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The STARS Speakers Bureau

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Stars Speakers Bureau

Southern Traveling Authors Registration Service In my younger days as a bookseller (I don’t want to admit exactly how long ago!) I used to manage a small bookstore on the North Carolina coast. So it was not unusual for me to answer the phone and find that it was an author was planning on spending their vacation at the beach, and wanting to do a little promotion or have an event while they were in town.

Unfortunately, they usually called the week before they were coming, or even strolled into the shop that first day of their stay, looking to set something up. This was frustrating for me, because as the store manager I had made it my business to be in touch with all sorts of groups who might be interested in literary things – book clubs, teachers, civic associations, rotary clubs – and I knew that indeed I could have found an audience for this writer’s book, if only I had a bit of a heads up. You know, so I could at least have made sure the book was in stock.

It is a dilemma common to many booksellers, especially as more and more often authors are responsible for arranging their own events and appearances. So SIBA has created the “Southern Traveling Authors Registration Service” (“STARS”) Speakers Bureau as a resource to help writers find readers via our independent bookstore members. STARS is both a calendar of events at our member stores, and a speakers directory of authors who are currently traveling in the south. Authors create profiles and post their itineraries, and bookstores – and their customers – can search the directory for authors who might be coming to their area and interested in doing an event or speaking to a group. Authors get a chance to meet new readers. Readers get a chance to meet their favorite authors. And because any book sales from an event booked through STARS must go through one of SIBA’s member bookstores, bookstores get to sell books and expand their customer base. Win-win-win.

To date, there are approximately a hundred authors in the STARS directory – all willing to speak to book clubs, library meetings, classrooms, and at festivals. Even if they aren’t currently on tour, they are usually willing to make a trip for its own sake, or pad out their travel plans with a few stops to meet with readers along the way.

Bookstores love the directory because it allows them to reach authors directly who might not otherwise be touring to fill out their own event schedule. Civic organizations, teachers, book festival organizers, and book clubs love the directory because it is a great resource for finding authors for their programming. And authors love the directory because there is nothing better than going to an event you know will be well attended, because the readers have sought you out and asked you to come.

Visit to learn more.

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