In support of our core bookstores that are selling books online and hosting affiliate programs, and to encourage those who are not, SIBA began June 1 of this year to include purchase options that will direct sell selected titles to consumer on the consumer website, (ARTS) and in the Lady Banks’ Commonplace Books Newsletter via 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 the Summer Okra Picks, 2010 SIBA Book Award Finalists & Winners, and the books on Lady Banks’ Bookshelf.  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.

How are sales funneled to stores?

To begin with, SIBA willenable purchasing options on ARTS when appropriate whereever a book jacket image is used. Buy links will alternate betweenthe core member bookstores that offer affiliate programs.  To date, those stores are Inkwood Books in Florida, The Regulator Bookstore in North Carolina, and Fountain Bookstore in Virginia.  We are awaiting confirmation from City Lights in North Carolina.  If you have an affiliate program and are not one of these stores, please contact us asap.  We visited every member bookstore website and found only these..  Those with ABA eCommerce sites certainly have affiliate program capabilities.We want to participate in any affiliate programs core members offer.  

What is an affiliate program and how do you create one?

An affiliate is like having your own sales force and off site sales post. Someone with a Web site wants to sell books and wants to use your shopping cart system to do it. In return for handling their sales, you give them a small piece of the sale. Basically, it’s like having someone selling books for you.

ABA’s IndieBound Web site does have an affiliate component, so it’s a good general solution for authors and bloggers who need an alternative to Amazon for their sites, and it is brilliant at promoting the importance of indies to authors, bloggers, and the industry as a whole. , But its last job is to sell books for your store.

But by creating an affiliate program specifically for your site, then ALL the sales that come from your affiliates will only go to you. It is like raising kids.  You send them to school, daycare, camp, all of great benefit for your children, but in the end, you are their only advocate.  SIBA wants to be the camp you go to with the understanding that you must be your own store’s advocate.  SIBA is begging you – Find away to create an affiliate program for your store’s website. 

There are 3 steps to creating an affiliate program: 

  1. The first is you have to have a way to buy books online.  There are hundreds of ways to do this from free to expensive, but basically you need a shopping cart on your site..  A way for consumers to put your books in to their cart for purchase from someone else’s website. Some examples of shopping cart services would be the ABA’s eCommerce package, VirtueMart, ZenCart, and PayPal. There are literally hundreds of possibilities.
  2. The second is you must have a way to get your books and their bibliographic materials up on the web.  This is where Amazon has paved the way and set the standard.  For independent booksellers, the ABA’s eCommerce option remains the best solution I’ve found that both provides a robust database of book data and allows for booksellers to make the bulk of the income from each purchase. Other shopping cart systems would require you to upload all your product data, but ABA eCommerce has all that data installed and constantly updated. Also, the eCommerce solution comes with an Affiliate option built in. Take a serious look at this solution if your online shopping cart program does not offer an Affiliate option.
  3. The third step is implementing the Affiliate Program.  The best way to think of this is as a free sales force out on the World Wide Web.  These are people who want to sell your books on their websites to a whole new realm of potential customers for you.  You only pay them when they sell books and you determine the percentage you want them to receive. Affiliate agreements can range from the extremely casual to the extremely formal. It can be as simple as an agreement that all links go to your site, or as complicated as a contract that tracks all traffic from the affiliate to your site and pays a commission on any books sold. But in the end, it is up to you how you’d like to structure your program.

    This is where bloggers, authors, publishers, all come in.  Just like you put together an events kit that let’s publishers know why they should send an author to your bookstore, put together an affiliate kit as to why someone should affiliate with your bookstore.  You can offer links back to their sites, you can offer them content, interviews with authors that come to your store, or Early Bird information about events.  There are so many things.  Being able to click on a book jacket to buy the book is standard practice.  Let SIBA know your obstacles and challenges and we will do our level best to assist you.

Indie Booksellers Revivals Revived!

Designed for the Day-Tripper…Leave at 8 AM & be home by 5 PM.

SIBA Board Members will play host across the south in July to southern booksellers at The Indie Booksellers Revival.  Each revival will be a day-long immersion kicking off with some hands-on education provided by each store followed by lunch with a writer, and ending with an Indie Inquiry among booksellers about how to go forward successfully in this ever changing industry.  Watch here for details.

Mark your calendars for a Revival near you. 

Revival Dates & Locations, Education, and participating Writers:

July 19, 10AM – 3PM
Host: Kelly Justice at Fountain Books, Richmond, VA This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Author Guest: Mary Burton
Education: Social Media for Booksellers!


Join the owner of The Fountain Bookstore, Kelly Justice, and Rebecca Joines Schinsky of The Book Lady's Blog for a presentation and discussion on social media for booksellers.  They will also be discussing the Get In Bed With A Book Blogger Project.  Learn what works and what doesn't in Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and more.  Maximize your time, earning potential and enjoyment of time online.  General discussion on social media afterward in the morning with Rebecca.  Bookseller only open discussion on all topics in afternoon.

July 19, 10AM – 3PM
Host: Jamie Fiocco at Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Author Guest: Rosecrans Baldwin
Education: Dealing with the Digital Future

Rosecrans Baldwin

Learn how to talk to customers, media and other businesses about how the publishing and book retail world is changing and how bricks & mortar bookstores can deal with this changing landscape.  How to sell & market the “indie experience” – learn to show the value of the experience of shopping with an indie business, both in-store, with social networking, and on-line. 


July 19, 10AM – 3PM
Host:  Jeff McCord at Bound to be Read Books in Atlanta, GA This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Author Guest: Joshilyn Jackson
Education: Blocking & Tackling in a Tough Economy: Cutting Expenses & Increasing Revenues in Your Bookstore

Joshilyn Jackson

An interactive review focusing on business basics.  We’ll discuss some of the best (and worst) ideas for making ends meet, some of the common (and uncommon) areas to cut, and share proven ideas for increasing sales. Booksellers face serious challenges well beyond the coming economic recovery, and stores should be positioning themselves now to survive for the long haul.


July 26, 10AM – 3PM
Host: Emily Bell at Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Author Guest: Rick Bragg
Education: Getting Busy With IT!
Rick Bragg

Learn how to increase business with internet technology.  Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, blogging, shopping carts, and websites, oh my! Develop strategies for connecting  with community around the clock.  Keep your business on their mind even when your shop doors are closed.  These tools are free and the learning curve is practically non-existent.  Take a little time for a large return.

July 28, 10AM – 3PM
Host: Janet Bollum at The Muse Book Shop in Deland, FL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Author Guest: Karen White
Education:  Clean Up Your Act

Karen White

Learn care and repair of old books, first editions and signed copies.  Ask the participants to bring books in the grunge zone.  Leather books with leather rot, mildewed books, jackets full of stickers, books from a "smokers" home, ripped dust jackets or books they just want to keep in pristine condition. All materials will be provided. Just bring a couple of books that need attention. 




Revival General Schedule:

10 AM – Noon – Bookseller Education
Noon – 1 PM – Bookseller/Author Lunch
1 – 3 PM – Indie Inquiry: What are your new challenges?, What continues to be a challenge?, What do you need most right now?, What would you to see like SIBA do?, What are you doing that’s working?


Summer is the season for Okra!

Okra PicksSIBA Announces the 2010 Summer Okra Picks—great southern books, fresh off the vine.

(Columbia, SC)-It’s a hundred degrees in the shade out there—why, it must be Okra Season!  Southern Indie Booksellers have a selected a basket full of books for the Summer Okra Picks —great southern books, fresh off the vine. From backseats to blueberries, freedom to folklore (and good Southern food!), these titles highlight just what it is that makes Southern literature great.  All the books have the following things in common:  1) They are Southern in nature. 2) They are 2010 Summer releases and 3) There is a SIBA member Bookstore who is really excited about the book. Southern booksellers love their Southern authors—we grow good books!
The Okra Picks, 2010 Summer Edition:


Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson
Grand Central Publishing, June 2010
9780446582346 24.99

By Accident by Susan Kelly
Pegasus Books, May 2010
9781605980881 24.00

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
Scholastic Press, May 2010
9780545106054 $17.99

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller         
Razorbill, August 2010
9781595143082 17.99

The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove by Susan Gregg Gilmore     
Shaye Areheart Books, August 2010
9780307395030 23.00

On Folly Beach by Karen White                
New American Library, May 2010
9780451229212 15.00

The Secret Child by Marti Healy
Design Group Press, June 2010
9780979127779 24.95


Big Appetite: My Southern-Fried Search for the Meaning of Life by Sam McLeod
Touchstone Books, June 2010
9781439188163 23.00

The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family by Jim  Minick        
Thomas Dunne Books , August 2010
9780312571429 27.99

The Food, Folklore, and Art of Lowcountry Cooking: A Celebration of the Foods, History, and Romance Handed Down from England, Africa, the Caribbean, France by Joseph Earl Dabney
Cumberland House Publishing, May 2010
9781402230981 29.99

Freedom Summer: The Savage Season That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy by Bruce Watson                 
Viking Books, June 2010
9780670021703 27.95

Oraien Catledge: Photographs by Oraien E Catledge,    
University Press of Mississippi , August 2010 
9781604735000 35.00

Watch for more Okra Picks promotions.  There will be The Okra Picks Patch at  Lady Banks will introduce The Okra Picks to over 5000 consumer subscribers in the October issue.  Okra Pick titles will be highlighted on the Southern Indie Bestseller list. SIBA will post at marketing and promotional materials as part of an “Okra Picks toolkit” for booksellers to help them talk up these titles.

For more information on the Okra Picks program, visit SIBA’s website at
Wanda Jewell, Executive Director
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Avenue, Columbia, SC 29205
Fax: 803.779.0113

SIBA wants its booksellers to Get In Bed With A Book Blogger!

Kelly Justice and Rebecca joines Schinsky want you to get in bed
with a book blogger!

Some people are just made for each other. You have the space, the resources, the access to authors, the access to books. She (or he) has the audience, the reputation, the reach, the Internet savvy and the voice. It’s a marriage made in heaven. Or at least, a really fun fling.

SIBA is encouraging its booksellers to seek out partnerships with book bloggers to enhance their presence on the Web and extend their online visibility, not to mention help turn the Internet from something that’s “work” to something that’s fun. This is what Kelly Justice of Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA and Rebecca Joines Schinsky of The Book Lady’s Blog (, @bookladysblog on Twitter) have done, and from the looks of the pictures, maybe they are having a little too much fun!

“Kelly and I have created a partnership that works so well for us we want to share it with the whole book world in hopes that other independent bookstores and book bloggers will try it!” said Joines Schinksy, commenting on the mutual benefits of their relationship, “As the owner of an indie bookstore, Kelly is focused on connecting to the local and national book community, bringing in fabulous authors, and maximizing opportunities to grow her store.  As a blogger, I'm all about writing content, getting the word out, and sharing news with my readers, who hail from all over the planet.”

Justice notes that the partnership is flexible in its terms. She allows Joines Schinsky to pick and choose from among the many author events hosted by the bookstore.  In return for a chance to interview the authors (and a review copy of the book) The Book Lady’s Blog reviews and promotes the book and event via the blog and on twitter. Justice and Joines Schinsky also work together to promote books that the two avid readers are especially excited about, and have recently begun a book club on Twitter to discuss “under the radar” books they feel worthy of notice.

Kelly Justice and Rebecca joines Schinsky want you to get in bed with a book blogger!It helps that bookseller and book blogger are so simpatico. “Kelly and I know that together, we can reach more readers, promote more authors, and help more publishers than we can individually,” says Joines Schinsky, . “We're looking into some cookbook promotions as well where we make recipes, taste and share the results online.” 

According to Justice, the key to the success of the partnership is that it has evolved naturally, without hard and fast rules,  and that both partners have a good understanding of each other’s mission. Both see themselves as “literary ambassadors” for the Richmond, VA area—dedicated to exposing their city to great writers and great books.  “We're lucky in that we just "get" each other,” says Joines Schnisky,  “Fountain Bookstore is about fun, escape, and celebrating books and the people who love them, write them and publish them. The Book Lady's Blog is about these same things.”

The informal partnership has been good for everyone: The Book Lady’s Blog gets access to more books and authors, and can take advantage of Fountain Bookstore’s industry connections with publishers, publicists, and book media. Fountain Bookstore gets near-constant publicity from The Book Lady’s Blog, free content that is well-written and matched to the store strengths, referred traffic to its Web site and social media accounts, extra promotion for its events and an enhanced standing with publishers—who appreciate the fact that authors sent to the store will receive extra coverage. Fountain’s customers get to find out much more about books and authors than they’d normally hear from standard publicity. And Kelly and Rebecca get to run around town doing photo shoots. It’s a win-win-win.

The success of the partnership between Fountain Bookstore and The Book Lady’s Blog has prompted SIBA to encourage other bookstores to use it as a model to develop their own relationships with book bloggers. In order to help its members find bloggers in their area, SIBA is developing a directory of Southern Book Bloggers that it will help to “match” with area indie bookshops. Booksellers and Book bloggers who are interested in being a part of the project should contact SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

*photos taken by P.J. Sykes @PJSykes on Twitter
*bed was located in La Difference in Richmond @LaDIFF on Twitter
*Hair by Jamie Lewis
(All indie business people in Richmond, VA #rva


Table of Contents

Writers Block Auction

Holiday Catalog Recommendations 

Two Susans

 Time to Pick the Okra!

Circle of Sites-Who Needs $150?

Authors Round the South

Document Library Highlights

Web Tool of the Month

Mark Your Calendar!

SIBA Trade Show
Sept. 24-26
Daytona, FL

Coming Up on Circle of Sites

An Altar in the World
An Altar in the World

Backseat Saints
Backseat Saints

Madonnas of Echo park
Madonnas of Echo Park
(Simon & Schuster)

Big Appetite

Big Appetite
(Simon & Schuster)


May 2010

The Writers Block Auction featuring 2010 SIBA Book Award Authors in Daytona

SIBA is quite excited to be hosting the 2nd Annual Writers Block Auction in Daytona on September 25th.  All of the authors listed below are invited and we hope to have a huge turnout. We have 3 wonderful restaurants in Daytona that are going to host us:  Ocean Deck, Caribbean Jack's, and Stonewood Grill; all great local, indie restaurants.  Again this year, the winning bid will not only include dinner with the author, but a choice for a free meal for the author or a 20% discount for the entire party (NOT BOTH).  Bidding will start at $50, and bids must increase by a minimum of $1.  A percentage of proceeds will go to a charity of choice of our sponsoring restaurants.  You can see the Schedule of Events and Register for the SIBA Trade Show here.

Holiday Catalog Bookseller Recommendations

We need your recommendations.  We are in touch with publishers now about the SIBA Holiday Catalog. Even though the winter holidays seem forever away, they will be here before we know it.  You are the best test for what will sell and we need your input.  We use your recommendations when approaching publishers.  We want the holiday catalog to be the best sales tool around for your store.  Together, we can insure the catalog’s success.

Two Susans

Lady Bank’s Commonplace Book, front porch literary gossip from your favorite southern bookshops is a monthly email newsletter sent to a list of thousands including over 5,000 self-identified southern readers who shop in your stores.  We feature events posted on the Authors ‘Round The South site as well as highlighting southern writers, bookseller recommendations, Okra Picks, and Book Awards. We highlight your blogs and southern bestsellers.  We often do an interview and this month we did Two Susans.  Check it out, and always feel free to snatch content for your own websites and e-newsletters from Lady Banks and the ARTS.

Available from Ingram, 978-0-9825205-0-5

Play a sample puzzle online!

Time to Pick some Okra!

It’s that time again. We are ready to share a whole new bushel of must reads for right now.  And we need your input.  Let us know the new southern books & writers you are most excited about whose books will be hitting shelves in this upcoming season.  These picks should be for May – August of this year.  Nominate your Okra Picks today!  Deadline is May 31.

Circle of Sites – Who needs $150?

We are excited to announce that we have nearly 60 southern indie bookstores who saved themselves $150 by participating in our innovative Circle of Sites Program and receiving their SIBA membership for free.  Each week a new title, featured in banner ads on this “circle” of SIBA stores, is deemed Her Ladyship’s Pick of the Week and promoted across all of the bookstore websites as well as on  There is no other program like this one and participating bookstores can celebrate their early entrée into innovative combined advertising to our virtual browsers & shoppers.  We also connect this title with promoting sales at the participating bookstores.  These titles are averaging over 30,000 impressions each week on our combined sites, and are promoted heavily to SIBA’s nearly 5,000 fans, followers, and friends online.  These are probably good books to carry in your store as SIBA creates buzz & interest in both these titles and your bookstore via twitter, facebook, and through the ARTS calendar (see below).

To read more about the Circle of Sites program, go here:

To participate and receive your 2010 SIBA membership for free, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Authors Round the South

Do not forget to take the time to post your events to the ARTS calendar, or to use the STARS resource to book authors into your community.  SIBA Bookstore Members are listed at the ARTS calendar and I’m beginning to see SIBA Bookstores as a Buy the Book option on websites:

Robin Oliveira

Pat Conroy

SIBA Document Library Highlights Spring 2010 Okra Picks

The SIBA Document Library is a great tool and provides content on tons of topics. Designed to be folded as a free-standing piece, or separated and used as slit cards, the 2010 Winter/Spring Okra Picks Cards are a handy way to track and display all the current okra pick titles.

Download the Winter/Spring Okra Cards (pdf)

Web Tool of the Month – TED

TED stands for Technology, Education, & Design and supports riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.  These are ideas worth spreading and it should come as no surprise that writers have some of our best ideas.  The beauty of these talks is they are indeed riveting and often present the speaker in a new light. 
Share short twenty minute talks of some favorite writers on your website and in your email newsletters via   Isabel Allende, Chris Anderson, Karen Armstrong, Carmen Agra Deedy, Dave Eggers, Elizabeth Gilbert, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and on and on.

SIBAWanda Jewell
Executive Director
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Dr.
Columbia, SC 29205

Trade Show 2010: Daytona, FL, The Plazas; Sept. 24-26

Find your favorite authors at
Become a Fan of SIBA's Facebook page
Follow me at
Ask me about Free Book Stimulus Plan