SIBA Affiliates with Bookstores to Sell Books to Southern Readers at Authors ‘Round the South
In support of SIBA’s core member bookstores that are selling books online and hosting affiliate programs, and to encourage those who are not, SIBA began on June 1 to include purchase options for selected titles to consumers at SIBA’s consumer website, www.authorsroundthesouth.com (ARTS), and in the Lady Banks’ Commonplace Book newsletter, via SIBA core member affiliate programs. All core bookstore members with affiliate programs will be represented across the selected titles in a fair and thoughtful manner. SIBA launched the online buy options with Lady Banks’ Bookshelf—a monthly selection of titles of interest to readers of southern fiction, and will grow the options across the Okra Picks and the SIBA Book Awards. Any money realized from book sales will be applied to the further maintenance of the consumer site and outreach to consumers on behalf of SIBA’s core members.
To date, SIBA has four stores participating in the program. The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, NC; City Lights in Sylva, NC; Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL; and Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA. All four stores are part of the IndieCommerce family. SIBA will participate in any affiliate programs core members offer. SIBA wants to assist member bookstores in capturing the online market, and recognizes that Affiliate Programs are a key element. E-commerce is becoming standard for retail stores with a Web presence. Online sales are only gaining steam. It is the Readers (with a capital R) who want to read everything, every way, that stores must reach. They are also the most stalwart supporters of indie bookstores, if those stores can offer the options they seek.
After making a point to visit every bookstore website of core members of the organization, SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell commented, “I was surprised that so few stores had affiliate programs. I always imagined that there were school fairs, authors, book bloggers, local non-profits, and libraries that were selling books via affiliate programs with core member bookstores. I was shocked to see that so few offered affiliate programs and even fewer promoted it as a service to their communities, both virtual and real-world. I hope SIBA can help change that.”
July 1 marked the end of the first month, and SIBA has successfully directed, on average, 15 visits per bookstore.