Author Martha Fitzgerald on the trade show floor in Naples, Florida. The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance lives up to its reputation, she said.  These are creative folks with a sense of fun, meeting the challenges of  a changing industry head-on. “I’ve really enjoyed getting to meet these indie booksellers. They are so enthusiastic about books and authors, especially books about the South and books by Southern authors. They gave my fellow Shreveporter, children’s book author and Oscar-winning Bill Joyce, a standing ovation  after showing of his short film ‘The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore,’ inspired by the effects of Katrina on Louisiana.”

After a day of seminars on retailing, the trade show floor was open one full day and another half day, with author panels and sessions several times a day. The last morning, when energy may have been flagging a bit, SIBA created a flash mob on the floor. The loudspeakers came on and the trade show came alive, everyone dancing in the aisles to Chubby Checkers’ “The Twist.”