Skyhorse Publishing

  www.skyhorsepublishing.com
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Skyhorse Publishing Reviews

Updated Jun 2, 2014

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2.1 10 reviews

33% Approve of the CEO

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Tony Lyons

(6 ratings)

20% of employees recommend this company to a friend
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    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Rare opportunity to learn and get PAID while interning.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsEditors are very willing to introduce interns to the "ins and outs" of publishing. I learned a great deal and was often entrusted with new projects and responsibilities. Having interned for a publishing company previously, mainly doing grunt work (inventory, cleaning, organizing) without pay, Skyhorse is a great place to start a career in publishing.

    ConsVery high expectations with a demanding schedule.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Disappointing and disheartening.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsOne hour lunch break?

    The majority of the staff is very friendly, and really talented. It was a definitely a pleasure working with, and learning from them.

    ConsThe salaries (hourly included), books, and senior staff are all lau-gh-ab-le.

    The content is subpar. Just perusing FINISHED interiors of their books led me to find countless spelling and grammar mistakes. Is there anything more embarrassing for a publishing house?

    Quantity is not quality, and I'm pretty sure the world wouldn't miss having less of these lousy books around.

    Advice to Senior ManagementANY kind of feedback would be nice. After 4 months of not getting any sense of how I was doing (just going by pure self-motivation, which by the way you won't get noticed on) and then being told one day I could leave my position early was quite disheartening and left me reeling.

    The business model is so degrading- to authors and staff. 50 staff members for over 200 titles a season? No wonder there was $26 million in revenue last year- the royalties, advance, and salary expenses (starting is $20,000/year!!! How is that even okay!?) must have been negligible, proving a corrupt and morally mismanaged business model.

    There shouldn't be enough interns to start a football team. That's just absurd. Hire some real staff, and don't use the "offering learning experience" excuse. No one needs experience in sorting mail.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Abusive, awful place to work.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsIf you have absolutely no experience, they'll hire you and give you a fancy title. (You will be sacrificing an acceptable starting salary, benefits and a true learning experience.)

    ConsThere are only 5-8 people that have stayed with this company long term - they are the people that were hired when the company was first formed and they will likely never leave. Any good review that you see here is by one of these loyal employees.

    Other than those few people, it is like a never-ending revolving door of employees. People get hired and fired at the whim of a few. There is no management. No direction. No vision. And needless to say, no respect for the employees.

    This is not true publishing. There is no original work being published. This is a reprint house: this company buys other small publishers that are going under and reprints their lists. Just take a look at any Skyhorse book: they are not a sight to behold. Horrible production value and little original content.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere is no advice. These people are in this game to take advantage of naive, inexperienced people and make a quick buck.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Stick it out for something better

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat authors, tremendous learning experience because you are so inundated with taskes you have no choice but to adapt.

    ConsHierarchies in upper-management, unfriendly colleagues, astronomical and unreasonable work loads, and humiliating pay

    Advice to Senior ManagementTreat employees with the respect they deserve and pay them respectively! And stop gossiping.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Approves of CEO

     

    Excellent opportunity for anyone willing to work for success

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsI've been at Skyhorse for 7 1/2 years and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I started as an editorial assistant at a low salary, worked very hard, learned a tremendous amount through mentorship from senior staff (and plenty of trial and error), was managing editor within a couple of years, and am now in a very senior position making a salary I'd be unlikely to get at any other publishing company. It's an ambitious and creative crew and though we get stressed out, we also have a lot of fun. The Publisher, Tony Lyons, has installed a pull-up bar and a speed bag in the office, which anyone is welcome to use when we need a break from sitting at our desks! We have cupcake parties once a month and the young staff often hangs out together after work. Our interns are paid (which is fairly unusual in publishing), because the company ethic is that hard work should be rewarded.

    After reading some of the other reviews, I have to agree that Skyhorse is not for everyone. If you're not eager to work hard, passionate about learning, and excited to work in a fast-paced environment, you're better off working at another company (or possibly in another industry). But if you're someone who finds challenge inspiring and who wants to work in an environment where there is a lot of potential for growth, then you'd be hard pressed to find a better place. Many of our interns and full-time staff have had their own books published and interns and entry-level staff in any department are encouraged to pitch book ideas on a regular basis, edit manuscripts, and pursue sales leads.

    To set one thing straight I saw in another review, Tony Lyons did not inherit millions from his dad. His father ran the Lyons Press, but it was when Tony Lyons took over that the company began to grow exponentially. He then sold it and his father (a wonderful man who still stops by the Skyhorse office and shares his publishing wisdom with us) was able to retire with that money. Tony is very dedicated to the company and tries to makes himself accessible to the whole staff, despite his crazy busy schedule.able to retire with that money.

    ConsSkyhorse is constantly changing and expanding, which means we are always facing new organizational challenges. This can be difficult, even for the most flexible among us.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Abusive Relationship

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsCoworkers are ambitious, friendly (for the most part), and bond over the impossible demands, irrational pay, and verbal abuse weathered during the working hour. You will learn, if only to survive. I gained valuable negotiating skills and experience communicating with external vendors.

    ConsThere is no recognition for hard work, except for free food (excuse me: leftovers) brought in by staff. Instead of competitive salaries, benefits, and praise for working weekends and overtime without overtime or weekend pay, the staff is "bought off" with a plastic cup of champagne or a free cupcake once a month. One of their authors won the NOBEL PRIZE for God's sake, and there was no bonus, celebration, or recognition.

    During my stay there were interns and employees who designed, researched, and edited entire books, only to have to fight for their name on the cover. Many of the books are hackneyed or reprinted "public domain" which are then marked up to dupe the average consumer who could find them for free.

    Staff who have been there for years are laid off without warning - sometimes while they are on vacation. Staff are workhorses, and once their job is complete they are mercilessly cut loose. The Publisher doesn't care because he inherited his millions from his father, and the Associate Publisher harps about his horrible divorce while on business calls with the likes of Perseus and Harper Collins.

    Do yourself a favor - if you want a respectable career in publishing, avoid this company.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo not treat your employees like expendable slaves. They willingly entered a difficult career path during one of the most tumultuous times in its history to make a difference, to grow their skills. Communicate with them - do not yell and belittle them.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Humiliating Experience

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsInteresting projects. Talented staff. Very good ebook designers. Friendly owner.

    ConsLow salary. Elitist upper management. Alpha dogs have to get sucked up to. Like a hierarchy. This is good if you want to get started in publishing, but don't waste your time and find something else. The bad press and reputation will speak for itself when this company's cash out project expires. Also some outsourcing for easy simple to do add ons.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf there is any management, I have not seen it. Truly an unprofessional company.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Big mistake accepting a job offer from this place

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsWorking with young, creative people who love books and publishing. This can make for a dynamic environment at times. Everyone in the young staff is smart and could do much better working for a larger publishing house.

    Impressive business and sales growth in an uneasy economic climate and a shaky time for publishing in general.

    ConsLaughable salaries. No one goes into publishing to get rich, but these are the lowest salaries I have seen in the industry. Interns are paid minimum wage. The starting salary for entry level employees is $20,000.00. Associates will be lucky to earn $30,000.00.

    There is very little work/life balance. Because this is a small and relative new company, you are expected to stay past 5:30. It is common to come in on the weekends. Expect demanding workloads, as everyone is doing more than they should or would be expected to do at a different publishing house. At times I felt more like a slave than an employee.

    Benefits are offered only after 6 months, and they include only medical. An employee gets 6 vacation days a year. but you have to "earn" it: 1 vacation day every two months. You are given twice as much vacation time starting out at a larger publishing house.

    They are too cheap to rent out a bigger office, so people are crammed into a dirty, small office. I was embarrassed when authors or other professionals would stop by and see it, as the office is not nice or professional at all.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn what your staff does so that you understand their workload and do not put unnecessary pressure or impose impossible demands, which happens frequently. Without them your business would not grow, let alone run.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    The lowest and most insulting starting salary you will every see in the business

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsEveryone there was creative and ambitious because they wanted to get OUT!

    ConsInterns are treated poorly and paid minimum wage (200/week for a 9-5 job) They are only allowed to attend company parties as WAITERS. Seriously.

    The titles they publish are bland, poorly written. I was given assignments from the publisher's assistant. I never saw the publisher with my own two eyes the entire time I interned there.

    The entry level salary is $20,000/year, about $1300/month after taxes. I almost cried when I saw that offer. I refused and continued working at my second job so I could find another editorial job that had a liveable wage.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities

    2 people found this helpful  

    Felt like A Shadow of a Workhorse more than an Employee Here

    Intern (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsIf you want to get to know publishing at all, this is a very good way to start. I found myself doing work that I knew other people in the company had to do, and it was small enough that I got to know who was who in the company pretty quickly. Also, there are quite a few interns (I was a summer intern) so it helps in that you have a bit of a community and don't feel lonely.

    ConsI found myself doing work like taking the mail just to get outsides. I also did not feel any connection to upper management. My boss almost never answered my e-mails and barely spoke to us -- and it was that way with most of the staff; they were very nice, and could be helpful, but were so busy all the time I felt like I was bothering them more than trying to learn when I asked questions. Also, they answered my E-MAILS faster than they spoke to me if I walked up to their desks; face-to-face contact was so minimal.

     I never felt at home here, and while a few staffers made me feel welcome (3 people, one of whom I never worked for but got to talk to on the train) the upper management seemed to just use us. I know we are there to work and see what it's like, and that might include a coffee run, but I found myself losing motivation to come to work, though I never skipped a day.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI would advise management to set up a program where each intern is paired with a staff member in a mentor-style level, and open communication about how work is going can be addressed as well as some sort of relationships being built. There were also seminars on the first few days, and I found that those were the most personal days to me, the ones where my voice seemed to matter most, and would encourage more "learning-based," conversation-style things like that. Also, for the hours the company had us work, I felt like some pay or stipend should have been in order because of how many interns there were.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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