Who's afraid of big corporate book publishing? Not the Small Press Center, a nonprofit organization that promotes small publishers, and many other organizations around the country that will host events celebrating independent publishing during March, Small Press Month.

In New York City, the SPC will host panels and workshops. In addition, the Small Press Book Fair, usually held in the fall, has been moved to March 27-28 and Barney Rosset, founder of Grove Press, will receive the SPC's Poor Richard's Award in honor of his contributions to independent publishing.

Karin Taylor, executive director of the Small Press Center, said, "The role of small presses as voices of individuality and as a rapidly expanding segment of the publishing market has never been so important."

On March 9, Sybil Steinberg of Publishers Weekly will moderate "An Inside Look at Book Reviewing." On March 23 Daisy Maryles of Publishers Weekly will moderate "The ABCs of Broadcast Publicity." Both panels will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m at the SPC offices at 20 W. 44th St. Admission is $30 for nonmembers; $20 for SPC members.

Rosset, currently president of the small literary imprint Blue Moon Books, will receive the Poor Richard's Award on March 26 at a reception that will also launch the Small Press Book Fair. Rosset founded Grove Press in 1951 and was instrumental in defending the First Amendment by publishing unexpurgated editions of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterly's Lover in 1959, Henry Miller's The Tropic of Cancer and many other titles that were suppressed in the U.S. at that time because of their sexual or political content.

The Small Press Book Fair will feature titles from more than 200 small presses. There will also be readings, a Publishers Business Breakfast and other special events. Exhibition fees for the fair range from $85 to $350. Other events are planned around the country. For more information, call (212) 764-7021 or e-mail smallpress@aol.com.