I had the pleasure of attending the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Alliance 2019 Discovery Show in Spartanburg, SC this past weekend. It was fun to meet lots of publishers, booksellers, and other writers.
Frankly, I wasn’t sure what to expect, having never been to another SIBA event. On Friday, I attended a few interesting panels–one focused on Pat Conroy by writers who have contributed to a volume in his memory called Prince of Scribes. Another panel was moderated by Charles Frazier who is behind the Cold Mountain series from Hub City Press.
Most of my time was spent on the tradeshow floor with a representative of my publicist, JKS Communications and with Regal House Publishing, the folks bringing out my next novel (coming spring 2021). But I was also constantly looking for opportunities to talk to booksellers about my recent novel, The Shaman of Turtle Valley.
But the main reason to be at the event didn’t occur until Sunday’s “Moveable Feast,” an event during which 25 writers had an opportunity to meet with a hundred or so booksellers. Each of us had 90 seconds to make a pitch to the whole room while they ate lunch (the authors ate ahead of time) but also got to meet with 6 tables of booksellers and spend 5 or 6 minutes with each. That was actually fun and I hope I made a connection with at least a few bookstores and will try to appear there in the future. Then, after lunch, the authors moved to tables outside the ballroom to sign our books for the booksellers.