Posts Tagged Authors
“What I didn’t know the first time I attended SIBA was how kind, genuine, and supportive the booksellers would be to a debut author like me. Being new to the industry, pitching the book is what we’re used to as debut authors and booksellers are looking for us to be ourselves. If authors can stay more relaxed and have conversations with booksellers, the story of your book will come out naturally. So don’t be a PITCH. Be YOU.”
- Sandra Brannan
Black Dog & Leventhal (dist. by Workman) is holding a really unique bookseller contest. It centers around an incredibly charming spring title, KNIT YOUR OWN DOG by Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir. People and Entertainment Weekly both featured this book, and sales have been outstanding.
So, the contest: the bookseller will get one knit dog modeled after a photograph of their dog, custom knit by the authors. (They charge around $350 to do this normally.) Last day for entries is May 15, 2011. Winner will be contacted via email. To enter, booksellers should email firstname.lastname@example.org with their contact info and photograph(s) of their dog.
As a first timer to SIBA (or any book industry trade show for that matter), I was a little overwhelmed by what was offered. The bookseller education seminars were interesting. I sadly missed out on the one about Book Clubs, but I hope there will be some kind of recap of the seminars for those who found themselves choosing between two things they really wanted to hear about. Getting to interact with authors a bit was a blast. I learned about a ton of new and older titles through them. One in particular is worth relating. I stopped to see Sharyn McCrumb on Friday and our chat led to the fact that she has a novella about the town my store is in, Augusta. I was unaware of this and went to my phone immediately to see if I could get a copy (which I ordered used right away so I could have it waiting for me to read when I got home). While it’s no longer available in hardcover, I saw the mass market is still available and ordered a few for the store. We have a number of McCrumb fan’s who will surely be interested in the book, but also because of the historical ties of the story to Augusta, Sharyn’s going to be getting new exposure as an author to our customers as I handsell the book. Fantastic win-win eh?
I did make a number of other contacts, though on coming back home, almost too many, so I am trying to find time to review them all and follow up. One lesson I learned from this show: DON’T leave your business cards at the store! I took a lot of cards, but didn’t really have cards to give away due to that oversight and I would probably have some of these authors/agents following up with me if I had been able to give them a card. Next year I’m going to try to write down a little recap for myself after each event too… I have a feeling better organizational skills will help me make better use of what I learned.
On Saturday & Sunday, I walked through all the booths that were set up. Besides learning about product, I found a new POS that we’ll be implementing in the first quarter of next year should all go well and really enjoyed meeting the B&T people. They set me up with a theretailerplace.com account and hopefully well have that up and running this week or next at the latest. Though it’s not an answer to our every online need, it gives us a sales presence online and we can really push people who want to support us to use it over other online or boxstore offerings (especially for things we don’t really carry like Movies and Music which we don’t carry and have no locally owned non-box store alternative to get them from).
Of course, Sunday I attended the Moveable Feast of Authors, which was lots of fun. I really wish we had been able to meet more of the authors at our tables and I don’t know if this experience was universal or not, but I feel like we could have spent less time with each author and gotten to see more of them and made that personal contacts. Afterwords at the signing tables, it was pretty hectic and I wondered if the authors had all flatsigned the books beforehand and had them waiting in a bag for each attendee at the end if we couldn’t have gotten to see everyone by extended the lunch to that third hour we spent in the signing room and given each author 7-8 minutes per table. Either way, I will definitely attend the Moveable Feast at SIBA 2011.
The Book Tavern
1026 Broad Street
Augusta, GA 30901
Amp, Authors, Blast, Book Clubs, bookseller, Booths, Business Cards, Education Seminars, Fir, First Timer, Interact, Lot, Mass Market, Novella, Organizational Skills, Oversight, Shares, Sharyn Mccrumb, siba, Ties, trade show
SIBA stands for “Southern Indies Beat All”
What an amazing experience SIBA 2011 was for me!
As a first timer and a non-southerner, my nervousness was only surpassed by my overwhelming desire to be accepted, not unlike meeting my in laws for the first time. But just as my new family from Mobile, AL welcomed me lovingly and sincerely into their embrace, so did the wonderful booksellers of team SIBA! The authors were gracious with their advice as were the people working the trade show. And the staff at SIBA under the direction of Wanda Jewell make it looks so effortless to be so professional, organized, and hospitable, which we all know takes TONS of work behind the scenes.
To all of you who made me laugh and feel so welcome, thank you for making me feel like I have a home away from home!!
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