Booksellers' Guide to the Southern Book Prize
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#southernbookprize #SBP20 #VoiceYourChoice

Each 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 SIBA Book Award, now The Southern Book Prize, was created to recognize great books of Southern origin. All the finalists and winning books are promoted to the media and featured on SIBA's websites.

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. For a book to be eligible, it must be set in the South and/or the author must be Southern (preferably both!). It must have been published within the previous calendar year.

This is a great opportunity to involve your customers and generate excitement for titles you are especially passionate about.

FAQs & Calendar | Store Ideas | Graphics | Resources

FAQs about The Southern Book Prize

Which 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 previous 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?

Nominations must come from SIBA member booksellers. Positive reviews of eligible books submitted by SIBA booksellers to Edelweiss are also considered to be nominations.

How do I nominate a book?

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 8 (LoveYourBookstore Challenge week) and February 1.
  • The winners are announced on Valentine's Day, February 14.

Where can I see a list of The Southern Book Prize finalists and winners?

Current and Archived Winners of The Southern Book Prize

Using The Southern Book Prize in Your Store

One of the goals of The Southern Book Prize is to extend the shelf life and sales of booksellers' favorite "handsell" titles. Every step of the book award process is an opportunity to bring renewed interest to favorite titles from the previous year they are released in paperback. From nomination to the final announcement of the winners, stores have a full six-month season to highlight their most popular Southern books:

  • Create Southern Book Prize displays of finalists for the holiday shopping season.
    Include your ballots in the display so interested customers can vote for their favorites.
  • Get customers involved in the voting.
    Send your media outlets the customizable press release tailored for your store. Use the #VoiceYourChoice hashtag to ignite customer enthusiasm for their favorites among the finalists.
  • Celebrate the winners.
    A natural for window displays and high-visibility areas, and perfect for book club choices in the winter months.


Right-click on any of the images below to save them to your computer, then upload them to your website, social media or for email and other marketing.

Late MigrationsMagnetic GirlNever Have I EverFurious HoursGilded WolvesRayne and Delilah's Midnite MatineeSouthern Lady Code



Southern Book Prize Resources

Southern Book Prize Assets

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Downloadable flyers and shelf talkers, website badges and logos
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
2020 Southern Book Prize Ballot (online) Link Administration 11/29/2019
2020 Southern Book Prize Ballot (for websites) Link Administration 11/21/2019
2020 Southern Book Prize Ballot (Postcard) Link Administration 11/21/2019
2020 Southern Book Prize Finalists on Edelweiss Link Administration 11/21/2019
2020 Southern Book Prize Store Press Release Link Administration 11/21/2019
2020 Southern Book Prize Social Media Links Link Administration 11/21/2019
2020 Southern Book Prize: Bookseller Reviews Link Administration 11/21/2019
2020 Southern Book Prize Checklist Link Administration 11/21/2019