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Friday's Education Sessions at #SIBA19

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, September 6, 2019

One of the highlights for many booksellers at our Discovery Show is the Education Track. Booksellers and industry experts share their best practices, with room for Q & A to address individual store concerns. This year offers a rich variety of sessions of interest to buyers, owners and managers, and frontline booksellers. Because you can’t be everywhere at the same time, we’re recording many of them for later viewing. Handouts will be available through our Peer Brain Trust after the show.

Here are Education Sessions on Friday to attend or check out later:

9AM: Ingram Insights

Join Ingram as they take a deep dive into their exclusive indie programs, like Booklove and Indie Vault, and explore their latest ipage features. Learn more about the hottest titles from their distribution partners, and also learn how to self-publish like a pro from the Ingram Spark team. 

9AM: Are you working "on" your business or just working "in" it? 

(For owners and managers/Advanced session). 

Whether you have employees or not, the only way to reliably grow your business is to develop systems that let you slowly free up your time from working "in" your business to working "on" it. Systems range from simple documentation so you can delegate work to productivity tools to automation technologies. Led by Shane Gottwals, owner of Gottwals Books, and Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction

10AM:  Independent Bookstore Day: Celebrate with Success

(IBD) has grown from a handful of bookstores in California to a national celebration involving over 575 stores and, in some cases, city wide celebrations. Participating bookstores see an increase in sales, increased foot traffic and increased brand awareness. This session will offer attendees an overview of the program and tips from booksellers who have figured out how to make the most of IBD. Panelists will offer information on how to order and make the most of the IBD exclusive merchandise; how to organize and publicize your store's party to bring people into your store; and how to use social media strategically to increase sales and community participation. Join ABA staff and IBD superstars for this not to be missed conversation.

11AM:  Rewarding Returns

Keep your inventory fresh, your shipping costs down, and your credits flowing with best practices in your returns department. Learn from two veteran booksellers on their successful approaches, and from a publisher rep who will discuss returns from the publisher perspective. Panelists are Doug Robinson, co-owner of Eagle Eye Book Shop, Donna Paz Kaufman, partner of The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates, and co-owner of Story and Song Bookstore, and Leslie Jobson, Manager of Field Sales at the Ingram Content Group

4PM: The Art of the Pitch – Handselling Books to Customers

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 session is for new booksellers learning the ropes, and veterans who seek a fresh look at handselling. Panelists are Doni Kay, sales representative at Penguin Young Readers, Angie Tally, children’s buyer at The Country Bookshop, and Pete Mock, book buyer at McIntyre’s Books.

4PM: Romancing the Indie Bookstore

Panelists will discuss how independent bookstores can bring in new readers and engage current readers in a new way through new or expanded romance sections. The growing diversity of romance novels and the way they are packaged in trade paperback format and marketed to appeal to both a younger and broader audience creates an opportunity for independent bookstores. Panelists are Cindy Hwang, Vice President and Editorial Director (PRH), Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore, and Erin Galloway, Deputy Publicity Director (PRH).

Tags:  #si  Bookseller education 

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Claim Your Refund with Baker & Taylor!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Thursday, September 5, 2019

Margaret Lane, VP of Retail Sales, offers the following update for indie booksellers:

"Due to high volumes of customer returns, the last of the returns received were just recently completed. The accounts receivable reps worked tirelessly throughout August to collect final payments and close accounts. There are still many bookstores that owe Baker & Taylor money and the team will continue to work with them. There is also a subset of accounts who have a credit balance.


For customers with a credit balance, the refund process is currently taking longer than expected. The remaining AR team is working through the backlog and expect to process all refund requests from July, August, and September over the next couple weeks so that all refund requests are completed and mailed within 5 weeks or less. As the backlog is cleared, refunds should go back to a 2-3 week turnaround time. Refunds cannot be processed without a proper W-9 on file and Baker & Taylor refund form signed by the owner. It is not possible to automatically issue refunds on credit balance accounts or issue refunds back to credit cards or wires."


If you are awaiting a refund or have questions about the timeline for being issued a refund, please contact or call  800-340-5370.


Tags:  Baker & Taylor 

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John Cavalier Elected to the SIBA Board of Directors

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, September 4, 2019

John CavalierJohn Cavalier, of Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, Louisiana, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. His term is from 2020-2023.

John Cavalier is the co-owner of Cavalier House Books and the Looziana Book Co. in Denham Springs, Louisiana, both of which he owns and operates with his wife, Michelle. Cavalier House Books is a general interest new and used store specializing in large school / institutional orders and school book fairs. Looziana Book Co. is a regional wholesaler / distributor of books that share the history and culture of Louisiana. John is very active in his community and serves as community organizer for Denham Springs' flood recovery efforts as well as serving on the board of the Denham Springs Merchants Association and the Livingston Parish Small Business Council. John is a staunch advocate for independent business, distributed economies, emergency preparedness and climate resiliency. The top industry priorities that he hopes to share with his colleagues and the SIBA board are the shared imperative for emergency preparation and resiliency in our businesses and communities, our need for an omni-channel approach to generating sales through technology as well as the need to encourage new business models across the industry.

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Remembering Dorothea (Dottie) Benton Frank

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Beloved South Carolina author Dorothea (Dottie) Benton Frank died Monday after a brief illness. A native of Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina, she divided her time between the Lowcountry of South Carolina and New Jersey. Her debut novel, Sullivan’s Island, was a New York Times bestseller, as were her subsequent novels, including her latest, Queen Bee, which marked a return to the setting of her first novel. 

Dottie Frank was a favorite among SIBA booksellers and their customers, and a familiar face to many as she toured her books and attended SIBA’s Discovery Shows.  Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC shares, "Dottie Frank was a South Carolina treasure. She was as funny as a stand-up comedienne in person, yet her books could move you to tears while transporting you to a magical Carolina landscape. She will be deeply missed by readers and booksellers alike. Our hearts go out to her family and friends."

Author Patti Callahan Henry praises her friend’s legacy, “Dottie Frank was a bright light and powerful force of life; she made us all feel part of something bigger. Her fearlessness, her laugh, her smile and her wealth of stories will be missed more than can be described. She was tender and fierce - a rare and beautiful combination. Her stories were the same. When she loved, she loved fully and she grabbed life by the handfuls!”

Carrie Feron, Executive Editor, SVP of William Morrow, says of Dottie, with whom she worked, "A lot of what I can think of to say is so trite and run of the mill, and Dottie was never either of those things. She was as fierce as a hurricane and as generous a soul as you could find. And I think that fierceness and generosity came through in every page of her writing. But most of all she was an incredibly loyal friend, and she was incredibly loyal to her fans. She was really ailing on her last tour, but she soldiered on, often doing 2 events a day. She was remarkable. I’m not surprised that she hit the New York Times list with her very first book as she never did anything half measure. Everything she did was done fearlessly, aiming for the top. And she made everything she did so well look so effortless."

Tags:  Dorothea Benton Frank 

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Wanda to retire in 2020

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Updated: Monday, September 2, 2019

September 3, 2019


The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance announced today, September 3, that Executive Director Wanda Jewell will retire in June 2020.  Wanda says that “Serving as SIBA’s executive director for the past 30 years has been the honor of my life."

"I am so proud of all we have accomplished together," Wanda said in a letter to core members. "SIBA is seen as forward-looking, innovative, and smart – an organization willing to take risks without being risky. I treasure the reputation we have earned."

SIBA president Kimberly Daniels Taws recently shared the Board’s heartfelt thanks to Jewell, saying “Wanda ushered Southern booksellers into the digital age working tirelessly to give everyone the skills to thrive. Her ‘try anything’ attitude has led to fun,  silly times, but mostly to great innovations including the board's adoption of policy governance. We are grateful for all that Wanda has given SIBA. She has epitomized the heart of the organization by her energy, dedication, passion and creative nature."

Taws highlighted some of Wanda’s many accomplishments over her three decades of work at SIBA in a letter to the membership and outlined the upcoming search process. The board has hired The Nexus Institute principal Nanette Blandin to help begin the search. “Nanette is highly recommended by those who have worked with her at the American Booksellers Association in the past. In 2014; she led the search for the ABA’s Chief Financial Officer position and, in 2018, she was the outside consultant to ABA's Governance Review Committee which was tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of ABA's governance and making recommendations for improvement.” says Taws in her letter. The board has set up ample time for SIBA members to give feedback at the upcoming Discovery Show in Spartanburg and will be naming a Search Committee within the month.

Questions about the search can be directed to Kimberly at or Nanette at

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Wanda to retire in 2020

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Updated: Monday, September 2, 2019

A letter from the Executive Director

Beloved SIBA Booksellers,

Wanda JewellIt is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from SIBA coming in June 2020. Serving as SIBA’s Executive Director for the past 30 years has been the honor of my life. I love this organization and will miss working with you. However, it is time for me to move on and time for SIBA to find the next Executive Director who will help yall move into the future.

I am so proud of all we have accomplished together, and I’m so proud of the SIBA team. I am confident I am leaving SIBA in capable hands. SIBA is seen as forward-looking, innovative, and smart – an organization willing to take risks without being risky. I treasure the reputation we have earned. Foremost among our accomplishments has been effective use of the Carver governance model. Our commitment to Carver has given SIBA an edge in terms of our ability to set ambitious priorities and the confidence to implement them.

The SIBA Board is moving ahead by establishing a Search Committee and engaging the services of a professional search consultant. More information will be forthcoming about the search, but I do want you to know that the consultant, Nanette Blandin, will be attending the Discovery Show in Spartanburg and will be available to meet with SIBA members. She will be scheduling meetings on Friday and Saturday to talk with members about SIBA and to hear their views about the priorities for my successor.You can schedule an appointment here.I encourage you to meet with Nanette so that your views are heard and taken into account during the search process.

Some of you may be wondering what I will be doing post retirement. Obviously, I plan to spend a lot of time on the West Coast being a grandmother! Also, I have many ideas for projects that I would love to pursue. In the meantime, I’ll be at SIBA doing whatever I can to ensure a smooth transition.

Thanks to all of you for all that you do.

Wanda Jewell
Executive Director
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance

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A letter from the SIBA President

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Updated: Monday, September 2, 2019

A letter from the SIBA Board

Kimberly Daniels TawsDear fellow SIBA members,

As she mentioned in her letter to all of us, Wanda will be retiring a little less than a year from now. I hope that you join me in thanking Wanda for sharing her exceptional energy and innovative mind with us for three decades.

One thing is for certain… Wanda Jewell has been a central character in Southern booksellers’ lives for a long time. In particular; I want to thank Wanda for ushering Southern booksellers into the digital age by working tirelessly to give us the skills and capabilities to thrive. I want to thank her for her innovation and policy governance support and her passionate work to increase the awareness of Southern Independent bookstores importance within our industry and communities. Many of our author friends thank her for giving them a platform.

Wanda has been extremely generous with the time frame of her departure. She will continue to serve as ED until June 2020. We have ample time for a thorough search and graceful transition process. To facilitate this, the board has hired The Nexus Institute principal  Nanette Blandin to help begin our search. Nanette is highly recommended by those who have worked with her at the American Booksellers Association in the past. In 2014; she led the search for the ABA’s Chief Financial Officer position and, in 2018, she was the outside consultant to ABA's Governance Review Committee which was tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of ABA's governance and making recommendations for improvement.

Nanette will be at the Discovery Show in Spartanburg to interview our membership and stakeholders and will help us to look at the priorities, characteristics and vision for this position and SIBA in the years to come. The board will formally introduce her at the SIBA annual meeting but please consider signing up here for a one-on-one private and confidential session with Nanette to give us some feedback.

A Search Committee will be named within the month and the group will start meeting this fall to begin the search process.

Transition periods can be exciting opportunities; and I am excited for both SIBA's future and Wanda’s new chapter as a grandmother-plus!

Thank you again Wanda for all of the fun we have had together and booksellers please contact me, any of our board members or Nanette if you have questions. 

Kimberly Daniels Taws 
SIBA President

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Special Events at the #SIBA19 Discovery Show

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, September 2, 2019

What’s a bookseller to do after you’ve registered for the show and purchased your meal tickets? Get cracking on preparing orders to take advantage of exhibitor specials! In our Exhibitor Directory you’ll find all kinds of incentives to bring in books and gifts at special prices and extended dating. Every order you place at the show equals a chance to win our $1000 Buyer’s Raffle. (If you’re the lucky exhibitor with whom the bookseller placed the raffle-winning order, you’ll get a free table at next year’s show.). 

Visit our schedule of events  and figure out what education sessions, EUREKAsiba presentations, and author panels on Friday will bring you the most value for your time. Split up staff and take in as much as you can, leaving time for a restorative visit to our Quiet Room, or impromptu meetings with other booksellers and authors. 

Then look for those special events outside of meal times on Fri/Sat/Sun that will give you a laugh, offer a place to network with other booksellers, publishers, and authors, or a chance to sit down and enjoy a complimentary coffee or adult beverage. 

Friday Highlights include:

  • 10-10:30AM: Gold Star Orientation for First-Time Exhibitors

  • 11-11:30AM: Gold Star Orientation for First-Time Booksellers

  • 5PM: Signaround featuring authors who appeared at Friday’s events

  • 6PM: Herstory Comes Alive, the daughters of Jackie Robinson and George Wallace in conversation with Katheryn Russell-Brown

  • 7PM: First 180 Days Party featuring authors with books releasing in 2020

  • 10PM: Milk & Cookies Pajama Silent Reading Gathering


Saturday Highlights include:

  • 9-10AM: SIBA Annual Meeting and Town Hall

  • 10AM: Blackstone Publishing Refreshment Break with author Jill Criswell 

  • 3PM: Mercer University Press Meet & Greet & Eat & Drink with MUP authors

  • 5:45-6:45PM: Parapalooza, a SRO event with numerous authors and many laughs!

  • 9PM: Hub City Celebration at the Montgomery Building. Don’t miss this one!

Sunday Highlights include:

  • 9AM: BQB Publishing Serves It Up with refreshments

  • 11:30AM: Play Heads or Tails with the Binc Foundation to win a $500 gift card

  • 11:45AM: Buyers Raffle for $1000

  • 10-4PM: Bookseller Shipping Center open 

Tags:  #siba19 

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Don't Miss this B3! Webinar: Launching a Book Festival in Your Community

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, August 27, 2019

 B3! Webinar 11/6 at 2PM EST: Launching a Book Festival in Your Community

Would you like to begin a festival in your town? It’s a lot of work, but can add another dimension and revenue stream to your bookstore, deepen your relationships with community partners, publishers, and authors, and foster a greater appreciation for reading and author interactions in your region and beyond. Listen to four veterans discuss the book festivals they initiated or partner in, and learn some great tips on how to do it right and have fun doing it. Please rsvp to attend.


Jamie Rogers Southern is the Operations Director of Bookmarks, a literary arts nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem, NC. Bookmarks' annual Festival of Books & Authors is a four-day celebration of reading and writing in Winston-Salem. Jamie oversees almost all areas of the festival, including programming, authors, working with hotels, and many other logistical elements, as well as putting together the festival’s printed program and press release.


John Evans opened Lemuria Books in 1975, a store nationally known for specializing in signed first editions, with a First Editions Club that’s been going strong for over 25 years. John is one of the founders of The Mississippi Book Festival, a nonprofit launched in August 2015 on the State Capitol grounds, which draws thousands to its annual “literary lawn party” and book lovers’ celebration.


Mitchell Kaplan founded Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida in 1982 and has since opened numerous locations including stores in Key West and the Cayman Islands. Mitchell is a co-founder of the Miami Book Fair, which now extends to eight days of events. The first Miami Book Fair took place in 1984. Since then, it has become recognized as the nation’s finest literary festival.


Catherine Bock is the adult buyer and inventory manager at Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN. She’s now the main point-person for Parnassus’ role as the official book supplier for the Southern Festival of Books. She is also in charge of book sales at the Music City Food and Wine Festival, and assists with the SCWBI’s annual conference. 



Tags:  b3! webinars 

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What’s on Lady Banks' Bookshelf in September?

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, August 26, 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!


September Titles:

Monarchs Under the Sassafras Tree by Lillah Lawson

Eastbound from Flagstaff by Annette Valentine

Crescendo by Allen Cheney & Julie Cantrell

Southern Son by Victoria Wilcox

Everywhere She's Not by N. John Shore, Jr.

She Rode a Harley by Mary Jane Black


Edelweiss collection

Link to Everywhere She’s Not on IndieBound

Link to Monarchs under the Sassafras Tree on IndieBound



Tags:  lady banks bookshelf 

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