(Columbia, SC) – The 2016 Fall Okra Picks have been selected – a flavor-filled collection of new Southern books hand-picked by Southern indie booksellers – people with impeccable taste in books.. 

All the picks have a strong Southern focus and are publishing between October and December, 2016, and all 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 the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore, expect someone to hand you one and say, “You’ve got to read this!” Take them at their word. Great books are always good for you!

The 2016 Fall Okra Picks   

Robert Walker The King of the Birds The ForgettingHungry is a Might Fine Sauce

Robert Walker 
by Corey Mesler
Livingston Press, September 2016
Fiction, 9781604891720

The King of the Birds
by Acree Graham Macam
Groundwood Books, September 2016
Juvenile, 9781554988518

The Forgetting
by Sharon Cameron
Scholastic Press, September 2016
Juvenile, 9780545945219 

Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce
by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson
Shiloh Run Press, October 2016
Cooking, 9781634097826 

Two By TwoThe Home Place Book of Isaias Book of Isaias

Two By Two
by Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing, October 2016
Fiction, 9781455520695 

The Home Place
by J. Drew Lanham
Milkweed Editions, October 2016
Nonfiction, 9781571313157 

Gertie’s Leap to Greatness
by Kate Beasley
Farrar Straus and Giroux for Young Readers, October 2016
Juvenile, 9780374302610 

The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America 
by Daniel Connolly
St. Martin’s Press, October 2016
Nonfiction, 9781250083067

Among the Living Lowcountry Heart The Virgin and Other Stories Love Alice A Question of Mercy

Among the Living
by Jonathan Rabb
Other Press, October 2016
Fiction, 9781590518038 

A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life
by Pat Conroy
Nan A. Talese, October 2016
Nonfiction, 9780385530866 

Virgin and Other Stories
by April Ayers Lawson
Farrar Straus and Giroux, November 2016
Fiction, 9780865478695 

Love, Alice
by Barbara Davis
Berkley Books, December 2016
Fiction, 9780451474810 

A Question of Mercy
by Elizabeth Cox
Story River Books, December 2016
Fiction, 9781611177220 

Okra Picks are chosen every season by Southern Independent Bookstores. For more information visit authorsroundthesouth.com/okra.

For immediate release:

siba gabbs

(Columbia, SC) Beginning in 2018, The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Discovery Show will share the roof with the national Great American Bargain Book Show (GABBS) and international AmericasMart Atlanta (MART) in March in Atlanta.  The new partnership is the result of several years of collaboration and brainstorming for ways to better serve the needs of each show’s target audiences in a rapidly changing market while sharing the costs for developing new programming.

The Discovery Show will focus on bringing top bestselling authors to the South, providing easy access to gifts and bargain books, and creating opportunities for stores to increase profit margins. SIBA’s core members will enjoy a vibrant literary city that is centrally located and an easy flight or drive from all corners of SIBA’s territory.  Exhibitors will enjoy access to GABBS & MART attendees in addition to all of SIBA’s regulars.  SIBA will have access to booksellers across the nation who attend GABBS and will increase the vitality of SIBA’s education.  Being off-season from the other shows will allow for publishers and exhibitors to focus on the SIBA show and SIBA booksellers. SIBA booksellers will have the opportunity to plan for the year, seeing both what is currently available and what is forthcoming, not to mention the opportunity for gift buying for summer, fall & winter that will be possible.  Perhaps most importantly for the region, Southern football will no longer prevent many bookseller members from attending the SIBA Discovery Show. 

SIBA’s core booksellers will be able to count on SIBA to deliver quality education, top-notch author events, plus the incentives and scholarships to attend the 2018 SIBA Discovery Show that are always available.  Exhibitors will be have the option to participate in a one-day or two-day exhibit, will have access to attendees outside of SIBA, and will enjoy a more vibrant show floor.  Admission to the SIBA Discovery Show will include admission to the MART and GABBS.

“I’m so excited to move SIBA in this way and to partner with these folks.  My mind is abuzz with all of the opportunities this move opens up for us.  And in sharing the costs with GABBS, it frees up dollars for more immersive education and professional speakers in addition to our seasoned industry contributors,” says SIBA’s Executive Director, Wanda Jewell.  

The organization recognizes there will be an adjustment for members, exhibitors, and attendees during the transition from a September show in New Orleans in 2017 to a March show in Atlanta in 2018. Both SIBA and partner GABBS are committed to assisting booksellers and exhibitors in making that transition.  The dates for the 2018 March show will be announced in early 2017.

“We’ll be bringing three vital parts of the book business together at one show, under one roof,” says Jewell. “It will be an amazing opportunity for our members to get down to business in a way that aligns with current times.”

For more information contact Wanda Jewell, Executive Director, SIBA, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For immediate release
Contact:
Wanda Jewell, Executive Director
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Ave
Columbia, SC 29205
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The best in southern literature, from the people who would know . . . Southern Independent (and independently-minded!) Booksellers

The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize(Columbia, SC) Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize.

"What a delicious gumbo of literary works--salty, spicy, bittersweet, and sour. I loved all of these books for the sole reason that they tell the world in colorful, rich and diverse language just what it so special and, yes, crazy about the American South." – Hub City Bookshop, Spartanburg, SC

Formerly the “SIBA Book Award,” the newly reborn Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize features an expanded list of categories, inspired by the tastes and inclinations of Southern readers. Nominated by booksellers and their customers, vetted by bookstores and selected by a jury of Southern booksellers, these are the Southern books that Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most “you’ve got to read this” moments and “hand sell” moments in stores across the South. The nine winners chosen from a field of nearly forty finalists. Together, they represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.

My Sunshine Away Above the Waterfall Bull Mountain The Bone Tree
Soul Food Love Dispatches from Pluto Jacksonland
Mosquitoland
Serafina and the Black Cloak

The Great Santini Fiction Prize Winner: 
My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

“This debut author spins a tale that will grab you from the first page and keep you turning pages until the last.”– Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

The Prince of Tides Literary Prize Winner: 
Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash (Ecco Press)

“Beautiful language, I could not put this book down.  Read it in one day.” – Garden District Bookshop, New Orleans, LA

The Beach Music Mystery Prize Winner: 
Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

“ Reads like a twisty, dark TV series you can't help but binge-watch.” – Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

The Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize Winner: 
The Bone Tree by Greg Isles (William Morrow & Company)

“Iles has written an intense, tightly plotted narrative with more than one shocking turn of events that will have readers racing to finish, but then pining away for the third installment of this massive and electrifying trilogy.” – Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize Winner: 
Soul Food Love by Alice Randall (Clarkson Potter Publishers)

I really appreciate the goal of this cookbook - to make Soul food quick, inexpensive, tasty and healthy! The family history part of the cookbook was very interesting and I appreciated the honesty of the authors. I loved the pictures of the family & the finished product of the recipes.” – Joe’s Place, Greenville, SC

The Death of Santini NonFiction Prize Winner: 
Dispatches from Pluto by Richard Grant (Simon & Schuster)

"In Dispatches From Pluto, Richard Grant brings clarity, insight, and wit through his outsider's observations of a small and forgotten community in the Mississippi Delta. The situations he writes of and the people he comes to know as friends are brought warmly and enrichingly to life as he settles his family in a rotting and dilapidated plantation home in Pluto, Mississippi." – Pass  Books, Pass Christian, MS

The Water is Wide History & Life Stories Prize Winner: 
Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep (Penguin Press

“Great history! Loved the book, very well written”  – Books Unlimited, Franklin, NC

Poppy's Pants Young Adult Prize Winner: 
Mosquitoland by David Arnold (Viking Books for Young Readers)

“Mim's voice in this amazing amalgam of a love story, a road trip novel, and a coming-of-age story, will stay with you long after you finish .” – Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Poppy's Pants Youngster's Prize Winner: 
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty (Disney-Hyperion)

“A wonderfully thrilling mystery for young readers that is as much a celebration of being "different" as it is pitch-perfect creepiness.” – Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Nine great books for your Southern reading list. But remember that they come from a "gumbo of literary works--salty, spicy, bittersweet, and sour" to quote one Southern bookseller. To round out your literary diet, be sure to look at the full list of Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Finalists.

For more information on the SIBA Book Awards please visit SIBA’s website for Southern literature, http://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/read-this/siba-book-awards

 

[Booksellers: The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Winners could win you $1000!
Once again, SIBA will host the SIBA Book Award Display Contest at the upcoming SIBA Discovery Show September 16-18 in Savannah, Georgia. Create a table top display for one, more, or all of the Winners and recreate it on site at the show.  Industry peers will vote for their favorites, and the store with the winning display will receive $1000.  This display contest is open to SIBA’s Core Members only.  So display the books, get familiar and get your creative juices going!]

 

(Columbia, SC) – The heat is on and Southern Indie booksellers are cooking up a sizzling plate of summer Okra Picks! The 2016 Summer Okra Picks have just been selected–a hearty helping of great summer reading that will make your beach book bag look a little more nutritious. They're a baker’s dozen of great books representing the best in forthcoming southern lit, according to the people who would know–Southern independent booksellers. 

All the picks have a strong Southern focus and are publishing between July and September 2016, and all have fans among Southern booksellers: the people always on the lookout for the next great writer who belongs in your to-be-read stack. So on your next Southern Indie bookstore visit, expect to hear “You’ve got to read this!” and find one of these titles in your hands. Great books are always good for you!

The 2016 Summer Okra Picks   

The Cantaloupe Thief The Promis of Jessie Woods Underground Airlines Let the Devil Out

The Cantaloupe Thief 
by Deb Richardson-Moore
Lion Fiction, July 2016   
Fiction, 9781782641926

The Promise of Jesse Woods
by Chris Fabry
Tyndale House Publishers, July 2016
Fiction, 9781414387772

Underground Airlines
by Ben Winters
Mulholland Books, July 2016
Fiction, 9780316261241

Let the Devil Out: A Maureen Coughlin Novel
by Bill Loehfelm
Sarah Crichton Books, July 2016
Fiction, 9780374298579

Lowcountry Bookcllub Ninety-nine stories of God The Heavenly Table Cotton

Lowcountry Book Club
by Susan M. Boyer
Henery Press, July 2016
Fiction, 9781635110456

Ninety-Nine Stories of God
by Joy Williams
Tin House Books, July 2016
Fiction, 9781941040355

The Heavenly Table
by Donald Ray Pollock
Doubleday Books, July 2016
Fiction, 9780385541299

Cotton 
by Paul Heald
Yucca Publishing, July 2016
Fiction, 9781631580864

The Fire This Time The Risen Perfume River Nine Island Darktown

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race
by Jesmyn Ward
Scribner Book Company, August 2016
Nonfiction, 9781501126345

The Risen
by Ron Rash
Ecco Press, September 2016
Fiction, 9780062436313

Perfume River
by Robert Olen Butler
Atlantic Monthly Press, September 2016
Fiction, 9780802125750

Nine Island
by Jane Alison
Catapult, September 2016
Fiction, 9781936787128

Darktown
by Thomas Mullen
Atria, September 2016
Fiction, 9781501133862

Okra Picks are chosen every season by Southern Independent Bookstores. For more information visit authorsroundthesouth.com/okra.

SIBA CREATES PAT CONROY SCHOLARSHIPS, SPONSORED BY PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) is pleased to announce the creation of The Pat Conroy Scholarships in honor of the late author whose lifetime achievements have meant so much to Southern booksellers.  The scholarships, which will be bestowed to two booksellers annually in each of the next four years, are made possible by Penguin Random House, whose Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, and Random House Audio imprints publish Mr. Conroy’s works in hardcover, paperback, and audio editions respectively.

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

SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell said, “We believe that nurturing the next generation of career booksellers is one of the best things we can do to advance the future of bookselling.  These scholarships Penguin Random House is endowing, which deepen and expands this mutual commitment to foster education at the Discovery Show, are forward-looking, and will mean a lot to every SIBA bookseller.  How appropriate that these awards honor Pat Conroy, who was so kind and generous with all of us, and in particular, to those new to our industry.”

“Pat Conroy is a beloved Penguin Random House author,” said Jaci Updike, President, Sales, Penguin Random House, “and it is a privilege for us to honor his legacy in a manner that benefits new booksellers.  Pat deeply loved books and the men and women who sell them and would be made very happy and proud to have an opportunity to enhance their professional education.” 

Pat Conroy’s A LOW COUNTRY HEART: Reflections on a Writing Life, a new nonfiction collection of pieces spanning the author’s long literary career, has been announced for posthumous hardcover and e-book publication by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday on October 25, one day before his 71st birthday.

To be considered for a Pat Conroy Scholarship, booksellers can self-nominate, or be nominated by other booksellers or sales reps. Owners and managers are strongly encouraged to nominate frontline booksellers who are interested in bookselling as a career. The deadline for nominations for the 2016 Pat Conroy Scholarships is July 15, 2016.

Scholarship recipients will be announced on August 1.

The 2016 SIBA Discovery show will be held September 16-18 at the Hilton DeSoto in Savannah, Georgia.

To apply, the nominated bookseller should fill out the information below, and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • 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.