How to Become an SPD Publisher

    1. Please read both the Publisher Handbook and the information provided on the Acquisition Page about the focus and policies of SPD. Budgeting is also a very important piece of a fledgling press' success. This link contains a sample budget that should be a helpful resource for potential publishers. Your budget doesn't need to be as extensive, but you should consider all of your costs when planning your publishing operations.

    We are always happy to look at titles by new literary publishers; however, we are not able to accommodate all of the qualified presses who apply for distribution. Please note on your application if you'd like to be considered for the SPD Fellowship.  

    2. Click the button for our online publisher acquisitions questionnaire. You will be asked to upload PDFs of your publications. It is not necessary to send copies of books to SPD unless we request it.

     3. You can contact if you have any questions about the questionnaire or to check on the progress of your application. 

    **NOTE that SPD publishers pay Publisher Account Dues (currently $105 per quarter), and a modest one-time "new titles" fee (currently $50 per title) that goes toward the costs of creating web pages, data streams, and inventory space in our warehouse for each new title. These fees are generally deducted from earned income of the press rather than billed separately.**

    About SPD

    When you distribute through SPD, you join a rich literary tradition. 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. 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 National Book Award in Poetry for John Keene's Punks (The Song Cave) and Daniel Borzutzky's The Performance of Being Human (Brooklyn Arts Press), countless Lambda Awards, PEN Awards, Griffin Poetry Prizes, ATLA Translation Awards, and 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. 


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