Last week it was announced that Soft Skull Press is being purchased by Winton, Shoemaker LLC, the same company that just bought Counterpoint from Perseus. Soft Skull will become an imprint of Counterpoint, and Richard Nash will serve as Executive Editor. The rest of the Soft Skull staff is not being retained, which makes us sad because we have enjoyed working with them over the years.
Richard Nash posted a statement on the Soft Skull website:
I beg the readers of this blog to not indulge in apocalyptic thinking about independent publishing. The process of consolidation is, yes, relentless, but it is not eternal.
True, it is hard, in some respect, not to feel elegiac. As I've been preparing materials for a process known to those who buy and sell companies as "due diligence," it became clear how many people have contributed to allowing Soft Skull to publish the truly important books it has published over the years--my thanks to you now, my thanks to you eternally.
Yet Soft Skull is not over. As our wonderful author Sparrow said when he heard the news: "Soft Skull is dead. Long live Soft Skull." Soft Skull continues as an imprint. Soft Skull is not no longer independent. Had I won the lottery and bought Counterpoint from Perseus, instead of Charlie Winton buying Counterpoint and then Soft Skull, we would not have ceased to be independent.
John Zuarino over at Bookslut has more to say about the situation.