SIBA Industry Summit - Meeting of the Minds Recap

Below is a recap to show every fun-filled moment!

with thanks to our generous sponsors:



Tuesday, May 14



These enthusiastic booksellers (accounts listed below) were excited to begin the first day of events in Nashville with generous sponsor Hachette Nashville and Inkreadible! Sponsor Baker & Taylor:

B&L Books

The Book Seller, St. Vincent's Hospital

The Booksellers at Laurelwood

Fiction Addiction

FoxTale Book Shoppe

Horton's Books & Gifts

Little Shop of Stories

Page & Palette

Page After Page Bookstore

Parnassus Books

Quail Ridge Books & Music



The event began with a lovely private lunch at Table 3, with Jericho Books Publisher, Wendy Grisham, welcoming the crowd and getting the conversation started.




Next on the itinerary was a visit to Parnassus Books for the Let’s Talk About Books! Event with host Donna Nicely and special guest Georgeanne Chapman for their celebration of Children's Book Week!




Afterwards, we took a look around the store.



The “Ann Recommends” display featured many HBG favorites including The Casual Vacancy, Schroder, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette.



We then visited the Hachette Nashville Office for the Editors’ Book Picks. Rolf Zettersten got things started and introduced Jana Burson, Wendy Grisham, and Joey Paul to present their titles.





We were then joined by Hachette Nashville authors Nadia Bolz Webber (Pastrix); Lillian Daniels (When "Spiritual But Not Religious); Becca Stevens (Snake Oil ); Phil Madeira (God on the Rocks); Ted Dekker (Outlaw); James Sheehan (The Alligator Man) and the entire Hachette Nashville office for an Author Reception.








The evening concluded with an Author Dinner at Sunset Grill with the publishers, Baker & Taylor, and booksellers.


Dinner.JPGChris & Becca.JPG


Nadia at Dinner.JPG



Wednesday, May 15


Day 2 of the SIBA Industry Summit started off with a visit to Thistle Farms to join in the Meditation Circle.


Reverend Becca Stevens (author of Snake Oil) is the founder of Magdalene & Thistle Farms, a community and social enterprise that assists women recovering from prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets.

Magdalene, the residential model, serves women for two years at no cost to residents.

Thistle Farms employs 40 residents and graduates who manufacture, market and sell all natural bath and beauty products in over 200 retail stores across the globe.



This was followed by a Working Lunch/ Meeting of the Minds at the Hachette Nashville Office to discuss independent bookselling, wholesaler, and publisher’s best practices.





Thank you Hachette Nashville and Baker & Taylor for a great Meeting of the Minds!


2013 SIBA Book Award Finalists

SIBA Book AwardThe Story

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk took him through A Land More Kind Than Home, down to The Cove where the Sea Changes, and A Million Suns Shine Shine Shine on its Fathomless waves, holding him in Thrall. His Descent led Down Bohicket Road towards his Permanent Camp overlooking The Accidental City, its buildings climbing the far slope to Stand Up That Mountain in the distance. It’s just a piece of Stray Decorum, he thought walking through the streets, dodging Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons as it swatted at the Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, who no longer lived in the old apartment building on the corner but had left the critters to flutter about, nonetheless. He wandered past My Bookstore and walked into the Back in the Day Bakery, where a class on Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking was underway (you could tell by the smell of fried chicken). He thought, “I’m hungry,” as he and my sister and Pete all gathered Around the Southern Table, laden with heaping platters of ole Fred Thompson’s Southern Sides. Billy Lynn turned to my sister and said “I just want to Chomp on 34 Pieces of You.” And she smiled. “Wouldn’t that make me Three Times Lucky,” she said. I knew then I was Losing My Sister to him.


(Columbia, SC) April 17, 2013 --  Southern Indie Booksellers have spoken! Members of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance have selected this year’s finalists for the 2013 SIBA Book Awards. There are twenty-five books on the list, representing booksellers' favorite hand sells of the year in fiction, nonfiction, children's, young adult, poetry and cooking.

2013 SIBA Book Award Finalists:

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash (William Morrow & Company)
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (Ecco Press)
The Cove by Ron Rash (Ecco Press)
Sea Change by Karen White (New American LIbrary)
Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer (St. Martins Press)
Stray Decorum by George Singleton (Dzanc Books)

Descent by Kathryn Stripling Byer (Louisiana State University Press)
Permanent Camp by George Ellison (History Press)
Thrall by Natasha Trethewey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans by Lawrence N. Powell (Harvard University Press)
Down Bohicket Road: An Artist S Journey. Paintings and Sketches by Mary Whyte. with Excerpts from Alfreda S World by Mary Whyte (University of South Carolina Press)
Losing My Sister by Judy Goldman (John F. Blair Publisher)
My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop by Ron Rice (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers)
Stand Up That Mountain by Jay Erskine Leutze (Scribner Book Company)

The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day & Griffith Day (Artisan)
Fred Thompson's Southern Sides: 250 Dishes That Really Make the Plate by Fred Thompson (University of North Carolina Press)
Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart (Gibbs Smith Publishers)
Around the Southern Table: Coming Home to Comforting Meals and Treasured Memories by Rebecca Lang (Oxmoor House)

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen (Alfred Knopf Books for Young Readers)
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin and James Dean (HarperCollins)

Young Adult
34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues (Simon Pulse)
A Million Suns by Beth Revis (Razorbill)
Fathomless by Jackson Pearce (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (Dial Books for Young Readers)

Finalists will be judged by a juried panel of SIBA booksellers, and winners will be announced on July 4, "Independents Day." More information about the SIBA Book Awards can be found at

SIBA Industry Summit - Meeting of the Minds


Join us for the first in our series of SIBA Industry Summits - Meeting of the Minds 

Limited number of bookseller spots available! Must reply before April 29th! 
RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.
Sponsored by Hachette Nashville, and Inkreadible Sponsor Baker & Taylor
When: TUE, May 14 – WED, May 15 
Where: Nashville Brentwood, Tennessee
If you don’t live in the area, book your room at the Hyatt Place Nashville/Brentwood . Generous Inkreadible Sponsor Baker & Taylor will be picking up the room & tax for your overnight stay. Call the 1-888-492-8847 Reservations line and provide the Group code: G-SIBA OR go online to and when it ask for the Corporate/Group Code enter G-SIBA and the group rate and inventory will become accessible. 
Tuesday, May 14 
11:30AM – Meet in the parking lot of the Hyatt Place Nashville/Brentwood to board the shuttle for l unch at Table 3 at Noon. Generous Hachette Nashville publishers will buy lunch. 
Depart Table 3 for Parnassus Books at 1:15PM to participate in Parnassus Books’ Let’s Talk About Books! Georgeanne Chapman will be discussing a selection of her favorite children’s books in celebration of Children’s Book Week. Georgeanne has served as president of Reading is Fundamental (RIF), and was co-founder of Book’EM, an organization that gives books to youngsters to inspire the love of reading. Let’s Talk Books is a monthly series that is hosted by Donna Nicely, the former director of the Nashville Public System. Afterwards, take a look around the back room, the stock, the store, and more. 
Depart Parnassus Books for Nashville Hachette Office at 3:30PM for a 
Tour of the Offices and Editors’ Rep Picks followed by Reception at 5PM
Our Author Guests:
Lillian Daniels, When "Spiritual But Not Religious" 
Becca Stevens, Snake Oil 
Phil Madeira, God on the Rocks 
Many thanks to the family of Hachette Nashville Publishers for hosting the reception. 
Depart Nashville Hachette Office at 6:30PM for dinner at the Loveless Café with publishers, wholesalers, and fellow booksellers. Generous sponsor Baker & Taylor will pick up the dinner tab. 
Depart the Loveless Cafe for Hyatt Place Nashville/Brentwood at 9PM. Good night and enjoy your free breakfast at the hotel in the morning before 8 AM. 
Wednesday, May 15 
Depart Hyatt Place Nashville/Brentwood for Thistle Farms at 8AM to join in the Meditation Circle held every Wednesday. Founded by Becca Stevens, Thistle Farms is a community and social enterprise that stands with women recovering from prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets. 
Depart Thistle Farms for Nashville Hachette Office at 10:30AM 
Meeting of the Minds at Nashville Hachette Office from 11AM – 2PM - Our talk will include a working lunch provided by Hachette Nashville. It is our goal to get to the real issues that can impact positive change in the industry to the benefit of all involved. Let's get to the heart of the issues and share what is on our minds.
Limited number of bookseller spots available! Must reply before April 29th! RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

A Day of Education at GABBS and SIBA in the Springtime


“Raise your hand if you’ve ever been frustrated by a customer who didn’t know the difference between fiction and nonfiction,” said Shane Gottwals into the microphone. Every hand in the room shot up, fast. Gottwals, owner of Gottwals Books, nodded solemnly while people in the audience smiled.

It was one of many lighthearted moments at the “Day of Education” sponsored by the Great American Bargain Book Show (GABBS) and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. About fifty booksellers attended the day-long series of seminars and presentations on the day before the GABBS show floor opened, hoping to garner new ideas and inspiration for their businesses.

The theme for the day was “Diversification,” a word that means one thing in the public sphere, but in the retail business world is all about product mix. “Demystifying Used Book Sales” was the topic of Gottwals’ session. Gift Buying, School Sales, and Antiquarian buying were among the other topics that were “demystified” during the course of the day in a series of workshops that seemed to cover everything from how the newly adopted Common Core standards work in the classroom to how to safely remove mold from books with wallpaper cleaner.

The mood throughout the day was upbeat, both presenters and attendees focused on new opportunities instead of defensive strategies. “The timing is right for bookstores to get into the school market,” insisted Richard Buthod of Turtleback Books in his “Demystifying School Sales” session, explaining how state adoptions of Common Core standards and new commitments to early education have created new offices in new departments, and most significantly, with new budgets that have flexible guidelines. “The bookseller’s role is to be an expert on titles,” said Buthod, pointing out that booksellers are uniquely positioned to make schools and educators aware of the vast array of books that will work under the new Common Core standard, whose underlying philosophy Buthod summed up as “the only way children will learn to read better is to read more.” (A statement that caused several people in the audience to reach for their phones to tweet it.)

Sitting in the audience, Chris Curry from A Novel Experience in Zebulon, Georgia, was impressed. “It is a perennial surprise,” she said, “--the subject that promises the least, delivers big-time…thank you, Richard Buthod, for explaining this convoluted mash-up in a clear, understandable way and showing me how I can utilize to sell more titles to our local kids and school system.”

“The big advantage of carrying used books,” advised Shane Gottwals, “is that it opens up your store to titles you wouldn’t have otherwise.” He pointed out that carrying new kinds of product does not and should not change a store’s identity. “Only take in books in great condition,” he said, “and display the stock like you display new books.” It’s a strategy that has worked so well for Gottwals he has grown it into what might be the only used bookstore franchise in the country.

“It’s about telling a story and creating a kind of treasure hunt in your store,” said Kim Salzstein, the Gift Buyer for Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona. “It’s about exploration.” Her recommendation? “Mix it up.” Don’t put the gifts in one section and the books in another--display the honey butter soap with The Secret Life of Bees right in the fiction section. “I try to create displays that draw customers further and further into the store,” she said. Both Salzstein and Gayle Shanks, the owner of Changing Hands, reiterated how clever cross merchandising can easily turn a $40 sale into a $140 sale simply by placing a nice salad bowl alongside a staff-pick cookbook.

“I have five key things I think about when I imagine a customer coming into Changing Hands,” said Shanks. “That they can find great books everyone can afford. That they have an extraordinary shopping experience that pleases all the senses. That they see a mix of products that convinces them to stay longer, and come back often. That they receive great customer service. And that they can participate in events that deepen the connection between themselves and our literary community.”

Shanks also punctuated her philosophy with some more practical advice for the bargain book buyer-- “Don’t buy skids,” she said. “Do carry water and hand lotion everywhere.”

The day included a booksellers forum over lunch sponsored by the American Booksellers Association. ABA CEO Oren Teicher led the discussion, answering questions on the ABA’s partnership with Kobo to bring e-readers and e-books into the indie bookselling market, educational programs for prospective booksellers looking to fill gaps made by the recent closing of Borders stores, current initiatives in the fight for sales tax fairness, and the variety of ways bookstores are becoming involved in “buy local” campaigns within their own communities.

Teicher also addressed the issue of “showrooming” -- the sometimes resented practice of customers using brick-and-mortar stores to look at books they then purchase online. Teicher pointed out that publishers are beginning to recognize showrooming as an example of how the indie bookseller’s relevance in the market is greater than its market share might suggest, and insisted that this was an opportunity bookstores could use to negotiate with suppliers.

“It’s been a good year for bookselling,” Teicher said. Feedback from the attendees suggests that booksellers agree. “I loved this event!...I know that Malaprop's can integrate a lot of the things we learned,” said Caroline Christopoulos of Malaprops Bookstore & Café in Asheville, North Carolina. “I came away with lots of good ideas and positive feelings about the somewhat frustrating future of bookselling,” commented Linda Ray of Curiosity Shop Books & Gifts in Murphy, North Carolina.

Janet Bollum, of Muse Book Shop in Deland, Florida, was a little more emphatic. "The day of education gave me so many wonderful ideas that I returned to the store with an new vision and have been in a revamp frenzy ever since."


GABBS & SIBA in the Springtime

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and Atlanta’s Great American Bargain Book Show (GABBS Atlanta) are pleased to announce their new partnership – “GABBS and SIBA in the Springtime”.  GABBS owner Larry May hopes to draw more booksellers and gift retailers to the newly located GABBS Atlanta show co-located with the Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market Show, and SIBA executive director Wanda Jewell is excited to offer new education to new bookstores in an environment that is so focused on the bottom line.


GABBS Atlanta & SIBA are coming together March 7-9, 2014 for “GABBS and SIBA in the Springtime,” co-located with the Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market Show.  In addition to the benefits of SIBA Education, and access to Great American Bargain Books, this new partnership includes entry to AmericasMart.

With an increased focus on the needs of used and bargain booksellers, SIBA & GABBS hope to further serve booksellers with quality education, advocacy, tools, and access to affordable books to make for more productive (and profitable) booksellers!

There's an APP for that!

Click here to visit the Cloud Version of the GABBS & SIBA App on your computer or iPad

Or download the app directly to your phone by searching Mobeplace in the App Store.


Downtown Atlanta

March 7th-9th, 2014


AmericasMart is the home of The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market and is the leading international source for consumer goods and you will get to visit it all when you come to the Atlanta show!


GABBSDiversification: The Key to Increased Sales
the new $99 Day of Education


Details Coming Soon! See below for last years schedule.

lFREE to SIBA members! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for special member code

Register for GABBS

9:00- 10:00

FREE to SIBA members! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for special member code.

Held in the International G Room on the 6th Floor in the Westin Peachtree Hotel

Breakfast & Welcome

10:00- 10:40

Richard ButhodDemystifying School Sales

How can a bookstore reach into a building full of readers with books they will want from a supplier they can trust at a price both will celebrate? Who do you talk to? What do you say? What on earth is Common Core?  What else do they need?

Presenter: Richard Buthod began his career in the book industry with a few years at the Tulsa City-County Library. He then spent a good portion of the 70’s and 80’s as a retail bookstore manager. In 1988 he became the National Sales Manager for the Booksource. Since 2011 he has concentrated on Common Core implementation in schools at both the Booksource and Turtleback Books. As sales manager for Turtleback Books he now spends most of his efforts training sales people and bookstores how to most effectively work with local schools and libraries. He is found on Twitter at Richard Buthod, and at Turtleback Books at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


10:40-10:50 Break

Demystifying Gift Buying
Make your store a one-stop shopping experience for your customers by combining your great books with gifts for customers of all ages--readers and non-readers alike.

Presenter: Kim Saltzstein is the gift buyer for Changing Hands in Tempe, AZ.  Kim has been on both sides of the table--she's been a sales rep for the Anne McGilvrey Group for many years, had her own online children's toy store called Silly Good Toys for the past 13 years, was director of retail at the Scottsdale Princess Hotel and started her career as the retail manager and buyer for Marriott Hotels where she worked for 13 years.

11:30 - 11:40 Break

Janet BollumDemystifying Collectibles
What do you look for when buying used books? How do you identify first editions, book club editions, etc?  What categories sell best?  How do you incorporating new, bargain and used books into your inventory? Janet Bollum of The Muse Book Shop will discuss all these questions, and share some tricks of the trade on the care, cleaning and preserving of hardcovers,  leather bound books, and manuscripts.

Presenter: Janet L. Bollum is the owner of The Muse Book Shop in Deland, Florida.  The business was established in July of 1980 has been going strong for 26 years.  Muse Book Shop is a general new and antiquarian book store with some sidelines: maps, book accessories, etc, that specializes in Floridiana, provides appraisals, and does out of print searches.  It is a member of the MainStreet board and active in the local community, and host an active event calendar.

12:30-1:30 lunch

Oren TeicherABA Bookseller Forum

Join Oren J. Teicher, Chief Executive Officer of the American Booksellers Association and share your industry concerns & tribulations.. Oren joined ABA in 1990 and has served the organization as its Director of Government Affairs, Deputy Executive Director, President of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, and Chief Operating Officer before his appointment as CEO in 2009.  He's been a long-time advocate for independently owned retailers and has been active in a wide range of efforts to support and promote local business.  He's a graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and lives in White Plains, New York, with his wife, Alison Greene. He and Alison are the parents of three grown children, Carrie, Jessy, and Zach.

Remember: The Day of Education is FREE to SIBA members!
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for special member code.

1:30- 2:10

Shane GottwallsAdding Used Books to the Mix 
What affect will used books have on your existing new book inventory?  Will your customers be accepting?  Is there profitability in used books?  Will used books dilute the quality of your overall inventory?  We will address these questions plus discuss means of acquisition, condition guidelines, and product placement

Presenter: Shane Gottwals is the owner and founder of both Gottwals Books and the Walls of Books franchise system. Started in 2007, Gottwals Books has opened five locations in multiple states across the Southeast. In 2012, Shane started franchising the concept nationwide under the Walls of Books name. Walls of Books is currently the only used bookstore franchise in the nation. The corporate headquarters for Gottwals Books and Walls of Books is located in Warner Robins, GA.

2:10-2:20 Break
2:20- 3:00

Gayle ShanksMix it Up and Make it Profitable--Selling New, Used, Remainders and Gifts in any size store.
Learn how to merchandise, think about inventory mix, advertise to your customers, decide what to carry, and have fun doing it all.  

Presenter: Gayle Shanks is the founder of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona and has been selling books since 1974.  She buys new books, remainders and gifts with the help of her other buyers and has a state of the art bookstore that is not only beautiful but profitable and also hosts nearly 400 events a year.  She is seriously thinking of opening a second store in central Phoenix in the near future and is actually excited about the prospect.  It, too, will be a destination for readers and non-readers alike and will include a wine bar and lots of fun gifts and books.

3:00 - 3:10 break
3:10 -3:50

Bookseller Benefits Laid Bare!

Take a tour of the services SIBA offers to its bookseller members. Get your copy of your Bookseller Benefits Package and your "Hey Yall!" button. 

Or download your Benefits Package by clicking here

Presenter:  Nicki Leone

3:50 - 4:00


FREE to SIBA members! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for special member code.

Friday Education - held at the Exhibit Hall in Building 2, West, second floor Americas Mart
8:30- 10:00 “The Top 10 Things You Must Do Now!” 
ABA will share 10 creative things that booksellers can do to make their stores more successful and profitable in 2013. These top 10 ideas will feature best practices that have been tried by your colleagues and have proven to be a great success, and will cover a broad range of categories including: marketing/promotion, finances, store operations, human resources, inventory, ambiance, customer service, and more. You are invited to learn about their colleagues’ bright ideas and to engage in a productive conversation.  Presenter:  ABA's Oren Teicher

“Minute to Win It Party” for Fun & Profit!

Held in the Overlook at the Westin Peachtree Hotel

Come by after the trade show floor closes and try your hand at tossing back a cold beverage or balancing dice on a stick in your mouth, either one will do.  Succeed and get a ticket and either enter to win prizes or collect tickets for free drinks.  Fun or profit – you decide!

Saturday Education -- held at the Exhibit Hall in Building 2, West, second floor Americas Mart
8:30- 10:00 Adding Volume & Interest to Your Shelves and More!
Presenter:  Gayle Shanks
10:30 BASIL User Seminar on the show floor!

FREE to SIBA members! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for special member code.

About SIBA: The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance to give Southern independent booksellers the tools to be successful in the marketplace. As a trade organization, SIBA uses its collective bargaining power on behalf of its members and promotes networking and a sense of community among booksellers. The organization works hard to help its members be more efficient businesses.

About GABBS:  The Great American Book Show is an overstock, remainder, bargain and value book show where you can save on new books and book related product, additional Media venues, and gift items discounted from 75% to 90% off retail. The Atlanta show was founded as “The Spring Book Show” in 1998 and was changed to GABBS Atlanta in 2011.



Downtown Atlanta

March 7th-9th, 2014

AmericasMart is the home of The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market and is the leading international source for consumer goods and you will get to visit it all when you come to the Atlanta show!