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This began as a collection of posts provided to the no longer Bargain Book News for all booksellers from SIBA, with love. But it is switching to a blog for the industry with news that we hope is valuable for the industry at large, from SIBA, with love.


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Top tags: discovery show  #siba18  #siba19  lady banks bookshelf  authors  Bookseller education  booksellers  eblast  Edelweiss  ladybanks  publisher picks  #okrapicks  B3! Webinars  Book Expo  books  buy  circle of sites  exhibit  holiday catalog  independent bookstore day  okra picks  rep picks  social media  southern book prize  Sponsorship  tips  advertising  ARTS Calendar  B3!  B3!webinar 

The 2019 Southern Book Prize: Get everyone involved!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Southern Book Prize The 2019 Southern Book Prize: Get everyone involved!

Nearly 1000 ballots have already been submitted for the Southern Book Prize.

On November 1 SIBA announced a new format and timeline for the Southern Book Prize -- bringing the voting period forward to February 1st, and opening up the voting on the finalists to the Southern indepedent bookstore-supporting public -- that is, to anyone who works at or shops at a SIBA-member bookstore

The response has been enthusiastic, to say the least. Bookstores have rallied their customers to get involved and vote for their favorite Southern books. Authors and publishers with books on that ballot have asked if they are allowed to promote the Southern Book Prize and have their friends and followers to encourage them to vote.

The answer is yes. Here is what you need to know:

The finalists
The ballot
The deadline: February 1, 2019
Winners announced: February 14, 2019

  1. Ballots must come from or via a SIBA member bookstore.
    The list of member stores is here. The ballot has a place to note which store the voter works or shops at. If the space is left blank, or lists a store not on SIBA's member list, then the ballot will not be counted.

  2. The goal of the Southern Book Prize is to raise the visibility and drive traffic to our member stores.
    The online ballot is located at, but many SIBA member stores also have information on their own websites. SIBA encourages publishers and authors to point voters to store websites whenever appropriate.

    Here's a list of stores featuring the Southern Book Prize on their websites:

    The list grows as more and more stores get involved, so check back

  3. Submitted and completed ballots are entered in a drawing to win a complete set of the Southern Book Prize finalist titles.
    SIBA is coordinating with participating stores to hold other drawings for individual finalist titles. The hashtag we're using to promote the ballot is #VoiceYourChoice.

Tags:  southern book prize 

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Coming in 2019: Rep Picks via Zoom!

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Coming in 2019: Rep Picks via Zoom!

SIBA is offering a new program to bring sales reps and booksellers together outside of store visits and the Discovery Show: Bi-Monthly Rep Picks via Zoom!  These sessions will be particularly beneficial to SIBA member publishers whose reps may not get to visit all 150 SIBA member stores.

Every other month SIBA will host sessions where reps can promote their favorite new titles to booksellers. Booksellers will earn B3! Points (which translate into dollars to pay for SIBA dues and events) for attending, get to know the territory’s reps, and discover some new titles to add to their store shelves. Buyers and frontline booksellers will be encouraged to attend.

Would you like to present your titles at a future rep picks session? Please email Space for rep presentations is limited for each session.

2019 Reps Picks Schedule:

FEB - Small Presses Present Spring & Summer Lists

APR - Summer Reading for Kids

JUN - Fall Fiction

AUG - Small Presses Present Fall & Winter Lists

OCT - Sidelines for Holiday Sales & Beyond

Tags:  B3!  bookseller education  rep picks  Zoom Meeting 

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Supporting your investment in the Holiday Catalog

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, November 15, 2018

Supporting your investment in the holiday catalog

Holiday Catalog

The SIBA Holiday Catalogs have shipped, and are currently being distributed in bookstores, inserted into newspapers and stuffed into bags. 60 bookstores across the South have made the holiday catalog an integral element in their holiday promotions. Year after year, bookstores cite the holiday catalog as one of the most valuable benefits of being a member of SIBA.

For that reason, SIBA offers extensive support for our member stores using the catalog, and by extension, extensive support to publishers who have invested in this important resource for indpendent bookstores.

  • The catalog is available in a mobile-friendly online edition to all stores using the Indiecommerce platform (sample)

  • Mobile-friendly online catalogs are available to any SIBA store, customized to work with their own ecommerce platforms. (sample)

  • The catalog is featured on SIBA's consumer site, as its Holiday Gift Guide, with order fulfillment supplied by a rotating list of SIBA member stores (sample)

  • Catalog titles are featured in the Lady Banks Commonplace Book newsletter every week between Thanksgiving and Christmas

  • The catalog is promoted on our ARTS Facebook page for the entire month of December

NEW THIS YEAR -- The Holiday Catalog Newsletter

SIBA's new store-branded holiday catalog newsletter is sent directly to the mailing lists of participating stores in six weekly editions between Thanksgiving and Christmas, reaching anywhere between 1000 and 15,000 readers, per edition, per store, depending on the size of the store's list.

Sample stats from the first issue, featuring children's picture books:

open rate engagementplatform


See a newsletter sample | Catalog information for publishers

Tags:  holiday catalog 

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SIBA Offers 25% Off for IndieNext Titles

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, November 7, 2018

SIBA Offers 25% Off for IndieNext Titles

We've been seeking a way to assist publishers in promoting IndieNext picks to southern bookseller and readers. Beginning in 2019, we will be offering a 25% discount on all SIBA advertising products (except the Holiday Catalog) to any book that appears on an IndieNext list.  Here's details on a couple of popular products:


Stats: Average Open Rate: 33%, Average Click Through Rate: 6%
Reach: 850 booksellers
Audience: Industry
Support: Optimized for mobile devices, detailed campaign results available upon request
Tips: Issue a call to action to collect the contact info of interested booksellers or link to Edelweiss.
Run time: one time, as scheduled
Deadline: Five business days before run date
Specs: 800x800, jpg, gif, png, URL links and eblast subject lines must be provided by client
Cost: Member Price: $549 / Non Member Price: $799

Lady Banks’ Bookshelf:                                           
Stats: LBB Banner averages 10,000 impressions, click thru .23% per month +FB promotion averages 30,000 impressions, click thru .1 % per month

Reach: 40,000 readers
Audience: Consumers     
Support: SIBA pays for boosted posts of the top-pinned post @Authors Round the South on FB. Featured booksellers are notified and offer support to the post on FB.
Tips: LBB banner runs on ARTS site and in every Lady Banks newsletter in the month.  Tag your author and share the post.
Run time: month
Deadline: Second to last Friday of the preceding monthSpecs: jacket image of book (jpg, gif) and no more than 250 word ad copy
Cost: Member Price: $549 / Nonmember Price: $799


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Announcing the Finalists for the 2019 Southern Book Prize

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 1, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Announcing the Finalists for the 2019 Southern Book Prize

In response to input from bookseller members, SIBA revamped the Southern Book Prize to streamline the selection process and encourage more bookseller and customer engagement, with a goal towards increasing excitement and sales around the holiday season.

Alongside the usual website nomination process, nominations to the prize were expanded to include SIBA bookseller member reviews submitted to Edelweiss for books that met the Southern Book Prize criteria – titles Southern in nature or by a Southern author (or both) and published in the 2018 calendar year. The expanded nomination list included more than 100 titles. The 2019 Southern Book Prize Finalists below were selected according to the number of nominations and/or reviews they received.

Winners will be chosen by popular vote, and SIBA stores will be encouraged to involve their customers in the voting process by creating in-store displays of the finalist titles as part of their holiday promotions. Each store will be provided postage-paid postcard ballots to hand out to booksellers and customers. An online ballot will also be available. Returned ballots will be entered into a raffle to win a complete set of the finalist titles.

In-store voting will begin the week of the Love Your Bookstore Challenge, November 10-16, building on the momentum of the grassroots campaign to encourage book buying at local bookstores and giving store customers chances to win more prizes. Voting will run from November 10 through February 1, 2019.

“We have heard from many of our members that they want more opportunities to promote Southern Book Prize titles during the holiday shopping season,” said SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell, “so we moved the timeline of the Prize forward.”  She noted that by including titles which received strong bookseller reviews on Edelweiss, the Southern Book Prize is drawing on books that have deep bookseller support and enthusiasm.
Southern Book Prize winners will be announced on February 14, Valentine’s Day.

2019 Southern Book Prize Finalists


A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin’s Press)
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)
Florida: Stories by Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books)
Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown (St. Martin’s Press)
Scribe by Alyson Hagy (Graywolf Press)
The Line that Held Us by David Joy (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)


The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table by Rick Bragg (Knopf)
Calypso by David Sedaris (Little, Brown & Company)
One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Southern Discomfort by Tena Clark (Touchstone)


Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BYR)
I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton (Push)
Lions & Liars by Kate Beasley (Farrar, Straus & Giroux BYR)
Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Watson Hackl (Random House BYR)

Honorable Mentions
Books which did not receive quite enough nominations to be finalists, but whose nominations were especially enthusiastic.

Anatomy of a Miracle by Jonathan Miles (Hogarth)
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco)
Treeborne by Caleb Johnson (Picador)
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper)
Varina by Charles Frazier (Ecco)
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)

Tags:  southern book prize 

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Targeting your audience: Reaching the gift-buyer

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 25, 2018

Targeting your audience: Reaching the gift-buyer

Happy Holidays'Tis the season. For the next ten weeks booksellers are going to be 110% focused on making the most of the holiday shopping season. Holiday catalogs have shipped, holiday orders have been placed, events have been scheduled and seasonal decorations have been...if not put up then at least unpacked.

One of SIBA's great strengths is its promotional programs that reach directly to the consumer market, something that publishers can take advantage of during the holiday season. Build on the excitement and momentum created by the holidays to target gift-buyers and give your products an extra push:

Consumer-targeted promotions:

Circle of Sites: a banner that appears on the home page of more than 50 participating Southern bookstores, and in the week's edition of the Lady Banks Newsletter. The most extensive web-based consumer-targeted promotion SIBA offers. Space is limited.


Social Blast: Social media promotional posts sent out across all of SIBA's social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The most flexible promotion offered, social blasts can be published on any day of the week, and at any time of the day. They are tagged to reach SIBA's member bookstores and their customers, as well as SIBA's own following of readers and gift buyers.


Social Blast example

Lady Banks Banners: Banner ads are available in the popular Lady Banks newsletter, which reaches over 7000 people directly as well as being shared on social media. In publication for over ten years, the Lady Banks newsletter has perhaps the most committed following among Southern readers. Header Banners (most visible) and inline banners are both available.

Example Header Banner:

All of SIBA's consumer-targeted promotions are designed to increase book sales at our member stores. Click-through links go to SIBA store product pages for purchasing.

Contact Linda-Marie for more information

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How You Can Help Booksellers Impacted by the Recent Hurricanes

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, October 17, 2018


How You Can Help Booksellers Impacted by the Recent Hurricanes

In the wake of Hurricanes Florence and Michael, residents of the Carolinas and Florida are facing unprecedented amounts of damage. It's anticipated that in some areas the entire power grid will need to be rebuilt.

We have begun receiving requests for assistance and know that many bookstores and booksellers have been affected. We are currently helping two bookstores that were impacted by both hurricanes

  1. Tell every bookseller and bookstore owner affected by the hurricanes about Binc. We are here for them. Our Contact: or call us at 866-733-9064.
  2. Make a donation today. If you work for a company that matches charitable donations, today is the day to double your contribution.

We are counting on you to help booksellers and their families.

Thank you,
Kate & The Binc Foundation Team

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Put Your Money Where Your South Is!

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Put Your Money Where Your South Is!

The SIBA team spent all last week combing through our stats and advertising offerings to vet them for continuation, and we'll soon have a new advertising kit for you.  But I thought I'd share a few things we learned.  We have adjusted our non-member pricing across the board.  And certainly being a SIBA member will save you tons of money if you do advertise with us.  

Our eblasts are incredible.  I'm delighted to report that we see 33% open rate with this piece going to over 800 bookseller emails.  It is an incredibly effective way to insure that booksellers know about your new books and promotions.  Not to mention that the click-thru rate averages 6%.  That's right, not .06, but whole number 6%.  We don't send out more than one a day but otherwise you are in charge of scheduling when your news goes out to booksellers.  It would cost $300 just to mail an equal number of physical postcards, and it would not be put directly in front of the bookseller.  The eblast is opened on a computer or phone or laptop and is the largest promotion, screen-wise, we offer.  It also benefits from booksellers' trust in SIBA, and offers grateful booksellers to communicate with the publishers that support us.  Beyond that, you are able to collect the direct-contact info from the booksellers who do express interest and allows you to grow the tribe for your books or promotions. All of this is why the price of the SIBA eblast will rise to $549 in 2019.

SIBA publishes 2 SIBAland newsletters every Thursday, one for booksellers, and the one you are reading now for industry.  In the SIBAland newsletter for booksellers, we are seeing a 50% open rate.  That is amazing, and we offer the opportunity to place a header banner on this newsletter any week you choose for only $399, and we offer a 5-week run special that lowers the price even more.  This is another great way to reach southern indie booksellers.  You have less control when the message launches as it is sent every Thursday at 4pm but like the eblast, it's a great way to reach booksellers.

Lastly, we are lowering the price to advertise at - we will be working through a complete redesign of the site in 2019 and we want to make sure you get your value from advertising there.  In 2019, the price will drop to $399 for a month.  We will be asking booksellers to review the site regularly throughout the process and would love to see you try out some banner promotions there.

There's so much more coming your way in 2019, and we want SIBA to be your go-to for making sure your books, southern & others, are on the minds and in the eyeballs of southern indie booksellers.

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Upgraded eblast statistics now available!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Upgraded eblast statistics now available.

SIBA has recently contracted with the optimization service Email on Acid to provide advertisers with upgraded analytics for their eblast campaigns.

The SIBA eblast remains one of the most popular promotions SIBA offers to publishers:

  • They are simple. An eblast is a single message directed to a highly invested and motivated audience (SIBA store owners and frontline booksellers).
  • They are flexible. SIBA eblasts are optimized for both desktop and mobile platforms and can be scheduled to deploy on any day of the week.
  • They make an impact. At 800x800 pixels, eblasts offer the largest area of any online promotions for publishers to work with. An open eblast dominates the screen of any smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer.

SIBA eblasts also carry some of the highest open, impression, and clickthrough rates of any promotion that SIBA offers, making the $499 price one of the most cost effective and efficient ways to generate pre-pub excitiment for your book.

SIBA is now able to offer detailed previews of eblast campaigns on multiple platforms and browsers before they are sent -- allowing advertisers to spot and correct potential issues ahead of time.

A detailed summary of eblast campaign statistics is also now available, including not only open and clickthrough rates, but also engagement, geolocation, and email client information.

Tags:  eblast 

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Book Now for 2019 @ 2018 Prices

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Book Now for 2019 @ 2018 Prices

You have a ton of great books coming out in 2019, and advertising pricing will likely rise.  I encourage you to book now for 2019.  You can see the many offerings in our current Put Your Money Where Your South Is! brochure.  You can see the most updated specs and stats to help with decision making. And peruse our Press Kit for ROI.  Lady Banks Bookshelf has gotten a great face lift and remains and incredible value.  Circle of Sites continues to spread your book's banner ad across multiple bookstore websites. And the header banner in the weekly SIBAland newsletter to booksellers is a great way to get your message out to southern booksellers.  Don't delay, book today!

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