Announcing the 2014 Spring Okra Picks

Spring is the season for Okra! SIBA Booksellers pick a fresh batch of great Southern books

Okra PicksColumbia, SC -- Spring is finally upon us, which means a brand new crop of Okra Picks has been harvested by Southern Indie Bookstores.  It’s also time for some Okra! The Spring 2014 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 April and June, 2014, and all of them have fans among southern indie booksellers who are always looking out for the next great read you should know about.  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!”

 

 

 

 

Okra PicksThe 2014 Spring Okra Picks

Salvage  by Alexandra Duncan
9780062220141 | Greenwillow Books | 04/01/2014

Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir by Frances Mayes
9780307885913 | Crown Publishing Group | 04/01/2014

The Whiskey Baron by  Jon Sealy               
9781891885747 | Hub City Press |  04/01/2014

Miss Julia's Marvelous Makeover by Ann B. Ross
9780670026111 | Viking Books | 04/08/2014

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek  by Maya Van Wagenen
9780525426813 |  Dutton Books | 04/15/2014

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
9780062311078 | William Morrow & Company | 04/29/2014

The Same Sweet Girl's' Guide to Life: Advice from a Failed Southern Belle by Cassandra King
9781940210032 | Maiden Lane Press | 05/01/2014

A Bird on Water Street by Elizabeth O. Dulemba
9781939775054 | Little Pickle Press | 05/07/2014

Between Wrecks  by George Singleton
9781938103797 | Dzanc Books   | 05/13/2014

A Southern Girl by John Warley
9781611173918 | Story River Books | 05/15/2014

A Long Time Gone by Karen White
9780451240460 | New American Library | 06/03/2014

The Inevitable City: The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America by Scott Cowen
9781137278869 | Palgrave MacMillan | 06/10/2014

Flying Shoes by Lisa Howorth
9781620403013 | Bloomsbury Publishing PLC | 06/17/2014

Read more about the Okra Picks at okrapicks.com!

SIBA in the SpringTime & GABBS Atlanta are just around the corner: Mar 6, 7, 8, 9!

Mark your calendars, make your travel plans, and get your ask to Atlanta!  This is the time to ask all of your questions about gifts, bargain books, SIBA, ABA, Author/Bookseller relations, and how to deal with those irksome bookstore situations that arise and challenge booksellers daily.

 
This year SIBA is pulling together a different kind of author event at SIBA in the Springtime.  One that is less about the book and more about the selling.  Please review the details and let me know if you'd like to attend.  We have a limited number of slots and I hope you will fill one but if not, please decide before Valentine's Day. The Indies First Movement grew out of a conversation with an author and a bookseller and I'm thinking many more great ideas can grow if we come together.  So join us. It's going to be FUN!
 
For this first time, GABBS will be offering Field Trips to the Atlanta Gift Market. Veteran booksellers who have been buying at the mart for years are going to take booksellers around the mart with them for an hour showing them the ropes and the gifts that are working for them.  Meet the reps and mark the steps to success with gifts.
 
Again, this year, ABA will be bringing quality education and a member forum to GABBS on Friday morning.  Professional booksellers will not want to miss these. And there is more on Saturday so check it out and get your ask to Atlanta on March.
 
And we haven't even touched on the hundreds of quality vendors that will be ready to meet with you on Fri, Sat, and Sun of GABBS bringing thousands of books and other items that your customers are in the market for and don't even know it.  So find those surprises and perfect picks among the vendors at the Great American Bargain Book Show.
 

SIBA Wraps up a Great Year!

At the 2013 SIBA Trade Show, over 150 authors contributed to a SIBA effort to thank her core indie bookstores.  Each member bookstore received this week a limited edition, original, roll of wrapping paper that features the authors’ signature.  A limited number of additional rolls are still available.  Priced for the public at $24.99 per roll, each roll wraps six books and will add a unique feature to your gift-giving.  It is SIBA’s hope to be able to provide a unique line of wrapping paper available only through and for southern indie bookstore members going forward but a demand must be established in order to get the price down.  So if you’d like a unique one-of-a-kind look for your book gift-giving, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Additional rolls are also being made available to SIBA member bookstores for $20, while supplies last.

Here’s a picture of the six wrapped books (alphabet ribbon not included):
Wrapping Paper

Here’s a close-up of some of the autographs found on the wrapping paper:
Julia Glass Nick Bruel Lee Smith Pat Conroy Gigi Amateau William Joyce

And here is a link to the authors who donated their signatures to the effort:  http://www.pinterest.com/wjewell/siba13-authors/

Remembering Matt Bibb

A Letter to SIBA's friends from Wanda Jewell, Executive Director

Matt Bibb

I am heartbroken.  As is Matt Bibb’s family.  Matt Bibb passed away on Thanksgiving morning.  He had apparently been ill with what was thought to be a flu, but it turned out to be more serious than that. Since I learned, I have been thanking my lucky stars to have known this fellow.  Matt and I were an unlikely but dynamic duo.

I believe I first met Matt in 2002.  The SIBA show was to be held in Atlanta and I trained a dozen Chapter Eleven booksellers to work that show’s registration over the weekend.  One stood out, and that was Matt.  You couldn’t help but notice him.  Well over six feet tall, a bear of a guy with a long dark ponytail and a beard to match.  And he stood out in other ways as well.  He could not have been more amenable and hard-working and he has been behind the registration desk at every SIBA since. I’m so glad he was at the New Orleans show.  Matt had an affinity for New Orleans.  It was his kind of town.  I cannot imagine a SIBA Show without him.

He is the only person who called me “boss”, and he used it like it was my name, and I loved it.  He has met and won the heart of each member of my family and actually stopped by our house for an afternoon last July and we had a long visit, and then we had our regular time in New Orleans.  Matt always brought me a gift when he came to the SIBA show and this year was no different.  I have three horseshoes he brought this year, and from previous years, I have a brass book necklace, little toys that I think are from anima?? (Matt loved sci-fi and fantasy), and a pair of house shoes that look like some octopus type creature and so many funny little items that are scattered across my home.  I never see them without remembering him.  He was a voracious reader and a gifted storyteller.

Matt was living on his mom’s farm.  He shared many stories about the chickens and the cows, and the dogs, and the people that resided and visited there.  Matt texted me some time back would I be offended if he named one of his cows after me as she had my eyes.  I was delighted and even more so now that there is a cow called Wanda.  Here is what Matt’s mom shared with me yesterday about Wanda the cow:

“I have to tell you that your cow is a pain in the butt, she wanders in and out of the fence at will, stops the school bus in the road because she won't move.  Just kinda does as she pleases and we all just have to adjust.”

He loved us well.  I felt as though Matt would do anything I asked.  I will miss him more than I can say.

Here is what I know:

Anne Bibb Ruble is Matt’s mom.  Her number is 770 316 9044.  She is only up for texts right now but would love to hear from folks who knew and loved Matt.  Her snail mail is 2173 Foster Sprouse Rd., Thomson, GA 30824.  Her facebook is: https://www.facebook.com/anne.bibbruble and Matt’s facebook is: https://www.facebook.com/matthew.bibb.3?fref=ts

Matt hated funerals.  His mom has asked his friends to get together and have a few drinks and tell Matt stories.  I am asking that you share your Matt stories on one of their facebook pages or at SIBA’s: https://www.facebook.com/SouthernIndependentBooksellersAlliance

I want Matt’s mom to enjoy and see our stories and if we share on facebook she will be able to see them.

And finally, Matt’s mom wanted yall to know:

“Matt lived for SIBA.  It’s what made the whole year worthwhile.  Please let them know Matt has died and he truly loved all of them.”

 

 

SIBA goes red and green in December!

Lady Banks’ Bookshelf will be heavy with the holiday (catalog).

SIBA Holiday CatalogThe SIBA Holiday Catalog is a huge gift to booksellers from publishers and assists in underwriting many of SIBA’s programs. This year SIBA, along with Lady Banks, will give a little back by using the month of December to promote the catalog and her titles. We want to show our appreciation in a big way by doing something that expresses our gratitude to the supporting publishers and the titles they place in the catalog.

For the entire month we will transform “Lady Banks Bookshelf”  -- SIBA’s high-visibility, direct-to-consumer book promotion venue -- into a showcase for the holiday catalog.  The Authors Round the South Facebook  page cover image will be dedicated to the holiday catalog, and a pinned post will promote a link to the catalog on AuthorsRoundTheSouth.com, where the titles will be linked to a rotating selection of SIBA’s indie bookstore members.  SIBA also plans on paid Facebook promotions of the post throughout the month of December. 

In addition, the December issues of Lady Banks’ Commonplace Book email newsletter will be dedicated to the titles in the catalog.  We will be hosting trailers, interviews, reviews, and info about the books in the Holiday Catalog and feature sections of the catalog across the month.  We are compiling related assets now and invite any publisher with content to support their catalog titles to send the content to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – we will use as much as we can.  You can subscribe to the Lady Bank’s Commonplace Book email newsletter here.

Instead of Happy Holidays, SIBA says Thank You!