For Immediate Release
January 31, 2017

The Southern Book Prize creates the Conroy Legacy Award

The Southern Book Prize(Columbia SC) The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) announces the creation of a “Lifetime Achievement” category for their annual book award program, The Southern Book Prize (formerly known as The SIBA Book Award). The new category, the Conroy Legacy Award, honors the example of beloved author Pat Conroy and recognizes writers who have achieved a lasting impact on their literary community. Recipients will have shown the following attributes:

  1. Support for independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general.
  2. Writing that focuses significantly on their own home place.
  3. Demonstrates support of other writers, especially new and emerging authors.

The Conroy Legacy Award is given to one writer in SIBA territory per year. A juried panel of SIBA member booksellers representing all of SIBA's states will choose among nominated writers to determine the year’s winner.

Although it is not necessary for a nominated writer to have a new book out in the award year, nominated writers must be living, and must have books in print. Nominations must come from SIBA member bookstores. The Legacy Award provides an opportunity for its member stores to recognize writers who have been important in their community.

Both a donation to the Pat Conroy Literary Center and a donation to a literary entity close to the heart of the writer will be made in the name of the Legacy Award recipient.

In 2016, SIBA rechristened its annual SIBA Book Award as The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize to honor Conroy and his profound impact on Southern literary life. Although it was intended as a one-time event, the booksellers immediately responded with names of writers they felt deserved that recognition. The Conroy Legacy Award was created to celebrate the deep connections between independent bookstores and the writers in their communities.

“The Conroy Legacy Award,” says SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell, “is our way of honoring the strong connection and partnership between writers and independent booksellers. We are all deeply involved in the literary life, in the life of the book, and in telling the story of our home place.”  

(Columbia, SC) In an effort to expand exposure to its bookstore members and their customers to books by people of color, starting February 1 SIBA is offering a 35% discount to publishers who wish to promote authors and illustrators of color for 2017.  Any book that has been written or illustrated by a person of color is eligible for the discount, which applies to all SIBA promotions with the exception of its annual Holiday Catalog, a shared revenue product.

“We had a strong call from our members to increase diversity in SIBA programming,” said Executive Director Wanda Jewell, “and to work with stores to increase the demand for diverse books,” adding that SIBA has already made an internal commitment to promote diverse authors and books in its consumer-targeted programs, such as the Lady Banks Commonplace Book newsletter.

“But it is an all-hands-on-deck process,” she added, “our booksellers are deeply committed to diversity, and we want publishers to see our membership as an enthusiastic and profitable audience for their divese writers.”

By offering the discount on SIBA promotional programs, Jewell hopes that publishers will not only send more diverse authors to SIBA territory, but also that they will see the benefit of committing more promotional dollars to their books as a whole.

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

The 2017 Winter 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 Winter Okra picks have a strong Southern focus and publish between January and March, and all have fans among Southern indie booksellers: the people who are always looking out for the next great writer to fill your reading plate. So the next time you visit your local Southern indie bookstore and someone says, "You've got to read this!" and hands you one of these tasty titles, dig in and ask for a second helping. Great books are always good for you!



The Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis
Hogarth, Hardcover, 9780451495648, 368pp.
Publication Date: March 7, 2017

The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish
HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780062433381, 368pp. 
Publication Date: January 24, 2017

Eveningland: Stories by Michael Knight
Atlantic Monthly Press, Hardcover, 9780802125972, 304pp. 
Publication Date: March 7, 2017


Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell; Shadra Strickland (illus.)
Chronicle Books, Hardcover, 9781452125909, 260pp. 
Publication Date: January 31, 2017

Mercies in Disguise by Gina Kolata
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250064349, 272pp. 
Publication Date: March 21, 2017

My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King
Henry Holt & Company, Hardcover, 9781627795982, 368pp. 
Publication Date: January 17, 2017


One Good Mama Bone by Bren McClain
University of South Carolina Press, Hardcover, 9781611177466, 280pp. 
Publication Date: February 14, 2017

Pure Heart: A Spirited Tale of Grace, Grit and Whiskey by Troy Ball
Dey Street Books, Hardcover, 9780062458971, 288pp. 
Publication Date: February 7, 2017

The River of Kings by Taylor Brown
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250111753, 336pp. 
Publication Date: March 21, 2017


The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers
Algonquin Books, Hardcover, 9781616205812, 272pp. 
Publication Date: January 10, 2017

Signals: New and Selected Stories by Tim Gautreaux
Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780451493040, 384pp. 
Publication Date: January 17, 2017

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250135995, 240pp. 
Publication Date: January 17, 2017

 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Larry May, 865-922-7490

 

GABBS  SIBA

GABBS Comes to a Close, SIBA Regroups
Writing the end of GABBS, and the future of The Discovery Show

Immediately following the #SIBA16 Discovery Show, GABBS owner Larry May, determined that his 20-year old Bargain Books show was no longer economically viable. This was not an easy decision, coming on the heels as it does of SIBA’s announcement of a 2018 merged show with GABBS. A steep decline in exhibitor commitments convinced May that the show was no longer financially feasible, so GABBS will close immediately, and the proposed merger between the GABBS show and the SIBA Discovery Show will not take place.

“I’m sorry for the confusion and frustration that we’ve caused SIBA,” said Larry May in a letter to SIBA members announcing the close, “GABBS has courted and been associated with SIBA for many years and has the utmost respect for all involved.  It was certainly never my intention to create this predicament and cause distress.”  Wanda Jewell said, “All things are opportunities. I am sad for Larry, his family, and booksellers, that GABBS is going away.  GABBS has been an active player in supporting bookstores in the south, and across the country.  SIBA will feel the loss.”

The SIBA in the Springtime event will still be held in Atlanta on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.  The theme is “Writing the Future of the SIBA Discovery Show”.  All SIBA members and show stakeholders are invited to Atlanta for the day.  The event will begin at 10am and end at 3pm so that anyone within a two hour drive can leave home in the morning and be back in time for dinner.  There will be sessions on all aspects of the show:  location, time of year, format, education, exhibits, author events, consumer events, and fresh ideas.  “We want to explore the many options in front of us and have everyone who’d like to be heard have that opportunity.” confirmed Jewell.

(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.