Reading the West Book Awards

2015 Awards Year for Books Published
January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015

The Reading the West Book Awards is an opportunity to promote authors, increase book sales, expand reach, and create awareness.

Reading the West is a program sponsored by Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association that assists publishers, authors, and booksellers in promoting and building sales for exceptional books and authors in the Mountains & Plains region.

These adult and children’s titles exemplify the best in writing and/or illustrations whose subject matter is set in the region or invokes the spirit of the region: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. (The author’s place of residence is immaterial for this award.)

2015 Deadlines

Publication date for titles:
Published for the first time January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015

Nomination period: January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015
Nominations close:
January 1, 2016

Payment deadline: January 1, 2016
Payment must be received before selection committee names/addresses are released.

Shortlist announcement: March 31, 2016
Winners announcement: May 30, 2016


Click here to complete the 2015 Online Nomination Form.


Winners 1990 through 2013


Click here to download a five-page PDF of the Winners from 1990-2013. This award was previously known as the Regional Book Awards.


How does the Reading the West Book Awards program work?

• Nominations: Nominations will be made throughout the calendar year by booksellers from any MPIBA member store within the region. Publishers, sales reps, and authors may also nominate titles they feel are appropriate candidates for this program.

• Publisher participation for a nominated title: When a book is nominated, the publisher will be notified so they can support the title’s inclusion on the list by supplying MPIBA with the $150 nomination fee to help defray program expenses along with jacket images to promote the title on our website. After receipt of the fee, publishers will receive the names and addresses of the Reading the West Book Awards selection committee, in order to send an ARC or finished copy of each nominated title to committee members.

• Selection Process: The Reading the West committee creates a Shortlist of five adult fiction, five adult nonfiction, and five children’s titles. In collaboration with the previous year’s winning authors, they then choose one adult fiction title, one adult nonfiction title, and one children’s title as the Winners. (Having two adult categories is solely at the committee’s discretion.)

Judging criteria

• Spirit of place: Does the author understand our region emotionally as well as geographically? Is the book’s portrayal of the region reliable? Does the book contribute to the reader’s understanding of the region?

• Inspiring: Does the book capture the indefinable quality that inspires MPIBA booksellers to help a title get the attention it deserves?

• Quality: Is the book is of a high artistic quality and/or extremely well-written?

How do publishers participate?

• Get booksellers excited about nominating your titles: Encourage your sales reps to share titles, promotional materials, and ARCs with booksellers that would be outstanding choices for the Reading the West Book Awards program.

• Place your titles into nomination: When a title crosses your desk that you feel would be an outstanding Reading the West Book Awards candidate, go ahead and complete the Reading the West Nomination Form; you can nominate throughout the year.

Why should publishers participate?

• Increased book sales: Reading the West title selections are uniquely suited for our region, making them appealing to MPIBA booksellers. With the combination of marketing support and key bookstore participation, titles will be well positioned for enhanced sales throughout the region.

• Publicity and promotions: Publicity for the Shortlist and Winners will include title display on the Reading The West webpage, e-mail announcements to full e-distribution list, announcements to major media outlets including Publishers Weekly and Shelf Awareness, and social media exposure.

The winners will be announced in May, with the winners speaking and receiving an award at the Reading the West Book Awards Luncheon at the Trade Show in September; this allows time for the winning titles to be featured in MPIBA bookstores and on the website throughout the spring and summer. Member stores will receive gold foil stickers to place on the books to distinguish the winning titles.

• The power of collaboration: Access our extensive knowledge of the region, leverage our familiarity of consumer preferences, and collaborate with the independent booksellers who care about bringing attention to your titles.

Publisher Fact Sheet


Click here to download a PDF of the 2014 Reading the West Publisher Fact Sheet.



Updated January 29, 2015