Sending a “creative alert” to independent booksellers

The Regional Bookseller Trade Associations are combining efforts to get publishers’ promotional materials, ideas, and gift items to nearly 3,000 independent bookstore members.

Cost of participating in the “Creative Alert” program is $100. Each participating regional will send an email alert to its members. Payment must be made before the alert is sent. You can pay with a credit card or a check. For credit card payments call 800.331.9617 or mail your check to SIBA, 3806 Yale Ave., Columbia, SC 29205

Email your entry to: exactly as you’d like it described in the alert.

The deadline for the August Creative Alert is Friday, August 6th.

What is The Creative Needed for A Creative Alert?

Along with bookmarks and posters, SIBA suggests using the Creative Alert to inform booksellers about contests, event kits, authorless events, and other creative materials.

The Alert should be written as “call to action” for booksellers to request the materials that they believe will be most valuable to them. Booksellers email publishers directly to request the items.

Publishers’ FAQ Answered By SIBA

What is The Creative Alert?

The Creative Advertising & Promo Alert is a monthly email to booksellers that allows you to list the materials you have available and allows stores to request items they are interested in using. Designed as a kind of “Advanced Access” for promotional and marketing items, each edition of the Creative Alert provides offers of professionally-developed materials, referenced by vendor, category, and type of item.

For an example of a Creative Alert email, visit

Who can participate?

Any vendor with promotional items they would like to offer to bookstores. This includes publishers, gift companies, business services, wholesalers, even nonprofit organizations. Individual authors may also participate.

What sort of items are allowed?

All promotional items are allowed with the exception of review copies, books and galleys. Bookmarks, postcards, event kits, reading group guides, as well as contest information, displays, posters, and signage are all appropriate. You may also use this alert to announce new newsletters, website resources, or blogs.

What items are not allowed?

The Creative Alert will not list offers of review copies, galleys, or ARCs in any format.

Are there any other criteria?

All requests should include any parameters you choose.

What is the cost?

A listing costs $100.

What are the design specs?

Text: All copy should be minimally formatted. Bold, italicized and underlined text is allowed, but color and custom fonts are not. Copy can be sent in the body of an email or attached as a word document. Do not send pdfs. There is no word limit but we recommend not more than 250 words per item.

Images: Images can be gif or jpg. Animated gifs are allowed but not encouraged. Flash and html-enriched jpgs are not allowed. Images should not exceed 200 pixels in height or 600 pixels in width. Images which do not conform to these specifications may be reformatted by SIBA.

Who receives the Creative Alert?

Every bookseller who is a member of one of the nine regional independent booksellers trade associations:


Creative Alerts are sent out on a monthly basis. Listings must be paid in advance. To reserve a listing in the next alert, please send an email to