Skyhorse Publishing Reviews | Glassdoor

Skyhorse Publishing Reviews

Updated May 27, 2017
46 reviews

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3.7
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Skyhorse Publishing President Tony Lyons
Tony Lyons
37 Ratings

46 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • A very hard-working group of people work here who care about the books being published and the overall quality of the finished product (in 7 reviews)

  • Fast-paced atmosphere with hard-working staff (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management doesn't care about the employees at all (in 9 reviews)

  • Because the company is growing so fast, there's always a lot to learn and sometimes no one to teach you (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "Why I Think Skyhorse is Successful"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Sales Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Skyhorse Publishing full-time

    Pros

    In my 40 year plus career in publishing, I have been witness to many publishing milestones and changes along the way…buy me a coffee and I’d be happy to expound upon these events. But I’m not here to reminisce…I’m here to offer my opinion as to why we are fortunate to work at a house like Skyhorse.

    In the last issue of Carousel (Skyhorse blog), Mark spoke about publishing being a people business…truer words have never been spoken…I echo what he says about all of you…hardworking folks working in concert to bring off daily miracles…to paraphrase an old adage, “People are known by the company they keep” I like to think that “A company is known by the people it keeps”… Watching all of you working together, learning the business on the fly and maintaining your fabulous work ethic gives an old hand like me the joy of knowing that the future of publishing is in good hands. Another thing; the close proximity of you to your neighbors allows you to experience the entire process first hand; from acquisition to editing to production to marketing, publicity and sales. If you worked at a larger house, you would not know where these departments are housed….

    But it doesn't stop there…those of us in sales who are out there everyday building customer relationship management (ugh, a 21st century acronym, CRM) can only build those relationships with excellent support from you and the work you do. You back us up, you give us confidence to enable us to give our customers what they want; great books, quickly made, priced right and delivered quickly. Good service breeds volume…

    I want to mention sustainability; a hallmark of Skyhorse. No publisher can succeed without a healthy backlist…big bestselling books can come and go but a good book on knots, self-sufficiency, or cooking can go on and on and on…selling year in and year out. This provides us with a steady and reasonable source of income, keeping our books in stock and reordered as well as maintaining a foothold in the ever increasing battle for shrinking shelf space.

    Publishing pundits say Skyhorse publishes too many books; we prove them wrong every day! Big publishers spend big money in their top heavy world of name authors and big advances and they are all paring back their lists in favor of that philosophy…so less concentration on backlist leaves a void that we are more than happy to fill. Tony is right, there will always be people who want books, real books to hold, read and cherish…Skyhorse is there to provide and produce for them.

    I’ve run on, but let me close with a final thought. I have run publishing companies, companies have run me and I’ve even had a short stint at running myself in a brief freelance gig…what Skyhorse has and encourages is a high degree of trust and autonomy allowing you to do your jobs. Yeah, we all have too much on our plates, way too much to do and very little time to do it, but you’re engaged, getting the job done. I hope you all take great satisfaction in your daily accomplishments.

    I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    This is why I love working at one of the smartest publishers in the game today.

    Cons

    As mentioned above, too much on our plates. But working together, we get the job done.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing your best.

    Skyhorse Publishing Response

    Sep 19, 2016 – Human Resources

    Thank you so much for your review! Your words give validation to all the hard work that everyone at Skyhorse is doing from day to day, and to the focus of Skyhorse to publish the scope and variety ... More


  2. "A place where hard work pays off."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Skyhorse Publishing full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It's been a while since I left, but improvements were already in the works. Skyhorse is a company that wants to improve and create a better work environment for its employees. I want to give a direct mention to the VP because statements made in other reviews are just malicious and petty. The VP can be stern but he is always fair and willing to take time from his hectic schedule to teach employees about publishing. If you are willing to work hard, skyhorse offers many opportunities.

    Cons

    Workload can be overwhelming. At times, because of the quantity of titles being published, Skyhorse feels like a book mill where quality is outweighed by quantity.

    Advice to Management

    Keep improving the work/ life balance of you employees. Improve the quality of the titles being published.


  3. "Innovative and ever-changing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Editor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Editor in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Skyhorse Publishing full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Skyhorse Publishing is an exciting place to work. Our list often has NY Times bestsellers that get enormous amounts of publicity. We also publish a lot of practical titles that help create a strong backlist. Employees are given responsibility and meaningful work far more quickly than at other publishing houses. Competence is rewarded by more rapid advancement than at competitors. Salaries and benefits are comparable to the big houses. Teamwork and a positive attitude are encouraged. Another good thing: Negativity isn't tolerated at all. The company reshapes itself from time to time in terms of staff size but the ongoing theme is remarkable growth with more than 1,000 titles per year and an office not only in New York City but also in Brattleboro, Vermont.

    Cons

    It's busy. Everybody has a full work load. If you don't like that and don't want to take responsibility, this wouldn't be a good work choice.

    Advice to Management

    The 10th Anniversary party was great! Let's have more activities like the morning yoga where staff can meet in an informal atmosphere and build team spirit.

    Skyhorse Publishing Response

    May 15, 2017 – Human Resources

    Thanks for your comments! You hit on key concepts, "teamwork" and "team spirit," that are essential for Skyhorse to continue effectively moving at the pace we've been on. Our commitment is to keep ... More


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  5. "Dynamic and exciting place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Editor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Editor in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Skyhorse Publishing full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Responsibility is given to the staff at a much earlier point than at most other companies so you're likely to be doing something meaningful. The atmosphere is congenial. Many of the employees are young, but there is a lot of mentoring from more senior staff. It's a terrific place to develop quickly. Also, a lot of benefits have been put in place so in addition to competitive salaries there is a health plan, a 401(K), and a good amount of vacation.

    Cons

    Everyone has a very full workload. It's not a place to work if you're aren't willing to go all out and contribute to the substantial productivity of the company.

    Advice to Management

    Let's eliminate negativity of any kind and focus on publishing books most likely to succeed.

    Skyhorse Publishing Response

    Feb 18, 2017 – Human Resources

    You clearly laid out the current atmosphere at Skyhorse. Thank you. Without doubt, the workload is substantial, and as you note, so are the opportunities to "develop quickly." The recent weekly pitch ... More


  6. "A company for people who love working hard and fast!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Skyhorse Publishing full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The flexibility and permission to pursue projects, titles, or new ideas that are exciting to you; the advantage of strong leaders in the company who serve as excellent resources and mentors, but are also willing to consider a fresh approach; and an exposure to a richly diverse catalogue that encourages employees to expand their horizons while also providing a wealth of exciting titles to satisfy our equally diverse staff. This is an environment for people who love hard work, constant change, and excitement, and who appreciate a company that is nimble and responsive, as opposed to a steady, but comparatively monotonous company where the lines are clearly drawn and each employee stays in his or her designated box.

    Cons

    Without the types of structure and systems that a larger, older corporation might have, it takes longer to get acclimated.

    Advice to Management

    As the company grows, communication paths need to change with it. At thirty or forty employees, lateral communication may have been most effective, but a company two or three times that size needs regular top-to-bottom communication so that negativity doesn't fester where there is uncertainty.

    Skyhorse Publishing Response

    Jan 15, 2017 – Human Resources

    Thanks very much for your review. What you wrote in the Pros section clearly describes the atmosphere in the company. It's fast and dynamic. An example to your point is the release of three different ... More


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Working at the Speed of Skyhorse"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Editor in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Editor in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Skyhorse Publishing full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I used to work at Skyhorse and still continue to work in the publishing industry. I had a good opportunity to look back at my time at the company after having been invited recently to their 10th Anniversary party. The opening speech by Abigail Gehring really gave a good overview, through her experience, of what the company is like. Here's a woman who started out ten years ago knowing nothing about publishing, and today she's the Associate Publisher, running the Vermont satellite office, as well as being the author of about 20 books.

    She talked about the early days going on 6:00AM runs with publisher, Tony Lyons, talking with him about the company, the industry and the books they were going to publish. She also talked about “working at the speed of Skyhorse” and about the opportunities this has brought her. While I'm totally impressed with the path she's taken, I think we need to understand that not everyone can do what she did. I worked really hard there every day, and I learned a lot that helped me at my current job. In the end, however, I decided that I wanted to work at a slower, more careful, pace.

    Cons

    As I've said, the pace was very fast – at times, clearly too fast.

    Advice to Management

    Don't assume that everyone can keep up with YOUR expectations.

    Skyhorse Publishing Response

    Nov 3, 2016 – Human Resources

    Thank you for your comments. We think this review gives potential Skyhorse employees a reasonable idea of life at Skyhorse. There are great opportunities, but the pace is fast. For the right people ... More


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Exciting place to be"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Production Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Production Assistant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Skyhorse Publishing full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Skyhorse is an exciting place to work. There's always something new, almost daily. This week it's a book called The Plot to Hack America by NYT bestselling author Malcolm Nance. Next week it's a book called Nest by NYT bestselling author Terry Goodkind. I don't think there are any other publishers out there moving this quickly, making these kinds of instant book deals, and also getting good reviews.

    Cons

    Sometimes it's a zoo. There is certainly an old-time NYC newspaper sensibility. If you're on board with that sort of energy, with that pace, you'll feel right at home. If not, you'll feel underwater at least some of the time.

    Advice to Management

    I've been here for eight months, and from what I've seen and heard, the company has changed a lot. The benefits are better, salaries have gone up, and the company is hitting its stride. There have been books with Jesse Ventura, Oliver Stone, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and lots of other interesting authors. But that said, upper management has to understand that some people can't keep up, regardless of salary or benefits. There has to be some accommodation for them, as they are hardworking individuals, who are honestly doing their best, though have a challenge keeping up.

    Skyhorse Publishing Response

    Sep 30, 2016 – Human Resources

    Skyhorse is indeed a dynamic company, both in workflow and output. And yes, sometimes a bit of a zoo. We appreciate your comment that not everyone works at the same pace and that accommodations need ... More


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Sales Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Skyhorse Publishing full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Forward thinking, fast moving, and nimble, terrific management, many opportunities for growth

    Cons

    No cons here for me,

    Skyhorse Publishing Response

    Sep 30, 2016 – Human Resources

    Thank you! But if/when you do come across any cons, please be sure to raise the alarm so that it/they can be addressed as quickly as possible.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Still room for improvement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Sales in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Skyhorse Publishing full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I thought about giving four stars with this review, but I'm not yet prepared to do that. I've seen a lot of positive changes in the company over the past year, and one telling sign was at the 10th Anniversary party last week, where several individuals spoke about their experiences at Skyhorse, and the CEO spent time to recognize a number of individuals for what they've done for the company. Actually, he made it a point to praise us all for the amount of work we put in from day to day. I'd say that his appreciation was heartfelt. Another good thing about the party was that I had a chance to interact with people in the company whom I hadn't met before. I formed some new friendships.

    Cons

    Three stars because I think there's still room for improvement. Almost every review here talks about how much work there is to do. There has to be a way to alleviate the strain.

    Advice to Management

    Put together a task force to figure out how to reconfigure things so that productivity can continue as needed, but that employees aren't so overwhelmed.

    Skyhorse Publishing Response

    Oct 11, 2016 – Human Resources

    Thanks for your comment and advice. The party was fun, and was indeed a good chance for everyone to relax, connect, talk and reflect on how far the company has come. Looking forward we truly hope ... More


  11. Helpful (12)

    "I hope it's changed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Editor in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Assistant Editor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Skyhorse Publishing full-time

    Pros

    Hour lunch, the oppressively overwhelming deadlines and complete lack of respect from the upper management forges closer friendships throughout the lower ranks. Smaller publishing house means you have to wear a lot of hats, which expands on your experience.

    Cons

    There's a lot I could say about Skyhorse, but I'll save it for my therapist. I've been quiet watching the rating go up as I know that upper management puts the pressure on the people below to post positive reviews so that no one ever really knows what's going on there, but Skyhorse was probably one of the worst experiences of my life. I pride myself on working hard, on loving a challenge, but even if you are a total workaholic more often than not the work culture will chew you up and spit you out.

    Lower editors on the ladder are giving an outrageously long list (a list that you'll eventually have to lie about in interviews when you inevitably attempt to carve out time to jump ship from the company because no one will believe you). You'll have way too many books a season, but then be expected to drop everything if any number of people want you to work on something else. Usually that thing will be a project for them, and you will get zero credit...but you will get in trouble if you let any one of your 50+ projects slip.

    Is that doable if you're a hard worker? Absolutely. Are you compensated fairly for a job that takes over your entire life? Absolutely not.

    The vice president is an incredibly cruel person who, instead of helping you through mistakes, instead will most likely berate you. If you're an attractive woman he may be nice, but then again he may also discuss what you wear salaciously behind your back to other coworkers. He turns what could be a brisk, fast-paced, challenging job into a gauntlet of misery every day and it's not necessary, but don't expect him to be gone anytime soon given the fact that the CEO gives him run of the place.

    It's probably getting better, they were trying to change things when I left, and I really hope they have, but enough of the people I worked with in the past jumped ship after I left give me enough of an indication that they probably haven't.

    Advice to Management

    Don't bother replying to this. Respect your people more. Do SOMETHING about the VP. Or do whatever you want, it doesn't matter much more to me.

    Skyhorse Publishing Response

    Sep 28, 2016 – Human Resources

    Thank you for your direct and honest review. It's difficult to guess when you might have worked here at Skyhorse, but we can assure you that things have indeed changed: salaries and benefits have ... More


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