Kent Watson has been named executive director of Small Press Distribution, Berkeley, Calif., which distributes nearly 400 smaller independent publishers that specialize in literary and activist publishing. Watson served as executive director of PubWest from 2007 to 2020 and, as the organization said, has "book industry experience in nonprofit leadership and management, high-level negotiations, advertising sales and sponsorships, branding and marketing, financial management, independent publishers' bookselling, buying, book distribution/wholesaling, small-to medium-sized press publishing, textbook and magazine publishing, acquisitions, and academic teaching."
Small Press Distribution board president Alan Bernheimer added that Watson's "wealth of experience in all aspects of the book business, together with his management skills, equip him to lead SPD forward in fulfilling its mission. I also want to thank interim executive director Cindy Myers for guiding the organization and staff so effectively this past year."
Watson said, "I am thrilled to join SPD, an organization that is dedicated to helping bring underrepresented literary communities to market. I will work tirelessly to expand the services and reach for the nearly 400 SPD publishers whose books connect writers and readers beyond the mainstream."