Byte-Size Blair | December 1

We’re back with Byte-Size Blair, our weekly wrap-up of all things social media. If you’re not already following us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, give us a look.

1. Merry #CyberMonday to all, and to all a good buy!

2. We had a lot to be thankful for last Thursday on account of all the amazing news from Blair author Stephanie L. Tyson, chef and co-owner of Sweet Potatoes Restaurant.

3. You know who else had a lot to be thankful for? Our Messy Desk contest winners!

4. There’s still one more contest in the works. Let it grooooow, let it grow! Show us those badass beards.

5. Last but not least, if you’re a bookseller (or have any bookseller friends who value your input), it’s time to nominate Blair’s books for this year’s SIBA awards.

We don’t know about you, but this is how we’re feeling after feasting on leftover turkey all weekend.



Byte-Size Blair | September 8

We’re back with Byte-Size Blair, our weekly wrap-up of all things social media. If you’re not already following us on Facebook,Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, give us a look.

Fall is fast approaching and that means we are celebrating the upcoming releases of our latest books–Foods That Make You Say Mmm-mmm by Bob Garner, The Ghost Will See You Now by Randy Russell, and a book based on the much-loved Tumblr account of the same name, Badass Civil War Beards. Plus, we’re gearing up for our and our distributed lines’ Spring/Summer 2015 titles. It’s also festival season! This past weekend, we hosted our famous $2 book sale at the Bookmarks! Book Festival in downtown Winston-Salem. In two weeks, we’re off to Virginia for the SIBA Conference. Then, in early October, we head to Music City for the Southern Festival of Books. And as if that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, we’re also throwing a party this month to honor 60 years of John F. Blair, Publisher. Here are some of our favorite posts from the past few whirlwind weeks.

1. Author Ray McAllister called our Blair president for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and Carolyn and some of her best friends from high school, known as the “Mimosa Belles,” answered that call.

2. Speaking of Ray McAllister, one of his books was the subject of this “meta-shelfie”: Wrightsville Beach at Wrightsville Beach!

3. In a recent Words with Friends, distributed line NewSouth Books netted a couple of great reviews for two of their young reader titles, Matzo Frogs and Greenhorn.

4. September 19 is International Talk like a Pirate Day and we’re celebrating with a month-long sale on three of our best-loved pirate titles! Now that’s a deal you can’t arrr-gue with (sorry)!

5. Billy Bowater, a hilarious and insightful novel by E.C. “Redge” Hanes, received a glowing review from Foreword. His launch party is this week in Winston-Salem.

Thanks for checking in with us for Byte-Size Blair. We’ll be back next week with photos from Bookmarks! and the Billy Bowater launch party, among other tasty tidbits from the world of independent publishing. We’ll close out with Blair pet Minnie Pearl enjoying her long Labor Day weekend in the mountains.


Byte-Size Blair | June 30

We’re back with Byte-Size Blair, our weekly wrap-up of all things social media. If you’re not already following us on FacebookTwitterTumblr, or Pinterest, give us a look.

Wow! We can’t believe it’s almost July. The end of June has brought with it big thunderstorms and a nice little cool snap (which is now, sadly, over), as well as some of our favorite posts of the summer so far!

1. Artie reading Chasing MoonlightBlair employee Artie suggested a great post last week, one to celebrate the 109th anniversary of Moonlight Graham’s brief career as a professional baseball player. There’s a whole lot more to the story and you can read about it here. In the photo above, see Artie celebrate Moonlight’s anniversary his own way, by reading Chasing Moonlight at SEA-TAC on his way home from an Alaskan vacation. Welcome back to the sticky Southern summer, Artie!

2. In other news from our beloved backlist, The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break was just named one of SIBA’s Lady Banks’ favorite Proustian books of the summer. What does that mean? You’ll have to read to find out. And once you do, you can find a good porch chair, a cold glass of tea, and revisit Minotaur, which has recently received quite a bit of love as one of Telegraph’s 10 Best Food & Drink Books of All Time.

3. We pinned this great video from our friends over at Our State Magazine about two buddies in search of all of Stone Mountain Park’s historic stills. With over 150 discovered, no wonder Wilkes County is sometimes called the moonshine capital of the world. Although Virginia’s often the focus of many moonshine myths and legends, we know more than a few from our native state.

4. Our #FridayFollow this week was also an announcement for a great new program from NC LIVE. Now through the end of the year, NC LIVE’s Homegrown Initiative will provide state libraries with access to e-books published by North Carolina presses, John F. Blair among them. We thought it was a great time to celebrate our friends and neighbors on social media.

5. Last but not least, Steve Almond, who wrote Lookout Books’ distributed title God Bless America and contributed a story in their Astoria to Zion, recently had a great post up on AWP’s Writer’s Notebook. We thought we’d post our tweet about it instead of our tumble because Steve Almond also recently relented and got a Twitter account and the world needs to know!

We’ll see you next week for more Byte-Size Blair, and for now, enjoy this picture of our president’s husband and their adorable golden Carmen (with a stylish summer buzz cut), taking a break on the Mountain-to-Sea trail last month.


We’re off to the SIBA trade show for the weekend

Things at Blair might be a little quieter today and this weekend–Jaci, Angela, and I are off to the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show in Daytona. We’ll be exhibiting our upcoming spring titles and showing off some of our distributed lines’ authors at signings at our booth. You can pick up a signings schedule at our booth, but if you can’t wait until then, here’s a preview:

10:30-11:30 a.m.
Michael Carlebach, author of Sunny Land (Safe Harbor Books)

1:30-2:30 p.m.
Dale Brakhage, author of ABCs of Selling With Etiquette (Canterbury House Publishing)

3:00-4:00 p.m.
Lou Dischler, author of My Old Sunshine (Hub City)–Learn more about this Okra Pick in an earlier blog post.

And booksellers, don’t forget to take advantage of our trade show special: 50% nonreturnable and 46% returnable discounts and free freight on orders of five or more books. We can’t wait to see you there!

Congrats to Hub City on their Okra Pick, My Only Sunshine, by Lou Dischler

SIBA just announced their Fall 2010 Okra Picks–some of the best new southern books–and Hub City‘s My Only Sunshine by Lou Dischler (one of our distributed titles) made the list! Congratulations to Lou and Hub City!

In My Only Sunshine, nine-year-old Charlie Boone and his gravel-eating younger brother, Jute, are living with their grandparents, fixed on velvet ants and the declining health of a horse named Lunch Time. Their father has been sent upriver after a botched convenience store holdup and a walloping with a can of Crisco. Their mother, too, has vanished. Memaw and Pawpaw insist she disappeared in a hurricane. But Charlie hasn’t given up hope, fondly remembering her singing a campaign song as he dozed in her lap: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

When Charlie’s long-lost uncle Dan rolls up at the grandparents’ farm in a stolen Buick—the trunk loaded with erotic contraband, a beautiful girlfriend at his side—the misadventures begin. This hilarious novel builds to an uproarious climax in which an alligator is loosed from a suitcase, the Holy Ghost pays a visit, and Charlie’s once-lowlife family is raised up by a 5-million-ton geological oddity—what Pawpaw calls “an honest to God fact of nature.” Buckle up for a big dose of Cajun comedy as Charlie takes charge.

Read an excerpt of the book on Lou Dischler’s Web site. And if you’re planning on attending the SIBA trade show Sunday, September 26, you’ll have a chance to meet Lou at “movable feast of authors.” We’ll see you there, Lou!