Richard Nash announced yesterday that he will be stepping down as editorial director of Soft Skull Press and executive editor of Counterpoint on March 10. In a press release, Counterpoint publisher Charlie Winton, who bought the financially struggling Soft Skull about eighteen months ago, indicated that the company will continue to publish the Soft Skull imprint as well as maintain its editorial office in New York City. (Counterpoint's main office is in Berkeley, California.)
"2008 was Soft Skull’s best financial year ever, even though just two years ago, prior to Soft Skull’s merger with Counterpoint, it was weeks from liquidation,” Nash said in the press release. “Along with Soft Skull’s writers and readers, I am immensely grateful for the reprieve and the boost that Counterpoint gave us. Having worked with Charlie and our colleagues to save and rebuild Soft Skull, and having succeeded even in the face of the worst downturn the industry has ever experienced, I now feel it is time to let Soft Skull move onto the next phase of its existence, and to allow me to take on the new challenges our industry is facing."
On the Soft Skull Web site, Nash wrote that after his departure he plans to do consulting and freelance work, but that this was not a "euphemism for leaving publishing." Nash told Publishers Weekly that he is looking forward to being "engaged in helping figure out a new model for independents."
Nash, who took over Soft Skull Press from founder Sander Hicks in 2001, is one of four editors featured in the current installment of Jofie Ferrari-Adler's long-running series of interviews Agents and Editors.