October 2011

{#SIBA11: Photos & Recaps}

absolutely jam-packed with great things for book people!

October, 2011

In This Issue

Inkreadible Sponsors

Upcoming on
Circle of Sites

Holy Ghost Girl
Holy Ghost Girl

Mile Marker Zero
Mile Marker Zero

Monsters in America
Monsters in America
(Baylor University Press)

A New Turn in the South
A New Turn in the South
(Clarkson Potter

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.
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Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance


What's in this edition of SIBA eInk? Photos and recaps of #SIBA11. An important survey. Useful information from the Small Business Administration. The online version of the Holiday Catalog. Call for nominations for the 2012 SIBA Book Award and the next season of Okra Picks. And two great ideas from the ABA!

Getting Hitched at #SIBA11

Getting hitched is what it’s all about…
“The theme at SIBA this year was 'Let’s Get Hitched!'  Besides a wedding, booksellers got hitched with authors, vendors got hitched with bookstores, first-timers got hitched with veterans, exhibitors got hitched with accounts, and it’s all about these long-term, successful relationships.”
- Wanda Jewell, SIBA Executive Director

Dottie Frank & gang

Check out the #SIBA11 Photos and help us tag them!

PGW on the Trade Show floor

Many thanks to Pat Malcolm for taking all the photographs while also being a perfect Mother of the Bride!

SIBA 2011: All About the Love

By Marc Schultz, September 20, 2011 (via Publisher's Weekly)

If the idea at last year’s Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show was to get booksellers established in the community of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other online social networking sites (with a cheeky “Get in Bed iith a Bookseller” theme), this year the focus was on the classic community-building strengths of independent bookstores IRL (that’s cyberspeak for In Real Life), highlighting what indies have been doing in their local communities to help break the stranglehold of big-box chains and online megaretailers.

"Don’t ever underestimate how much the local message is resonating with millions of consumers."

“Don’t ever underestimate how much the local message is resonating with millions of consumers,” said American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher in Saturday morning’s session on the merger of the ABA with the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC). “The explosion in America of farmers’ markets is evidence that consumers get it, but you’ve got to keep articulating that argument.” Leslie Reiner, ABC vet and co-owner of Inkwood Books in Tampa, Fla., suggested that argument be as succinct and free of whining as possible: “See it here, buy it here, keep us here!”

Bride & groom dancing

Read the full report

Check out the #SIBA11 Posts & comment if the spirit moves you

The following is a recap of #siba11 in the news and online. Feel free to add your voice to the comments!


Follow #SIBA11 on Twitter

If you attended #SIBA11 and have not completed our survey, please do so here.

SIBA Wedding Bells

(via Shelf-Awarness)

Getting hitched was the theme of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance's trade show over the weekend in Charleston, S.C.--and SIBA wasn't just whistling Dixie. A highlight of the Writers Block Auction was the wedding of Sara Malcolm and Brandon Perry. (Malcolm has worked at SIBA registration for years.)

SIBA executive director Wanda Jewell officiated at the ceremony, weaving in the names of many titles into her remarks, and authors on hand offered toasts. Karen Zacharias said, "May God grant you a double heapin' of grace and laughter, and may you always have enough strength to keep your Doublewide rocking." Ronald Rash offered a couplet that works best with a Southern drawl: "May this union be happy, with never much sorrow/ but if that's not the case, I know a good lawyer."

The bride was given away by co-workers Elton Porter and Matt Bibb. Special guests included Sally Brewster and Frazer Dobson of Park Road Books, Charlotte, N.C., who met at a SIBA show. (He's also a rep with Como Sales.) Among the wonderful touches: the groom wore a jacket made up of book jackets, making it perhaps the world's first book jacket jacket. Jewell called the wedding "awesome." And the event made $1,000.

Although there will also be an official wedding for Malcolm and Perry in October, all readers know which ceremony counts most!

The happy couple
Most important elements of trade shows, so say booksellers…

  • Buying books. Seeing what's out there. Inspiration for new titles to buy…
  • Exposure to both book sellers and authors
  • Meeting with the publishers and getting my hands on the books.
  • Education, not only in all the classes, but on the sales floor, as well.
  • Meeting the authors and hearing them speak
  • Opportunity to meet authors and sales reps. The strength of SIBA, I think, is that everyone knows everyone and folks are excited.
  • Networking with other booksellers and hearing their great ideas!
  • Knowledge from other booksellers who share what works for them.

"What Can the Small Business Administration Do for You?"

Trade Show Session Recap/Resources 

One of the tough truths about Independent Booksellers is that you're much more likely to find a business owner with an MFA than an MBA, meaning that these business owners got into their business because of a love of and passion for books, not necessarily for business.  

That passion is of paramount importance. It's something you can feel, or not, when you walk into a business. That passion will take a business far, but the acquisition of a certain amount of business acumen will allow that business to continue to provide passionate service to their community for years to come.    

The session at our recent Trade Show, "What Can the SBA Do for You?" showcased a panel of  organizations affiliated with the Small Business Administration, and displayed a wonderful gamut of non-profit organizations whose sole purpose is to help you do better business. It was touching and inspiring to hear the lengths to which these folks will go to help educate their community's small businesses. It is highly recommended that you check out the SBA's website to see the huge array of resources that are available to you.

Here's a quick rundown of the organizations the panelists represented:

 SCORE is a network of 13,000 volunteers (many of whom are retired business executives) who provide mentorship and confidential business counseling services at NO CHARGE, and for as long as you need it. An incredible resource.

 Small Business Development Centers can be found in every state and at least close to almost every community. Approximately 1000 service centers are available to provide no-cost business consulting and low-cost training.  

 Accion USA is a microfinancer. Nowadays banks won't always consider a "small loan," and this is where a microfinancer like ACCION can help. You may not need to borrow $50,000 to put a new part of your business plan into action. Maybe a small loan of $1000 to help buy enough books and advertising to do a book fair would be just the thing.

The real takeaway from this session was simply this: You're not alone, and there are organizations whose purpose is to give you the knowledge and/or working capital you need to succeed.      

SIBA Holiday Catalog 2011

You should have your full-color, imprinted, QR-coded holiday catalogs in-store by now.  If you ordered catalogs and have not received them please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. right away.  We have supplied to IndieCommerce a full online catalog for any IndieCommerce store so please place that on your site.

Stores that aren't part of the IndieCommerce program can still have the holiday catalog on their website:

1) You can either link to SIBA's online version here: http://www.sibaweb.com/catalog/2011/hc_2011_front.html

2) Or, if you would prefer to host the files on your own store site and link them to your store shopping cart system, then you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and she will provide the files for you to put up.

3) You can link to the Flash version of the catalog, in which case you won't be able to add your own buy links.

Holiday Catalog covers

Six Fresh Ideas for the Holiday Catalog:

  1. Put copies of the catalog in unexpected places around the store, like the restrooms.
  2. Take a few catalogs and separate them and use the pages to create a design on a wall or in a window.  A candle, tree, or wreath will create curiosity about the catalog and its contents.
  3. Use the pages as Shelf Talkers – mount on cardstock and put the pages with the appropriate store section – biographies, fiction, kids books, cookbooks
  4. Have employees take stacks out in the world with them.  With permission, distribute the catalogs to libraries, doctors offices, anywhere people have to wait.  You can tell the readers because they are always looking for something to read.
  5. Distribute the catalogs to teachers with an order form including recipient name.  Offer to do a Winter Teacher Book Club where teachers can pick the books they want, and the store can deliver them to the school, wrapped, and ready to gift.
  6. Make sure your book clubs get the catalogs.  Offer to do book talks with catalog titles and focus on a few favorites.

 Call for #SIBA12 Book Award Nominations

SIBA celebrated her 2011 Book Award nominees with a wedding and plans are being made for our 2012 writers.  But we need to know which southern books & writers are your favorites. 

Use the online form to nominate a book for the SIBA Book Award or email suggestions directly to Wanda Jewell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Nominated titles must be southern in nature or by a southern author, or both. They must have been published in 2011. (no reprints).

Nominations are accepted year round, but the nomination period for the current year's award closes on February 14th of that year. Nominations for books for the current year's award received after that date will not be considered.

Both booksellers and the general public may nominate. But all nominations must be identified with a SIBA member bookstore.  Nominate here.

Fall Okra Picks

 Okra Picks Deadline is Dec. 1

okra picksThe Okra Picks are a dozen fresh titles chosen each season that SIBA Indie Bookstores want to handsell.  These books should be southern in nature but can cover any genre, not just fiction.  Southerners love their writers, and we want to be at the forefront of bringing them a strong selection of southern titles not to be missed each season.

A new harvest of Okra Picks will be announced each publishing season.  To nominate a book you must be a SIBA bookseller.

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!

Okra Picks Extended – Let’s sell some books!

Tag us in a photo of your Okra Picks display on your facebook, website, twitter, 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.  Deadline is Jan. 1, 2012! Must be core member in good standing.

The new batch of Okra is here and we are going to be seeing a lot of it around as SIBA launches a new program to help you sell more books. Contact SIBA right away if you are a core member and have not received your display piece and the first batch of Okra Pick cards.  SIBA is going to print and distribute these cards to member stores seasonally with a batch of Okra Picks for your customers. 

Okra Picks ExtendedThe vertical display piece was chosen with your valuable space needs in mind.  It will fit right up next to the check out and hold hundreds of Okra Pick cards that directs your customers to the first chapter of the book provided at the Okra Picks Scribd account.  As these books are our unique picks we will be the ones with the books in stock and available to our customers.  See sample cards here. See all of the seasons Okra Picks here.  And below are the Picks that we have created full color Okra Pick cards for, so prep for the demand:

September 2011
Drifting Into Darien: A Personal and Natural History of the Altamaha River by Janisse Ray, University of Georgia Press
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson, Balzer & Bray
The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe, Tor Books

October 2011
Lions of the West by Robert Morgan, Shannon Ravenel Books
Cold Glory by Kent Anderson, Forge
The Happy Table of Eugene Walker: Southern Spirits in Food and Drink edited by Don Goodman and Thomas Head, University of North Carolina Press

November 2011
The Chamomile: A Novel of Revolutionary America by Susan Craft, Ingalls Publishing Group

See the full list of Okra Picks!

 Two Fresh Ideas from the ABA

Start Spreading the Word: Small Business Saturday
This year’s celebration of Small Business Saturday will take place on November 26, and to help indie retailers promote the event, American Express has created an array of promotional materials and is offering incentives for stores and consumers to participate. (Read more...)

Personalizing the E-Book Transaction
In response to e-book purchases, and to encourage return sales, many IndieCommerce bookstores are sending individualized or automated thank-you e-mails to customers. (Read more...)

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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