Congratulations to three SIBA bookstores that are among the fifteen nominees for this year's Pannell Award. 
Established in 1981 to honor Lucile Micheels Pannell, a model bookwoman and children's bookseller, the Pannell Award recognizes retail bookstores that excel at inspiring the interest of young people in books and reading. WNBA will present this year's award to two bookstores-one general and one children's specialty store-at BookExpoAmerica in New York. Each recipient will receive a check for $1,000 and a framed piece of original art by a children's book illustrator. In addition to the Women's National Book Association, the award is sponsored by Penguin Young Readers Group, a leading publisher of books for young  people.
This year's nominees represent a wide range of stores from all over the country:

...and Books, Too! - Lewiston, ID
As the Page Turns Bookstore and Gallery - Northville, MI
Baker Books - North Dartmouth, MA
Changing Hands - Tempe, AZ
Cowan's Book Nook - East Ellijay, GA
Downtown Books - Craig, CO
Garfield Book Company at PLU - Tacoma, WA
Joseph-Beth Booksellers - Cincinatti, OH
Mrs. Nelsons Toy & Bookshop - LaVerne, CA
St. Helens Book Shop - St. Helens, OR
Schuler Books and Music - Okemos, MI
That Bookstore in Blytheville - Blytheville, AR
The King's English Bookshop - Salt Lake City, UT
Urban Think! Bookstore - Orlando, FL
Wild Rumpus Books for Young Readers - Minneapolis, MN

by Kevin Howell -- Publishers Weekly, 9/28/2008 11:28:00 PM

Larry McMurtry is not the only bestselling author to own a bookstore; in January, Kay Hooper and her business manager Linda Parks bought the 18-year-old Fireside Books & Gifts in Forest Lake, N.C. Parks, along with former owner Suzanne Ledford, attended last weekend's SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) gathering held in Mobile, AL from Sept. 25-28. The two arrived early for Thursday's all-day Bookseller School.

"Sometimes when people hear 'bookseller school' they think it's going to be all beginner information," said Ledford, who has stayed on at the store as its media contact. "I'd been working at Fireside since I was 16 and I owned it for the last three years and I still learned new things from that day of education."

Please welcome Debbie Burleson, our new Retail Territory Manager who joins Charles Greiner in serving booksellers in the South.

Debbie began her career with Baker & Taylor as a Marketing Brand Manager, managing independent studios and placing independent product into the Retail, CDF and Library markets until her departure in 2005. Debbie has since been an account executive with Ingram Digital Group, where she sold ebooks and electronic content into the higher academic market, before rejoining Baker & Taylor in the capacity of Retail Territory Manager.

Debbie will provide sales support to bookstores in Alabama, Arizona, DC, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PH: 800-775-7930, ext. 3168

Tell me why you wrote this book—in 140 characters

A Twitter-inspired ceremony for the 2008 SIBA Book Awards

Columbia, SC - August 11, 2008 - The 2008 SIBA Book Award Ceremony will be one of the highlights of the upcoming Decatur Book Festival on August 29 – 31st. The ceremony, honoring the best Southern books of the year as chosen by southern independent booksellers, will be held on Saturday, August 30th on the City Hall Stage at 5:30 pm. Both winners and award finalists will be honored and nine of the twenty authors will be in attendance to speak and sign books after the ceremony.

But don’t be daunted. Despite the large number of speakers, the ceremony promises to be a snappy and entertaining event – partly because of its unusual format: an extended question and answer session where the authors will be limited to responses of 140 characters.

The media-savvy will recognize that number to be the upper limit allowed for messages posted to Twitter, the popular social networking site that has turned the text message into something of an art form. Wanda Jewell, Executive Director of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA), the organization which sponsors the Awards, said that she came up with the idea of a “Twitter-inspired” ceremony when she was faced with the logistics of orchestrating an event with a large number of speakers. “This isn’t the Oscars,” she noted, “We don’t want to keep people in their seats for hours. But these are writers we are honoring. . .we already know they are good with words.”

As the master of ceremonies, Jewell will introduce each author and ask several questions about their books, their writing careers, and what they are working on currently. The authors will attempt to respond in the Twitter-standard limit of 140 characters. Jewell is inviting readers to submit questions they would like to ask ahead of time. Somewhat unfairly, although the authors will be limited to 140 character answers, submitted questions can be any length.

Anyone interested in submitting a question to one of the authors can do so either by e-mailing Wanda Jewell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by “tweeting” her via SIBA’s own Twitter handle, “rubyjewell.”

Authors in attendance include:

David Kirby – Winner, Poetry The House on Boulevard Street
Sarah Addison Allen – Winner, Fiction Garden Spells
Donna Bateman – Winner, Children’s Deep in the Swamp
Sue Walker – Finalist, Poetry What Remembers Us
Deborah Wiles – Finalist, Children’s Aurora County All-Stars
Kerry Madden –Finalist, Children’s Louisiana’s Song
Alan Gratz – Finalist, Children’s Something Rotten
Robert Olmstead – Finalist, Fiction Coal Black Horse
Chef Rodney Freidank – Finalist, Cooking Soby’s New South Cuisine

A complete list of the winners and finalists in the 2008 SIBA Book Award can be found at SIBA’s website for Southern Literature, Authors ‘Round the South:

For more information on SIBA and the SIBA Book Awards, visit the SIBA website at

[From Shelf-Awareness]

This summer children are enjoying a global odyssey at Fireside Books and Gifts in Forest City, N.C. Three Saturdays per month in June, July, and August the store is hosting "Around the World with Fireside Books." Each event focuses on a different country and includes activities inspired by that particular land: story time, crafts, music, food and appearances by authors and other special guests.

The idea came about when store owner Linda Parks, manager Valerie Jones and media specialist Suzanne Ledford were brainstorming for a summer program centered on a theme. "We wanted something that was fun but also educational," said Jones. "We decided it would be interesting and beneficial to expose children to other cultures and show them things about places they might not ever get to visit."