About SPD

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In an increasingly corporatized book industry, Small Press Distribution (SPD) brings readers independently published literature, emphasizing small press values--equity, experimentation and access. We connect underrepresented literary communities to the marketplace and to each other via book distribution, events, and public advocacy. Prioritizing artistic and activist visions, SPD’s nearly 400 presses publish a full diversity of writers who rely on us to reach readers nationwide.

What It Means to Buy Books from SPD

When you buy a book from Small Press Distribution, you don't just get something terrific to read: you help independent publishers and writers keep more money from their projects, which in turn helps nurture and sustain the literary arts as a whole—you join us in achieving our mission.

What We Do

Everything we do is aimed at helping essential but underrepresented literary communities participate fully in the marketplace and in the culture at large. We do this by offering book distribution, information services, and public advocacy programs to hundreds of small literary publishers.


Small Press Distribution, better known as SPD, has for five decades connected readers with writers by providing dynamic access to independently published literature — getting small press books out into the world so that essential but underrepresented literary communities can fully participate in the marketplace. For numerous small presses, SPD has long provided the only reliable and available access to the U.S. book market.

SPD was founded in 1969 by legendary Bay Area independent bookseller Peter Howard (Serendipity Books) and legendary Bay Area bookseller/publisher/editor Jack Shoemaker (Unicorn, Sand Dollar, North Point, Pantheon/Knopf, Counterpoint), starting with just eight small presses. Jeanetta Jones steered the organization from 1974 into the 1980s, followed by leaders like Jean Day, Lisa Domitrovich, Steve Dickison, Heather Peeler, Donald Knaub, Beverly Green, Laura Moriarty and Jeffrey Lependorf, and Brent Cunningham. SPD is the nation's only exclusively literary nonprofit book distributor, serving nearly 400 small independent literary publishers.

SPD books and authors have garnered numerous awards. Some notable recent winners include the Pulitzer in Poetry for Tyehimba Jess's Olio (Wave Books), the National Book Award in Poetry for Daniel Borzutzky's The Performance of Being Human (Brooklyn Arts Press), Lambda Awards for Ching-In Chen's transgender poetry book recombinant (Kelsey Street Press) and Best LGBTQ Anthology ¡Cuéntamelo! (Aunt Lute Books), among many others. While the distribution of print book publishers remains at the heart of its mission, SPD also presents events and workshops in the Bay Area through collaborations with other arts and activist communities, and develops digital content to reach those same communities nationally and internationally. 

By the Numbers

In 2019 books sales topped 2.5 million dollars. SPD sold over 250,000 books in the period.

In 2019 SPD's customer base was comprised of 35% wholesalers and jobbers, 25% online booksellers, 17% independent bookstores, 8% university and college bookstores, 5% direct to individuals, 2% direct to libraries, 1% to chain stores, and 7% other (mostly foreign sales). 

SPD's bestsellers represent a diverse cross-section of the literary world. Looking at a recent list of top 100 bestselling books we find that 60% were by people of color, 35% were by LGBTQIA+ authors, 75% were by women-identified authors, and 25% were by authors from outside the US.

Diversity, inclusion, and a safe working environment for all represent core SPD values. Toward demonstrating our commitment to ensuring that all corners of the literary community are as safe as possible, we are proud to be partnering with VIDA in promoting the SaferLIT pledge.

For more on SPD's history, as well as a list of bestselling titles, click here.

Small Press Distribution
1341 Seventh Street
Berkeley, CA 94710-1409
(510) 524-1668
(800) 869-7553

Public Statements

December 18, 2020

An update on the future of SPD from Alan Bernheimer, on behalf of SPD’s board of directors

January 19, 2021

A letter from SPD board to SPD staff
This message was sent to SPD staff as an update from the board on its commitment to begin the processes of workplace assessment, mediation, and conflict resolution.

February 18, 2021

Update on Recent Developments: SPD board to SPD Community

March 8, 2021

Latest Update: SPD board to SPD community

March 29, 2021

Workplace Recommendations from Independent Assessment

April 12, 2021

SPD Appoints Interim Executive Director

Board Members

Alan Bernheimer (Board President), Communications Executive, Ret. 
Lorraine Lupo (Board Vice President),
Wendy Lukas (Board Vice President of HR)
Jonathan Fernandez (Board Treasurer), Rasputin Records / Blondies Pizza / Bear Basics 
Estee Schwartz (Board Secretary)

David Rothenberg, Nolo Press, Mother Jones, Morgan Kaufmann, Mix Magazine
Rena Rosenwasser, Kelsey Street Press
Michael Morgan, Morgan & Claypool Publishers
Ethan Nosowsky, Graywolf Press
Roberto Bedoya, Cultural Affairs Manager, City of Oakland

Staff & Contact

Cindy Myers, Interim Executive Director,
Andrew Pai, Finance Director,
David Isaacson, Operations Director,
Jane Gregory, Director of Development & Acquisitions,
Johnny Hernandez, Customer Service Coordinator,
Liam Curley, Warehouse Manager,
Grant Kerber, Publicity & Marketing Manager,
Sara Dumanske, Sales & Data Manager,
Shawn El, Shipping Associate,
Hilary Worthen, Data Associate,
Anthony Sebastian, Warehouse Associate,

Contact By Areas of Responsibility:

Cover Scans and questions about book records:

Purchase Orders and Restocking Requests:

Other questions about bibliographic data:

Questions related to grants and individual donations:

Publisher reports, account questions, and financial matters:

General publicity and marketing questions:

Orders and customer service:

Prospective Publishers:

Staff Bios

Public Financial Information

Articles, Media and PR

SPD on Twitter
SPD on Instagram
SPD on Tumblr 
SPD on Facebook
SPD on Wikipedia
SPD Staff Picks
SF Chron: Facing Down a Pandemic, Small Bay Area Presses Aim to Diversity Publishing, August 5, 2020
Bowdoin: Funded Intern Franny Weed '21 Explores World of Alternative Publishing, July, 2020
PW: 2020 Amazon Literary Partnership Grant Recipients Announced, May 27, 2020
KQED: With Bookstores Closed, a 50-Year-Old Independent Book Distributor Perseveres, May 6, 2020
Aunt Lute: Checking in with our book distributor: Covid-19, May 11, 2020
Fence Portal: 27 Essays I'm Not Writing About Elizabeth Koch, May, 2020
Berkeleyside: City Gives $1.7M in Emergency Grants to Small Business, Arts Groups, April 28, 2020
The Rumpus: Keep Small Press Distribution Alive, April 22, 2020
PW on Publishers and Literary Orgs raising funds after Covid-19, April 21, 2020
SPD Awarded "Groundbreaker Award" at 38th Nor Cal Book Awards, June 23, 2019
PW Article on Effect of NEA Cuts on SPD by Jason Boog, March 16, 2017
Rumpus Article on NEA and SPD Funding History by Ops Director Brent Cunningham, Jan 26, 2017
PW Article on SPD's National Book Award winner Joe Pan/Brooklyn Arts, Dec 9, 2016
"Real Pants" Interview with Operations Director Brent Cunningham, July 15, 2015
The How The Why Podcast w/ Operations Director Brent Cunningham, January 18, 2015
SPD and the East Bay Poetry Scene in the East Bay Express, July 30, 2014
SPD in Publishers Weekly, April 13, 2012
"Bee-In" 2011 Fundraiser Profiled on SF Weekly, May 17, 2011

Click Here for More Articles

Friends of SPD

You Can Help Keep Literature Independent! Become a Friend of SPD.

SPD is the only wholesaler in the country dedicated exclusively to independently published literature. We take risks on exciting new writers, enabling their work to develop an audience and gain recognition in the marketplace.

To become a Friend of SPD, click here, choose your membership level and pay with your Visa or Mastercard during checkout. Membership is good for one year.

Thank you to our 2019/2020 Friends and Funders of SPD

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