Last week I flew out to Mobile, AL for the annual Southeastern Independent Booksellers Association (SIBA) Trade Show. It was four days of panels, authors, booksellers, BOOKS, and a little extra sightseeing. It's always wonderful to meet the folks who are selling (hopefully) your books in their stores, and I love meeting writers, some new, some established--all whom I admire.
I met tons of wonderful authors but here are some you might want to look out for...all with new books coming soon if not out already. Steven Forman, Inman Majors, Cathy Pickens, Karen White, Susan McBride, Maryann McFarland, William Conescu, Haywood Smith, Sarah Addison Allen, TA Barron, Tony Vigorito, Melissa Delbridge...just to name a few!
The bookstores represented at the show? There were too many list, but here are a few I noticed: Two Sisters Bookery (Wilmington, NC), Milestone Books (Vestavia Hills, AL), Fiction Addiction (Greenville, SC), FoxTale Book Shoppe (Woodstock, GA), Author Squad (Huntersville, NC), Eagle Eye Book Shop (Decatur, GA), Carpe Librum Booksellers (Knoxville, TN), Sherlock's Book Emporium and Curiosities (Lebanon, TN), The Paper Chase Book Store (Batesville, AR), Bohannons' Books (Georgetown, KY), The Book & Cranny (Statesboro, GA), Chapters Bookshop (Galax, VA), and Bay Street Trading Co (Beaufort, SC).
Thanks to Wanda Jewell and all the wonderful folks of SIBA (yes, you, Nicki Leone) who put on another successful show. Oh, and on a side note, I hopped over the bay to Fairhope, AL and signed books at the Page and Palette. One of the highlights of that little town was Pete's Paninis. I had the best sandwich in my life! (The seared tuna).
Why do authors travel to conferences and trade shows and the like? With two children, it's always hard for me to leave home, so I think about this often. My answer is this: It's necessary. Necessary to meet booksellers. Necessary to meet fellow authors, folks who are in the same boat as you. And crucial to pull your head out of your own book for a while and see what other authors are turning out. Yes, the best part is what you bring home with you. Aaaaahhhh, the BOOKS!