Sourcebooks Reviews

Updated July 4, 2014
Updated July 4, 2014
11 Reviews
2.2
11 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Dominique Raccah
9 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Absolutely amazing! Love it here!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Sourcebooks full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    CEO is very down to earth. She pulls the company together, keeps everyone updated on the business and new initiatives, takes the time to say hi and is often seen around the office, very approachable. Management looks out for those who really prove themselves and encourage advancement, encourage personal growth. There are constantly new things coming along in which to get involved. Coworkers are among the best in their fields, and everyone pulls together to get results. It is such a pleasure working here. I made no mistake coming here! Absolutely my dream workplace. Casual attire. Social atmosphere.

    Cons

    Sometimes employees may feel overburdened with a lot of work, but this is a growing company. As we grow, there is more work...and managers will recognize the need for more help and bring in interns, temps, and hire new employees as the needs arise. You just have to dig in, show your dedication, and tell your manager honestly if you're overwhelmed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up acknowledging employees for their victories, no matter how small. The recent adjustment of monthly meetings to highlight individual and team breakthroughs has offered employees more opportunity to take ownership of their work and their contributions to the company. The goal for every employee to take a leadership role is fantastic and makes everyone feel like they can speak up and share ideas.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Pay is small

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sourcebooks

    Pros

    Good place to start out

    Cons

    Salary is minimal
    little given back to employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give more back to your employees

  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    Overall Toxic Work Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Sourcebooks full-time

    Pros

    Many opportunities to get your hands on new projects/grow your resume.

    Cons

    I recently read an article titled "12 Signs You are Working in a Toxic Office" (by Miriam Salpeter). My former colleagues and I were so stunned by number of boxes that Sourcebooks can check off this list, that I felt compelled to post it here. I hope outsiders and Sourcebooks Management alike will read the following list carefully.

    Here are some of the signs you work in an office with a poor work culture, as stated in the article, that truly apply to Sourcebooks.

    1. Your boss is a recognized bully. (Sourcebooks' CEO has been known to humiliate and berate her employees, often publicly.)
    2. It's not unusual for co-workers or your boss to take credit for your work. (This happened on numerous occasions across the company throughout the duration of employment at Sourcebooks).
    3. The boss is ineffective or absentee.
    4. Poor performers never seem to lose their jobs, while strong workers are fired. (The turnover rate at Sourcebooks is unprecedented. Every year, many good workers fear for their jobs while poor performers continue to coast by on the efforts of others).
    5. Everyone operates under different rules. (This is particularly true for managements' "pets." Office policy does not apply to all.)
    6. There is a lack of formal training plans or programs. (For every Sourcebooks employee, the first few weeks is utter chaos. You are thrown into the fire with little training. This causes quite a bit of "brain drain," meaning every time someone quits (which is often), critical information/processes are lost and have to be started from scratch.)
    7. People are promoted in random, seemingly illogical ways. (In many cases, promotions mean nothing. There is no "ladder" to be climbed at Sourcebooks. Your responsibilities do not grow to match your forward progress.)
    8. Supervisors don't communicate expectations well. (Not only do they not communicate expectations, but they also don't have solidified expectations to communicate. The company/CEO is constantly dropping projects on a whim, wasting countless hours of employees' time.)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Shocked at how poorly this company is managed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - ECommerce Manager in Naperville, IL
    Former Employee - ECommerce Manager in Naperville, IL

    I worked at Sourcebooks full-time

    Pros

    The position seemed promising when I got hired. The IT and Customer Service teams were nice and great to work with.

    Cons

    Cons? So many things! I was hired as a manager in their "growing eCommerce department". The interview process - though a bit more grueling than I think was necessary - gave me the impression this was exactly the position and company I was looking for. Unfortunately, as soon as I started there, things quickly turned for the worst and the truth about this place became apparent.

    I am fairly confident in my experience and abilities within my expertise. But I also know that every place is run differently, and each place has some kind of learning curve. When I start as an employee somewhere, I expect some kind of support system to help people get on their feet - whether that be tools, help, resources, whatever - some kind of foundation that I can then build off of and run with. Unfortunately Sourcebooks provided none of this. I was put in an office away from the rest of the team, and completely abandoned.

    Every time I asked for help or even clarification, I was told to "figure it out", and every idea I came up with, I was told "no" or "this is wrong" with no feedback whatsoever. There was no real direction, no guidance, nothing. I was left confused and frustrated, trying to read my supervisor's mind to no avail.

    To make matters worse - none of the other employees in my department had any kind of relevant experience related to eCommerce. They had someone with a writing degree who had never used Photoshop editing images, a person with a cinematography degree creating emails, and my supervisor who was director-level had a background in the catalog business. Yet my extensive experience in eCommerce was ignored with the many ideas I tried to bring forth.

    I believe the organization struggles from the top down. The company's founder & CEO is a very passionate person. Unfortunately, she is also a very emotional person who makes rash decisions based on those emotions. She, along with other members of upper management, make a lot of decisions based on "gut feeling" instead of hard data. And when it came down to it, the place was in pieces when I started. They have some interesting ideas, but will struggle to get there if they don't clean up the way the business is managed.

    Another shocking thing to note is that after my time with Sourcebooks, while I was on the job hunt, I came across a recruiter who reached out to me about an opportunity which happened to be the exact position I had already been in. When I shared my story with her, I couldn't believe my ears when she said she has come across a number of other people who have had similar experiences to me there. How horrible that Sourcebooks has such a negative reputation even with the person who's trying to help them!

    Well, you've been warned. If you take a job here - good luck!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change up your management style, get people who know what they are doing, and start making rational decisions. You really need to get the basics down before you can hope to grow your business!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Very dishonest company and extremely poor communication skills

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Mobility Contractor
    Former Employee - Mobility Contractor

    I worked at Sourcebooks as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    They have some good authors and people in the company that are very qualified and are able to build relationships. Unfortunately, the leadership team is the challenge and they are purchasing companies without taking the time to unite the corporate cultures and stand by their original promises.

    Cons

    It is run by a group of women that do not keep their word. They are dishonest to contractors, and they don't pay their bills.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to build better relationships and read the book - The Speed of Trust. Stand by your word. Return phone calls and limit the use of email. Build Communication skills.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Very rewarding, engaging career. The very best job I've ever had.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Creative Services Manager in Naperville, IL
    Current Employee - Creative Services Manager in Naperville, IL

    I have been working at Sourcebooks full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    -CEO is actively involved
    -Everyone works toward the same goal
    -No inner-office drama
    -Very creative atmosphere
    -Every day is different and exciting
    -Management listens
    -A traditional publishing company that is not afraid to embrace modern technology
    -Opportunity for growth

    Cons

    -Location is a challenge during the evening commute

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None that I could give that they are not already doing. Keep up the good work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Wish I would've never gotten my 'dream job'

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sourcebooks

    Pros

    Fun, young co-workers.
    Lots of cheap books.
    Occasional parties.
    Suburb location.
    A company that encourages creativity.

    Cons

    Exhausting work assigned that is not doable in the given time.
    Very little pay.
    You cannot trust anyone, not even management.
    Major turnover rate (about 50% in 2012... in a company of about 80... that is huge)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Major changes are needed. I don't see this company going very far with the way it currently treats its employees. The whole '3-4 year burn out' is ridiculous. I'm glad you've figured out you can hire young, pay poorly, and replace them after they've worked like slaves for you... But that won't get you very far. There is so much manipulation and talking behind everyone's backs - it is like a company made up of junior-high management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Work hard, then go get a job somewhere else FAST.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Naperville, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Naperville, IL

    I worked at Sourcebooks

    Pros

    Good place to gain hands-on experience--LOTS OF IT. A year there equals 2-3 years somewhere else, depending on your area of expertise.

    Discount on books or you can order ONE copy for a dollar for newly published titles.

    Coworkers can be friendly.

    Cons

    Below average pay. Recently pay raises were withheld for over a year.

    Micromanagement from the CEO down. They must have been trained at a sweatshop in a third world country, no exaggeration.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Even in a down economy, try to treat your employees with respect and maybe even some appreciation.

    If you're a manager elsewhere and have an opportunity to hire someone who has worked for Sourcebooks for a year or more, by all means do so, you will not be disappointed...well, unless they were a manager.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    A nice thought, but unbearable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Naperville, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Naperville, IL

    I worked at Sourcebooks

    Pros

    Exciting industry, a copy of every book published, great authors, great co-workers. Nice suburban office, opportunity to travel to BEA (Book Expo America) if you work in the right departments.

    Cons

    Unbalanced emotions running wild in that office--pounding the drum for good news one second and yelling the next. "Lifers" are too wrapped in the tense culture to be good leaders and motivate employees appropriately. Some managers will sell out a direct report in order to appear more competent themselves. This is a fine place to get into publishing and leave. Other publishers know the culture you came from and are proud to bring you into their world. Thick skin required to work here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a few night classes on basic management and employee training and development. Stand up for the team once in awhile.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good if you need experience, bad if you want a career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sourcebooks (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good experience in the publishing industry. You'll get a lot of responsibility even if you are an intern. CEO is very ambitious and is broadening the company into interactive media- lots of opportunities to get into new things.

    Cons

    Office environment is quiet and anti-social. The day to day is more based on individual effort rather than working as a team. Salaried workers are treated as hourly workers with minimal flex-time. A lot of the company's software is built by it's own IT department so working with the web site and content management system is very frustrating since their are several bugs/glitches that go unfixed. Because of this, training people is a nightmare since there are numerous workarounds you have to explain in order to get things to work right.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The people work really hard here, so give them a little more freedom to have a life outside work. Also encourage more teamwork inside and outside of work. Do a monthly lunch during work or perhaps take departments out as a group once every 3-4 months after work to get to know each other doing fun activities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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