In order to better gauge social media success and help usher foot traffic into bookstores, SIBA has launched the marketing initiative, "Code Read.” Wanda Jewell, executive director of SIBA, says, "Our goal is to drive customers into stores to buy these titles, to either call in and purchase it by phone or on sight." Participating booksellers purchase a dozen copies of the "Code Read" book - each a "forthcoming southern title" - while publishers partnering with SIBA provide an extra dozen copies to the store. The current "Code Read" book is Susan Crandall's Whistling Post in the Graveyard. The first 12 customers to follow "Code Read" guidelines, and purchase the book at their participating bookstore during the designated time, will receive a special gift or incentive.
In a joint effort to spread awareness, the "Code Read" hashtag will be promoted by participating bookstores through their social networking sites, as well as by SIBA and the Authors "Round the South" Facebook page. On the heels of a prosperous first run of 22 participating stores, 25 stores in the south have signed up for SIBA's second "Code Read" campaign. The title in the first "Code Read", Charleston Kitchen by Ted & Matt Lee, was bolstered by the efforts of the initiative and has appeared on SIBA's bestseller list for seven weeks and counting. SIBA hopes to double the number of bookstores partaking in "Code Read" by the end of the month. "My dream is that in 2014," says Jewell, "'Code Read' will be happening every week."
To join the initiative, booksellers should sign the agreement and return it to SIBA by June 15th.