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Don't Miss Out on These Scholarships to the SIBA Discovery Show!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, June 11, 2018

 

Don't Miss Out on These Scholarships to the SIBA Discovery Show!

SIBA is committed to helping every bookseller who wishes to attend The Discovery Show find a way to come. Every year financial assistance is made available through the generous support of publishers and organizations who recognize what a vital resource the show is for stores. After all, stronger bookstores mean better sales for their books. This year SIBA has the following financial assistance and scholarship opportunities available.

The Macmillan Bookseller Professional Development Scholarship

In partnership with the Binc Foundation, The Macmillan Bookseller Professional Development Scholarship aims to encourage a greater number of individuals from underrepresented groups to choose and/or continue careers in bookselling. This scholarship will allow up to one bookseller to attend their regional trade show. Deadline is July 1. Click here to apply for the scholarship.


Binc Scholarship

Based on financial need, this scholarship is available for a bookseller who has not been to SIBA in recent years because they have been unable to afford it.  Write a letter of need & desire and email to wanda@sibaweb.com.

The Reba & Dave Scholarship Fund

Open to any bookseller, this scholarship allows ten bookstores, each with up to two booksellers, one hotel room for three nights, and two allpass tickets to the meals at the show. Includes up to $300 in  travel expenses.

Write a letter of need & desire and email to wanda@sibaweb.com.

The Pat Conroy Scholarships, sponsored by Penguin Random House

Two scholarships are designated for booksellers who have never attended a SIBA Discovery Show. This scholarship is in keeping with the Penguin Random House’s fifteen-year tradition of supporting educational programming for booksellers at the event.  The 2 scholarships will cover up to $1,000 of the winner’s travel, hotel, and meal expenses for the Discovery Show. To be eligible, a bookseller must be a full-time employee of a SIBA-member bookstore, working at any level or capacity.

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.



Scholarship winners will be announced before September 1.

Tags:  binc  booksellers  education  scholarship  SIBA  siba member hub  trade show 

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Fostering Dialog and Better Understanding at Quail Ridge Books' Bridging the Divide Book Club!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, June 4, 2018
Updated: Monday, May 28, 2018

A First Year Retrospective of Bridging the Divide Book Club by Sarah Goddin, General Manager of Quail Ridge Books

 

In response to the current deep political divisions in our country and community, where people with one view find it hard to comprehend how others could hold a different view, Quail Ridge Books launched a monthly book club with the goal of fostering dialog and better understanding. The book club, called Bridging the Divide, has moderators and book selections representing issues and viewpoints across the political spectrum: left, right, and central. The aim of each discussion is to promote understanding ... “Ah, now I understand how they can think that!” ... rather than to convince anyone of a particular point of view.

We started in May 2017 and had large turnouts for our first 3 meetings: 50, 47, and 87 people respectively. Then things started to slow down and for the next 4 meetings we had 23, 6, 25, and 2 (a low point, for sure!). Since then we have rebounded and have had 25 to 34 at the last several meetings, which is a really good number for discussion.


My original idea was to have 2 moderators, one liberal and one conservative, and let them take it from there, choosing the books and running the meetings. That didn’t work out and I think it would actually be pretty hard, maybe not possible, to do it well without a lot of hands-on involvement from someone on the store staff.


To find moderators, Rene Martin, our events coordinator, and I put our heads together and came up with a short list of local folks who were both political and open-minded. Our mission statement says we have moderators across the political spectrum and we don’t identify anyone as liberal or conservative, though it's pretty obvious who is what. We have just one person moderate each discussion although the other moderator often attends, too. We’ve had several guest moderators as well, including a psychology professor from NC State University who led the discussion on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me.


One issue with having moderators from outside the store was that that some of them didn’t really know how book clubs work and, though I met with them in advance, described the discussion process, and provided tip sheets, they started out doing more of a lecture than leading a group discussion. It was good to be on hand and intervene to get the discussion started. After the first time repeat moderators got much better at opening it up to more give and take.  They have started bringing a short list of potential discussion questions that we hand out at the beginning of each meeting which is very helpful in keeping the discussion on track. We limit each meeting to an hour, starting at 7 and ending at 8.


While the discussions have all been very civil, we have frequently had an attendee who hasn’t quite grasped the concept and makes somewhat partisan and derogatory comments. The moderators have handled it well and done a good job of not letting anyone dominate the discussion. One good tip, especially with larger groups, is to say “Is there anyone we haven’t heard from yet who would like to comment?” I’ve also had complaints from attendees about moderators, saying they weren’t representing "their side” strongly enough, i.e. conservatives complained the conservative moderator wasn’t conservative enough and the liberals complained the liberal moderator wasn’t liberal enough. I considered that a sign we were doing something right! I do explain that isn’t the purpose of the discussion. I do a welcome and introduction at each event and explain our mission (we always have people who haven’t been to one before) and also give my contact info and invite people to talk to me afterwards or email or call me to give me feedback or suggest topics or books.


I’ve listed below the books we’ve discussed so far. It has been a challenge finding the right books and we haven’t posted selections more than a couple months in advance because I keep wanting to learn what works as we go along. One observation is that the more abstract and wonkier the book, the fewer people show up, even though we may sell a bunch of books. For instance, the book on environmental conservatism by Roger Scruton was pretty dense and philosophical and while we sold 21 copies, only 6 people showed up for the meeting. The previous book, How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate, was short and readable and we had 23 people and a great discussion. That was from a series called The Stanford Briefs and I wish they had more good issue-oriented books like that but their other topics are not as useful. I think one of the reasons we had decent crowds for Hillbilly Elegy and Between the World and Me was because so many people had already read those books and were eager to discuss them.


Another challenge has been to get a more diverse attendee group, including people of color and conservatives. When I asked our conservative moderator why we had so few conservatives, he suggested they assumed bookstores were liberal havens and didn’t trust them to be fair to conservatives. We’re still working on that and on getting more diversity in race and other representation. Both have improved considerably in the last few meetings with a good representation across gender, age, race, and political orientation.


My wish starting out was that we would have a core group of attendees from across the political spectrum who would get to know one another and be eager to explore and, ultimately, respect each other’s views. Initially, people seemed to attend based on whether or not the particular book, issue, or moderator was one they knew or were interested in. A year in we're getting a core group of regulars plus a few new faces at each, which is good for more trust and more honest discussions.


Our main expenses are staff time in organizing, communicating, promoting, and setting up and breaking down the event space. I give both moderators the discussion book free so they can prepare (unless they already own it) and I occasionally give them a $25 store gift card as a thank you. We’re still learning a lot from each selection and discussion and I’m very eager to hear and learn from any of you if you try your own versions.


Books chosen so far:

May: Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert Putnam

June: Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010 by Charles Murray

July: no meeting because of holiday

August: Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

September: How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate by Andrew Hoffman

October: How to Think Seriously About the Planet: A Case for Environmental Conservatism by Roger Scruton

November: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehesi Coates

December: Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman

January: no meeting because of holiday and inventory

February: Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

March: The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech by Kimberley Strassel

April: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

 May:  Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations  by Amy Chua

June: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

September: The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know  by Phillip Cook and Kristin Goss


Some books we’ve considered or possible future choices:

The Age of American Unreason in a Culture of Lies, newly updated edition by Susan Jacoby

Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer

Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News by Bernard Goldberg

The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies by John Lott

Living with Guns: A Liberal's Case for the Second Amendment by Craig Whitney

Shame: How America's Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country by Shelby Steele

The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic by Ganesh Sitaraman

 



Tags:  authors  education  Quail Ridge Books 

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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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Four SIBA booksellers selected in the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s 2018 Higher Education Scholarship Program!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Sunday, May 27, 2018
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018

Twenty-seven booksellers have been selected to receive more than $100,000 as part of the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s 2018 Higher Education Scholarship Program. Providing financial assistance to help booksellers achieve their dreams is one of the most rewarding parts of maintaining the bookseller safety net, according to Binc Executive Director Pam French. “Booksellers are people who make the world a better place. We hope that by providing them with the opportunity to learn and grow through higher education, we are helping them change the world even more,” she said. “Congratulations to all of the college scholarship winners!”

The recipients were selected from 159 applicants comprised of bookstore owners, booksellers, former Borders Books employees, or their dependents. In total, $109,000 was awarded to help booksellers from 23 stores in 21 states reach their educational goals at 27 different schools. 

Four of the recipients are SIBA booksellers: Abigail Parkes of FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA,  Hannah Richardson of Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC, Sarah Skinner of Island Bookstore in Duck, NC, and Julie Wade of Downtown Books & News in Asheville, NC. 

A list of scholarship recipients, including their goals and favorite books, can be found here. Information about how bookstore employees can apply for the 2019 Higher Education Scholarship Program will be released early next year.

Tags:  booksellers  brilliant booksellers  education  scholarship 

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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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Calendar

6/12/2018 » 6/18/2018
cos - Ain't She a Peach

7/10/2018 » 7/16/2018
Circle of Sites: The Summer Wives

7/11/2018
B3! Book Club “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping” by Paco Underhill, updated and revised version.

7/20/2018
Bookseller Revival at The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC

7/25/2018
B3 Webinar: Creating and Managing a Successful Online Sales Campaign