Publishing News: Soft Skull Alive, Well and Independent

26 Oct

A couple of weeks ago I talked about David Silverman’s Typo, and some of the copyediting misses in that book.

Silverman responded in a comment, and sent me a link to a list of errata people had sent him. He said his copyeditor, a “wonderful man,” though overworked, also was the main designer and typesetter for Typo at Soft Skull Press. (Ah, yes, overworked. We in publishing are overworked; it’s the nature of the beast.) Unfortunately, Silverman said, the copyeditor lost his job when Soft Skull sold to Counterpoint, a result of the bankruptcy of book distributor Publishers Group West. That job loss occurred, Silverman said, at about the same time Typo went to print.

Soft Skull, however, apparently didn’t suffer the horrible fate of getting folded into the conglomerate amoeba, as so many of the big publishing houses have. It’s still “one of the most successful small, independent presses” around, as Jordan Rosenfeld writes in the December issue of Writer’s Digest. In that issue Rosenfeld interviews Soft Skull publisher Richard Eoin Nash, and from what Nash says, it sounds as if Soft Skull will retain its independent nature, though under the wings, but not the leash, of a larger corporation.

In the interview Nash says Soft Skull won’t change its vision, though under new ownership. He said in the interview he “publish[es] in order to discover.” As part of the larger corporation, the interview said, Soft Skull gets to support its vision and its authors more effectively.

It’s nice to hear about a publisher that wants to remain independent in nature, one that’s willing to take on writers and books other publishers might not take on; it’s a fresh vision, and good to know Soft Skull will take a chance on new writers, or writing that isn’t necessarily mainstream, either in style or subject matter or both.

Todd

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One Response to “Publishing News: Soft Skull Alive, Well and Independent”

  1. tianodesign October 26, 2007 at 10:16 pm #

    I wonder, however, if it doesn’t mean a consolidation of work and—therefore—one less place that would ever use freelance help. (Tho’ it does rather sound as if some freelance help might have been useful during the production of Typo.

    Steve Tiano

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