The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) has designated 2015 as the Year of Engagement. Recognizing that everyone involved in the book business is a bookseller at heart, SIBA is implementing "B3! Building Better Booksellers" – a new engagement program that rewards SIBA members for participating in the SIBA and Southern Bookselling community. Participation earns points, and the more points accumulated, the greater the rewards. Members who are active enough can earn enough points to pay their dues, receive free meal tickets to the SIBA Discovery Show, and even free travel and hotel accommodations.
Some of the things that earn points for members include nominating books for the SIBA Book Awards and the Okra Picks, uploading photos to SIBA galleries, taking the holiday catalog, and sharing SIBA news on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Even just opening SIBA’s email will earn points.
The goal of the program is to engage the Southern Bookselling Community and raise the visibility of Southern Indie Bookstores, and increase the value of investing in programs targeted towards Southern bookstores and their customers.
B3! Building Better Booksellers is made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts, which awarded SIBA a $40,000 grant at the beginning of the year in honor of SIBA’s 40th anniversary. The goal of the grant is to recognize the importance of Southern independent bookstores to the industry and the Southern literary community. Accordingly, one of the goals SIBA has set is to see every member store attend its 40th anniversary Discovery Show September 18-20 in Raleigh, North Carolina. SIBA members who participate actively in B3! Building Better Booksellers through engagement can receive an all-expense paid trip to the show.
But the real benefit will be in the heightened visibility and recognition they receive for their store, and the increased interest they get for the books they are…engaged in.
- Category: SIBA News
Winter is the time for Okra!
Columbia, SC – Although winter is a time for enjoying the year’s harvest, here in the South we’re still picking Okra! The Winter 2015 Okra Picks have just been announced--the best southern lit, fresh off the vine. All the chosen books have a strong Southern focus and are published between January and March, 2015, and all of them have fans among Southern indie booksellers; people who are always looking out for the next great writer who should be on your plate and in your TBR stack. So it is very likely the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore, someone will hand you one and say, “You’ve got to read this!”
The 2015 Winter Okra Picks
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Chris Scotton
9781455551927 | Grand Central Publishing | 01/06/2015 | 26.00
Hall of Small Mammals: Stories by Thomas Pierce
9781594632525 | Riverhead Books | 01/08/2015 | 27.95
Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm
9780525427506 | Viking Books | 01/22/2015 | 27.95
Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama by Hester Bass
9780763669195 |Candlewick Press (MA) | 01/27/2015 | 16.99
Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League by Jonathan Odell
9781940210049 | Maiden Lane Press | 02/04/2015 | 16.00
My Sunshine Away by M O Walsh
9780399169526 | Putnam Adult | 02/10/2015 | 26.95
Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson
9780062302120 | William Morrow & Company | 02/17/2015 | 25.99
Sisters of Shiloh by Becky and Kathy Hepinstall
9780544400009 | Houghton Mifflin | 03/03/2015 | 24.00
Mosquitoland by David Arnold
9780451470775 | Viking Children's Books | 03/03/ 2015 | 17.99
A Season of Fear by Brian Freeman
9781623654078 | Quercus | 03/03/2015 | 26.99
Soil by Jamie Kornegay
9781476750811 |Simon & Schuster | 03/10/2015 | 26.00
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
9780062238610 | Greenwillow Books | 03/24/2015 | 16.99
Okra Picks are chosen every season by Southern Independent Bookstores. For more information visit sibaweb.com/okra.
- Category: SIBA News
(Columbia, SC) – In what is becoming a tradition for the organization, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) has just released a video book trailer of B.J. Novak’s best-selling children’s book, The Book With No Pictures. The video features authors who appeared at SIBA’s Discovery Show in September in Norfolk, each of whom reads a page from what has been described as a “wildly funny” and “irresistibly silly” book about the joys of made-up words, wacky sounds, and reading out loud to kids (both the real kind and the inner-child kind).
Clearly, some of the participating authors had no trouble tapping into their own inner child in order to read out “I am a robot monkey” (M.O. Walsh, My Sunshine Away) or “My head made of blueberry pizza” (J.E. Thompson, The Girl from Felony Bay), or even to break into a musical rendition of “Glug, glug, glug” --for which author Rachel Vail (Unfriended) deserves the SIBA version of a Grammy.
The video was produced by Linda Watson (Fifty Weeks of Green: Romance & Recipes) with her husband, videographer Bruce Watson, and is the second book trailer released by SIBA, the first being a rendition of It’s a Book, Lane Smith’s amusing look at the perks of print versus e-books, which was created at the 2013 SIBA Trade Show in New Orleans.
SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell came up with the idea for the book trailers as a way to harness the talent of the authors who attended the show. “Every year the show draws an incredible collection of amazing, talented, funny writers who adore books,” she said. “The videos give them a fun way to share that passion, promote their own books a little bit, and also gives our member bookstores something fun and unique to share with their own customers.”
The Book With No Pictures has already spent six weeks on the Southern Indie Bestseller List.
- Category: SIBA News
(Columbia, SC) The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) announced today that it has received a $40,000 grant from the Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts. The grant, which honors SIBA’s 40 years of support for Southern independent bookstores, will be dedicated to bringing every SIBA member store to SIBA’s 40th Anniversary Discovery Show in Raleigh, North Carolina, September 18-20.
"It is a marvelous statement of support for the importance of independent bookselling,” said Executive Director Wanda Jewell, "and we’re going to rise to the challenge to bring 100% of SIBA member bookstores to Raleigh in 2015. Reba and Dave will be on hand to kick off the show as the Keynotes at our Industry Breakfast in Raleigh on September 18,2015.”
"As Southerners, however displaced in Yankee-land, Dave and I are big believers in Southern books and bookstores, and the Southern literary tradition,” said Reba Williams. "We just celebrated our 7th annual Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction—the prize going to Liza Palmer for her Nowhere But Home, the first time we’ve had a winning book set in Dave’s home state of Texas.” Dave added, "There’s some self-interest here, too. Reba’s third Coleman and Dinah Greene mystery, Bloody Royal Prints, will be published next year, and my memoir of our 40 years of print collecting, Small Victories: One couple’s surprising adventures building an unrivaled collection of American prints will be out in December.”
Jewell said The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation has been a strong supporter of SIBA in the past –sponsoring scholarships for bookstores to attend the annual fall trade show in 2013 and 2014. "Our members regularly tell us their experience at the show—the things they learn and the connections they make with publishers and other booksellers—is one of the most valuable business resources they have. Large store or small, everyone seems to come away from the show with new ideas and new energy,” said Jewell.
SIBA’s membership averages between 150 and 175 independent, brick-and-mortar bookstores. But because SIBA’s territory extends across the entire lower eastern quarter of the United States, it can be difficult for some booksellers to travel the distances required, or arrange for time away from their own shops in order to attend the show, Jewell went on to explain. "But in 2015, no more excuses!” she said smiling. Thanks to the Reba and Dave Williams Foundation, which has been named SIBA’s 2015 Signature Sponsor, SIBA feels it has the resources to get every single one of its member bookstores to their 2015 show.
- Category: SIBA News
The BIBB Pick – "Bibb's Independent Bookstore Best of 2015" is Malaprop’s Bookstore & Café in Asheville, NC!
Voted warm, welcoming, inclusive, knowledgeable, and always with a smile by over 100 writers in attendance at #SIBA14…
The 2015 Bibb Pick is Malaprop’s Bookstore & Café in Asheville, NC. Founder and Owner Emoke B’Racz was pleased beyond words to be presented The Bibb podium.
(LtoR) Lauren Donohoe, Emoke B’Racz, and Linda Marie Barrett
all of Malaprop’s in Asheville, NC.
Besides voting, and signing the Bibb podium, nearly 80 authors committed to some form of support to the store over the next year. Over 30 authors will be linking their website directly to the Malaprop’s website. Fifteen authors have agreed to place the bookstore name – Malaprop’s Bookstore & Café – in their upcoming novel. Twenty-five writers have offered to create a video in support of the store for the store to use online or in store. Sixteen authors have agreed to invest in Malaprop’s store swag and promote virtually or in real time their love of Malaprop’s. Fifteen want to support Malaprop’s Indies First effort. Malaprop’s and her army of authors are going to make this inaugural Bibb Pick a Big One.
So what are those criteria again? Warm, welcoming, inclusive, knowledgeable, and always with a smile – Hopefully stores are inspired to bring these qualities to the forefront in hopes of winning the BIBB’s Independent Bookstore Best of 2016 in Raleigh, NC in September 2015.
About the Bibb Pick – Anonymously endowed, the BIBB Pick was created in 2014 in memory of Matthew Bibb, a long-time SIBA employee who handled Registration and a million other details at many SIBA Trade Shows. Matt died unexpectedly on Thanksgiving Day 2013.
- Category: SIBA News