SUNBELT PUBLICATIONS, INC., with 30 years of experience in the publishing business, has three areas of specialization: publishing our own line of award-winning books; distributing and marketing books for clients that have a similar focus; and custom publishing well-crafted books for corporations, businesses, non-profits, organizations, and partnership publishers.
The goal for our publishing program is to contribute to the body of knowledge about selected disciplines and topics. Sunbelt Publications produces and distributes natural science and outdoor guidebooks, regional histories and reference, and stories that celebrate the land and its people. Sunbelt books help to discover and conserve the natural, historical, and cultural heritage of unique regions that include California, the Southwest, and Baja California. Sunbelt has taken to heart the words of the Senegalese conservationist Baba Dioum (b. 1937), “In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”
We seek partner publishers whose vision is similar to ours and are looking for distribution and marketing of their books. We assess the market for each title and seek placement of those books in appropriate venues. We work with our clients to strategize optimum sales.
Our goal for our custom publishing program is to turn ideas and dreams into reality by working closely with our clients to assess their needs and budget and to design and produce books that exceed their expectations and meet their deadlines. If the subject of their book falls within our publishing vision, we can also offer distribution and marketing services.
SUNBELT PUBLICATIONS began as an idea several years before it became a reality. The idea was drawn out on a napkin at the historic Scholtz Beergarten in Austin, Texas, and the focus was marketing and distribution for books written by authors Diana and Lowell Lindsay.
The idea was to turn the publishing model upside down — not be publishers dependent on others for distribution, but become distributors whose publishing program could feed into their own system. To that end, Lowell and Diana drew a logo for this new company based on the New Mexico Zia sun symbol, representing the Southwest, with “SB” in the center for the “Sunbelt” states of the Southwest that the company would represent in its distributed titles. The plan was to focus on producing books on the Southwest and the Californias which would be an extension of the Lindsays’ love for the outdoors that they acquired in college days through numerous adventure trips with the UCLA Bruin Mountaineers.
By November 1984, the Lindsays were able to act on this plan. Diana took a small stock of books in their VW Vanagon and visited her first customer, the Julian Drug Store. Gradually their customer base increased to include the major chain bookstores, independent bookstores, outdoor retailers including Adventure 16, Sport Chalet, and REI, national and state park bookstores, museums, gift shops, and many specialty shops.
For many years Sunbelt was the regional wholesaler for the major bookstore chains. Demand for the many thousands of wholesale titles caused the company to put the idea of publishing and distributing our own titles on hold.
As the world of bookselling changed through the years with many of the large book retailers going out of business — Crown Books, Waldenbooks, Borders, Tower Books & Records, Lauriats, and others — Sunbelt also changed. We had come full-circle from creating publications to wholesaling the work of others and back to doing what we do best — publishing our own works and distributing these and like works from partner publishers. We were back to our original plan and vision of 1984 with a lot more experience of what would and would not work. To that end we have invested in a new operating system that allows us to take advantage of the newest technologies as we move forward to advance our publications in the marketplace.
Sunbelt has won numerous awards not only for its many books but also for the company’s contributions to the local community and regional conservation organizations.