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SIBA 2016: The Events

October 4, 2016


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!



22 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2016 7:30 am

    Wow! That sounds amazing!! Good friends and meeting up with authors – awesome!!

  2. bookingmama permalink
    October 4, 2016 7:30 am

    It was so much fun! I almost teared up reading your recap! I’m so glad you thought I didn’t embarrass myself when I was talking to Sara Zarr. I was definitely excited when she showed me that photo of her and Kevin Bacon!

  3. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    October 4, 2016 7:54 am

    Sounds fantastic! I have to ask….how did you get that cast iron pan home? I imagine it would have seriously weighed down your luggage!

    And – will you be doing a post on your favorite upcoming books you discovered there? I’d love to see that!

  4. October 4, 2016 7:59 am

    Gosh, this sounds even better than going to BEA! At least it would be for me, given who you met and what you did. I’m a fan of Andrews as well as several other authors you met. Thanks for telling us about it.

  5. Patty permalink
    October 4, 2016 8:53 am

    I agree with Mary! It sounds like so much more fun than BEA! I loved everything you did!

  6. October 4, 2016 9:08 am

    I love Sara Zarr – what fun that you got to sit with her!

  7. October 4, 2016 9:44 am

    I am way jealous. What a great event. Congrats for getting to be there and for meeting all of those authors. I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult and Christina Baker Kline, in particular, and would have enjoyed meeting all of the other authors too. So cool.

  8. October 4, 2016 10:37 am

    Oh, wow, what a lucky you! To meet all those authors and to see their books…and especially being in Mary Kay’s home on the island. I am green with envy. lol.

    Thanks for sharing, and I can imagine you will think about it for a long while.

  9. October 4, 2016 11:06 am

    Oh, how wonderful that you got to go to Mary Kay Andrews’ house! That does sound like a fabulous event! I have never been to SIBA but Savannah is not terribly far from here so I should try and attend it once. Glad you had a lot of fun – looking forward to the books post. 🙂

  10. October 4, 2016 12:46 pm

    WOW. Just wow. Sounds really fun.

  11. October 4, 2016 1:39 pm

    With this busy schedule, how in the world did you find time to see Savannah ( a gorgeous, gorgeous city)?

    Thanks for the SIBA coverage and the introduction of so many new-to-me author names.

  12. October 4, 2016 3:23 pm

    Lodge cast iron cookware is wonderful, Kathy! Congratulations! This sounds like such a fabulous event! I’m glad you were able to attend. Enjoy your new books and goodies!

  13. Literary Feline permalink
    October 4, 2016 5:44 pm

    Oh wow. This sounds like so much fun! It sounds like you had a great time, Kathy.

  14. Diane permalink
    October 4, 2016 7:25 pm

    Sounds like a fun time Kathy. How cool.

  15. October 5, 2016 6:24 am

    Wow!! What a wonderful event to be a part of, Kathy!! I loved reading all about who you met and what you did. Thanks so much for sharing some of the details.

  16. October 5, 2016 8:10 am

    Wow, that house party sounds like it was fabulous! Glad you had such a good time.

  17. October 5, 2016 1:42 pm

    Wow, Kathy, I think LUCKY must be your middle name. You were lucky to go, lucky to win the door prize and lucky to be a part of all those great book events. I’m glad for you. You deserve it. I’m hoping you will share even more of this “book vacation” of yours. Out of all those new books you picked up, which one will you read first?

  18. October 5, 2016 5:33 pm

    What a wonderful event and how cool you went to Mary Kay Andrews’ house.

  19. October 7, 2016 10:38 am

    What a great event. I’ll have to make time for that at some point. I had no idea that there was a cookbook from Mary Kay Andrews coming. That is going on my wish list.

  20. October 10, 2016 1:33 am

    Whoa, this sounds like an amazing experience! How fun to meet so many authors, spend time with friends, and of course find out about wonderful books. Thanks for telling us about it 🙂

  21. October 10, 2016 8:11 am

    What a great event! I’m looking forward to hearing what you think about the books you acquired.

  22. October 12, 2016 7:30 pm

    I’m so bummed to have missed SIBA this year. It sounds like y’all had an amazing adventure! congratulations on the Lodge giveaway win!

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