Small Press Distribution, which has brought titles from hundreds of independent publishers to readers for more than 50 years, is in urgent need of financial help to keep from folding.
A GoFundMe campaign is aiming to raise $100,000 to cover its next month of costs, including health care for its 10 employees and a percentage of the royalties that it owes to publishers. The campaign notes although SPD continues to operate, sales have dropped by more than 60 percent; SPD has been “furiously researching and applying for all the aid we qualify for” but it has hit some roadblocks, including the fact that the Small Business Association has run out of funds and that some of those applications are still taking time to process.
SPD, founded in 1969 in Berkeley, California, connects readers with more than 300,000 titles a year from nearly 400 independent publishers around the country. Organizer Trisha Low wrote that SPD wants to continue that work past the coronavirus pandemic:
Although it’s true that books can’t help materially, we believe that reading can expand the horizons of our imagination; help us consider the world we want to live in after the pandemic is over, and how we are going to work for it. We want to get our community the books from which we can learn the most – those from underrepresented writers, queer and of color, activists and artists – and we want to do so as ethically as possible.