SIBA and Decatur Book Festival announce partnership
Annual SIBA Awards to be presented at Decatur Book Festival Beginning in 2008 Decatur Book Festival event sales to be provided exclusively by Independent Booksellers

Atlanta, September 24, 2007 – The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and the Decatur Book Festival (DBF) announced today that, starting in 2008, the annual SIBA Book Awards will be presented at the Decatur Book Festival, held annually over Labor Day weekend in Decatur, Georgia. The SIBA Book Awards honor each year's favorite Southern books, as nominated by SIBA's core members, all independent booksellers. At a gala event during the Decatur Book Festival, awards will be presented in five categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children's, and cooking by five core member booksellers

As part of the new partnership between SIBA and DBF, all sales at DBF stages will be handled exclusively by independent booksellers, a direction in which the festival organizers had been heading even before the announced partnership. Core members of SIBA will be able to participate in the Festival as exhibitors at a greatly reduced price, and the DBF is centrally located so that the greatest number of core members will be able to take advantage of the opportunity. SIBA and DBF will work with publishers to tour the winning authors throughout the south starting at the DBF and ending at the SIBA Trade Show.

{mosimage}Daren Wang, executive director of DBF, was for several years the producer and host of “The Spoken Word,” a nationally syndicated public radio program that presented author talks at which sales were handled by independent booksellers. The show was sponsored by SIBA. Says Wang, “Decatur is a town that prides itself on its support for independent businesses. It's that spirit of independence that makes Decatur such a unique community so well suited to the book festival. It just makes sense for the Decatur Book Festival to reflect that same commitment to the dedication and deep expertise of independents.

Wanda Jewell, executive director of SIBA, says "The Decatur Book Festival draws over 60,000 southern readers and this will directly impact awareness and sales of these prize-winning authors and their books. Combined with the Authors 'Round the South site and the Lady Banks newsletter, this move to the Decatur Book Festival can only raise awareness among consumers of independent bookstores and the books they care about." SIBA has been giving the Book Awards since 1999 and interest in the award has only grown. Besides the prize money, the titles are placed in the SIBA Holiday Catalog which is distributed to over one million consumers throughout the south.

About SIBA:

Launched in 1971 and based in Columbia, South Carolina, SIBA is a trade association that represents hundreds of independent bookstores in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and Mississippi. Last year SIBA won the Patterson PageTurner Award for its outreach to consumers and commitment to independent bookstores in the south.

About the Decatur Book Festival:

Launched in 2006 and held every Labor Day weekend in Decatur, Georgia, DBF is one of the largest book festivals in the country and is rapidly becoming a favored destination for authors. In 2007, approximately 60,000 people came to the festival to see 240 authors on 14 stages. Authors at the festival include many award-winning, bestselling, nationally and internationally renowned authors from all genres. Last year, the inaugural DBF won the Patterson PageTurner Award, and was recognized with two Gold Kaleidoscope Awards from the Southeast Festival and Events Association.

For more information contact Ryan Klee at (404) 373-2021.


Wanda Jewell
Executive Director
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
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Daren Wang
Executive Director, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival
Winner of 2007 Patterson PageTurner award


For more information about the award, please visit SIBA’s website for southern literature:, or contact Executive Director Wanda Jewell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..