SIBA Tradeshow


After learning I would be going to the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show in Savannah about two months ago, it’s hard for me to believe it’s already over with!  Like Christmas day, where we work our way up to the moment and before we’ve had a chance to let Christmas dinner digest, it seems like we’re taking the decorations down.

I was supposed to fly, but after realizing the entire trip would take 8 hours with the waiting at the airport, + the layover, etc., I decided to drive.  Friday morning I headed out at 7:00 a.m.  By the map calculations, it would take about 4 hours and 20 minutes to get there.  Admittedly, I was a little lead footed due to nerves.  Couple times I looked down and I was going about 85 m.p.h.  Yikes.  Before I knew it, I was only an hour away.

almost-there

My first event was at 2:00.  I arrived at around 11:15, found parking nearby, got checked into the hotel, and finally, registered.  How cool does that badge look, right?  That little blinking turtle thing was for a donation of $20.00 to support bookstore owners/employees, i.e. BINC which stands for Book Industry Charitable Foundation.  You can click on the link there, and read about what they do.  I also voted on the Bibb Pick – which I now realize I had my badge turned the wrong way when I took this pic, so it doesn’t show the sticker that says, “Bibb, I voted!”  For the Bibb pick, (named after Matt Bibb) you choose two independent bookstores to support, and then decide two ways to support them. The count is tallied, and whichever bookstores win, they are then supported in whichever manner chosen.  The two things I elected to do was a $ donation, + tweeting out about the bookstore.

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My first event was the all around signing at 2:00, pictured below.  Things were still being set up.  Me and little ole Dixie were right in the middle of the room.  You couldn’t miss us.  🙂

signing-event

I was also on the Southern Reads Panel which I don’t have any pictures of, because I was too nervous, the room was as tight as it could get, and we were in chairs at the front, practically in the laps of the “audience,” i.e. booksellers.  We scattered to the wind before I even thought to say “Hey, how about a few selfies?”

A few of my fellow panelists gave me copies of their books, (and DESPERATION ROAD’s Michael Farris Smith offered me a few sips of his Johnny Walker and water – which I needed.  I think I could have drank the whole thing)  Ashley Mace Havird was kind enough to hand me a copy of LIGHTNINGSTRUCK, as did our panel moderator, Martin Pousson, whose BLACK SHEEP BOY promises to be a compelling read, with plenty of Louisiana bayou steaminess.  He signed it “To Donna, with thunder.”  I love that.

The other two books…one came from an author from Raleigh author, Adam Jones’ who wrote FATE BALL.  He came forward to talk to me because of our Raleigh connection.  And the other book “IT’S NOT LIKE I KNEW HER,” by Pat Spears, I picked up during the Publisher’s exhibits, when I found out it was edited by one of my favorite authors – Dorothy Allison.

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After the two events, I spent time milling about with everyone else, having random conversations with booksellers and authors alike.

Savannah is a beautiful city.  None of the pictures I tried to take did it justice by any stretch.  There are huge oaks loaded with Spanish moss, and horse drawn buggies, and that salty scent of the Savannah river nearby. horse-drawn-buggy

view-from-hilton-room

View from the room

Saturday  I made sure to drop in on the publisher’s exhibits and it seemed everyone under the sun was there.

exhibits

I made a bee line for American Bookseller’s Association – the folks who nominated DIXIE DUPREE for the Next Indie Pick, so I could thank them.  You can just make out their blue and white sign (ABA) towards the back of this pic below:

more-exhibits

In the end, I met a bunch of other authors, and was invited to come visit with booksellers, which was the whole point of the trip – so I’ll say it was a big success!

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17 Comments

Fantastic!!! I’m so happy for you. What a rush. Hold on tight, you’re in for a GREAT ride!

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Wow! That stack of DIXIE DUPREEs… you sure one of them doesn’t have my name on it? Really?? Come on, you’ve been taunting us with your First Line Fridays for long enough! 😉

Seriously, it sounds like you had a wonderful time. Savannah is a lovely city. My wife has family there, so we’ve been a few times. Did you make it to the Riverside? The fudge shop is to die for… 🙂

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    I know – that stack was impressive! I’m not sure how many Kensington sent – think it was around 75-100. I had a little tactic – I signed five in advance and then waited, and when I got down to one, I signed four more, and on and on. I think the booksellers liked that – it gave us a chance to chit chat. 🙂

    The wait’s almost over! And don’t you worry – I have a different copy with your name on it, dear Colin. 😉

    I didn’t get anywhere except the hotel – no fair rubbing in there was a fudge shop!

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I can’t imagine anything more exciting than this, Donna! I’m soooo delighted for you. ❤ ❤ ❤

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Big congratulations Donna. It sounds like a dream-time! And I’m looking forward to my Dixie pre-order arriving in October! xoxo

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woohoo, Donna! Look at the stack of YOUR books!! What a wonderful time. As 2Ns noted, the stuff of dreams and hard work.

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    I saw that stack when I walked into the room and I was thinking, Lordy, I hope none are left when I get up – and – they were ALL gone! It was a wonderful time…and it is really a dream come true. Still can’t hardly believe it.

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Sounds like an exciting adventure for you and your book baby!

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    It was Sherry! I was nervous, but not so much I didn’t enjoy it. Matter of fact, I think I was more keyed up about getting there – and then, once I was…I just settled right on it.

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Ah Donna…the stuff of dreams AND hard work.
Congrats !

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