Book Award Deadlines

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 was created to recognize great books of southern origin.

What books can be nominated?

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.

Who can nominate a book?

Books can be nominated by SIBA-member booksellers . But stores can submit nominations on behalf of the their customers, so if you are not a bookseller, you can request your local bookstore nominate a title on your behalf.

How do I nominate a book?

Click here for the online nomination form

Downloadable Book Award GraphicsLogos and badges:   Click here for badges to put on your website!


The best in southern literature, from the people who would know
. . . Southern Independent (and independently-minded!) Booksellers

2015 SIBA Book Award Winners (Columbia, SC) Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2015 SIBA Book Awards

Nominated by booksellers and their customers, vetted by bookstores and selected by a jury of Southern booksellers, these are the Southern books that Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most “you’ve got to read this” moments and “hand sell” moments in stores across the South. They represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.

  • Fiction Winner: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking Books)
  • Nonfiction Winner:  Factory Man by Beth Macy (Little Brown and Company)
  • Cooking Winner: Heritage by Sean Brock  (Artisan Publishers)
  • Children’s Winner: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books)
  • Young Adult Winner: League of Seven by Alan Gratz, Brett Helquist (illustrator) (Starscape Books)

The Invention of WingsFiction Winner: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking Books)
“We recommend this book to everyone!” – Books Unlimited, Franklin, NC


Factory ManNonfiction Winner:  Factory Man by Beth Macy (Little Brown and Company)
“A book that excels at bringing, this time recent, history to narrative life. Macy's book has characters who are difficult to sympathize with, but she overcomes this by placing them in extraordinarily important, world-changing circumstances. Macy does a remarkable job of bringing potentially dull material (furniture-making details, factory time clocks, mundane family squabbles) and raising it to consequential and dramatic literature.” – Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC


HeritageCooking Winner: Heritage by Sean Brock (Artisan Publishers)
Loved all the recipes I cooked. I’d never had ‘hoppin john’ and now I know how to make it. It was great!!” – Books Unlimited, Franklin, NC


Brown Girl DreamingChildren’s Winner: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books)
“I love the originality of a memoir written in free verse, and the lessons and viewpoint this book has to offer are extremely important, especially with the racial issues that present themselves in today's society.” – Tubby and Coo’s, New Orleans, LA



League of SevenYoung Adult Winner: League of Seven by Alan Gratz, Brett Helquist (illustrator) (Starscape Books)
Alan Gratz has masterfully created an alternate history that masterfully grabs the attention of anyone interested in steampunk, Edison, lost civilizations, unusually large monsters, heads in jars or just plain adventure.” – The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

For more information on the SIBA Book Awards please visit SIBA’s website for Southern literature,

Announcing the 2015 SIBA Book Award Finalists

SIBA Book Award - The Finalists(Columbia, SC)  April 13, 2015 -- The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2015 SIBA Book Award, recognizing great southern literature from the last year. There are twenty-one books on the 2015 list, showcasing the broad range of Southern styles and settings, and representing booksellers' favorite hand sells of the year in fiction, nonfiction, children's, young adult, and cooking. Whether your reading tastes run towards the gothic (A Dark Road to Mercy) or the poetic (Brown Girl Dreaming), the sweet (Blue Ribbon Baking) or the savory (Heritage), the country ballad (Wayfaring Strangers) or rock ‘n roll  (Jerry Lee Lewis) there is a book on this list that you are going to love. A southern indie bookseller has said so, and they are in a position to know.


This Dark Road to MercyNatchez BurningThe Invention of WingsSomething Rich and StrangeDollbabyLongman

  • This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash, William Morrow & Company, 9780062088253
  • Natchez Burning by Greg Iles, William Morrow & Company, 9780062311078
  • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, Viking Books, 9780670024780
  • Something Rich and Strange by Ron Rash, Ecco, 9780062349347
  • Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal, Pamela Dorman Books, 9780670014736
  • Long Man by Amy Greene, Knopf Publishing Group, 9780307593436


Jerry Lee LewisLiar, Temptress, Soldier, SpyRebel YellFactory ManWayfaring Strangers

  • Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg, Harper, 9780062078223
  • Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott, Harper, 9780062092892
  • Rebel Yell by S. C. Gwynne, Scribner, 9781451673289
  • Factory Man by Beth Macy, Back Bay (Hachette), 9780316231435
  • Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia by Fiona Ritchie, University of North Carolina Press, 9781469618227


The Edible SouthHeritageBlue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck KitchenPimento Cheese: The Cookbook

  • The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region by Marcie Cohen Ferris, UNC Press, 9781469617688
  • Heritage by Sean Brock, Artisan, 9781579654634
  • Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen by Francine Bryson, Clarkson Potter, 9780804185783
  • Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook by Perre Coleman Magness, St. Martin's, 9781250047298


Brown Girl DreamingThe Ghosts of Tupelo LandingA Snicker of Magic

  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780399252518
  • The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage, Kathy Dawson Books, 9780803736719
  • A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd, Scholastic, 9780545552707

Young Adult

Skink: No SurrenderLeague of SevenRevolution

  • Skink: No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen, Knopf, 9780375870514
  • League of Seven by Alan Gratz, Starscape/Tor/Macmillan, 9780765338228
  • Revolution by Deborah Wiles, Scholastic, 9780545106078

Finalists will be judged by a juried panel of SIBA booksellers, and winners will be announced on July 4, "Independents Day." More information about the SIBA