Small Press Distribution, one of the few remaining distributors specializing in distributing independent publishers, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help finance a major change to its operating model.
Under its new proposed plan, SPD will close its Berkeley, Calif., warehouse and move shipping and fulfillment operations to Ingram Content Group and Publishers Storage and Shipping. The fundraising campaign, titled SPD Next, has set a goal of $100,000, which SPD executive director Kent Watson said will be used to help underwrite the transfer of books from SPD’s Berkeley warehouse to Ingram’s Tennessee warehouse and PSSC’s Michigan warehouse. If all goes according to plan, Watson said he hopes to generate the needed funds by the end of March, and plans to begin shipping out of PSSC and Ingram in July.
Watson said that the new operating model will lower SPD's costs while increasing the market reach for its client publishers. Through its agreements with Ingram and PSSC, SPD will be able to offer its publishers print-on-demand capabilities; better access to such accounts as Bookshop.org, libraries, and independent bookstores; and more affordable international distribution through Ingram’s global POD network. SPD will continue to take orders, bill, collect and provide customer service on order fulfillment.
“SPD needs your help to bring our nearly 400 presses with us into the future,” Watson said in a statement. “Our new model will significantly help underrepresented voices reach the marketplace with increased efficiencies. With this funding, SPD will now be able to offer more options to speed publishers’ books to each and every reader around the globe.”
SPD has been distributing books by independent publishers for more than 50 years. Last year, the distributor noted, SPD publishers won a 2022 National Book Award, multiple Lambda Literary Awards, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and eight PEN Literary Award longlist nominees.
Watson was named SPD executive director last July. His appointment ended an 18-month period of uncertainty for SPD that included the resignation of SPD executive director Brent Cunningham.