About World Book Night sign-up: you as a giver and your store as a partner

Plus telling all your online friends!

World Book NightDear Booksellers,

Part One

Who better than to pass along the joy of reading on World Book Night, April 23, 2012 than -- YOU!
Yes, I envision that at least a few thousand of the 50,000 book givers that day will be booksellers.  And it’s easy; just fill out the online form at , pour some of that passion into your answers, and you’re in.

BUT wait .  . . there’s more.

We want you to tell others, many others.

Read on.

While the news of World Book Night in the U.S. came out in the fall via LJ, PW and elsewhere, and in December when we announced in USA Today and online that  the 30 World Book Night U.S. book list and that the book giver process had opened up to the public, December was not the best time to announce, obviously.  A number of factors pushed us to that date, but I never despaired; I knew then and know now that once you surfaced from the holiday madness, you’d rush to be givers. 

And tell others.

You see, WBN is ALL social media driven. No marketing budget and it’s not needed. There’s all of your followers, as well as those of authors, bloggers, librarians, and many many more.  From LJ, PW, Book Page, Shelf Awarness, BookReporter, Goodreads, indie tweets, publisher blogs, and from you, the message will go out.

And what’s the message that you can send out?

In under 140 characters:

Hey book lovers, be a volunteer book giver on World Book Night, April 23, 2012. Sign up at   by Feb. 1.   …..or……

Want to participate in a million book giveaway to promote reading?  Sign up at   by Feb. 1.

Note: Please link to the general site, not just the sign-up form; I’d like people to learn more, check out the book list, read about our mission . . . and THEN apply to be a book giver.

Yes, Virginia, there IS an application process. People do have to understand that there are clear rules and obligations, and that some thought has to go into where they want to give away their free WBN special editions, and why.  The publishing and book community is going to great expense, and even greater volunteer time, to get over a million dollars’ worth of donated paper, printing and shipping, and the authors have waived royalties, and it is simply essential that the book givers understand the goals of World Book Night: to find NEW readers.

I hope you’ll visit the site, noodle around . . . AND apply to be a book giver . . .. . . AND tweet your fingers off. And……..

Part Two

At the same time that we are asking each of you to be World Book Night book givers on April 23, 2012, we are enlisting bookstores and libraries to be locations for the book givers in your community to come pick up their box of free World Book Night books.

You see, we are not sending 50,000 boxes of 20 books each to their homes. We are sending the boxes to bookstores or libraries so YOU can be one of the community centers for World Book Night, as well as the beneficiary of some added foot traffic. This was done in the UK to great success.

But it’s not as easy as just raising your hand and saying you’re in. Alas, as with the book giver process, I need you to answer a few questions so I can be assured that the donated expense of World Book Night in the U.S. is going to good use. 

There will be some requirements to be a WBN book pick-up location, and a brief on-line form needs to be filled out. There are a number of questions that need an affirmative answer.

There are other requirements, as well. Sorry to be pain about this, but again, a LOT of people’s time and resources have gone into World Book Night, and this must be a focused, one-to-one person-and-book interaction. It’s much, much more that simply a free book giveaway.

Deadline is Feb. 1.

Please read more at under the Bookseller tab.
And feel free to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions!

And tweet and email to tout le monde!!

Hey book lovers, be a volunteer book giver on World Book Night, April 23, 2012. Sign up at   by Feb. 1.  

Thank you!
Carl Lennertz
Executive Director
World Book Night U.S. 

FoxTale Book ShoppeWoodstock, Georgia was not a planned stop on the tour for New York Times bestselling author Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, but she has decided to make a special trip. Why? Because there are some booksellers in the town who really, really, really love her new book.

When the owners of FoxTale Book Shoppe read The Night Circus, they knew it would resonate with a wide range of their customers, so it became their hand-sell title of the season.  One special customer loved the book so much she offered to design a window display for the store.  FoxTale posted a picture of the window on their Facebook page, which then caught the eye of their Random House rep, who raved all over the social network universe.

Night Circus Window

Erin Morgenstern was concluding her hardcover tour, with no plans to include a stop in Atlanta, no plans that is, until the window display image reached her via Twitter.  "I gasped.  I did," she said later.  Quickly, a dialogue was established between author and the FoxTale owner, Ellen Ward, leading to the involvement of Erin's Random House publicist, and --as if by magic-- a date was decided upon for the author to visit FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, Georgia, and witness firsthand the enthusiasm her debut novel has inspired.

Erin Morgenstern will be at Foxtale Book Shoppe on January 27 at 7 pm.  The event is ticketed. More information is available on their website.

Effective January 1, Chelsea Green Publishing has signed on with Bill and Terri McClung and their group to represent its books to trade accounts in the Southeast. This is the first time since 2006 that Chelsea Green has had independent trade representation. 

We're convinced that having more reps in the field will be a boon to buyers and to our books, and we're very pleased to have a quality rep group in the South to work with. 
Now entering its 28th year, the Vermont-based independent press Chelsea Green publishes and/or distributes between 35 and 50 titles a year on sustainable living and progressive politics.
For more information, contact:
Michael Weaver
Trade Sales Manager
Michael Weaver
Chelsea Green Publishing
802/299-2423 fax
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Chelsea Green Publishing--The Politics and Practice of Sustainability

Okra PicksDecember 21, 2011 (Columbia, SC)—Tis the season to be merry, but here in the land of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance it's also the season for a new harvest of Okra Picks. Southern Indie Booksellers have a selected the 2012 Spring Okra Picks—great southern books, fresh off the vine. It’s a bumper crop, a baker's dozen different titles representing a wide range of tastes, all the books selected have the following things in common: 1) They are Southern in nature. 2) They are 2012 spring releases (December 2011 through March 2012) and 3) There is a SIBA member Bookstore who is really excited about the book. So if you wanted to know what books you'd be reading over the next few months, check the list below! Southern booksellers love their Southern authors—we grow good books!

Spring 2012 Okra Picks

The Confession
by Charles Todd
William Morrow, January 2012

The Evening Hour
by Carter Sickels
Bloomsbury, January 2012

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
Grand Central Publishing, January 2012

The Healing
by Jonathan Odell
Random House, February 2012

The Rebel Wife
by Taylor M. Polities
Simon and Schuster, February 2012

The Same Sun Here
by Silas House and Neela Vaswani
Candlewick, February 2012

The Search Committee
by Tim Owens
Tyndale House, February 2012

What Happened to Hannah
by Mary Kay McComas
William Morrow, February 2012

by Jessica Maria Tuccelli
Viking, March 2012

The Hills Remember
by James Still
University Press of Kentucky, March 2012

The Iguana Tree
by Michel Stone
Hub City Press, March 2012

The Kentucky Derby
by James C. Nicholson
University Press of Kentucky, March 2012

Render Unto the Valley
by Rose Senehi
KIM Publishing/John Blair. March 2012

For more information visit

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{Call for nominations for the SIBA Book Award}

absolutely jam-packed with great things for book people!

November, 2011

In This Issue

Inkreadible Sponsors

Upcoming on
Circle of Sites


Stress: Climbing Out of the Pits with God
(Greater Insight Publishing


Lady Banks Pick of the Week

Previous Issues

About Us

SIBA is a trade organization for independent brick and mortar bookstores in the South.
Follow us on twitter
Find us on Facebook

Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance

What's in this edition of SIBA eInk? It's time to nominate books for the 2012 Book Award and the next season of Okra Picks. We give you 5 things to do to make your customers' online experience with your store so much better, and some best practices for your store's book clubs. Plus, the #siba11 survey results are in, we're looking for stores to feature in Lady Banks, and have you read any of the books that are special to the southern list?

Call for SIBA 2012 Book Award Nominations

Call for SIBA Book Award nominationsSIBA celebrated her 2011 Book Award with a wedding, and plans are already being hatched for our 2012 Book Award writers.  But we need to know which southern books are your favorites of 2011.

Nominate your picks for the 2012 Book Awards here:

To be eligible, a book must be southern in nature or by a southern author, or both. They must have been published in 2011 (no reprints, please). Nominations can come from booksellers or readers, but they must be associated with a SIBA member bookstore, either as an employee or a customer.

Get your customers involved, and drive traffic to your website and facebook pages!

To help you get your customers involved in (and excited about) the SIBA Book Awards, this year, if you promote the nomination form on your Facebook page SIBA will send a free copy of a previous Book Award finalist book to one of the first ten people who nominates an eligible title and cites your store.

To help you promote the book award nominations to your customers, SIBA has badges, banners and logos available for you to download at the SIBA Book Award page:
and here:

Be sure to tag us when you post to Facebook:

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Call for SIBA Book Award nominations

Next Okra Picks Deadline is December 1

okra picksThe nomination deadline for the Winter/Spring Okra Picks is December 1. We're looking for the next season's great southern books. Books should be published between December 2011 and March 2012.

Nominations can be emailed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Or, you can use our nomination form

SIBA12 contest!

Show off your Okra!

You can win a free trip to #siba12 in Naples, Florida next year just for displaying your Okra Picks cards! Tag us in a photo of your Okra Picks display on your Facebook page, post it on your website (and let us know), send it out on twitter (#okrapicks), or email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and be entered to win an all expense paid trip to #SIBA12.

If you haven't already received your free display and set of Fall Okra Picks cards, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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5 Things You Can Do to Enhance Customer Experience Online

These are some of the "best practices Facebook suggests for maximizing your online reach with your real world customers!

  1.  Make sure your website url is in the About section on your Facebook page.
  2. Make sure customers can subscribe to your newsletter on the homepage of your website.
  3. Put a Facebook LIKE button on your website.
  4. Offer a “whisper code” on your Facebook page.  Post something like:  “Only today, come in the store, and say – I love shopping here!” And get an instant 10% off your purchase.  This whisper good only for today and only in store.
  5. Use store in-store signage print marketing materials to promote your Facebook page.

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Shout Out to Members Making SIBA News

Shout Out to Members Making SIBA News
Let us know and we’ll let the world know!

SIBA makes a concerted effort to spread the word about our member stores. So if you tell us, we'll tell everybody. If you are on facebook or twitter, make sure you friend and follow us. If you do an email newsletter, make sure we get it:

Tag us when you post on Facebook or Twitter – At Twitter use @ReaderMtWriter and at Facebook, use @Authors Round the South; and we will see it, we will share it, we will spread the word and highlight you here in ongoing SIBA Inks.  Let us know when you put the Holiday Catalog on your IndieCommerce site or when you promote the Okra Picks on your website, or when you post a photo of your Okra Picks card display for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to #SIBA12.  We can’t enter you if we don’t know you have done it.  So – start spreading the news….

A big thanks to the following stores:

Myra Meade of Hall Book Exchange posted a picture of their Okra Picks card display on Facebook

Cavalier House Books
is featuring this season’s Okra Picks on their home page:

Island Books posted the holiday catalog to their home page:

Thanks to these stores for reporting to the Southern Indie Bestseller List via ABA, with North Carolina stores leading the charge!

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Special to the Southern List

SIBA is tracking books that are Special to the Southern List

Special to the Southern ListWhat do Stacy Schiff's Cleopatra, Amor Towles' Rules of Civility, Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible and any book written by Karen White all have in common?  They are all Special to the Southern List!

Each week SIBA tracks the books that appear on the Southern Indie Bestseller List, but not on the national list. Until recently, they were simply listed as part of the regular southern indie list. But now we have a special section on ARTS just for these books.

These are the books that are our homegrown bestsellers, books important to you, and to your customers. We encourage you to pay special attention to the special-to-siba books in your bestseller displays, because you are the reason for their success!

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SIBA Bookstore Feature in Lady Banks

Has your store been featured in Lady Banks?

This past summer SIBA began publishing the Lady Banks newsletter on a weekly basis, and devoting a section in each issue to profiling one of its bookstore members. If you would like your store to be featured, please copy the questions below into a new email, and send your answers to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:

Store Name:
Store Website:
Store Email:
Store Facebook:
Store Twitter:

What books do you love and wish everyone else would read?

What forthcoming books are you most looking forward to?

What book/author would you like to see come back into print?

What's your favorite book surprise of the season?

A local author(s) you think more people should know about?

Weirdest customer question?

Favorite moment on the sales floor?

What should visitors not miss when they come to your town?

How did you get into bookselling?

What do you look forward to most about going in to work?

What is your store's specialty?

What's your favorite weird item in the store?

What are you reading now?

Why do local businesses matter?

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 Book Club Best Practices from #SIBA11

“The Buying Power of Book Clubs: Examining Their Potential, Loyalty, and Community”
from Jamie Rogers Southern, Southern Celebrations, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

One of the most popular sessions at the Trade Show this year was Jamie Rogers Southern's presentation on "The Buying Power of Book Clubs." Here are some highlights from her talk:

Best Resources for Book Clubs:
Book Club Classics
Book Club Girl
Book Divas
Book Group Expo
Book Lust by Nancy Pearl
Book Browse
Book Movement
Indie Next List
Library Thing
Reading Group Choices
Reading Group Guides
Women’s National Book Association

Summary of Notes:

In today’s society people are hungry for personal relationships. We will continue to see book club numbers rise as people look for ways to connect with their community. (Book clubs are a source of cheap entertainment!)
You, as a bookseller, can create an environment that welcomes book clubs, even if you don’t have the physical space for them to meet.

Book Clubs are meeting more virtually as well. What does this tell us? (People want to talk about books!) Create a place virtually for book clubs to meet.

What are some ways you can reach out to markets in your area? Think of: Senior Living Centers, schools, church groups, recently relocated residents, etc.

Work with other small businesses in your neighborhood. Is there a potential market for a book club through them? (example of a local restaurant starting a Food Lovers book club)

Develop a book club loyalty program.

Be reliable. Order on time and order plenty of copies. Offer suggestions and let them know if a particular title is out of print or hard to find.

Offer your services and knowledge to book clubs. Meet with them to suggest titles for next year.

Have materials on hand to give out to book clubs, such as: reading guides, publisher flyers, your top picks for book clubs, etc.

Market your regularly scheduled events and programs to your book club members. Give them a chance to meet the author, have books signed, and have a private book club chat.

Talk to your publisher reps about ways to promote their titles to book clubs…and get co-op!

Use social media to promote your clubs and reach out to new potential members.

Develop a list of local authors who are willing to meet with book clubs and discuss their books.

Think of ways to start new clubs. Try a book club social!

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Fall Okra Picks

 #SIBA11 Trade Show Survey

#SIBA11 Trade Show Attendees Survey Results are IN…

One third of SIBA’s attendees responded to the survey and to each of you SIBA is quite grateful.  These answers and thoughtful responses help us to be better and do better.  Here are the survey results:

Which #SIBA11 Education Sessions did you attend?

The most-attended education sessions at #SIBA11 were What a Great Bookstore! with Paz & Associates, and 60 Reps. 60 Seconds Each. 60 Books You Don’t Want to Miss! 

When we asked what topics you'd like to see in future SIBA education, here's what you wrote:

  • Getting the most out of merchandise money
  • I can buy some books cheaper online than I can from the publishers!
  • How to survive in this financial climate.
  • Marketing, displays, social media and getting help in the store such as bloggers, PR etc.
  • Like to have a roundtable sessions so we can freely talk about our store operations, etc.
  • Success stories, bottom-line oriented stuff
  • More specific advice on dealing with brave new world of ebooks for small booksellers.
  • Address the impact of the e-reader on the traditional bookstore and how other bookstores are dealing with this
  • I could use help navigating the SIBA website. (We have set up a siba website one-on-one tour with this bookseller and we’d like to do the same for you so let us know if you’d like your very own guided tour!)
Read the rest of the survey results


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Thank you for your interest in SIBA,

Wanda Jewell, Executive Director
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Avenue, Columbia, SC 29205
Fax: 309.410.0211

Thank you to SIBA's Inkreadible Sponsors 2011:
Baker & Taylor

Trade Show #SIBA12: Sept 7-9, 2012 at Naples Grande Beach Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Collection

Find your favorite authors at Authors 'Round the South
What I'm blogging: Wanda's Wonderful Book Blog
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