Have You Read These Books?
The best of Southern Literature, as chosen by the people who would know—Southern Independent Booksellers.

The votes are in! The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has released the finalists for the 2008 SIBA Book Award. The finalists are. . .

Since it was first begun in 1999, the SIBA Book Award has become one of the most successful initiatives of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. Today, nearly ten years later, the list of award-winners represents some of the finest examples of Southern literature, and the award has become a fully entrenched respected entity among Southern booksellers and publishers. SIBA feels that is now time to take the SIBA Book Award to the next level.

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


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..

(Columbia, SC)—The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is pleased to announce the winners of the 2007 SIBA Book Award, honoring Southern literature as chosen by independent booksellers. SIBA extends its congratulations to the authors and publishers, and thanks them for producing such fine Southern books:


Alabama Moon by Watt Key
(Farrar Straus Giroux)


I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris
(Warner Books)


Keep and Give Away by Susan Meyers
(University of South Carolina Press)


Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
(Random House Trade)


Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields
(Henry Holt & Co)

The awards will be presented at SIBA’s Fall Trade Show in Atlanta during the Book Award Lunch on Friday, September 28th, sponsored by Inkreadible! Sponsor Baker & Taylor.

See past winners

About the SIBA Book Award:

Each year, hundreds of booksellers across the South vote on their favorite hand-sell books of the year. These are the Southern books they have most enjoyed selling to customers; the ones that they couldn't stop talking about; the ones most often pushed into a customer’s hands with the words “You have got to read this!” The SIBA Book Award was created to recognize great books of Southern origin, as determined by people whose business it is to know great books—the independent booksellers of the South.

Books are nominated in several categories, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, cooking and children's. For a book to be eligible, it must be set in the South, and it must have been published within the calendar year. In order to promote diversity in the award, no author can win the award in the same category twice. Only SIBA-member booksellers can submit nominations, and only SIBA booksellers can vote on the finalists and winners of the award.

For more information about the award, please visit SIBA’s website for southern literature:, or contact Executive Director Wanda Jewell at \n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
AmibaIn response to the growing interest and popularity among its members for independent business alliances and “buy local” campaigns, SIBA has entered into a partnership with the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) to provide reduced AMIBA affiliate rates for its core member bookstores. Under the new agreement, any SIBA member store who wants to start an Independent Business Alliance in its community can become an AMIBA affiliate for $350 (a $600 discount!). The fee covers all the AMIBA new-member benefits, including start-up kits for creating your own independent business alliance, templates for key documents and marketing materials, free window decals and bumper stickers, discounts
on AMIBA presentations and workshops, and access to AMIBA staff and resources. If you have been tossing around the idea of creating your own local business alliance, now is the time to make it happen.

SIBA will use some of the AMIBA resources on behalf of its members. Included among the benefits negotiated are AMIBA workshops or presentations at any SIBA event at significantly reduced costs. AMIBA also will offer this discount to all SIBA members if two or more workshops or presentations are scheduled within a three-day period, and the organization has already reserved at least two weeks in the upcoming year for potential workshops.

AMIBA will provide a “We are a locally-owned independent business” window decal and “Put Your Money Where Your House Is!” bumper sticker for any current SIBA member desiring one. Additional copies will be available at wholesale price to SIBA members wishing to sell them in their store.

SIBA also has the license to use AMIBA service-marked names and slogans, and access to AMIBA guidance and resources.

What is AMIBA?

The American Independent Business Alliance has its beginnings in the independent bookselling community. In 1997, two members of the Boulder, Colorado community—one a local independent bookstore owner, the other an activist and organizer—recognized the multi-faceted threat to communities posed by absentee-owned national and global chains evidenced, in part, by the displacement of locally-owned independent businesses to them. They put their heads together to devise a concrete, proactive means for helping the community preserve its character and ability to help its inhabitants. The first Independent Business Alliance was born.

That initial model was quickly adopted and imitated by other communities anxious to preserve their own local character in the face of relentless pressure from national corportations. The result has been one of the strongest grass-roots civic and cultural campaigns to sweep the country.

AMIBA’s success comes from its ability to help businesses within a community network with each other to devise marketing campaigns that are relevent to their neighborhoods and their customers. Recognizing that independent business owners have a lot of energy for vry little time, AMIBA makes it possible to create an Independent Business Alliance without re-inventing the wheel. AMIBA-provided sample templates, bylows, logos and documents saves its members literally hundred of hours of time and thousands of dollars in development costs.

For more information on how you can be a part of this special offer, contact Wanda Jewell at \n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can find out more information about AMIBA at their website: