The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association voted to add four Southern California bookselling professionals to the organization’s board, the first step in unifying California booksellers into a single organization. The effort to form one California bookseller association gained urgency after the Southern California Independent Booksellers voted to dissolve at its September trade show.

NCIBA added three new voting board members, reflecting key bookselling markets in the SoCal region: Mary Williams from Los Angeles’ Skylight Books, Mimi Hannan from San Diego’s La Playa Books, and Bridget Schinnerer from Pasadena’s Vroman's Bookstore. Schinnerer will also assume the role of treasurer, and the current treasurer, Melinda Powers from Bookshop Santa Cruz, will now serve as the incoming president. The organization will vote on its president in April 2020.

“It's starting to feel real now,” said NCIBA executive director Calvin Crosby, who added that the organization will soon be sending out a survey to the bookselling and publishing community in California to plan for unification. “The next step is outreach to our membership and our publishing partners. We want to get input from everyone we do business with, because we really want something new.” In January 2020, the new board will meet for a special retreat to discuss the future.

The bookselling organization made the announcement with the headline: “(n)CIBA Welcomes New Board Members,” a parenthetical nod to the fact that NCIBA will transition to include Southern California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA) in an as-yet-unnamed organization for all of California. “This is a logical first step,” said Williams about her new spot on the NCIBA board. “Southern California is such a vibrant bookselling community and we need to make sure that our interests and our important part of the market is conveyed to the rest of the country.”

The board also added one new non-voting member, Mark O’Neal from Karel/Dutton Group, filling a newly created Southern California sales rep position on the board. The organization also made some changes to the present board, with Wendy Pearl from Penguin Random House filling the Northern California sales rep position and Leslie Jobson from Ingram Content Group, Publishers Group West/Two Rivers maintaining her role as publishing professional on the board.

“The engagement has been pretty high and we've really heard from a lot of our Southern California colleagues,” said Crosby, who has been connecting with California booksellers all month. “Membership throughout the state is stepping up.”

The Transition Committee is Michael Tucker from Books Inc., Adrian Newell form Warwicks, Melinda Powers from Bookshop Santa Cruz, Jenn Ramage from Penguin Random House, Alison Reid from Diesel: A Bookstore, Mark O'Neal from Karel/Dutton, Rick Cobban from HBG, Judy Wheeler from Towne Center Books, Linda Sherman-Nurick from Cellar Door Books, Hut Landon from Mrs. Dalloway's, Christie Olsen Day from Gallery Bookshop, and Richard McNeace from Faherty & Associates.