Read Your Okra! Announcing the 2015 Summer Okra Picks

Columbia, SC – Summer is the time for picking okra, and the Southern Independent Booksellers have just picked a fresh crop -- the 2015 Summer Okra Picks have just been chosen. A bushel of books that represent the best in southern lit, fresh off the vine. All the picks have a strong Southern focus and are published between July and September, 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 Summer Okra Picks

Bloody Royal PrintsThe Flying CircusBull MountainSerafina and the Black Cloak

Bloody Royal Prints by Reba White Williams
9781440585456 | Tyrus Books | 07/03/2015 | $16.99

The Flying Circus by Susan Crandall
9781476772141 | Gallery Books | 07/07/2015 | $26.00

Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich
9780399173967 | G.P. Putnam's Sons | 07/07/2015 | $26.95

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
9781484709016 | Disney-Hyperion Press | 07/14/2015 | $16.99

RuthlessMiss EmilyGo Set a WatchmanYard War

Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams
9781481422628 | Simon Pulse | 07/14/2015 | $17.99

Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor
9780143126751 | Penguin Books | 07/14/2015 | $16.00

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
9780062409850 | Harpercollins | 07/14/2015 | $27.99

Yard War by Taylor Kitchings
9780553507539 | Wendy Lamb Books | 08/18/2015 | $16.99

The Gates of EvangelineThe Sea Keeper's DaughtersThe Drunken Spelunker's Guide to PlatoA Free State

The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
9780399174001 | G.P. Putnam's Sons | 09/01/2015| $26.95

The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate
9781414386904 | Tyndale House | 09/08/2015 | $19.99

The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to Plato by Kathy Giuffre
9780895876515 | John F. Blair Publisher | 09/08/2015 | $26.95

A Free State by Tom Piazza 
9780062284129 | Harper | 09/15/2015 | $25.99

Okra Picks are chosen every season by Southern Independent Bookstores. For more information visit

(Columbia, SC) – The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA), with the generous support of Baker & Taylor, is hosting an Owners Retreat for owners of independent bookstores at the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown July 28-29. Registration is $50, which covers hotel and meals, and attendance is limited to 20 bookstore owners.

The Owners Retreat was created on the basis of feedback from booksellers to give store owners a place to discuss the challenges that they face as small business owners as well as independent booksellers, with a chance to brainstorm ideas and solutions in a focused setting. Among the topics that will be covered are Finances, Employee Relations, and Growing Your Business.

Dr. John Sherlock, from the Department of Human Services, Human Resources Program, Western Carolina University, will be the Keynote speaker for lunch on July 28th, speaking on Human Resource Management. Margaret Lane, author of Strength Finder, will be the featured speaker at breakfast on  July 29th, talking about Strength-Based Leadership.

The event also includes attendance at the SIBA Booksellers Summer Revival at Quail Ridge Books on July 29th.

For more information and to register for the Retreat, please visit:

(Columbia, SC) – The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) will be hosting a Summer Booksellers Revival at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC on Wednesday, July 29th. The event will run from 10 am to 3 pm and includes lunch. It is free of charge to SIBA member bookstores.

The Revival is designed to give booksellers a chance to network with each other and trade ideas in an informal setting. Among the topics scheduled for the event are:

  • Hosting Authors in Schools: How to Create a Program that's Successful for Authors, Publishers, Schools and Booksellers
  • Best Practices for Great Events, From the Proposal, Through the Event, to the Follow-up

The featured Lunch Speaker will be Bridgette Lacy, author of Sunday Dinner, thanks to the generous support of the University of North Carolina Press.

Booksellers interested in attending should RSVP to Sarah Goddin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
More information about the SIBA Summer Revival can be found at:

(Columbia, SC) -- Tthe Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) is pleased to announce the newest member of its team, Amy Cherrix. Amy is coming on board as SIBA's Author Liaison -- dedicated to helping authors make the most of the opportunities available from SIBA, so they can reach southern audiences and booksellers in the most effective, and cost-effective, way possible.


Amy comes to SIBA with a long history in publishing and bookselling, and is an author herself with a book due out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017. She understands the challenges faced by authors in the current market, and believes passionately in the importance of fostering good partnerships between authors and independent bookstores.

Amy began her publishing career by earning a master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College, where she also taught graduate level courses in children’s lit. She went on to edit books at Houghton Mifflin Books for Young Readers and has also edited reviews for The Horn Book Guide. During graduate school, Amy honed her Jedi hand-selling skills at the fiercely independent Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA. Now a professional freelance editor, Amy consults and advises early career authors and industry veterans on every aspect of their creative work from crafting a pitch and finding an agent, to publication and marketing.

When she’s not reading or trolling the Internet for late-breaking children’s publishing headlines and tips, she writes books of her own. CURIOUS GEORGE DISCOVERS THE RAINBOW publishes this spring and LANDFALL: THE HURRICANE SCIENTISTS hits shelves in early 2017 as part of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Scientists in the Field series. She blogs at and you can tweet her @acherrix.

Amy will be available to answer questions about author-targeted SIBA programs like the Lady Banks Newsletter Interviews, the "Love an Indie" Author Badge program and the "STARS" program,
and to work with authors to design promotional campaigns in support of their
book tours.

Amy can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The newest titles are considered first for author appearances. 

The majority of the slots are filled by authors of books that pub in the Fall of 2015 and the Winter of 2016. 

Balance is achieved by having authors of contemporary fiction, nonfiction, biographic and childrens content as well as celebrity authors. Suggested authors will also be considered as speakers for panels and readings and other events. 

An administrative fee of $299 will be charged for each confirmed author at the SIBA Discovery Show. Sponsoring entities are not charged administrative fees. 

Please submit your suggestions via the form found at the bottom of this page, or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or fax (309-410-0211) or mail to: SIBA, 3806 Yale Ave., Columbia, SC 29205. The deadline is May 15, 2015.

If you have any questions call or email Wanda Jewell at the SIBA office at 803-994-9530;

Beloved Sponsors of the Discovery Show do not pay author confirmation fees. If you are not a sponsor and are interested take a look:

  Put Your Money Where Your South Is!