About the Closure of Small Press Distribution: FAQ

On March 28, 2024, Small Press Distribution (SPD), a distributor that served hundreds of independent literary publishers, announced on its website and in a letter to publishers that its operations had ceased, effective immediately. A list of presses previously distributed by SPD, according to SPD’s website as of January 2024, can be found here.

To help publishers affected by this closure, CLMP has created this FAQ page and will continue to update it with information as we learn more. (Publishers previously distributed by SPD, please take our survey if you haven’t already.)

SPD has stated that its inventory of 300,000 books is currently divided between warehouses operated by Ingram Content Group and Publishers Storage and Shipping (PSSC). How do we know if our books are currently warehoused with Ingram or PCCS?
According to SPD, all publishers were notified during the move from SPD’s warehouse whether their books went to Ingram or PSSC. SPD says that both Ingram and PSSC have the full list of publishers and contact information for them all. Ingram and PSSC have been reaching out directly to the presses. To contact PSSC, email Pam Nuffer at [email protected]. To contact Ingram, email [email protected] or IPSDepartures@ingramcontent.com.

Previous inventory reports sent by SPD include warehouse numbers. Can these numbers help presses determine where their books are located?
Yes. According to SPD, the two warehouse numbers that remain relevant are 06, which means inventory is at PSSC, and 07, which means inventory is at Ingram. Numbers that are no longer relevant are 66, which meant the books were in transit to PSSC, and 77, which meant the books were in transit to Ingram.

Can presses get their books back, and, if so, how?
Yes, presses can get their books back, but they will have to pay for shipping and handling.

What will the process be for presses whose books are warehoused with PSSC?
PSSC has a list of the inventory it received from SPD and has reached out individually to presses via email. Presses that believe their books are held by PSSC but that have not received an email should contact Pam Nuffer at [email protected].

Presses with books held by PSSC will have three options: to have the books shipped to the press’s office or another destination; to become short-term or long-term fulfillment customers of PSSC; or to have the books destroyed. PSSC will discuss fees for each of these options with individual presses.

PSSC will be granting a grace period through June 30, 2024, before storage charges will be assessed on inventory.

What will the process be for presses whose books are with Ingram?
Ingram reached out to all publishers whose books they are warehousing with instructions that included the fact that publishers should complete and return the form linked here (ideally by April 17). Publishers will be responsible for covering the shipping and handling costs. Ingram will provide publishers with a quote and payment instructions, upon receipt of the completed form. Any inventory remaining in Ingram’s distribution center will be recycled. Ingram will continue to process returns from Ingram wholesale customers for all titles that remain associated with the SPD account for six months. All returns will be recycled, unless agreed otherwise. Publishers with questions should email [email protected] or IPSDepartures@ingramcontent.com.

For more information, visit this page.

Is there any assistance available to publishers to help them cover the cost of getting their books back?
Yes. On April 25, 2024, the Poetry Foundation announced the Bridge Fund for Small Presses. Nonprofit presses that publish poetry and have been impacted by the SPD closure, including those that are fiscally sponsored, are eligible. Guidelines are available here.

On April 25, 2024, CLMP announced the NYSCA-CLMP Forward Fund. Nonprofit, New York State-based publishers impacted by the closure of SPD, including those that are fiscally sponsored, are eligible. Guidelines are available here.

Can presses access their stock reports from SPD?
According to SPD, no. SPD and its systems are shut down.

SPD has also managed the inventories of several now-defunct presses. How can authors published by these presses obtain the remaining copies of their books?
According to SPD, they would need to query PSSC. But the former presses would likely need to instruct PSSC to release ownership to the authors.

How can presses regain control of their Amazon pages?
According to SPD, it instructed Amazon that ownership and sales for the titles listed on Amazon should revert to the publishers. Amazon’s Advantage team has created an inbox through which SPD publishers can submit inquiries about how to sell titles via Advantage or through POD. The Advantage program allows publishers to keep any detail pages that already exist on Amazon. Impacted publishers can reach out to [email protected] to receive more information.

How can presses go about getting the sales money that SPD owes them?
According to SPD, all presses were informed: “As a California nonprofit, SPD’s dissolution will be overseen by the Superior Court of California, which will determine the equitable disposition of SPD’s remaining assets to the extent all claims from creditors cannot be satisfied. You will receive a notice to creditors with instructions for asserting a claim to unpaid funds.”

In mid-April, the attorney for SPD sent a “Notice of Commencement of Proceedings to Voluntarily Wind Up and Dissolve Small Press Distribution” to all presses previously distributed by SPD. This notice includes instructions for asserting a claim against SPD. Information from the notice can be viewed hereThe deadline for submitting claims is August 8, 2024. If you are owed money from SPD, we encourage you to read the notice and begin the process.

What is CLMP doing to help?
CLMP is working full-force to field questions and compile information that we’re sharing with members and any other presses previously distributed by SPD. We convened an emergency session on March 29 for all publishers affected by SPD’s closure, featuring representatives from Asterism Books and Bookmobile/Itasca Books.

On April 1, CLMP hosted an information session with PSSC.

On April 4, we distributed a survey to as many presses previously distributed by SPD as we have contact information for. Our aim is to collect information about the financial impact these presses are facing, along with other relevant information, to help guide our next steps. We encourage all former SPD presses to participate in the survey, which can be found here.

On April 8, we hosted an information session with distributor Independent Publishers Group.

On April 9, we hosted an information session with distributor Itasca Books.

On April 15, we hosted a webinar with Kickstarter for those presses looking to learn more about its fundraising platform.

On April 19, we hosted an information session with representatives from Ingram Content Group.

On April 25, we announced the NYSCA-CLMP Forward Fund, through which nonprofit, New York State-based publishers impacted by the closure of SPD, including those that are fiscally sponsored, may apply for grants of $500 or $1,000. Guidelines are available here.

On April 30, CLMP hosted an Information Session with representatives from the Poetry Foundation about the Bridge Fund for Small Presses, through which nonprofit presses that publish poetry and have been impacted by the SPD closure may apply for support.

Recordings of these events are available to CLMP Members through our Resource Library. Other presses previously distributed by SPD that are interested in viewing these recordings may email [email protected], and we’ll provide access.

Additional events will be posted on our Events page.

Are there other literary stakeholders offering help? 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin–based Woodland Pattern, home to the largest collection of small-press poetry for sale in the country, has announced several initiatives to help. Here’s what they plan to do:

  • Establish and renew standing orders with presses formerly carried by SPD.
  • Launch by this summer a monthly subscription program through which customers can receive new small-press titles delivered to their home anywhere in the US.
  • Expand their Small Press Appreciation programming series to feature and direct more funds to small presses.

Woodland Pattern encourages small presses to contact them about carrying your titles directly by emailing [email protected].