank you for your interest in SIBA,

Nicki Leone

Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Avenue, Columbia, SC 29205
Fax: 309.410.0211

#siba18: Fall Discovery Show
Sept 13-15 THU-SAT | Tampa, FL

Many thanks to our 2017 Inkreadible Sponsors below:

BookazineBaker & Taylor
Ingram Content Group 

The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts

SIBA | 3806 Yale Dr. | Columbia, SC 29205
You are receiving this email at @@email@@. If you wish to stop receiving email from us, you can simply remove yourself by replying with "unsubscribe" in the subject or by visiting: @@unsubscribe_url@@

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2018 Conroy Legacy Award Winner: Kwame Alexander

Posted By Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Friday, September 15, 2017
Updated: Thursday, September 14, 2017

2018 Conroy Legacy Award Winner: Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander(Columbia, SC) Kwame Alexander, the Virginia-based poet, educator, and New York Times bestselling author, has been selected as the first recipient of the Conroy Legacy Award.

Created in honor of the example set by the beloved Southern author Pat Conroy, the Conroy Legacy Award was established in 2017 to recognize writers who have achieved a lasting impact on their literary community, demonstrating support for independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general, writing that focuses significantly on their home place, and support of other writers, especially new and emerging authors.

"I met Pat once," said Alexander on being informed of his selection, "He was witty, connected, caring, and a brilliant storyteller–as much in person as he was on the page. He was all the things a writer should want to be. All the things I've wanted to be. I am filled with wonderment and humbled deeply to be honored in his remembrance."

Kwame Alexander was chosen to be the first Conroy Legacy Award winner by a jury of Southern independent booksellers. Alexander is the author of 24 books, including The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Paterson Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages and believes poetry can change the world.

"Kwame Alexander is at the forefront when it comes to mentoring the next generation of writers, not just in the US but worldwide," says Hillary Barrineau, of Hooray 4 Books in Alexandria, Virginia. "He won a Newbery Award [2015], which means not only The Crossover but also many of his other 23 books [essays, collections, poetry, and novels] are in every school and library in the US. Notably, they are set in Virginia, where he was born and raised, but clearly resonate with readers everywhere."

"When he visits schools across the country," she continued, "he makes a point of coordinating when possible with the local indie bookstores to provide the books at his events. The year he won the Newbery, he attended our bookstore's "Grand Expansion Party," driving here directly from his daughter's wedding earlier that day." 

Alexander also spearheads the Page to Stage Writing Workshop, which has created more than 3,000 student authors in nearly 70 schools in the US, Canada, and Caribbean, and he recently led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana, where they built and stocked a library and trained 300 teachers to promote literacy in that country.
"We are thrilled to have Kwame Alexander as our first Conroy Legacy Award recipient," said SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell. "He is exactly the kind of writer the award seeks to honor. Our booksellers love his books, his support of independent bookstores is well known, his commitment to his own community and to fostering a love of writing and literature–especially among young people–is legendary. I think Pat Conroy would be very pleased."

Both a donation to the Pat Conroy Literary Center and a donation to a literary entity close to the heart of the writer will be made in the name of the Legacy Award recipient.

Some Books by Kwame Alexander
Solo (2017)
Booked (2016)
Surf's Up (2016)
The Crossover: A Novel (2014)
Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Honor, NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, Passaic Poetry Prize
He Said, She Said: A Novel (2013)
Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band (2011)
NAACP Image Award Nominee
Indigo Blume and the Garden City (2010)
NAACP Image Award Nominee
And Then You Know: New and Selected Poems (2008)
An American Poem (2008)
Family Pictures: Poems and Photographs Celebrating Our Loved Ones, ed. (2007)
Crush: Love Poems (2007)
The Way I Walk: short stories and poems for Young Adults, ed. (2006)
Dancing Naked on the Floor: poems and essays (2005)


Tags:  conroy legacy award  kwame alexander 

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Making plans for NOLA and the #SIBA17 Discovery Show: Foretelling the Future of the Book

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Hello, dearest and most beloved booksellers,

More wildly, vastly important and timely news from the land of SIBA!


  1. #SIBA17 education tracks
  2. Fall Okra Pick nominations are due
  3. Scholarships are still available for the Discovery Show

The #SIBA17 Discovery Show#SIBA17 NEWS

  1. September 1 is the deadline to register for the Discovery Show.
    After Sep. 1, there is a $75 late registration fee.  We have a full schedule packed with exhibitors, writers, education and more fun that is allowed at most shows across the country!

    Register here|Your username to login is @@username@@

  2. FYI, Sep. 1 is also the deadline to nominate Fall Okra Picks.
    It seems that nearly 100% of booksellers are in love with the new bookmarks.  You can thank new assistant director Linda-Marie Barrett for that.  It never pays to get to married to an idea.  We will soon be creating a new set of bookmarks for books published in OCT – DEC, 2017.  Submit your nominations.

  3. There are 2, TWO, count them, 2, more Discovery Show Scholarships.
    Thanks to The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation, we have been able to send 50+ booksellers to the SIBA Discovery Show over the last five years, and this year is no exception.  We still have two unclaimed scholarships from Reba & Dave.  Find the details here.

  4. Last Call to participate in the Southern Book Prize Winners Table Display:
    We only have one store signed up.  Don't make it so easy for them to take home the $1000.  The idea is simple enough but if we can't drum up more participation than we have since its inception, this will be the last year we will offer this opportunity.  We provide the table.  You bring the display.  The display must be of one, some, or all of the winners. Email Wanda if you want to participate.

  5. Exciting News – Inaugural 2018 Conroy Legacy Award Winner
    Booksellers have chosen the first Conroy Legacy Award Winner, and if that is not exciting enough, the winner is going to be at the #SIBA17 Discovery Show, and is coming for the whole weekend.  We are so excited to have our first Conroy Legacy Award Winner celebrating with us in the city of celebrations.  You don't want to miss this!

Is your membership current?
Your name: @@first_name@@ @@last_name@@
Your store: @@employer@@
Your member type (store/staff): @@member_type@@
Your membership expiration: @@membership_exp_date@@ *

**if your member type says "staff" then your expiration date is whenever your bookstore's membership expires.

Renew here | Booksellers Benefits Package

Tags:  #siba17  okra picks 

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Deadlines you don't want to miss: News you can use from the Land of SIBA

Posted By Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hello, dearest and most beloved booksellers,

Here in the land of SIBA we have our eyes fixed on September in New Orleans. The Discovery Show schedule is constantly being updated so do check it often to see who will be coming to the Show.


  1. Welcome your new Board members
  2. Top 10 things to do at #SIBA17
  3. Two very, very, VERY important deadlines!


Elected and Re-elected

Erica Merrell of Wild Iris Books in Gainesville, Florida was re-elected to another 3 year term for the SIBA Board.  We are glad to have Erica continue as a valuable member of our Board.

Erica Merrell

We also welcome to the SIBA Board, Kelly Justice, owner and operator of The Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia.  Kelly will serve a 3 year term beginning January 1, 2019.  Most of you know Kelly as she has worked in independent bookstores since 1989, as manager of The Fountain Bookstore since 2000 and became its owner in 2008.  Kelly JusticeKelly has served on the SIBA Board and as SIBA President.  Kelly has also served the ABA on its Nominating Committee and Bookseller Advisory Council. 

As many of you already know, Linda-Marie Barrett resigned from Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe on June 1, 2017.  She also resigned from the SIBA Board as board members must be affiliated with a store that is a SIBA Core Member to be on the Board.  Your SIBA Board felt compelled to fill the open board position for the rest of the calendar year, so, upon Kelly's election to the Board we asked if she would let us appoint her to the open board seat for the rest of 2017; she has accepted and will begin immediately helping us decide on how we can serve our membership most effectively. 

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in NOLA at the Ease Into SIBA Breakfast. 

And stop by for a drink in the bar with the board at our "Meet the Board" session before or after you've visited the SignArounds between 4 & 5 pm on Friday.

Doug Robinson
President, SIBA
Eagle Eye Book Shop-Decatur, Georgia

The #SIBA17 Discovery Show#SIBA17 TOP TEN

  1. If you haven't registered for the #SIBA17 Discovery Show, now's the time.  New Orleans will not be the same without you. Register here.
      Your username to login is @@username@@

  2. Get your hotel room.  Rooms deadline is Aug. 15th. Gold Star First-Time Booksellers should plan to attend the First-Timers Gold Star Orientation on Saturday morning from 9-9:30 in the Rampart Room.

  3. And if you are coming in early for ABA's Diversity Session, register here, RSVP for the Bookstores Tour, and get back in time for the TrioLive @ Nine.

  4. The print show directory will be on-site but in advance of the show and to prep orders for the Buyers Raffle, check early and often the online Exhibitor Listings for show specials.

  5. And the stellar line-up of writers will blow you away.

  6. Thanks to the University of South Carolina Press' sponsorship, Heads or Tails is back! With more ways to win the $500.  Supporting booksellers supports us all.

  7. Wanna' win $1000?  Create your best table display showcasing one, some or all of the Southern Book Prize Winners.  Or create more than one in the store and see which are the most successful.  Pack up and bring it the show.  But first, email your intent to enter by Sep. 10.

  8. SocialLink Surprises – We'd like to see every bookseller engaged on SocialLink. To that end, we will be offering a multitude of prizes only on SocialLink and the first bookseller to comment "Claimed" will win the prize which can be picked up from the sponsor's booth.  Take a moment to download our new app: "SocialLink Mobile App" from the app store on your phone.  Log in with your SIBA username: @@username@@.
    Email if you need help.

  9. SIBA's NOLA On-site Concierge Service: Michael Murphy, former VP with Random House, then Publisher of William Morrow, has been a resident of and enthusiast for New Orleans the last 10 years. He is a licensed tour guide and has written five books about his beloved home. Michael is available to suggest restaurants, music venues, out-of-the-way, non-touristy spots to visit, as well as emergency needs like dry-cleaning, masseuse, child care, etc. You may additionally contact Michael before coming to New Orleans to secure hard-to-get reservations or book tours ahead of time.  He may be reached by email ( or text (504-377-7745).

  10. Remembering Kristin Keith, Carla Gray, John Luckett, Don Morrison and other Friends – From 9-10 pm on Saturday night in the Oak Alley room, join together to bid farewell to the industry friends we lost in this last year. 



The deadline to order your imprinted Holiday Catalog is August 14. Don't miss out on one of the most useful and profitable tools your store can have for the holiday season. Place your store order here.

The nomination deadline for the Fall Okra Picks is September 1. Take a moment to submit the books you are most looking forward to this Fall. Books must be Southern in nature, and publish between October and December. Nominate here

Sign up for the Okra Picks Newsletter!
See a sample | Sign up for the newsletter here


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Join Wednesdays With Wanda for SIBA Office Hours Starts Today @ 1PM

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hello Dearest Bookseller,

Starting August 2nd, you’re invited to join me for Wednesdays With Wanda Office Hours from 1-4 pm weekly. I’ll be on Zoom during these hours available to answer any questions, concerns, or suggestions that members may have. Please feel free to consult with me during off-hours as well about any concerns you may have.

To participate in the weekly Office Hours:

Visit set up your free account and follow the directions below to join weekly.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +14086380968,,328846384# or +16465588656,,328846384#

Or Telephone:

Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)

Meeting ID: 328 846 384

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.


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News You Can Use from the Land of SIBA

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, July 17, 2017
Updated: Sunday, July 16, 2017

It may be July, but here in the land of SIBA we have our eyes fixed on September in New Orleans. The Discovery Show schedule is constantly being updated so do check it often to see who will be coming to the Show.


  1. Holiday Catalog Update: Deadline to order is August 14!
  2. Scholarships for #SIBA17 Registration is open!
  3. The Summer 2017 Okra Picks Newsletter is available
  4. The Circle of Sites/Banner-for-Dues Program has been upgraded
  5. The return of Shelf Reliance


The deadline to order your imprinted catalogs is August 14!

It's been brought to our attention that there is an error in the "Mark Your Calendar" sheets and on the Booksellers Benefits Package cover calendar that says the deadline to order your SIBA Holiday Catalogs is July 15. That's obviously wrong! The deadline for ordering imprinted catalogs is August 14th.

The link to order catalogs for your store is now live though, so there is no reason to wait to place your orders.

The #SIBA17 Discovery Show#SIBA17 SCHOLARSHIPS

The best kept secret about the Discovery Show that we wish wasn't a secret!

SIBA is committed to helping every bookseller who wishes to attend The Discovery Show find a way to come. Every year financial assistance is made available via the generous support of publishers and organizations who recognize what a vital resource the show is for stores and want to help them access it. After all, stronger bookstores mean better sales for their books.

Click here to see all the available scholarships for booksellers

And a word to the wise -- New Orleans, like Savannah, is a popular destination. We had sellout crowds in 2013 and expect the same this year. Meal tickets, especially, went very quickly.

Make your travel plans early:


"Opened my Okra box today. Love the new bookmark size and list of Okra Picks on the back. Shelf Talkers are also really wonderful. You just made my Okra display look so professional and so easy to do. Much thanks!" --Annell Gerson, The Bookmiser

By now every store should have received their summer Okra Picks mailing, complete with the newly redesigned bookmarks, and back by request, shelf talkers for each Okra Pick title. One of the reasons we were able to provide shelf talkers this season is that we received some stellar quotes from SIBA member bookstores about each of the books they nominated. Keep that in mind when you send in your nominations. Your enthusiasm is what makes people want to pick up these books!

The Okra Picks Newsletter is now open for SIBA stores to sign up!

Modeled after the Indie Next newsletter for readers, the Okra Picks newsletter is store branded with "Buy Now" buttons linked to your store's website. It is sent out four times a year in the middle of each Okra Season, thus featuring books that are brand new or about to be released.

Stores that participate in the Okra Picks Newsletter retain ownership of their email list and materials. Each participating store will receive 200 B3! points for the first mailing, and 50 point for each subsequent mailing.

To see a sample of the Okra Picks Newsletter for the Spring season,

Sign up for the newsletter here:


Deactivation of old banner code is now in progress

If your store is participating in the Banner-for-dues program you have already heard the system is being upgraded to a more effective, stable, and secure platform. Upgrades are now complete and all participating stores have been notified. If you have not upgraded your banner code, or not received any notification about upgrading, then contact immediately. As of August 1, any store not running the upgraded banner code will be taken off the list.

Have you signed up for IndieLite? Then your store is eligible to be in the CoS program!

If you have ecommerce on your store site and are not doing the Banner-For-Dues program, you can contact Nicki to see if you are eligible. Basically any site where you can search for a book by ISBN qualifies. Once your banner is up, you don't have to do anything else, so it is an easy, hassle-free way to keep your SIBA membership current.

Currently appearing on Circle of Sites, (aka Lady Banks' Pick of the Week):


If you have been checking in to the member hub or following SIBA on facebook and twitter, you've seen the posts and pictures from Linda-Marie Barrett as she travels around SIBA territory, visiting member stores as a "Rep on the Road," and listening to bookseller ideas and concerns. What you might not have realized is that she is also serving as SIBA's Author Liaison, helping authors learn the bookselling business from an indie bookseller perspective, and working to create profitable relationships between authors and bookstores.

Among other things, Linda-Marie has re-launched the Shelf Reliance Blog for authors, specifically targeted towards authors who want to work with independent bookstores. Every bookseller knows authors who find themselves doing their own promotion and marketing, and could use some guidance. We encourage you to tell them about Shelf Reliance, or use anything Linda-Marie says in your own talks with the authors interested in working with you.

Linda-Marie can be reached at

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The 2017 Southern Book Prize Winners

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Updated: Monday, July 3, 2017

Celebrate Independents!  Announcing the 2017 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 2017 Southern Book Prize

Formerly the "SIBA Book Award," the newly Southern Book Prize features an expanded list of categories, inspired by the tastes and inclinations of Southern readers. 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" moments 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.

2017 Southern Book Prize Winners


Commonwealth A Lowcountry Christmas Chasing the North Star

Coming of Age

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (Harper, 9780062491794)

Family Life
A Lowcountry Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe (Gallery Books, 9781501125539)

Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan (Algonquin Books, 9781565126275)

Over the Plain Houses The Kept Woman The Whole Town's Talking Redemption Road

Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks (Hub City Press, 9781938235214)
Mystery & Detective
The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter (William Morrow & Company, 9780062430212)

Southern Stories & Stories by Southerners
The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg (Random House, 9781400065950)

Redemption Road by John Hart (Thomas Dunne Books, 9780312380366)

Lily and Dunkin

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart (Delacorte Press, 9780553536744) 


The Home Place Deep Run Roots Hillbilly Elegy

Biography, Autobiography, & Memoir
The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature by J Drew Lanham (Milkweed, 9781571313157) 

Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South by Vivian Howard (Little Brown and Company, 9780316381109)

Creative Nonfiction
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J D Vance (Harper, 9780062300546)

For more information about the Southern Book Prize, visit

Tags:  southern book prize 

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2017 Summer Okra Picks!

Posted By Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, Saturday, July 1, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The 2017 Summer Okra Picks have been selected: A sampling of savory Southern fare for the book-lover's brain! Hand-picked by Southern indie booksellers–people with impeccable taste in books.

All Summer Okra Picks have a strong Southern focus and publish between July and September, and all have fans among Southern indie booksellers: the people who are always looking out for the next great writer to fill your reading plate. So the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore and someone says, "You've got to read this!" and hands you one of these books, dig in! Better yet, ask for a second helping. Great books are always good for you!

The 2017 Summer Okra Picks

The Devil's Muse The Bookshop at Water's End The Almost Sisters Refugee

The Devil's Muse by Bill Loehfelm
Sarah Crichton Books, Hardcover, 9780374279776
Publication Date: July 11, 2017

The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry
Berkley Books, Trade Paperback, 9780399583117
Publication Date: July 11, 2017

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
William Morrow & Company, Hardcover 9780062105714
Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Refugee by Alan Gratz
Scholastic Press, Hardcover, 9780545880831 
Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Shadow of the LIons
 Blight A Kind of Freedom Young Jane Young

Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann
Algonquin Books, Hardcover, 9781616205003. 
Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Blight by Alexandra Duncan
Greenwillow Books, Hardcover, 9780062396990
Publication Date: August 1, 2017

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Counterpoint, LLC, Hardcover, 9781619029224
Publication Date: August 15, 2017

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
Algonquin Books, Hardcover, 9781616205041
Publication Date: August 22, 2017

Rabbit If the Creek Don't Rise The Hidden Light of Northern Fires Sing, Unburied, Sing The Salt Line

Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by Patricia Williams
Dey Street Books, Hardcover, 9780062407306
Publication Date: August 22, 2017

If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss
Sourcebooks Landmark, Trade Paperback, 9781492647454
Publication Date: August 22, 2017

The Hidden Light of Northern Fires by Daren Wang
Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9781250122353
Publication Date: August 29, 2017

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781501126062
Publication Date: September 5, 2017

The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones
G.P. Putnam's Sons, Hardcover, 9780735214316
Publication Date: September 5, 2017

For more information about the Okra Picks, visit

Tags:  okra picks 

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