Guest blog by Robert Bailey
I had the privilege of being a presenter at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (“SIBA”) trade show this past weekend (September 20-21, 2013) in New Orleans. The show started with a kick off luncheon on Friday, September 20, where I signed a book for Paige Crutcher with Publisher’s Weekly along with several booksellers who were sitting at my table. All seemed interested in The Professor, and I was especially pleased to have put a copy of the book in Crutcher’s hands, as she reviews novels with a southern flavor for PW; she actually received the first signed copy of The Professor.
On Friday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., I was one of twenty-five presenters at the “First 180 Days Party,” which was a festive affair that was part cocktail party and part book signing. During the event, I signed approximately 50 advanced copies of my novel for booksellers and other exhibitors. Attached are several photographs of the occasion. My wife, Dixie, and our great friends, Bill and Melanie Fowler (both of whom were early readers of The Professor), also attended the event and promoted the book along with the entire JKS Communications team headed by Julie Schoerke. Julie is a barrel of positive energy, and the night concluded with Julie introducing me to John Grisham’s sister, who is a publisher in Nashville and was excited to get a signed copy of The Professor.
On Saturday, September 21, I had a private signing at the JKS Communications booth from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon on the trade show floor, signing approximately fifteen more books and talking up The Professor to numerous other booksellers and authors. Julie and her team were very active, passing out Mardi Gras themed gifts to those that stopped by the booth.
Overall, I think SIBA was a great way to kick off our publicity campaign for The Professor. The ARC’s are very well done and I had a number of folks comment on Winston Groom’s blurb that dons the front of the book, several of whom said they had to grab a copy after reading the blurb. Anyway, we are off to a great start!