Introducing Small Press Distribution

More About SPD

“Our mission is to provide access to the finest titles from smaller and independent literary publishers,” said Brent Cunningham, operations director at SPD. “These are books that readers would otherwise have a difficult or impossible time finding.  

“Our sales have been growing steadily for the last decade, and we continue to expand our services into new areas. Our partnership with Abebooks.com is a good example of our vision for introducing a new generation of readers to small press books.  

“We receive multiple applications from publishers for distribution each week, and we discerningly select our publishers based on the quality of their books, their editorial vision, their connection to a community of writers or readers actively seeking their books, and many other factors.”  

Founded in 1969 and located in Berkeley, California, SPD is America’s only wholesaler dedicated to independently published literature. It gives the public access to a broad section of literature by distributing to bookstores, libraries and selling direct to buyers.  

Poets are particularly close to SPD’s heart.  

“Poetry is the genre that the large, commercial publishers most routinely ignore, so SPD sees it as the genre most in need of our support and services,” said Brent. “At the same time, we believe that a diverse culture needs a diversity of voices across all genres, and that means supporting grassroots, small press publishers of fiction and non-fiction as well as poetry.”


Quick Facts on SPD

Founded in 1969, SPD is the nation's only exclusively literary nonprofit book distributor. SPD serves over 500 small and independent presses, and the majority of these publishers have no other source of distribution. It generates 30% of its operating budget from the contributions of foundations, government agencies and individuals.

In 2003, book sales topped $862,000. Of these, 55% were poetry, 36% were cultural writing and 16% were fiction.

In 2003, SPD's top publishers were: Third Woman Press, Roof Books, Hanging Loose Press, Bay Press, Etruscan Press, Writers Corp/SF Art Commission, Kelsey Street Press, Post-Apollo Press and Burning Deck.

SPD is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization