So today across my desk comes news of two different acquisitions from two very different sides of the publishing world. I'll break this into two parts, one for each acquisition.
First off is news that Soft Skull Press--a venerable and fiercely indie (though, let's admit, a tad flakey) book publisher--was just bought up by newcomer Winton, Shoemaker & Co. LLC. The company, according to Publisher's Weekly has been on a bit of a buying binge lately, having bought Counterpoint Press last week and Shoemaker & Hoard earlier in the year (one would assume that's when the Shoemaker entered the company's name--unless chairman Charlie Winton was just incredibly prescient in naming the business to begin with. Though with the whole mess changing its name to Counterpoint LLC in June anyway, so I guess this whole naming discussion is moot come then).
News of the sale isn't that shocking--Soft Skull has a history of shaky financing and the bankruptcy of indie distributor PGW's parent company earlier this year dealt a blow that many feared was going to be mortal--but it still means one less truly indie publisher out there to hold the torch and signals what could be a growing trend of indies finding cover as the book industry continues its downward spiral. In other words, it's kinda shitty news for a shitty time.