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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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Get Ready for July on Lady Banks Bookshelf!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Get Ready for July on Lady Banks Bookshelf! Here are our featured titles:


The Lost Country by William Gay (Dzanc Books), 978-1-945814-52-5. "Like so many fans of Gay's, I've been waiting to read this seemingly mythical work, The Lost Country, for quite some time....Gay's elegiac prose sings once again as he breathes life into his characters and mines his patch of soil with the skill of the old masters...It's a helluva good ride and I can't wait to recommend it.”-Cody Morrison of Square Books


Homeplace: A Southern Town, a Country Legend, and the Last Days of a Mountaintop Honky-Tonk by John Lingan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), 978-0544932531. "John Lingan's Homeplace is . . . a perfectly rendered elegy for an iconic music venue that tells a much larger story: how our dreams, desperation and hope become transcribed in the landscape that surrounds us and embedded in the songs we pass down as our legacy.”-Colin Dickey, author of Ghostland


The Dying of the Light by Robert Goolrick (HarperCollins), 978-0062678225. "A mesmerizing, evocative novel brimming with passion and tragedy. [Goolrick’s] portrait of a depleted Southern family, hoping to reinvigorate itself and its magnificently neglected estate, is at once thrilling and devastating.” -Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain


Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty (Disney/Hyperion), 978-1368005845. "A moving, atmospheric journey of hope.”-Kirkus Review


Steal Away Home by Billy Coffey (HarperCollins), 978-0718084448. "I wasn’t expecting Billy Coffey’s Steal Away Home to work the kind of number it did on me. Reading it was like sitting on the church pew, thinking the preacher wrote his Sunday sermon especially for me because it was exactly what I needed to hear that day. It brought me back to my childhood.”- J.C. Sasser, author of Gradle Bird


What Blooms From Dust by James Markert (Thomas Nelson), 978-0785217411. "In this enchanting allegory, Markert (All Things Bright and Strange) crafts an imaginative tale of the Dust Bowl . . . Markert creatively portrays the timeless battle between good and evil, making for a powerful story of hope and redemption.”-Publishers Weekly

 

 

Tags:  booksellers  bookselling  ladybanks 

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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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Bridging the Divide and the Open Discussion Project with Sarah Goddin and Chris Finan on Wed, 5/23 at 2PM!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Bridging the Divide and the Open Discussion Project with Sarah Goddin and Chris Finan on Wed, 5/23, at 2PM via Zoom!
 
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. Booksellers will have an opportunity to ask questions of Sarah and Chris, to explore how this programming could serve their stores and communities. Please RSVP lindamarie@sibaweb.com to sign up to attend.

Sarah Goddin is general manager of Quail Ridge Books, a 9000 square foot store in Raleigh, NC. She has been a bookseller for 40 years, starting with Waldenbooks in 1978, then opening and running her own store, Wellington's Books, in Cary, for 10 years, finally landing at Quail Ridge Books in 1996. Sarah has served on various ABA committees such as  the Booksellers Advisory Council, Education and Abacus task forces, and as chair of the Spring 2017 Indies Introduce adult book selection committee.

Chris Finan is executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, an alliance of 56 national non-profits, including the American Booksellers Association.  He has defended the First Amendment rights of booksellers for many years and most recently led American Booksellers for Free Expression.  He is the author of From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: A History of the Fight for Free Speech in America.  His new book is Drunks: An American History, which will be released in paperback on June 5. 

Tags:  b3! webinars  booksellers  bookselling  education  siba member hub 

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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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Benefits of Reporting to the New York Times Bestseller List

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The New York Times Best-Seller Lists, posted on the web on Wednesday nights and published every Sunday in the print Book Review, reflect sales reported by vendors offering a wide range of general interest titles. The sales venues for print books include independent book retailers; national, regional and local chains; online and multimedia entertainment retailers; supermarkets, university, gift and discount department stores; and newsstands.

It’s increasingly important for independent booksellers to make their voices heard on a national level. Please, demonstrate the importance of the indie sales channel by reporting your sales to this important national outlet for book news.

If you do not yet report your sales to the New York Times, you can submit a request for an application at https://bestsellers.nytimes.com/newstoreapp.

If accepted, you would be expected to send your confidential report with sales from the previous Sunday-to-Saturday period by noon on Tuesday Eastern time each week.

Reporting stores receive the following:

    Every Tuesday, you’ll receive an email letting you know what titles will be covered in the Book Review that weekend, giving you advance notice to order these titles for your loyal readers.
    The Times Digest with the pdf containing the Best-Seller Lists hours before they appear online and 10 days before they are listed in the print Book Review.
    A complimentary copy of the printed Book Review sent directly to your store.

Tags:  booksellers  bookselling  brilliant booksellers  education  events 

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What We Learned at the Press Kit Webinar!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

SIBA booksellers who attended Maribeth Pelly’s webinar “How to Prepare a Press Kit for your Store” are now working on creating or retooling their store press kits in advance of trips to Book Expo. Pelly, the event planner for Booktowne (NJ) and a professional marketing consultant,  live-critiqued eight press kits from small and large stores with different approaches to their events programming. Pelly noted SIBA-member stores tend to focus on their story and place in their community, which is very positive. However, she emphasized the importance of including an up-to-date grid, something lacking in most press kits critiqued, showing numbers for attendees, venue seating, and books sold at successful author events. Pelly’s Easy Press Kit Checklist and Press Kit Template are now available in SIBA’s Peer Brain Trust under “Working with Publishers.” Pelly’s next webinar with SIBA is How to Pitch Your Store to Publicists on Thursday, May 24 at 2PM. Attendees will learn how to have productive conversations with publishers at Book Expo’s Speed Dating, and to stay on publishers’ radar all year long. Please sign up to join us!


A recording of Pelly’s Press Kit webinar will be available soon. Booksellers who attended shared the following:


“It helped me de-clutter and focus on what is essential...It was very helpful to take notes and listen to her responses and critiques; her criticisms of all of the different press kits were the best part as she allowed her honest reactions and thought processes to come through rather than just leaving us to rely on her tip sheet...We're putting direct input from the webinar onto the page!” --John Cavalier, Owner of Cavalier House Books


Having our newly minted press release critiqued by Maribeth was affirming. She thoroughly explained the rationale behind the advice she gave us for changes and helped me see how well we were and weren't communicating our strengths. Maribeth offers fresh eyes combined with real focus on the appropriate goals for each element of a press kit.” --Adah Fitzgerald, Owner of Main Street Books


“I enjoyed seeing what everyone else does and seeing the examples...I am planning on attending the next one and think it will be a great build on the previous material. I did make a quick reference numbers sheet which was something we were lacking. I have since shared with publicists and reps so hopefully will see some traction from that!”

--Jamie Rogers Southern, Operations Director of Bookmarks


“Avid definitely benefited from having our press kit reviewed by Maribeth. It was great to hear what we were doing right, and things we could improve upon. It was definitely worth my time to attend the webinar.” --Rachel Watkins, Communications Director of Avid Bookshop 

 

"The press kit webinar was so helpful. We learned so much and hope to implement what we learned very soon. The most helpful part was just being able to wrap our minds around what a press kit actually is, and what that consists of. The examples were phenomenal. Walking through what publishers look for and other things that give you a leg up when talking with publishers was an eye opener in the best way. We're still babies at this, so we really appreciate the time and effort y'all put in to this presentation." --Lauren Brown, Assistant Manager of The Story Shop

 

"I got a whole lot out of it.  I will be designing the [press kit] solely off what I have learned and it helped us out a whole lot.  I am so glad I got to be a part of it."--Jamille Christman, Marketing Director of of Eagle Eye Book Shop

 

"As quickly as we move past IBD, I will be using the template, and the copious notes I took during the presentation to design my very first store press kit. I found the evaluations of other bookstore press kits super helpful, as I am a visual learner. I will fashion mine according to the best examples Maribeth pointed out, and look forward to shopping it at BOOK EXPO."--Star Lowe, Owner of Star Line Books

 

 

Tags:  b3! webinars  booksellers  bookselling  education  Peer Brain Trust 

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Did you get your Okra Pick box?

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Monday, April 9, 2018
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2018
You should have received your Okra Pick box this week.  You can identify it by the Okra Pick tape that is used to seal the box.  It's packed full of goodies.  Starting with 400 full-color beautiful bookmarks. There are two full-color posters. One promoting the Okra Picks for the Season, and another for the inaugural #ReadThisNext list.  These are general books that southern booksellers are excited to sell.  Come to the B3! webinar on August 25th, and learn your way around Edelweiss to get your name and bookstore on the next list. See a sample of the Shelf Talkers available for download here. Find enclosed the form to report your OP Sales for B3! credit, and use the included registration form to sign up for #SIBA18 in Tampa, FL.

Tags:  booksellers  bookselling  okra picks 

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Get Your Store on the Tour! Expert Advice on Preparing a Press Kit and Pitching to Publishers

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Wednesday, March 28, 2018

 Maribeth PellyGet Your Store on the Tour! 

SIBA offers you two webinars with Maribeth Pelly, event planner at BookTowne and independent marketing consultant, to make it so!

Want to be a star at Publicists Speed Dating at Book Expo? Want publishers to choose you when they plan author tours? Stand out among your colleagues by signing up for both of these upcoming webinars.

Thursday, April 12 at 2PM: How to Prepare a Press Kit for Your Store.  In this webinar you'll learn:

  • How to put together a press kit.
  • How to improve an existing press kit.
  • How to highlight and format your store’s most compelling selling points (and which information to leave out).

For those with existing press kits, Maribeth will offer comprehensive reviews. Fourteen stores will receive a LIVE review of their press kits. The webinar will be recorded so you can share with your staff.

Thursday, May 24 at 2PM: How to Pitch Your Store to Publishers. After you’ve prepared your press kit, learn how to have a productive conversation with publishers, emphasizing how you can support their author tours. In this webinar you'll learn:

  • What publishers want to know (and what they don't).
  • How to build a successful author event program, even if you haven't had an author yet.
  • That store size doesn’t matter!
  • Tips for staying on publishers' radar all year long.

Attendees of these webinars are invited to a meet & greet pep talk with Maribeth at Book Expo before Publicists Speed Dating begins.

RSVP: lindamarie@sibaweb.com, and include a copy of your current press kit. Deadline to register for April 12 webinar is Friday, April 6.

Tags:  authors  booksellers  bookselling  education  events  siba member hub 

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"Where the solitude of creation and the exhibitionism of sales dovetailed"

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 1, 2014

 

Written by: Jamie Kornegay 
I’m no stranger to book trade shows. I've been to the nationals and regionals, L.A. to New York, Chicago to New Orleans. I've made the rookie mistake of taking too many galleys. I've waited in long lines for signed books, and I've wandered the booths in a blank stupor. During all of those visits -- eight years selling for the famous Square Books in Oxford, and the latest eight for my own store, Turnrow Books in Greenwood, Mississippi -- I was determined to one day attend as an author.
It finally happened this year at SIBA in Norfolk, where I was invited to preview my first novel, Soil, coming in March 2015 from Simon & Schuster. Maybe it's a testament to the familial nature of bookselling that it was an easy shift from bookseller to author.
I write in the quiet dark before dawn, before the kids go to school and before the bookstore opens. I need and crave that lonesome time. I'm never a more functional, cooperative human than when I'm on task and the words are flowing.
Bookselling, on the other hand, is a public endeavor. It's where I reconnect with people, test out ideas, and even collect (steal) bits for my stories. Similarly, the trade shows are a great way to come out of your cave and rejoin the wider bookselling world. It's a time to mine new ideas and tactics, to strengthen connections and forge new ones.
My publisher reps were among my most generous advocates at Norfolk. They're all excited for my book. Most have read it, or are reading it, and now they're crossing company lines to tell booksellers about it.
For me, it affirms their love of books and their abiding friendship. Their sales calls to Greenwood are like visits from old friends. Many are former booksellers themselves, so they understand the challenges I face. They visit so many other stores that they have a solid understanding of the business from a retail and corporate vantage. I think of them as the warm glove on the cold hand of business.
I also ran into several writer friends who'd been to Turnrow over the summer -- Patti Callahan Henry, Michael Pitre, Karen White -- and they were all enthusiastic at my turn as published writer. So it felt appropriate to stand behind the author's table and sign galleys at SIBA's First 180 Days party. It was my first official event in conjunction with the novel, and I was relieved that I knew the drill. Here is where the solitude of creation and the exhibitionism of sales dovetailed.
As I was signing, a bookseller cleverly asked, "Sell this to me as if I were in your store."

Soil

Here it was, the sale to be made, just like any other book I love. "Think the Coen Brothers meet Crime and Punishment – in Mississippi," I said, reciting the publisher marketing spiel. And then I began to riff. "It concerns an organic farmer and his estranged wife and son. There's a flood and a dead body. A hasty cover-up and a horny deputy. It reads quick with a care for language. It bounces and twists along on a string of misperceptions. It masquerades as a thriller – not a whodunit so much as, Okay, how the hell are we getting out of this one?"
The bookseller was intrigued enough to pick up a copy, something to take home and consider selling in her own store. Cha-ching! How fun is this gonna be, I thought, when I have a stack to put at the register back at Turnrow?
So I guess what I learned pulling double duty at SIBA is that being an author selling his book isn’t so different from being a bookseller selling someone else’s book. Just like reading is akin to writing. We take these wonderful ideas and experiences into our own private darkness, explore and consume and refashion, and then bring them back into the light to share with everyone. It's a great day job that I just can't quit.

 

Tags:  bookselling  Jamie Kornegay  trade shows 

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Calendar

10/16/2018 » 10/22/2018
Circle of Sites: Southern Discomfort

10/23/2018 » 10/29/2018
Circle of Sites; Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows

10/30/2018 » 11/5/2018
Circle of Sites - Freedom Fighters and Hell Raisers

10/31/2018
B3! Webinar: Priya Parker on the Art of Gathering for Booksellers