Pigs, Ice Cream and Sea Turtles, Oh My!

2016 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show is a huge success!

Side Trip to Bluffton, SC Home of the Bluffton Book Festival

Pam, Kathy and Penny traveled to beautiful Savannah, GA for the recent SIBA trade show. On Thursday, Kathy and Pam drove to Bluffton, SC to meet with Binc board member Rockelle Henderson about the upcoming Bluffton Book Festival to be held on November 18 &19. Rockelle is the founder of the event, whose mission is to raise money for two non-profit organizations that support literacy, education, reading, authors, bookselling and the publishing community as a whole and to bring awareness to local and national literary talent in the process. Binc is thrilled to be one of the beneficiaries of the festival. While in Bluffton, Rockelle and Binc stopped in at The Storybook Shoppe which will be holding events during the Festival. Follett will be the official bookseller. Thanks to Rockelle, and all everyone involved, for putting the festival together.

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Bank On Booksellers Piggy Bank Auction

Thursday also marked the kick-off of The Bank on Booksellers piggy bank auction, created by Parnassus Books to support their bookseller, Stephanie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2016. They reached out to a few of their friends with this idea for Step, and got back over 100 piggy banks decorated by authors, artists and celebrities! The auction is going so well that they decided to donate part of the money raised to Binc to help all booksellers across the country. If you are interested in bidding on a pig, check out the Bidding Owl auction site.

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That evening, the whole SiBA group ventured out to Tybee Island via trolley for a party at author Mary Kay Andrews island home, Ebbtide. There was a ton of delicious food to eat from her soon to be released Beach Party Cookbook, and everyone enjoyed it in her simply delightful island home. Many thanks to Mary Kay and her team for their southern hospitality.

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Friday Bookseller Education Sessions

Early Friday morning, booksellers gathered for breakfast and the SIBA Annual Meeting before heading into education sessions for the majority of the day. Education sessions ranged from southern women sharing what they’d learned during their time in the book business to an update from the ABA on The New Localism Data first shared at Winter Institute 11. After the education sessions, everyone greeted new writers who have books coming out in the first half of 2017 during the 180 Days Party, a SIBA tradition. The SIBA Supper showcased four excellent authors over dinner, and the Shoe Burning Show offered Spoken Word artists and Southern Soul Music to a tired but happy bookselling crowd.

The Show Gets Underway With Ice Cream

Saturday saw the opening of the trade show floor – split into 2 sections – where booksellers flocked to the Binc table after 3:00pm for ice cream treats. SIBA members stepped up back in May and took the 20 for 20 fundraising challenge and won the award for the most participants from any Indie bookselling association during Binc’s spring fundraiser. As a thank you for such huge support, Binc treated the crowd to ice cream in the afternoon.

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Celebration Sunday

This year’s theme for SIBA was “Savannah by the Sea” and in honor of that theme Binc hosted a fundraiser on the show floor on Sunday morning where participants purchased a blinking Sea Turtle pin for $20, in honor of Binc’s 20th anniversary. At the end of the show everyone played the game Heads or Tails, either picking “heads” or “tails”, then Kathy flipped a coin and if their choice was correct, a they could move to the next round.

Congratulations to Ruth Breiphol from The Book Seller in Birmingham, AL for correctly picking heads or tails and winning the grand prize of $500! Thank you to everyone who purchased a Sea Turtle pin and to everyone who sold them. A special thank you to our sponsor for the event, University of North Carolina Press who donated funds to pay for the fundraiser, ensuring that all the money raised would go directly to helping Binc support booksellers. We are happy to report that Binc raised just shy of $2,000 from the fundraiser.

Once again, Wanda Jewell and her team did an excellent job organizing and running the show and all of the events. It was a great kick-off to the season. We are excited to see y’all again next year in New Orleans!

Insuring the Well-Being of Bookstores and Booksellers

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The executive director of SIBA, Wanda Jewell, explains why she supports Binc, and why all of us should join her

 

For nearly 20 years, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) has served as booksellers’ safety net, providing short-term financial support for booksellers (and their families) when they face an unexpected financial hardship.

Binc’s first assistance grant was given to a single mother struggling to pay her bills almost 20 years ago. Since that modest grant of $323, the level of assistance has grown, and the average grant today is more than $1,500. Whether the need arises from a natural disaster, serious medical expenses, domestic violence, the threat of eviction, or loss of utilities or household income, Binc works with each bookseller to return to a state of financial equilibrium.

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Binc Provides Professional Scholarships to Booksellers

profdev_treeAs part of Binc’s commitment to strengthening the book industry, this year the Foundation offered Professional Scholarships to all eight of the regional IBAs to help encourage booksellers to attend the regional Discovery Shows and other educational events. Each IBA chose how the funds were to be distributed in the method that best served their membership. We at Binc, were very impressed with the thoughtful ways they chose to distribute the funds. The variety of scholarship criteria emphasizes the unique personalities of each IBA.

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Binc Meets Booksellers Face-to-Face

Binc IBA tableIn this day and age of constant bombardment of “too good to be true” deals, audiences have become rightfully skeptical. How then can Binc reassure booksellers that our offer of financial assistance with no strings attached is the real deal? The answer is to meet face-to-face in a place where we can take time to explain our programs and answer any questions booksellers may have. Ideally, it would be a place that attracts a number of book people from across the industry. A location where those who have been helped can share their experiences with those who are just hearing about the Foundation. That perfect place turns out to be a regional IBA Trade Show (or more accurately, eight separate shows). This year the trade shows have been rebranded as Discovery Shows and this couldn’t fit Binc more appropriately. We are traveling back and forth across the country to help books industry professionals “discover” Binc.

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Trivia for Cheaters a Success at SIBA

A special appearance by legendary Doors drummer, John Densmore, added an extra bit of excitement to the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s Trivia for Cheaters event in New Orleans. John graciously agreed to be auctioned as the expert to assist a team for the final round of play which focused on Doors trivia. Spirited bidding added greatly to the $1,475 raised to assist booksellers in times of personal financial crisis.

John Densmore

The legendary John Densmore of The Doors reads from his book The Doors: Unhinged.

Trivia for Cheaters

John Densmore was auctioned to Team Tworking Girls for the round of Doors trivia.

The event was held as part of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance’s Fall Trade Show taking place September 18 – 22. Seven teams of four competed in a spirited event, testing their knowledge in categories ranging from children’s books to super heroes. By soliciting donations to benefit the Binc Foundation, teams were able to purchase additional team members, correct answers and other “cheats”. The Enablers, a team from Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC took home the grand prize and bragging rights as the SIBA Trivia Champs for 2013.

SIBA Executive Director, Wanda Jewell, was instrumental in helping Binc pull together this unique event. Baker & Taylor generously sponsored the event, with their own Steve Harkins acting as emcee and their staff keeping the refreshments flowing to contestants and audience alike.

Team SIBA

Team SIBA thinks hard as emcee Steve Harkins runs the show.