SIBA 2016: The Events
Every fall, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) hosts a trade show for its member bookstores and they’re kind enough to allow bloggers to join them. This year’s trade show was held in Savannah and I was lucky enough to attend it with my dear friend Julie of Booking Mama fame. It was Julie’s first trip to Savannah so we skipped a few SIBA events to do a little touring of the city.
The first event of SIBA was a party at Mary Kay Andrews‘ house on Tybee Island. I’ve never met more gracious hosts than Mary Kay and her husband. They allowed everyone to see the whole house which was absolutely charming and served great drinks and food. All of the recipes were from Mary Kay’s upcoming cookbook and the food was delicious. I was excited to win this fabulous door prize, courtesy of Lodge Cast Iron:
We were thrilled to chat with a few other authors like Mary Alice Monroe, Patti Callahan Henry, and Marybeth Whalen while we were there.
Julie and attended three SIBA events on Friday. The first was the Signaround, which is exactly what it sounds like. Authors from the day’s panels were there to sign books. I was thrilled to get autographed copies of DESPERATION ROAD by Michael Farris Smith, MISS ELLA OF COMMANDER’S PALACE by Ella Brenan and Ti Martin, THE MIGHTY ODDS by Amy Ignatow, CHICKEN by Cynthia Graubart as well as several others.
Our next event was Rep Pix. At this event publisher’s reps are given two minutes to pitch their favorite upcoming books. And when I say two minutes, I mean two minutes – Nicki runs a very tight ship. I took furious notes during the event (sharing Julie’s pen until someone was kind enough to give me one of their own) but can’t find them right now. Needless to say, all of the books sounded terrific.
We wrapped up the day with The First 180 Days Party. This party features authors whose books were published during the first half of the year. The room was packed but I still managed to meet so many great authors and come away with some wonderful autographed books including INSPECTOR FLYTRAP by Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell, THE MAN WHO SHOT OUT MY EYE IS DEAD by Chanelle Benz, THE ORPHAN’S TALE by Pam Jenoff, THE BOOK OF POLLY by Kathy Hepinstall, and LOVING VS VIRGINIA by Patricia Hruby Powell.
We had an early wake-up call on Saturday because we had tickets to A Taste of Harper Collins Breakfast. Harrison Scott Key (THE WORLD’S LARGEST MAN), Kevin Wilson (PERFECT LITTLE WORLD), Sara Zarr (GEM & DIXIE), Christina Baker Kline (A PIECE OF THE WORLD), and Peter Swanson (HER EVERY FEAR) were the featured speakers. Julie and I were invited to sit at a table with Christina Baker Kline and Sara Zarr. We were both geeking out but we were able to hold ourselves in check pretty well. All of the speakers were amazing and now I’m excited about their books.
The trade show floor opened after the breakfast and we wandered around it for a while. I scored some great books but will feature them in another post.
Later in the afternoon, we attended a reception held by Read Savannah. There were several authors there but we spent most of our time visiting with Sandy and Heather. It was great catching up with Sandy and meeting Heather.
Saturday’s SIBA Supper was sponsored by Hachette and featured Jodi Picoult (SMALL GREAT THINGS), Robert Hicks (THE ORPHAN MOTHER), Beth Macy (TRUEVINE), and David Arnold (KIDS OF APPETITE). Once again, the speakers were fabulous and made me excited about their books.
Julie and I made one last lap of trade show floor before attending the final event of SIBA – The Moveable Feast of Authors. This is a great lunch event where authors rotate around the tables to talk about their books during lunch. Since there are only a few people at each table, it’s also a chance to ask questions and chat with the authors. We met Liane Moriarty (TRULY, MADLY, GUILTY), Robert Olen Butler (PERFUME RIVER), Katharine McGee (THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR), Kathleen Glasgow (GIRL IN PIECES), Marty Jourard (MUSIC EVERYWHERE: THE ROCK AND ROLL ROOTS OF A SOUTHERN TOWN), Ben Westhoff (ORIGINAL GANGSTAS), Kelly French (JUNIPER), William Ferris (THE SOUTH IN COLOR: A VISUAL JOURNEY), and Susan Meissner (SECRETS OF A CHARMED LIFE). I’d seen a few of their books on the show floor but wasn’t sure I wanted to read them but after meeting the authors and hearing about the books, I want to read them all!
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