Thursday, September 30, 2010

SIBA Trade Show Weekend


This past weekend, I attended the 2010 SIBA Trade Show in Daytona Beach, Florida. If you haven't heard of SIBA, well, where have you been? SIBA is the Southern Independent Bookseller's Alliance and is run by the fabulous Wanda Jewel. The weekend was packed with events, author signings and readings, and in between all these things I got the chance to spend some time with a few awesome bloggers (who are quickly turning out to be my favorite kind of people). It's funny and very cool to meet a group of people that seem to bond instantly and have so much to share with each other. I actually spent the weekend attached to the totally awesome and amazing Kathy's (Bermudaonion's Weblog) hip and even had the pleasure of wheedling her into bringing home more books then she could safely carry. I spent some more time and had dinner with the very hip Sandy Nawrot of You've Gotta Read This as well as Kathy, and we all had drinks with Natalie of Coffee and a Book Chick, who is an amazingly funny lady! Having dinner with Sandy and Kathy was just the coolest blogger experience, and I have to tell you, those ladies really know their books! I also met the incredibly sweet Stacy of A Novel Source and got the chance to meet the vivacious Rebecca from The Book Lady's Blog. I actually was in attendance for a panel called Get in Bed With a Book Blogger hosted by Rebecca, and found it to be very informative and interesting. Here's a picture that was taken at the bar of the Plaza Resort & Spa, and another on the convention floor:
Natalie, Sandy, Heather, Kathy
Kathy, Stacy, Heather
I have to say that the entire weekend was amazing. To be completely surrounded by people who share the same passion for books was incredible, and I met people from all walks of life that were enthusiastic and excited about the book trade. Some of the highlights of the weekend were the SIBA Supper, where the great Fanny Flagg regaled the audience with the tale of how she got her big break in writing, and my personal highlight of the night, getting the chance to hear  Emma Donoghue speak about her Booker finalist, Room. I also got the chance to talk to Emma and grab a photo with her (!!!) and I must admit that I came off as a totally gushy fangirl.

Heather with Emma Donoghue
One of the events that I thought was really brilliant was the Movable Feast luncheon. This was a chance to have a nice lunch while a number of authors stopped by the  tables to chat about their new books. During that lunch, I got the chance to talk to the superb Jim Minick, whose new memoir, The Blueberry Years, is at the top of my list of exciting books. I also got the chance to have a stimulating chat with the very funny and witty Lou Dischler, who is the author of My Only Sunshine (published by the incredible Hub City Press, a lot more on them soon). Lou took the opportunity to read a little snippet from his book and I have to admit I'm pretty thrilled that I will be reading it soon. Manette Ansay stopped by as well and told us about the process of writing her new novel Good Things I Wish You, and I think it's a book that lovers of historical fiction and literary fiction will enjoy. Kathy also introduced me to the incomparable Susan Gregg Gilmore, whose new book, The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove, looks so, so wonderful. Also, during one of the breakfast events, I was honored to share a table with author James Swanson (Manhunt, Bloody Crimes) and we had a very interesting chat about the impact and repercussions of e-books and the push for greater adoption of digital media on the book industry as a whole. He was very well informed and erudite on the subject and I was very impressed with his viewpoint and thoughts. Meeting Marybeth Whalen (The Mailbox, She Makes it Look Easy) was also a highlight of the trip. She was a very warm and charming dinner companion and discussed all the details of her upcoming book with me. She also shared some great resources that I know I am going to find helpful.
James Swanson
There were author signings galore and the chance to rub elbows and chat with a lot of incredible authors and publishers and independent bookstore owners, including representatives from Hachette, Harper Collins, Random House, Macmillan, Simon and Schuster, Penguin, and W.W. Norton. Not to mention the fact that the exhibition floor itself was unlike anything I have ever seen. I got the chance to bring back so many incredible books. There's a lot to be excited about in the book world right about now, and it was lovely to get the chance to share in that enthusiasm. The SIBA Trade Show will be held in South Carolina in 2011, and book lovers, I am telling you, it's an event not to be missed! If you want to get in on the road trip with Sandy and me next year, we'd love to have you, just let us know!

19 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Aw, you're still gushing! I had a blast last weekend and kind of hate that the whole thing's over. I don't understand why I had a bad hair weekend, though - I look crummy in ever picture I've seen. I LOVED hanging out with you - you are so not shy!!

Amy said...

It sounds like the event was a lot of fun! Congrats on getting to attend. You met some incredible bloggers and authors too :)

Steph said...

This sounds like so much fun! It sounds like you met and saw tons of great people (bloggers and authors alike)!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Gushfest! I love it! You were so in your element. Hey and guess what book my book club picked for next month? Room! Great synopsis. You did a much better job of linking up everything than I did. I was lazy...

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

It was sooo fantastic to meet you, too!! Why can't we fast forward it to next year in Charleston already?? Gah!! I am not patient -- we'll have to all meet up again soon!!

Suko said...

I imagine I would have really enjoyed this event as well; meeting my fellow book bloggers in such a book related environment would have been magical. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with me. :)

Jenners said...

This sounds just amazing. I so wish I had been able to attend. I just love Sandy, Kathy and Stacy to pieces, and it would be wonderful to meet them in person.

And I just got "Room" for my birthday ... I hear it is amazing. How cool that you go to meet the author.

I'm going to have to look into trying to attend this event next year. It doesn't seem as overwhelming as the BEA event.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I knew one of you all would have great pictures! We have to be sure to send you to ALL the blogger meet ups so you can be the Official Photographer! :--)

Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

This sounds wonderful!

Bibliophile By the Sea said...

You ladies look lovely, and it sounds like you had an amazing time.

Marybeth said...

Loved meeting you! Let's keep in touch and hope we can reconnect next year at SIBA!!

Linda said...

I loved meeting you and all your blogger pals at SIBA! That was by far the best book show I've ever been to. Hope to see y'all again soon -- Linda

Melissa M said...

What an awesome event! And the lunch sounds amazing. I'm awfully jealous about you meeting bloggers too.

The Tome Traveller said...

Oooh, I wish I had been there! Isn't it fun to hang out with bloggers? (Kathy is so much fun! Don't know what you are talking about, Kathy, your hair looks great!) Hope to see you at BEA next year!

I have got to get started on Room! I've had it since May, for pete's sake!

Jenny said...

I'm so jealous you got to meet Emma Donaghue!! Sounds like you guys had an amazing time!!! I hate that I didn't get to make it.

Marie said...

What a wonderful time you had! I just came back from the New England equivalent- a whirlwind! Thanks for hte great post on this event- and it's nice to see a picture of you! :-)

softdrink said...

How fun! It looks (and sounds) like you all had a great time. And I agree...book blogger meet-ups are just the best.

Lisa said...

Looks like a great time!

Literary Feline said...

It sounds like you had a great time, Heather! Now I wish I could have been there with you all. :-)

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