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Holiday Prep for Your Store: Have you made your list and checked it twice?

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, November 5, 2018

Holiday Prep for Your Store: Have you made your list and checked it twice?


New research, and likely your instincts, suggests that consumer interest during the holiday season actually peaks almost one month earlier than Black Friday. That means right now! Don’t be overwhelmed if you haven’t launched your holiday campaign yet. You can join forces with Love Your Bookstore week (November 10-16) and encourage your customers to celebrate local bookstores. Here’s a list of bookseller resources, including downloadable images, to get you started.


Consider this great checklist of “9 Great Practices to Get Shoppers to Buy During the Holidays.” Simple things like providing your customers with baskets, gift-wrapping items ahead of time for easy shopping (with unwrapped similar items nearby, or stickering wrapped items with sku/isbn), making sure your store hours are correct on Google, and catching customer attention with a display that moves (perhaps a toy train or rotating display of bookmarks festooned with lights) can promote bigger sales.


For your store’s internal checklist, here’s a tip from a veteran--keep bottles of hand sanitizer and boxes of tissue by the registers, and wipe down shared keyboards and phones with Clorox wipes daily. ‘Tis the season!


Join our Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Group on Facebook to share your tips for Holiday success in keeping sales and morale high in your stores!

   

 

Tags:  booksellers  holidays 

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Make a Bookseller's Holiday and nominate them for a James Patterson Holiday Bonus!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Thursday, August 30, 2018

 

Make a Bookseller's Holiday and Nominate Them for a James Patterson Holiday Bonus! 

Author James Patterson’s Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program has pledged a contribution of $250,000 to provide independent bookstore employees with some extra cash around the winter holidays.

Patterson is partnering with the American Booksellers Association for the fifth time to distribute the bonuses, to be granted in amounts of $750 to $1,500 to individual booksellers. The process to submit nominations is open through September 30, and anyone can nominate. All past recipients of Patterson grants are eligible for this year's bonus, and booksellers can self-nominate. The grant application asks one question: “Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?” After reviewing the answers, Patterson will select the winners from bookstores across the country. Here's a link to the grant application. Good luck to all nominated booksellers!

In 2017, Patterson donated a record $350,000 to bookstore employees; in 2016, $250,000 to 149 independent bookstore employees across the country; and in 2015, $250,000 to 87 recipients. In 2014, he awarded $1 million in grants to 178 independent bookstores. Over the past decade, Patterson has also given away more than a million books to students all over the United States and visited hundreds of schools to advocate for youth literacy.

Tags:  bonuses  booksellers  holidays  James Patterson 

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Applications for the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists open July 9!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, July 30, 2018
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018

Applications open for the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists

Applications are now open for the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists.

Would you like to attend Winter Institute, your regional trade show in 2019,  and receive funding to create a program at your store that impacts your community in a positive way? 

Then you should consider applying for this first-ever year-long scholarship provided by the Binc Foundation and the Friends of Carla Gray.  

Carla Gray believed that books could change people and that people change the world.  This memorial scholarship in her honor connects on both fronts, at the intersection of books and activism.  Supporting emerging booksellers and their efforts to make a difference in one's community were essential to Carla. The community outreach project can be anything from providing books to underserved children or bringing a special speaker to your store, the sky is the limit. We want you to think outside the box and hopefully, your project could be shared with other stores. 


You are eligible to apply if you:

  • Have at least one year but fewer than 5 years of bookselling experience.
  • Work part-time or full-time at a bookstore in good standing with the ABA and your regional association.
  • Are willing and able to commit one year to complete the scholarship and you intend to remain employed as a bookseller through the implementation of your project.
  • Your store owner agrees to partner with you on your community outreach project.
Click here to apply today!

Questions please feel free to contact Kit Steinaway - kit@bincfoundation.org


Tags:  booksellers  education  scholarship 

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Meet the Bookseller: Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette, Fairhope, AL

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Stephanie Crowe with Taylor BrownName: 
Stephanie Crowe

Store and location: 
Page and Palette
32 S. Section Street
Fairhope, Al 36532

website || facebook || twitter || instagram

Number of years as a bookseller: 
Almost 10 (Oct)

Labyrinth of the SpiritsBest part about being a bookseller?:
I get all the books I want to read and more, love the customers, and want them to read the books I love. 

What book(s) are you reading?:

Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King, Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan, The Rain Watcher by Tatiana De Rosna

The OverstoryFavorite handsell of 2018:
The Overstory by Richard Powers

Best thing you did this year at your store:
Harper Collins Live facebook video; I also was able to get Paula McLain to come to store

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Bragg with the Page   & Palette staffAn event at Page and Palette


Social Media Stats (FB likes, Twitter followers, etc)

facebook 13,000
twitter 3500
instagram 1000
email subscribers: 6,000

What are some ways you work with your community?
We work with partners when we need a larger space: our library, Fairhope United Methodist Church, retail partners like Running Wild.

Do you have any community partners you work with regularly?

Denham Springs Main Street, Denham Strong and the Livingston Parish News are our more frequent collaborators.

Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life?
My passion is the book, sales reps, authors, SIBA board and the store and that is my life.

Top priority for 2018:

To get wonderful authors to come to Page and Palette

Favorite SIBA programming benefit:
The fall Discovery Showis absolutely the best event I attend each year. It is like coming home

Tags:  booksellers 

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Social Media Class for Booksellers at a HUGE discount for SIBA Members! Register by July 31!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Thursday, July 12, 2018

Social media and content marketing can be stressful and confusing. Many booksellers need to know how to be more efficient and effective so the time and energy they spend marketing online has greater impact and creates results.

If you’ve seen Sarah Benoit, co-founder and lead instructor at the JB Media Institute, present at the ABA’s Winter or Children’s Institute, you know you’re learning from someone passionate about helping booksellers improve their social media and content marketing strategies. Sarah has developed an online course for booksellers: Social Media and Content Marketing Basics for Booksellers.

Topics covered include:

  • content branding

  • keyword and hashtag research

  • content calendars

  • website usability

  • Instagram and Facebook tracking

  • social media tracking on Google Analytics

  • Facebook and Instagram advertising

  • event marketing


Sarah introduced this course to SIBA booksellers and staff this spring and we are loving and already using what we’ve learned. Sarah’s three-month self-paced online course is now being offered nationally for $299. Contact SIBA for a special code and SIBA member stores enroll for just $149! Registration open till July 31.


Would you like a preview? Attend a FREE introductory webinar on Monday, July 16 from 12-1pm EST.

  • Join the meeting on your computer or laptop go to: https://join.me/jbmediagroup  It will prompt you to download the Join.me desktop app for easier participation or you can click the link to join with your browser.  Conference ID: 804-325-388 #

  • To join using your mobile device like a smartphone or tablet download the mobile apps: https://www.join.me/apps

  • To dial in by phone: (404) 400 - 8750


"The JB Media social media class is very well designed - its structure and flow can help any one at any level of social media expertise! This class is very adaptable to any schedule. The online lessons allow you to work completely at your own pace and Sarah is always available for questions and discussion. This class can answer just about any question regarding social media or content marketing that you have ever had and if the class itself can't, then Sarah can! Highly recommend!”-- John Cavalier, Cavalier House Books


"It's one thing to post a couple photos or links, or like a couple videos, and quite another to create a dynamic, engaging, and attractive presence online that enhances and compliments your real-world, brick-and-mortar business. JB Media's holistic approach to social media is the best I've seen for doing that. It goes far beyond just providing a series of tips or tricks to manage a Facebook page. Your course gives people the tools they need to navigate social media effectively and use it productively. You know the proverb "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for life"? JB Media teaches people how to fish.”--Nicki Leone, SIBA




Tags:  booksellers  education  Sarah Benoit  social media 

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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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Meet the Bookseller: Sara Luce Look, Charis Books and More, Atlanta, Geogia

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, June 28, 2018

MEET THE BOOKSELLER: SARA LUCE LOOK

Sara Luce LookName: Sara Luce Look

Store and location: Charis Books & More, Atlanta, GA

website || facebook || twitter || instagram

Number of years as a bookseller: 26 years and Charis has been in business since 1974

Best part about being a bookseller? Getting to work at a job I love and feel passionate about...




Charis Books Charis Interior
Charis Event Charis Display

A Certain LonlinessWhat book(s) are you reading?:
A Certain Loneliness: A Memoir by Sandra Gail Lambert (out in Sept.)
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
About to start the galley of Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver



Confessions of the FoxFavorite handsell of 2018:
I am looking forward to selling Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg when it comes out at the end of June.
I have been selling the paperback of The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, which was my favorite fiction book last year

 

 

 

Best thing you did this year at your store:

Not in our store, but getting to go to Washington DC and be honored as The We Need Diverse Books Bookseller of the Year was pretty huge!
Also selling books at Tayari Jones' book release party for An American Marriage to a sold out crowd at the Alliance Theatre.

Social Media Stats (FB likes, Twitter followers, etc)

Twitter (@chariscircle): 2300
FB (@charisbooks): 6426
IG (@charisbooksandmore): 2081
3500 subscribers on email list.

What are some ways you work with your community?

Because we are a mission-driven feminist bookstore with a non-profit programming arm, we work more directly with our community than many stores. Charis Books co-sponsors public events and sell books at libraries, churches, pre-schools, therapy conferences, conferences, festivals, academic gatherings and more. Our non-profit, Charis Circle, sponsors over 270 events a year at our store and in partner venues, centered around the mission of fostering sustainable feminist communities, working for social justice and encouraging the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. Charis Circle accomplishes its mission by working with artists, authors, and activists from across the South and around the world to bring innovative, thoughtful, and life-changing programming and events to Atlanta's feminist communities. Charis is Atlanta's only publicly accessible dedicated feminist space open 7 days a week, 360 days a year. Charis events range from writing groups, to poetry open mics, to children's story hours, to yoga, to activists strategy sessions and so much more. Charis Circle's work extends beyond the walls of Charis Books and into the schools, streets, and homes of our beloved community members. We exist as a popular education resource for our customers, their families, and the city at large.

Do you have any community partners you work with regularly?
Some of our partnerships include:

  • Atlanta Pride
  • Atlanta Radical Book Fair
  • Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
  • The Center of Civil and Human Rights LGBT Institute
  • The Crunk Feminist Collective
  • The Decatur Book Festival
  • Different Games Collective
  • Emory University
  • Feminist Women’s Health Center
  • First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta
  • Georgia Center for the Book
  • Georgia Safe Schools Coalition
  • The Icarus Project
  • Men Stopping Violence
  • Phillip Rush Center
  • Project South
  • Raksha
  • Spelman College
  • Southerners on New Ground (SONG)
  • A Striving Parent
  • Trans and Friends
  • Women Healing Women, Inc.
  • ZAMI NOBLA (National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging)

Do you have passions that carry over into your bookselling life?
I collect cookbooks (mostly regional New England, Portuguese cooking, and vintage baking)

Top priority going into 2018:
Getting ready to move! We will be moving to the campus of Agnes Scott College in 2019. We will be partnering with ASC, bringing our independent feminist bookstore and non-profit to campus. We will not be selling textbooks, but will be adding "school store" items (spirit-wear/t-shirts, toiletries, snacks, school supplies, etc) to our shelves.

Favorite SIBA programming benefit: SIBA trade show

Tags:  booksellers 

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Applications Open for the 2018 PAT CONROY SCHOLARSHIPS

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Thursday, June 28, 2018

Applications Open for the 2018 PAT CONROY SCHOLARSHIPS, sponsored by PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) invites booksellers to apply for the 2018 Pat Conroy Scholarships. The scholarships honor the late author whose lifetime achievements have meant so much to Southern booksellers. They are made possible by Penguin Random House, whose Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, and Random House Audio imprints publish Mr. Conroy’s works in hardcover, paperback, and audio editions respectively.

These scholarships are for booksellers who have never attended a SIBA Discovery Show, in keeping with Penguin Random House’s tradition of supporting educational programming for booksellers at the event.  The scholarships will cover up to $1,000 of the recipient’s travel, hotel, and meal expenses for the Discovery Show first-timers. To be eligible, a bookseller must be a full-time employee of a SIBA-member bookstore, working at any level or capacity.

SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell said, “We believe that nurturing the next generation of career booksellers is one of the best things we can do to advance the future of bookselling.  These scholarships Penguin Random House is endowing mean so much to the booksellers chosen. They benefit from new educational opportunities, and connect with other booksellers, authors, and publishers. They also bring a refreshing and inspiring energy to the show, which is so gratifying to witness.  How appropriate that these awards honor Pat Conroy, who was so kind and generous with all of us, and in particular, to those new to our industry.”

“Pat Conroy is beloved by his readers, his publisher, Penguin Random House, and by SIBA. So, it is with great devotion for our author and enormous respect for the members of SIBA, whom he ardently supported, that we endow this next generation of bookseller-education scholarships for them in his honor,” added Jaci Updike, President, Sales, Penguin Random House.

To be considered for a Pat Conroy Scholarship, booksellers can self-nominate, or be nominated by other booksellers or sales reps. Owners and managers are strongly encouraged to nominate frontline booksellers who are interested in bookselling as a career. The deadline for nominations for the 2018 Pat Conroy Scholarships is July 15, 2018.

Scholarship recipients will be announced on August 1.

The #2018 SIBA Discovery show will be held September 13-15 at the Innisbrook Resort in Tampa, Florida.

To apply, the nominated bookseller should fill out the information below, and email it to wanda@sibaweb.com:

  • YES! I have never been to SIBA and I would love to go.

  • Name

  • Address

  • E-mail address

  • Bookstore: where do you work? How long have you worked there and what is your current role?

  • Make Pat Conroy proud! Please write a short (two paragraphs is ideal) description of why you love being a bookseller and what you hope to get out of SIBA.

Tags:  booksellers  education  Pat Conroy  scholarship  trade show  Wanda Jewell 

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Booksellers: Make Your Mark with SIBA!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

 

Booksellers: Make Your Mark with SIBA!


We have very exciting news to share with you. This spring, SIBA researched the ability of our organization and our member stores to generate sales and events in our territory. The results are fantastic, and included in our new SIBA Press Kit. Please take a look! The collective clout of SIBA stores is mighty impressive!


Southern indie booksellers, together with SIBA, reach more than 1.5 million readers. This translates into an average of 10,000 readers weekly per bookstore. You host over 15,000 events annually, and support over 1100 book clubs regionwide. One fourth of you participate in our Circle of Sites homepage banner ad promotion, which generates 2 million impressions annually. Just imagine if every store participated! Your events are promoted in Lady Banks Commonplace Book newsletter to a weekly audience of 60,000 readers. You distribute 500,000 Okra Pick bookmarks and 900,000 Holiday catalogs annually.


Curious how many SIBA member stores report sales to the NYT and Indie bestseller lists? What percentage submit reviews on Edelweiss? How many attend our Discovery Show? It’s all here, and more.


We hope this data will inspire you to consider your part in SIBA’s zone of influence and explore where you might increase effort and engagement to reach more readers and grow your sales. You are making your mark!

Tags:  #makeyourmark  booksellers  circle of sites  events  lady banks  okra picks 

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Bookseller Revival at The Country Bookshop: Improving Margins while Offering Original Content to your Customers

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Friday, June 22, 2018

 

Bookseller Revival at The Country Bookshop: Improving Margins while Offering Original Content to your Customers

 

Mark your calendar and join us for a Bookseller Revival at The Country Bookshop, hosted by owner & SIBA Board member Kimberly Daniels Taws. Josh Floyd of IngramSpark will give an overview of how bookstores are utilizing their services in various ways, including producing store-branded journals. Kimberly will share how her team works with local authors, and their approach to publishing with IngramSpark. The afternoon will include time for brainstorming, and addressing questions booksellers might have regarding how they can use what they've learned and adapt for their stores. Lunch provided courtesy of IngramSpark. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.

 

When: Friday, July 20, 10am-3pm

Where: The Country Bookshop, 140 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines, NC 28387

RSVP: lindamarie@sibaweb.com

 

Tags:  booksellers  bookselling  Country Bookshop  education  Ingram  revival 

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11/14/2018
SIBA's B3! Book Club discusses The Signals are Talking by Amy Webb