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Okra Picks Brings Bookseller-favorite New Southern Books Front and Center
The Okra Picks are a batch of fresh titles chosen each season by Southern booksellers. They are Southern in nature but can cover any genre. A regional variation of the Indie Next list, Okra Picks are an early spotlight on books likely to “go national,” demonstrating the power of indie booksellers to break out new titles and sell more books.
SIBA supports Okra Picks by providing stores downloadable flyers, and incentives to create in-store displays and report sales. SIBA also actively promotes these titles to both consumers and booksellers at www.authorsroundthesouth.com, sibaweb.com and across our social media networks. SIBA’s Lady Banks newsletter introduces The Okra Picks to over 10,000 consumer subscribers.
On any given week, an Okra Pick title can be found on the Southern Independent Bestseller List. Okra Picks often go on to be Southern Book Prize nominees, and land on bookstore "Best of the Year" and book club lists.
Okra Pick titles are given first consideration in our publisher-sponsored Reader Meet Writer (RMW) virtual author series, with special branding identifying the title as an Okra Pick, and SIBA-bookseller approved! Our Okra Pick RMW events have been the most highly attended, generating a boost in sales at book launch time. Learn more about our Reader Meet Writer program here.
Winter: books published between January 1 - March 31 | nomination deadline: November 15
Spring: books published between April 1 - June 30 | nomination deadline: February 15
Summer: books published between July 1 - September 30 | nomination deadline May 15
Fall: books published between October 1 - December 31 | nomination deadline August 15
Who nominates books for the Okra Picks?
Only SIBA member bookstores can nominate books, nominations that come from nonmember stores or publishers are discarded. However, SIBA does encourage publishers to solicit nominations from bookstores on behalf of their titles.
How do I get a store to nominate my book as an Okra pick?
Ask them! We suggest using an eBlast or listing in our Galleys & Giveaways email to get review copies in the hands of bookstores well in advance of publication, and following up with stores when the deadline comes around. Stores usually need several months to read review copies, and Okra nominations close thirty days before they are announced for that season.
Where do bookstores nominate an Okra Pick?
The Okra Picks Nomination form is here: Okra Pick Nomination Form. Stores can also nominate by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Positive reviews of eligible titles posted by SIBA Booksellers on Edelweiss are also included in the nominations.
How do I know my book has been chosen as an Okra Pick?
Okra Picks are selected the month before their season. SIBA informs the publishers of each book prior to the official announcement. At this point SIBA will also reach out to book a Reader Meet Writer (link to series info) virtual author tour event.
My book is self-published. Can I be an Okra Pick?
Yes. But your book must have regular distribution and be listed at Indiebound.org.
My book has already been released. Can I be an Okra Pick?
No. Only titles published in the designated season are eligible.
My book is not Southern, but I am. Can I be an Okra Pick?
Yes. Okra Pick titles must be Southern in nature, or by a Southern author, preferably both.