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January 3, 2008 4:44 PM   Subscribe

I designed a book for a (first time) publisher in Germany. He is looking for a (anarchist/indie/punk) book distributor in the US...or any advice around that. Can anybody help?

So the book is finally off the presses...and we're not sure where it should go from here. Yes this should have been done earlier, but lots of things cropped up during the production.

The book has an ISBN. It is available on Amazon.DE (not .com yet.) And the question I was asked was "advice on good indie book distributors to get the book to Anarchist/Indie bookstores and distros."

I'm not exactly sure what the typical sales chain is for books and since he's a first time publisher from around the globe, he probably doesn't know much more either. We're working off a punk record disto type model, but if that isn't the book model, we're all ears too.

Sorry for the skeletal question, I can get more info if anyone needs it.
posted by Brainy to Grab Bag (13 answers total)
Perhaps crimethinc?
posted by cazoo at 5:21 PM on January 3, 2008

Or maybe dealing directly with bookstore like Revolution Books in NYC and Berkeley?
posted by cazoo at 5:24 PM on January 3, 2008 (located in San Francisco, CA) handles a lot of indie/art/porn/graphic novels etc. books and magazines. Click their FAQ for more on how they choose stuff for distribution: "We select items for distribution that seem to fit into the types of stuff that we already sell: the unusual, underground, and out-of-the-ordinary. Also, we have to carry items that we think will sell for us."

*disclaimer: I worked there part-time a couple of years ago as a warehouse monkey - they carry a pretty cool range of stuff, which may or may not be in line with your book.
posted by rtha at 5:35 PM on January 3, 2008

You could try AK Press in Oakland. South End Press and Haymarket Books are both very progressive.
posted by dr. moot at 5:51 PM on January 3, 2008

IPG ( also handles distro for a lot of smaller and specialty publishers, but if it is more punk rock than their usual stuff, they might not immediately go for it. I'd second rtha on Last Gasp not knowing what the topic is. It would be helpful to know that if you want some more specific suggestions.

Quimby's in Chicago might be interested, too.

I have a publishing company of my own, so feel free to MeFi me for more info or specific questions.
posted by at 5:55 PM on January 3, 2008

Send a message to the A Space via their contact page asking this question.
posted by The Straightener at 6:04 PM on January 3, 2008

Some of the underground/punk music distributors handle book distribution as well. Not sure how varied their inventory is, but you might check Forced Exposure and Mordam for starters.
posted by thivaia at 6:09 PM on January 3, 2008

Try: AK Press; Soft Skull Press;
posted by parmanparman at 6:23 PM on January 3, 2008

Finding the distros is problem #1; getting paid for book sales is going to be problem #2. I always advise small publishers to spread their distribution around to multiple sources, so they aren't badly hurt if one doesn't pay. But to do that effectively from overseas, your publisher will possibly need a US agent who can receive a large shipment of books, disperse them to individual distributors and remain in regular contact with each distributor to stay on top of sales and payments due. The temptation is always to go with a single source for distribution--it's easier, it can seem safer--but the potential for disaster is strong.
posted by Scram at 7:12 PM on January 3, 2008

posted by chelseagirl at 7:35 PM on January 3, 2008

Second soft skull
posted by hortense at 8:42 PM on January 3, 2008

Last Gasp, Soft Skull and Goliath are the folks I'd approach. Goliath gets extra points for being headquartered in Germany, with offices here in the states.
posted by klangklangston at 3:40 PM on January 4, 2008

Ak is a distributor and a publisher, Soft Skull is not a distributor. Call AK, they're good folks.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:23 AM on January 10, 2008

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