One of the last independent distributors announced in March that they were closing their Renton warehouse. As reported in Publishers Weekly and the Seattle Times, Partners Book Distributing closed their doors on April 1, shuttering both their Midwest and Northwest warehouses. The company’s website has no further information posted other than a short statement (see below) that the numbers no longer work for them.
A single company, founded by Vicky Eaves and Sam Speigel, which operated as two separate regional wholesalers—Partners/East in Holt, Mich., and Partners/West in Renton, Wash., Partners served as a key wholesaler in the West and Midwest. Partners also offered distribution to small presses. – Publishers Weekly, March 30, 2016
One Book Publishers Northwest member emailed recently that they are still waiting to hear about their books in the Partners system. “But nothing so far,” said the Seattle-based publisher. “Very disturbing as they were our only distributor. The others left us long ago as we are too small for them to mess with. It’s sad, and we’re discouraged.”
After over 30 years of business, Partners Book Distributing and Partners/West will be closing their doors. As much as we love what we do, the numbers are no longer working.
Most shipping of orders will end as of April 1st. We would like to thank all of the customers we have had over the years for keeping us going this long. – Partners Book Distributing website, April 2016
After posting this article, BPNW contacted the national organization, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), to see if they had heard anything else. They reached out to Partners for a statement about returns as well as asking about a rumor that publishers would be moved to Midpoint Trade. Here is what they received from Sam and Sara Speigel this morning:
“We are in the process of reconciling accounts and returning books. Letters will go out to all publishers soon. There is much confusion between the wholesale division (Partners East and Partners West) and the distribution division (Partners Publishers Group-PPG). At this time, only the PPG publishers are transitioning to Midpoint Trade and then only if they reach an agreement with Midpoint Trade. Letters have already gone out to PPG publishers regarding this option. Midpoint will be contacting them soon.” – Sam & Sara Speigel on the IBPA blog, April 13
IBPA is working to keep the indie publishing community as informed as possible and we thank them for their efforts. See their entire post here.