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

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

 

 

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

Tags:  BEA  booksellers  education  Kelly Justice  Star Lowe 

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Practice Your Pitch at Book Expo with Maribeth Pelly!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, May 28, 2018
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018

 

 

 

Developing and maintaining an active, growing author event program is the key to success for most bookstores. One of the biggest challenges is getting your store on author tours, especially when you’re off the beaten trail, or in competition with a number of stores nearby. SIBA booksellers who attended our webinars with Maribeth Pelly-- How to Prepare a Press Kit for Your Store and How to Pitch Your Store to Publishers--are putting the final touches on their press kits and marketing efforts in advance of Book Expo, where they’ll attend publicist speed dating events, and meet publicists and reps at their booths and meeting rooms.


Want to practice your pitch before the meetings, or show your press kit to an expert? Maribeth Pelly will be at the ABA lounge on Wednesday (5/30) from 10-1145am, and 2-3pm to go over your pitches. We hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to check in, finesse your approach, and walk confidently into those meetings! You can email Maribeth in advance to schedule an appointment, or just show up during those times.


Maribeth Pelly is a marketing consultant who helps transform new and underperforming businesses. She’s also the event planner at her local independent bookstore, Booktowne.

Tags:  authors  b3! webinars  BEA  booksellers  bookselling  education 

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Make the Most of May: Join Us for Three Educational Opportunities to Be a Better Bookseller!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Make the Most of May: Join Us for Three Educational Opportunities to Be a Better Bookseller!



Wednesday, May 16 at 2PM:  B3! Bookclub discusses Your Leadership Edge: Lead Anytime, Anywhere by Ed O’Malley and Amanda Cebula. Sarah Bagby, owner of Watermark Books in Wichita, KS, praises this book as one that “teaches—or refreshes—skills for anyone to be a leader…[and] presents a step-by-step process designed to break down barriers in order to create change...This small book is a big gem.” Some things to consider in advance of our book club discussion: What are your leadership challenges? Are they technical or adaptive (the book will explain what this means)? Are you in a position of authority at your store? Are you fully-whelmed at work, or do you find yourself under/overwhelmed? Please email Linda-Marie if you need a copy of the book or have any questions about the book club.


Wednesday, May 23 at 2PM: Bridging the Divide and The Open Discussion Project with Sarah Goddin and Chris Finan. Join Sarah Goddin of Quail Ridge Books as she discusses her store’s success with their “Bridging the Divide” book club. The club's goal is to foster dialog and better understanding between people with different political viewpoints and to provide a safe space for civil discourse on controversial or divisive topics. Chris Finan of The National Coalition Against Censorship will discuss The Open Discussion Project, which seeks to create a new kind of reading group that will bring people of opposing views into dialogue about the issues that divide us. Please email Linda-Marie to sign up or if you have any questions.


Thursday, May 24 at 2PM: How to Pitch Your Store to Publishers with Maribeth Pelly. This is our second webinar with Maribeth Pelly, event planner at Booktowne and independent marketing consultant. Booksellers will find out how to have productive conversations with publishers, what publishers want to know (and what they don’t), and how to build a successful author event program, no matter what your store size. We’ll also observe a SIBA bookseller pitch to a publicist at Penguin Random House, and discover some great tips for online and in-person pitching. Attendees of this webinar are invited to a meet & greet pep talk with Maribeth at Book Expo before Publicist Speed Dating begins. Please email Linda-Marie to sign up or if you have any questions.

Tags:  authors  b3! webinars  BEA  booksellers  bookselling  education  siba member hub 

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Let's Meet at Book Expo!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Updated: Monday, May 7, 2018

SIBA's Zone of Influence: 850 indie booksellers x one million readers = unbeatable promotion of your authors and frontlist titles!

 

Wanda Jewell

Linda-Marie BarrettLet's meet and discuss how we can partner with you to bring new titles and promotions you're excited about to our audience. We're setting up appointments to meet industry folks who want to learn more about SIBA's 2018 Discovery Show in Tampa, FL, our annual Holiday Catalog, and our targeted promotions to member booksellers and a wide consumer audience. We'd love to meet with you!

Please email lindamarie@sibaweb.comto schedule a meeting with Wanda Jewell, Executive Director of SIBA and Linda-Marie Barrett, Assistant Executive Director. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Tags:  #siba18  authors  BEA  booksellers  content marketing  Linda-Marie Barrett  trade show  Wanda Jewell 

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BookExpo’s “Introduce an Indie” Scholarships

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Thursday, March 22, 2018
 
 
Book ExpoAnnouncing BookExpo’s “Introduce an Indie” program in collaboration with SIBA and the ABA
 
BookExpo delivers a unique and valuable experience where independent booksellers explore the business of bookselling to increase their store’s profitability and community engagement. In order to ensure up and coming booksellers can enjoy this experience BookExpo is collaborating with the regional bookseller associations to bring eighteen new booksellers to BookExpo 2018, May 30-June 1 in NYC.

 

Winning booksellers must be both an ABA and SIBA member bookstore. They will be treated to a $400 AMEX gift card to pay for travel to BookExpo, a room at the official ABA hotel (The New Yorker) and a custom itinerary of meetings, education sessions and author events.
 
Applications must be filled out here by end of day April 6th: http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/Events/Introduce-an- Indie-Contest/

 

  • Winners will be announced by April 10th.
  • BookExpo representatives will contact each regional association’s winners to discuss their individual goals for the show.
 
What your scholarship to BookExpo includes:

 

  • A $400 AMEX gift card to be used to pay for travel
  • A room at the official ABA hotel (The New Yorker) - Room and tax only – incidentals not covered
  • A custom itinerary of meetings, education sessions and author events
  • A mentor who will share tips and tricks on maximizing the BookExpo experience before, during and after the event
  • Each bookseller will receive a complimentary:
  • 3-Day badge to BookExpo for access to the exhibit floor and all conference sessions
  • Premium ticket to the BookExpo Adult Author Breakfast and Children’s Author Breakfast (one ticket per breakfast)
  • Collectible 2-Day BookCon badge for access to the exhibit floor and all panels
  • BookExpo will host a reception for the eighteen scholarship recipients in the VIP lounge onsite
  • BookExpo leadership staff will provide an onsite overview and tour of BookExpo
  • Exclusive opportunity to participate in meetings with executives of top publishers in their booths
  • Access to the ABA Lounge featuring a Galley Room, special Autographing Sessions

 

Tags:  BEA  booksellers  education  scholarship 

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News from SIBALand, March 18, 2016

Posted By Nicki Leone, Friday, March 18, 2016

Jill Hendrix, Fiction AddictionDear SIBA member,

It was great seeing so many of you at the SITS & GABBS event in Atlanta a week or so ago. For those of you who couldn’t attend here’s a recap of the education that SIBA and the ABA provided:

  • I presented the results from the first ABACUS South financial survey (Power Point, handout). Many thanks to the ABA for making this possible! I’d love to get even more SIBA members participating this year so watch for the survey for FY 2015 coming from the ABA in a few months. For those who’ve never participated, take a look at the questions from last year’s survey and you’ll see that it’s basic information taken from your taxes. So hand a copy to your bookkeeper (i.e., the store owner for many of us J) or accountant and ask them how hard it would be for you to participate this year.
  • We heard about the New Localism from Oren Teicher, the CEO of ABA, and then had an open discussion forum about the challenges and opportunities we are seeing in our channel.

The SIBA board also held our first board meeting of the year. We drafted a survey that I’ll be asking you to fill out in my next bimonthly email. Since this is my last year on the board, we have a slot coming open and I encourage you to consider serving; self-nominations are welcome. Feel free to email and ask me any questions you might have about serving. Here is the Call for Nominations. Deadline for nominations is end of day,  April 15.

I hope many of you are planning to attend BEA in Chicago in May. Remember to pack your Y’all Buttons so it will be easier for us to recognize each other among the hordes. BEA has heard bookseller complaints about the show being in NYC for the last several years and is testing moving it around the country. So when deciding whether to attend or not keep in mind that if we don’t bring a good turnout of booksellers to Chicago then the show may move back to NYC permanently. ABA member booksellers who have not attended BEA in the last two years have the opportunity to win one of 60 BEA Scholarships that consist of cash stipends of $435 each to help defray their hotel and travel costs to BEA 2016. The ABA will hold their publicity speed-dating event again this year. I participated last year and highly recommend it.

I’m so happy the weather has finally warmed up and I hope you’re having lots of customers looking for Easter gifts and gardening books!

Regards,

Jill Hendrix
SIBA President
Fiction Addiction owner
jill@fiction-addiction.com

Tags:  Abacus  baton-twirling  BEA  GABBS  Kate DiCamillo  One Book One South  SITS 

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