II.  General Acceptance Guidelines

Publication Requirements

Small Press United represents an eclectic range of publications that includes both fiction and nonfiction titles as well as children's and young adult books.

Prospective client publishers need to meet the following requirements in order to be accepted into SPU's distribution program:
  • An active e-mail address
  • A physical mailing address in the United States, Canada, UK, or Australia
  • A bank account that can accept electronic payments; international wire transfers cost $25 and are billed back to the publisher
  • An easily accessible storage location for overstock, such as a printer, a commercial rental space, a basement, or a garage; SPU will not likely store an entire print run on its premises, so more books need to be readily available when ordered
  • All of a publisher's titles must feature the following:
  • A Bookland EAN bar code and ISBN-13 printed directly on the book; the ISBN features the publishing company's unique prefix and cannot be from self-publishing print-on-demand companies such as AuthorHouse, iUniverse, and Lulu
  • A U.S. price printed directly on the book
  • A proper spine featuring the title of the book; books that are stapled or bound without a spine will not be accepted
  • A three- or four-color cover
  • No advertisements on the cover of the book or within the pages of the book
  • After meeting all these requirements, titles are evaluated on the basis of salability.

    Salability does not necessarily mean a large potential audience.

    Titles that are very regional, or that treat esoteric subjects, will be seriously considered. (In a country of more than 350 million people, even highly "niche" titles can enjoy good sales.)

  • Nonfiction titles must contain information not available elsewhere and must come from a credible source; publishers should be familiar with the category into which they are publishing and the title should have a specific angle to set it apart from competition
  • Fiction titles need strong writing and should be supported by author activity
  • Illustrated children's books must be well-designed and appealing
  • After Applying

    Upon applying, publishers will immediately receive automated confirmation that SPU has received their application. The review process will usually take 5-7 business days. SPU may follow up with requests for more information. The volume of submissions does not allow Small Press United to provide a detailed explanation when a publisher is not accepted, but often it is due to a violation of one of the above guidelines or the subject matter may not be the best fit for our list.

    After Acceptance

    Upon acceptance, all SPU publishers are required to terminate all of the book accounts that they have sold to, including Amazon.com's Advantage program and other e-retailers. These accounts have to be transferred to SPU. For an explanation of this necessary provision see the help button next to 1. Grant of Exclusive Distributorship in the Agreement.

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