Andy Hunter will step down from his position as publisher of Catapult, Counterpoint, and Soft Skull Press on February 18, with COO Alyson Forbes set to step into the role of interim publisher.
Hunter—who cofounded the literary blog Electric Literature, where he remains board chairman, in 2009—is one of the book business's most ambitious and eclectic figures. In 2015, he cofounded Catapult, which also includes an online magazine and writing program, with CEO Elizabeth R. Koch. That same year, he and Morgan Entrekin of Grove Atlantic launched Literary Hub. Hunter remains publisher of Lit Hub and its affiliated sites, Book Marks and CrimeReads.
In 2016, Catapult, which includes the Black Balloon Publishing imprint, merged with the Bay Area indies Counterpoint Press and Soft Skull Press to form a coalition of four presses, all overseen by Hunter. In 2020, Hunter founded Bookshop.org, which emerged as a powerhouse book e-tailer in 2020 and later expanded into the U.K. market, and which continued to grow in 2021.
“I'm extremely proud of the company we have built, especially our team, writers, books, magazine, and writing program—which are all thriving today. The company has never been stronger, and Catapult, Counterpoint and Soft Skull Press are well equipped to continue to do great work and publish exceptional works,” Hunter said in a statement. “I am grateful to Elizabeth and everyone at Catapult. It has been a dream to have been given the opportunity to help launch and build such a vital independent literary press, and I look forward to cheering on all their future success as well as to continuing to focus on my roles at Bookshop.org, Electric Literature, Literary Hub, and my other creative endeavors.”
During Hunter’s time as publisher, Catapult's books have won such awards as the PEN/Faulkner, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the NAACP Image Award, and the National Translation Award, while the online magazine as won a National Magazine Award; the writing program, the publisher said, has provided writing workshops for over 15,000 students.
“We truly owe a debt of gratitude to Andy for his stewardship, creativity and dedication in launching Catapult, and to the acquisition of storied imprints Counterpoint and Soft Skull Press,” said Koch. “He has been a wonderful collaborator and I am not only extremely proud of what we have created, but also very excited for the future as we continue to develop and evolve these imprints.”