2015 Ka Palapala Po'okela
Call For Entries


Each year the Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards are given by the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association
(HBPA) to recognize the finest books published in Hawai‘i during the previous year and to honor
individuals involved in their creation. HBPA sponsors these awards as part of its public outreach effort to enhance the recognition of book publishing as an industry in Hawai‘i and support local literacy. The term “Ka Palapala Po‘okela” can be translated from Hawaiian to mean “excellent or exemplary manuscript.”

Nominees are customarily judged in twelve categories of excellence. In each category, two honors may be given—an Honorable Mention and the Award of Excellence—as determined by the votes of adjudicators specially-selected for their expertise in a particular category’s subject matter, genre conventions, target audience, etc. Each category of excellence will be judged by a committee of three adjudicators as appointed by the HBPA.

While the awards are primarily designed to honor Hawai‘i’s regional publishing, a special “Aloha from Across the Sea” award recognizes excellence in books about Hawai‘i or with a Hawaiian theme that are published outside of the state. Two additional trophy awards may also presented by the HBPA membership: the Samuel M. Kamakau Award, given for the overall Hawai‘i Book of the Year, selected from the category Award of Excellence winners, and the John Dominis Holt Award, given to an individual for an extended history of Excellence in Hawai‘i Book Publishing.

Entries must be postmarked by Friday, February 13, 2015.




Book trailers are becoming an increasingly common way of marketing new titles. Here is an example from Bamboo Ridge Press.


HBPA Holiday Sale

Please join us on Saturday, November 15th, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the Pop-Up Holiday Book & Gift Fair. It will be held in Kaimuki at Bess Press, 3565 Harding Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816. Sellers will be donating a portion of their proceeds to help support Aloha Harvest, a non-profit organization helping to feed Hawaii's hungry.

There will be a wide selection of books available at discounted prices. This is a great opportunity to support the local publishing community and get some early Christmas shopping done. Several HBPA members with award-winning titles will be there including:

Bamboo Ridge
Bess Press
BeachHouse Press
Bishop Museum Press
Calabash Books (Belknap Publishing)
Island Paradise Publishing
Kamehameha Publishing
Kahala Press
Slate Ridge Press
Watermark Publishing

Mark your calendar now, and we look forward to seeing you there.


KPP Award Winners 2014

On Thursday evening, April 24, the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association (HBPA) revealed the winners of the 2014 Ka Palapala Po‘okela book awards at a lively ceremony at the East-West Center emceed by local television commentator Howard Dicus. The celebratory event marked the 21st year of the awards, which are presented by HBPA to recognize the finest books published in Hawai‘i during the previous year and honor the individuals and companies involved in their creation. The judging process relied on panels of three adjudicators from Hawai‘i’s book community to evaluate titles within their assigned categories. This year a total of 48 entries from 37 separate book projects from a spectrum of local publishers were nominated in ten categories. Additional event photos can be found on Flickr.

Is Amazon bad for books?


Cheap Words is an in-depth exposé by George Packer that explores how Amazon is profoundly affecting the publishing industry. Source: The New Yorker (2014)






Author, Wing Tek Lum, discusses his latest work.



Ka Palapala Pookela

On May 10th, 2013, the Hawai'i State Library hosted the annual Ka Palapala Po'okela Awards. Each year, the event acknowledges excellence among local authors, designers, editors, illustrators, and photographers across several categories. The association wishes to thank all those who participated with a special mahalo to the Hawai'i State Library for their incredible aloha in helping with the event. We also wish to thank not only all the nominees and their publishers but the judges who had the difficult task of choosing winners among the many exceptional books.  



Big Island author, Tom Peek, discusses his latest novel, Daughters of Fire.



Hawaii Book Publishing Association (HBPA)


The Hawaii Book Publishers Association (HBPA), established in 1986, is a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to promote book publishing in Hawaii. The association's members presently include the state's preeminent book publishers, consultants, and distributors.

HBPA activities have included:

  • creation and sponsorship of the Ka Palapala Po'okela Awards program which, with assistance from the public libraries of Hawai'l and input from the public, recognizes the best in Hawai'i book publishing.
  • support for statewide literacy programs.
  • sponsorship of events and workshops for authors and publishers.
  • participation in local, national, and international trade shows and conventions such as those organized by the American Booksellers Association, American Library Assocation, and other trade associations.
  • book displays and promotions at local national retail outlets, shopping malls, schools, and other public locations.