Small Press Distribution

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2024-03-29 16:30:11

It is with great sadness and a profound gratitude for the amazing literary community we have served that we must today announce that Small Press Distribution (SPD) is closing its doors effective immediately. We know this news is both sudden and devastating. 

For more than five decades, SPD has distributed books for hundreds of independent literary publishers, allowing thousands of writers to bring diverse, experimental, and disruptive literature to audiences across the globe. SPD’s impact on the literary world over the past 55 years is hard to overstate. Against all odds, a tiny distribution service in the back of Berkeley’s Serendipity Books grew to help authors attain some of the literary world’s crowning achievements. SPD-distributed authors won multiple National Book Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur “Genius” Grants, PEN Awards, Lambda Literary Awards–nearly 100 awards since 2019 alone.

Unfortunately, these accolades were no match for the challenges of a rapidly changing book industry and funding environment. Several years of declining sales and the loss of grant support from almost every institution that annually supported SPD have combined to squeeze our budget beyond the breaking point. SPD lost hundreds of thousands in grants in the past few years as funders moved away from supporting the arts. The tireless efforts of a world-class staff to raise new funds, find new sales channels for our presses, and exit our expensive Berkeley warehouse couldn’t compensate for these losses. SPD exhausted every avenue in seeking emergency funding and loans to avoid the shutdown.

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