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B3! Webinar: How to develop, grow, and run a successful podcast

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, April 8, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2019

B3! Webinar: How to develop, grow, and run a successful podcast

Join us on Wednesday, May 8 at 2PM to listen to three presenters of book-centered podcasts. Annie Jones, owner of The Bookshelf and host of From the Front Porch, Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books and host of The Literary Life, and author Anne Bogel (AKA Modern Mrs. Darcy), host of What Should I Read Next? have developed very popular podcasts with a national audience. Booksellers looking to grow their store brands, reach more customers in their communities and beyond, and maybe even sell more books, will learn much listening to these experts share their best tips. Please RSVP to attend.


Meet our presenters:

Annie Jones began living her Kathleen Kelly-dream in 2013, when she took over operations of The Bookshelf in downtown Thomasville, Georgia. Annie adores leading story time for local little ones and acting as the shop's very own Nancy Drew, determined to find just the right book for just the right person. Annie also co-hosts From the Front Porch, The Bookshelf's popular weekly podcast about books, small business, and life in the South. From the Front Porch hit its one millionth download in February 2019, and together, Annie and her co-host Chris have produced over 200 episodes. In 2016, Annie was featured as one of Southern Living magazine's 50 innovators changing the South, and in 2017, The Bookshelf was recognized as Small Business of the Year by the Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce.

Anne Bogel is the creator of the very popular blog Modern Mrs. Darcy. Her book lists and reading guides have established her as a tastemaker among readers, authors, and publishers. Books are the foundation of her site, which has been affectionately dubbed “a lifestyle blog for nerds.” She’s the author of I’d Rather be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life and Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything. Her weekly podcast, What Should I Read Next? is devoted to book talk, reading recommendations, and literary matchmaking. She’s based in Louisville, Kentucky.


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. Books & Books was named Bookstore of the Year in 2015 by Publishers’ Weekly. Mitchell is a co-founder of the Miami Book Fair,  the former President of the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and served on the Board of ABFFE, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. In 2011, Mitchell received the National Book Foundation’s prestigious “Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community”  His podcast The Literary Life features candid conversations with Mitchell and his guests.



Tags:  B3! Webinars  podcasts 

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B3! Webinar: Publisher Picks "Summer Reading for Kids"

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, March 15, 2019

On Wednesday, April 10 at 2PM EST, SIBA is hosting “Summer Reading for Kids” as part of our Publisher Picks: Best Bets for SIBA Booksellers series.  In this bi-monthly series, publishers, editors, marketing directors, and reps present their favorite frontlist titles via Zoom to booksellers. Besides forging important connections with publishers and their reps, attending booksellers will discover new titles to add to their store shelves and earn 10 B3! points. The following industry folks will present on 4/10: Becky Monds, the Editorial Director for the fiction department at HarperCollins Christian Publishing, John D’Esposito, an Inside Sales Representative with IPG, and Catherine Onder, Senior Vice President and Publisher of the Books for Young Readers group with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

More information on our presenters:

Becky Monds is the Editorial Director for the fiction department at HarperCollins Christian Publishing. After working as an events coordinator and marketing manager at an independent bookstore in Nashville, she joined Thomas Nelson in 2007 as an editor in Fiction. She loves spending time with her husband and twin preschoolers, knitting, waterskiing, and, of course, reading great fiction.

John D’Esposito joined the IPG team in November 2018 as an Inside Sales Representative – a role created to strengthen the company’s relationship with booksellers in the Southeast.  A New York native, he has worked in publishing for the past 8 years, most recently in foreign rights at both HarperCollins and Trident Media Group. His favorite authors include Donna Tartt, Lauren Groff, Ned Vizzini, and Karen Russell.

Catherine Onder is Senior Vice President and Publisher of the Books for Young Readers group. In addition to overseeing HMH’s children’s publishing, she edits such authors as Erin Bow, Ally Carter, and Traci Chee.



Tags:  B3! Webinars  Publisher Picks 

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B3! Webinar Time Management 101 for Booksellers

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, February 26, 2019

B3! Webinar: Time Management 101 for Booksellers

When: Wednesday, April 3 at 2PM EST on Zoom  

Cindy Dach, co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstores and First Draft Bookbar (Tempe, & Phoenix, AZ), will present techniques for time management, planning, and organizing daily tasks, all with an eye toward completing the big-picture projects. Finding it hard to deal with interruptions, protect your time, and achieve your goals? Dach has developed tools and approaches specific to the world of bookselling to address these problems and be more effective. Please RSVP to attend.   

Tags:  B3! Webinars 

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Small Press Presents: Spring and Summer Picks

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, February 20, 2019

February Small Press Presents: Spring and Summer Picks

Publisher Picks: Best Bets for SIBA Booksellers: Publisher Picks brings publishers and booksellers together outside of rep visits to stores and the Discovery Show.

Featuring: Michael Reynolds, Editor in chief of independent publisher, Europa Editions, Carin Siegfried, the Mid-Atlantic field sales representative at Macmillan, Emily Midkiff, editorial assistant and marketing director at Month9Books, Meg Reid, Director of Hub City Press, and Lynn York, publisher of Blair. 

Edelweiss collection of presented titles

Tags:  B3! Webinars  rep picks 

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Small Presses Present Their Spring & Summer Lists

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Small Presses Present Their Spring & Summer Lists


On Wednesday, Feb 20 at 2PM EST, SIBA is hosting “Small Presses Present their Spring & Summer Lists,” as part of our Publisher Picks: Best Bets for SIBA Booksellers series.  In this bi-monthly series, publishers, editors, marketing directors, and reps present their favorite frontlist titles via Zoom to booksellers. Besides forging important connections with publishers and their reps, attending booksellers will discover new titles to add to their store shelves and earn 10 B3! points. The following industry folks will present on 2/20: Michael Reynolds, Editor in chief of independent publisher, Europa Editions, Carin Siegfried, the Mid-Atlantic field sales representative at Macmillan, Emily Midkiff, editorial assistant and marketing director at Month9Books, Meg Reid, Director of Hub City Press, and Lynn York, publisher of Blair. Please RSVP to attend.


Edelweiss collection of presented titles

More information on our presenters:

Michael Reynolds is the Editor in chief of independent publisher, Europa Editions. He is the recipient of numerous industry awards, and has served on the jury for the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, the Gutekunst Prize for Young Translators, and the foreign jury of the Strega Prize. He is a regular speaker at the Columbia School of Journalism’s Columbia Publishing Course, and at publishing and translation conferences in America and internationally. He is the founder of Bookselling Without Borders, a scholarship program that diversifies the culture of reading by building bridges between the American bookselling community and the international book industry. He is also an author and a translator whose published translations include three historical mysteries by Carlo Lucarelli, and Viola Di Grado’s prize-winning novel, 70% Acrylic 30% Wool.

Carin Siegfried began working with books at the ripe old age of 17 with her college job in the Davidson College campus library and her summer job at the Vanderbilt University Bookstore. After graduation, she worked at Bookstar (a B&N), as a bookseller and shipping & receiving supervisor. She next moved to Ingram Book Company as a junior buyer and then decided to pursue work as an editor in New York. After five years in editorial at St. Martin’s Press, Carin got a job in sales at Baker & Taylor. After that, she worked as a freelance editor until she could move back to the New York area as the sales manager for Soho Press. She founded the Charlotte chapter of the Women's National Book Association and has served as the National President of the WNBA. She is currently the Mid-Atlantic field sales representative at Macmillan and lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

Emily Midkiff loves reading so much so that she got a PhD in children’s and YA literature. You don’t have to call her Dr. Midkiff, though. She just did it for the books! Emily especially adores fantasy and science fiction storytelling. She was a professional princess at a children’s theater for nine years, cosplays at fan conventions, and makes appearances at every available Renaissance Faire to fool everyone with her trusty goat puppet. At Month9Books, Emily applies her love of story to the roles of editorial assistant and marketing director.


Meg Reid is the Director of Hub City Press in Spartanburg, South Carolina. A book designer and editor, she also writes extensively about all areas of design. She holds an MFA in Nonfiction from University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she served as Assistant Editor of the literary magazine, Ecotone, and worked for the literary imprint Lookout Books.

Lynn York is the Publisher of Blair. In January 2018, the nonprofit Carolina Wren Press acquired the titles of John F. Blair, Publisher. The resulting press, based in Durham, NC, is named Blair. She is the author of two novels:  The Piano Teacher (Plume, 2004) and The Sweet Life (Plume, 2007), a Booksense Notable Book.  She holds a BA in English from Duke and an MBA/MA from University of TX Austin. She has taught workshops at Duke’s Osher Institute, NC State University, High Point University, and elsewhere. She has served on the Board of Directors of the NC Arts Council, the NC Art Society, and Carolina Wren Press.


Tags:  B3! Webinars  Bookseller education 

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B3! Webinar with Bryan E. Robinson: #Chill for Booksellers: Integrating a Healthy Work/Life Balance

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, December 31, 2018

B3! Webinar with Bryan E. Robinson: #Chill for Booksellers: Integrating a Healthy Work/Life Balance

Wednesday, February 6, 2019⋅2:00 – 3:00pm


The cycle of 24/7 work addiction can be difficult to break, but according to Bryan E. Robinson, Ph. D., a licensed psychotherapist and mindfulness expert, it’s only a matter of reframing priorities and practicing mindfulness. Chilling is not something you do. It’s a mindset, a way of being in the world.

Bryan E. Robinson is the author of #Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life. In our webinar, he'll present his philosophy and some tools and exercises to reframe priorities, practice mindfulness, and break a cycle of work addiction. He'll also take your questions about challenges that come up for you and your workplace. Please RSVP to attend.

SIBA Booksellers praise Robinson's # Chill:

  • "Robinson's approach to workaholism comes from his own experience, so it is a compassionate and knowing approach to a subject that could otherwise get thorny. Still, you'll want to give it to your boss and your boss's boss, and anyone else whose own workaholism keeps you at your desk after hours."--Melanie McNair, former Director of Marketing and Events and Assistant Manager of Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe

  • "Bryan has combined best practices from psychology, meditation, and mindfulness to  create a guidebook for those struggling with work/life balance. Nearly every business owner I know could benefit from this book." --Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction



Tags:  B3! Webinars  Bookseller education 

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A Year of Education with SIBA

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Year of Education with SIBA

SIBA kicked off 2018 with EUREKAsiba in Atlanta. Modeled on TED-talks, this daylong series of presentations by booksellers, industry experts, musicians, and writers offered booksellers insights on a range of topics including “Taking Your Social Media to the Next Level” (Sarah Benoit, JB Media Institute), “Is Profit a Dirty Word?”(Jill Hendrix, owner of Fiction Addiction), “A Self-Published Author Walks into Your Store...What Do You Do?” (Gordon McClellan, DartFrog),  “Sensual Marketing: Creating Intimacy Through Storytelling” (Gwyn Ridenhour, Matchbook Marketing), and “Big Mouth: Big Marketing” (Kelly Justice, Owner of Fountain Bookstore). Over 50 SIBA booksellers attended the inaugural EUREKAsiba. Registration for EUREKAsiba in 2019 opens on January 1st. Mark your calendar and save the date for March 18-20 in Atlanta!

SIBA enlisted Maribeth Pelly, event planner at Booktowne and independent marketing consultant, to present in two extremely popular webinars: “How to Pitch Your Store to Publishers” and “How to Prepare a Press Kit for Your Store.” As a bonus, Maribeth coached attendees at Book Expo, before their Publicist Speeddating events.

SIBA partnered with Sarah Benoit of JB Media Institute, who offered a three-month course “Social Media and Content Marketing” to SIBA booksellers. Those who attended, including SIBA staff,  raved about how it improved their social media efforts. We’ll keep you posted when another course opens.

In 2018 SIBA offered the following webinars:

  • Creating Community: Developing and Maintaining an Authors in School Program

  • Inventory Activism

  • Non-Traditional Bookstores: Hybrids, Pop-ups, and Non-Profits

  • Getting your Staff on Edelweiss

  • Bridging the Divide and The Open Discussion Project

  • Creating and Managing a Successful Online Sales Campaign

  • Avid Bookshop's Favorite Bookstore Forms, Documents, and Procedures

  • Partner with IngramSpark to Enhance Your Publishing and Marketing Services to Authors.

  • Priya Parker on the Art of Gathering for Booksellers.

  • The Art of the Pitch: Handselling Books & Sidelines to Customers

Many of these webinars were recorded. You can watch Maribeth Pelly’s webinars, and see some handy checklists for press kits here. Recordings of our other webinars are here, at the bottom of the page. We’re looking forward to presenting more webinars in 2019, beginning with Book Subscription Services on January 9, 2019. If you’re interested in attending, please email to reserve your spot. Attendance at any SIBA event-online or in person-gets you B3! points, which translate into $$ you can use towards future SIBA programming, to pay for tickets, registration fees, and more.

Much of our educational programming is made possible by SIBA booksellers, who present their best practices, tips, and great ideas to other booksellers. Thank you to everyone who presented in 2018. You offered so much and we really value and appreciate your time and effort. We’d love to hear from booksellers about any topics they’d like us to address in 2019. Please share your ideas by emailing

Tags:  B3! webinars  bookseller education 

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Book Subscription Services B3! Webinar with Jamie Rogers Southern and Julie Jarema on Wednesday, January 9 at 2PM

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Thursday, December 6, 2018

Book Subscription Services B3! Webinar with Jamie Rogers Southern and Julie Jarema on Wednesday, January 9 at 2PM

Want to launch a subscription service at your store, or improve an existing one? Two booksellers with successful subscription services will share their approaches and offer advice to attendees.  

Jamie Rogers Southern is the Operations Director of Bookmarks, a literary arts nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem, NC. Bookmarks offers a Signed First Editions Club and a Young Reader Subscription Service. Customers can choose between a six-month or yearly subscription and have the option of receiving the books by mail or picking them up in-store.

Julie Jarema is a Bookseller and the Book Subscriptions Manager at Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA.  Avid’s subscription service includes all reading levels and  is tailored to suit each customer’s individual tastes. It  is available in six-month and twelve-month options.

Please rsvp to attend.


Tags:  B3! Webinars  education  subscription services 

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Highlights from the Art of Gathering webinar with Priya Parker

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, November 9, 2018

Highlights from the Art of Gathering B!3 webinar with Priya Parker

SIBA booksellers recently spent time via a B!3 webinar with Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters. Ms. Parker is a master facilitator and the founder of Thrive Labs, at which she helps activists, elected officials, corporate executives, educators, and philanthropists create transformative gatherings. 

Describing her craft as group dynamics, Ms. Parker offered many creative ways to change-up bookstore events to put the emphasis back on meaningful purpose, rather than on familiar formats and logistics. She said, “Bookstores are going through a purpose crisis.” She suggested that a “more animating purpose than selling books,” which is something Amazon and so many other places can do as well, is to inspire reading and connect people who might not otherwise not connect through text. If your events are meaningful, people will return in droves.

She recommended bookstores internally develop a set of ethos and values, and come up with five things (formats, setting, promotions, etc.) that created successful events in the past. Then communicate this information to publicists. Once an event is scheduled, booksellers can use this time, what Parker calls “moments of influence,” to help publicists and authors learn how to be part of the store's unique gathering, to "prime" them. When the author arrives for the event, make sure the person greeting the author repeats what was sent in the emails, sharing not only logistics, but a sense of what is great about the bookstore, to give them courage about what works in your store.


She suggested a number of fun variations on the traditional author reading. She said, "Every gathering is a temporary alternative world. You have the opportunity to create a world for participants." She added, "Every book event has the opportunity to embody the principles of the book."  Because people disproportionately remember the first and last five percent of a gathering, she advised staying away from opening with logistics about cell phones and parking. Instead, communicate that information differently, perhaps giving people as they enter a card with logistics and a prompt that connects people to each other. You could even make one side a name tag. Or begin the event with a “cold open” in which you meaningfully connect the audience to your store, the sense of purpose you’ve created around this event, and to each other before you get into event logistics. Some of her format variations:


  • Rather than have the author read their book, have ten guests read a paragraph or page from the author’s work.
  • Set out chairs in concentric circles rather than rows.
  • Begin and end the event with a ritual.
  • Invite audience members to speak to each other for the first few minutes of the gathering (perhaps primed with questions about the book, your community, etc.).
  • Host events in different neighborhoods.
  • Use mysterious language in promotions to build intrigue. For example,"Someone's going to wind up in a bathtub."

When asked by a bookseller, “How do you keep from burning yourself out?” when trying to make every event meaningful, Ms. Parker responded that the process of creating meaningful gatherings will be energizing rather than being on autopilot, which can be exhausting. She said, “When you create organic meaningful gatherings . . . you get fuel back from feedback. It creates its own virtuous cycle.” She also emphasized that "meaningful gatherings don’t have to be expensive; part of the freedom of moving away from traditional formats is that we can take five to ten minutes to think up a simple human hack that changes the dynamics of things."


Ms. Parker was also asked how to prime “guests” for an event when you don’t know who they are in advance. She recommended thinking very deeply about the language, image, and content of the invitation or promotional materials. Instead of calling author events “events,” choose subcategories like hootenanny, salon, saloon, even funeral, if it works for the book; throw people off scripts to build intrigue. She advised, “Don’t be afraid to play around with rules. Passionate communities are built when people create purposeful, specific, disputable gatherings and enforce the norms around them.”


 To hear the many ways Ms. Parker suggests reformatting author events, including book festivals, listen to the webinar and prepare to be hugely inspired to shake things up!

Tags:  B3! Webinars  Priya Parker. events 

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

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



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

November 7 at 2PM, via Zoom!


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


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


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


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


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


Please rsvp to reserve your spot in the webinar.

Tags:  B3! Webinars  Bookseller education 

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