Counterpoint Press, one of America’s largest and most respected independent presses, has entered into an agreement to merge with Catapult.
Counterpoint, comprised of the imprints Counterpoint Press and Soft Skull, will continue to publish the critically acclaimed literary fiction and nonfiction it is known for, under the editorial leadership of Jack Shoemaker and Dan Smetanka. Megan Fishmann will continue in her critical role as Director of Marketing and Publicity for Counterpoint. Counterpoint CEO Charlie Winton will retire from day-to-day operations while continuing as an Editor at Large. Andy Hunter, Catapult’s Publisher, will assume the role of Publisher at Counterpoint, which will be managed by Catapult Associate Publisher Jennifer Abel Kovitz. Catapult will continue to publish books under its eponymous imprint and the imprint Black Balloon. Soft Skull Press will return to New York City to be led editorially by Yuka Igarashi. All will be distributed by Publishers Group West. Counterpoint was represented by Susan Reich and David Lamb of Book Advisors LLC in this transaction.
“Counterpoint is one of the most important independent publishers in the United States, with an incredible list of literary fiction, incisive political nonfiction, and a countercultural ethos that makes it urgent and necessary,” said Andy Hunter. “Our goal is to support and continue the legacy Charlie Winton and his team have built, while innovating in our marketing and digital initiatives to make Counterpoint books an increasingly important part of our cultural conversation.”
“I’m extremely pleased with what we have been able to accomplish over the last ten years and I feel that we have really helped both Counterpoint and Soft Skull consolidate their position in the literary landscape,” said Charlie Winton. “The merger with Catapult is an ideal transition and it will allow Counterpoint and Soft Skull to remain independent and vital. I believe Catapult and its team will contribute energy and passion, which will allow them to build on our formidable foundation and our commitment to developing strong and lasting relationships with our authors. On a personal level I have a very positive feeling about this transition. My forty years in publishing have been filled with extraordinary books, incredible adventures, and amazing people.”
“Charlie is a legendary figure that has made a permanent, positive impact on American publishing,” said Hunter. “And as a lifelong lover of books, to work with Jack Shoemaker and publish iconic authors such as Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder is more than I could have hoped for. As Catapult and Counterpoint grow together, our common aim will be to serve our authors—as their editors, publishers, and advocates—and ensure their work receives the attention and readership it deserves. As in the best marriages, both partners here are bringing unique strengths—Counterpoint in its rich editorial list and reputation, Catapult in our innovation and understanding of the changing media landscape—and together we will be able to accomplish exciting things that have a positive impact on our authors and the literary world.”
Catapult is an innovative publishing venture founded by Elizabeth Koch and Andy Hunter that publishes books of the highest literary caliber, offers classes taught by acclaimed emerging and established writers, produces an award-winning daily online magazine of narrative nonfiction and fiction, and hosts an open online platform where writers can showcase their own writing. Catapult is led editorially by Pat Strachan, who has edited writers such as Marilynne Robinson, Tom Wolfe, Seamus Heaney, John McPhee, Edna O’Brien, Lydia Davis, Padgett Powell, Grace Paley, and Jamaica Kincaid.
Catapult’s books have been praised in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, NPR, and other media. Our second title, Mrs. Engels by Gavin McCrea, was named one of the 20 best books of 2015 by Amazon.
The essays and stories published in Catapult’s online magazine, edited by Yuka Igarashi, have been selected by Jonathan Franzen for Best American Essays, shortlisted for The Caine Prize for African Writing, and featured on “Best of” lists at Longreads, Longform, Buzzfeed, The Los Angeles Times, and numerous other publications.
Based in Berkeley, California, COUNTERPOINT LLC is one of the leading independent presses in the United States. The company was created in 2007 through the acquisition of three notable independent presses: Counterpoint Press, Shoemaker & Hoard, and Soft Skull Press. In January 2008, the company began publishing under two imprints, Counterpoint Press and Soft Skull Press, after folding the Shoemaker & Hoard titles into the Counterpoint imprint. In 2014 the company acquired selected backlist titles from Sierra Club Books, which are now published by Counterpoint Press.
Counterpoint Press, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2015, is an author-driven literary publishing company that publishes fiction, poetry, and short stories. Nonfiction titles are focused on current affairs and politics, music, history, memoir, biography, religion, and philosophy. Counterpoint’s notable authors include iconic writers such as Wendell Berry, Gary Snyder, James Salter, Evan S. Connell, Janet Frame, Mary Robison, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Lionel Shriver and M. F. K. Fisher. The company has published many newer literary voices including Karen Bender, Tod Goldberg, Natashia Deon, Abby Geni, Elizabeth Rosner, Susan Sherman, Dana Johnson and Lauret Savoy. In 2015 Karen Bender received a National Book Award nomination in Fiction for her collection Refund. In 2016 Wendell Berry received the National Book Critics Circle Lifetime Achievement Award.
Soft Skull Press has published its cutting-edge mix of contemporary fiction and nonfiction for over twenty years. Focus ranges from fiction, short stories, graphic novels, and plays to memoir, politics, current affairs, and countercultural titles. Notable authors include Tim Wise, Scarlett Thomas, Joshua Mohr, John Jodzio, Tara Ison, Michael Muhammad Knight, Andrea Portes, Kim Addonzio, Lydia Cacho
Alain Mabanckou, Richard Hell, and playwright Rajiv Joseph. Key backlist authors include Noam Chomsky, Maggie Nelson, Lydia Millet, and Douglas Rushkoff.