What is the Summer of Lonesome Dove?


An opportunity to sell some books! The “Summer of” program is an MPIBA region-wide marketing initiative designed to promote a single title. For the inaugural event, we’ve chosen Larry McMurtry’s beloved novel, Lonesome Dove – specifically because the action of Lonesome Dove takes place in several of our member states, and in honor of the 35th anniversary of the book’s publication.


We hope you will see the sales and event potential in this summer marketing program. Below are some ideas to help you plan an event or book group for your store. But you can participate by simply building a display or keeping Lonesome Dove on your featured paperback table.


  • Sell lots of books – Lonesome Dove and more!
  • Give your customers an extra fun reason to visit your bookstores and websites, and connect with you on-line.
  • Demonstrate our regional solidarity and selling power by putting Lonesome Dove on the MPIBA regional bestseller list throughout the summer of 2020
  • Bring attention to the Reading the West Book Awards and readingthewest.com


  • Larry McMurtry will be honored with the 16th Spirit of the West Award, which will be announced on May 15, 2020, just before the May 20 announcement of the Reading the West Book Award category winners.
  • Mr. McMurtry has written a wonderful “acceptance” letter, which we will share with the media and our stores for promotional purposes.
  • Bookstores are encouraged to create in-store and on-line displays, host events and bookclubs, and create social media promotions for the Summer of Lonesome Dove between May 20 – August 20, 2020. The May 20 start date coincides with the announcement for the 2019 Reading the West Book Award Winners.
  • MPIBA will promote your events and promotions for the “Summer of Lonesome Dove” via readingthewest.com and through direct-to-consumer emails and social media. Send us your plans ASAP.
  • MPIBA and our sponsor, Simon & Schuster will provide print, downloadable, and digital marketing assets for stores to use to promote the Summer of Lonesome Dove.


  • Book Club: Simple as it sounds. Schedule a Lonesome Dove book club sometime between May 20 and August 20.
  • Big Book Club: Because Lonesome Dove is long, breaking it into two or three more bite sized pieces might appeal to customers interested in reading the book, but daunted by the size.
  • Birthday Party: Larry McMurtry’s 84th birthday is on June 3. Throw him a birthday party.
  • Whatever Wild Idea You Come Up With: We’re here to support any idea that you come up with. Let us know how we can help!
Tell us about your plans