Award-winning Sunbelt Publications produces and distributes natural science and outdoor guidebooks, regional histories, 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.
Sunbelt began as an idea some five years before it became a reality. It was an idea drawn out on a napkin at the historic Scholtz Beergarten in Austin, Texas, resulting from a discussion about the problem of distribution for books that owners Diana and Lowell Lindsay had written. 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 out, on another napkin, 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 that the company would represent in its distributed titles. The plan was to focus on books of the Southwest and the Californias, guidebooks and natural history, which was an extension of the love for outdoors learned through numerous adventure trips with the UCLA Bruin Mountaineers during college days.
It was not until November 1984 that the Lindsays were able to act on this idea. Diana took a small stock of books in their VW Vanagon and visited their first customer, the Julian Drug Store. Gradually their customer base increased and included both the major chain bookstores and 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.
As the world of bookselling changed through the years, so did Sunbelt. The emphasis changed from wholesaling books from many publishers to distributing selected publishers and producing and publishing its own line of quality books. In the almost 30 years that Sunbelt Publications has been in operation, it has won numerous awards not only for many of the books that have been published but also for the company's contributions to the local community. In 1998 the San Diego Business Journal presented Diana an award for publishing for "Women Who Mean Business in San Diego." In 2013 the San Diego Congress of History presented Sunbelt Publications their Media Award for its publications celebrating the regional history of the area and for its support of local authors.
Sunbelt continues to specialize in regional travel and reference, guidebooks, natural science, and outdoor adventure in California, the Southwest, and Baja California, Mexico. The publishing program focuses on "Adventure in the Natural History and Cultural Heritage of the Californias." A goal of the publishing program is to contribute to the body of knowledge about selected disciplines or topics (e.g., San Diego region, Baja California, introductory earth science, etc).
Sunbelt has taken to heart the words of the Senegalese conservationist Baba Dioum (b.1937) who said, "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."