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The Publisher's guide to the Southern Book Prize
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The Southern Book PrizeEach year, hundreds of booksellers across the South vote on their favorite “handsell” books of the year. These are the “southern” books they have most enjoyed selling to customers; the ones that they couldn’t stop talking about. The Southern Book Prize was created to recognize great books of southern
origin. For a book to be eligible, it must be set in the South, or the author must be Southern (preferably both) and it must have been published within the previous calendar year. Books must be in print and available to order via normal channels. As with the Okra Picks, SIBA offers marketing support for Southern Book Prize titles.

All nominations must come via a SIBA bookseller— making the Southern Book Prize a true “readers’ choice” award and one of the most well-known awards for Southern literature. Publishers are encouraged to promote books for nomination, either by encouraging booksellers to nominate titles, or calling for nominations on their book’s behalf. Since the Southern Book Prize focuses on titles from the previous calendar year, it is a good opportunity to generate extra momentum for your southern-oriented titles that are newly out in paperback.

Click here for the online nomination form

Marketing Support from SIBA

Each stage of the book award process receives extensive coverage in SIBA's conumser-targeted newsletter, Lady Banks' Commonplace Book. SIBA Book Award finalists & winners are highlighted on the Southern Indie Bestseller list when they appear, and in the ARTS calendar of bookseller events. Store are encouraged to do in-store displays and to engage their customers in the voting process using the hashtag #VoiceYourChoice

SIBA Bookstores receive downloadable materials for in-store display.

The Book Award Calendar:


  • October 15: Nominations close
  • November 1: Finalists selected
  • November 10 - February 1: Booksellers and readers vote on finalists
  • February 14: Winners announced!

FAQs about the SIBA Book Award

What books can be nominated? 
A book must be set in the South, or the author must be Southern, or both, and it must have been published in the current calendar year. Books must also be in print and generally available to the industry at standard wholesale terms.

Are self published books eligible? If they meet the above criteria.

Who can nominate a book?
Anyone can nominate, but all nominations must be associated with a SIBA member bookstore. Reviews of eligible books submitted by SIBA booksellers to Edelweiss are also considered to be nominations.

How do I nominate a book?
Click here for the online nomination form

How are winners selected?
A list of finalists is compiled from eligible books that receive the most nominations. Finalists are announced on November 1. Bookstores and their customers vote on the finalists between November 10 (LoveYourBookstore Challenge week) and February 1. The winners are announced on Valentine's Day, February 14.

Where can I see a list of SIBA Book Award finalists and winners?
The Current and Archived SIBA Book Awards


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