Any writer looking to have their work published will naturally be faced with a decision as to which publisher is right for them. Some options may stand out based on the fact they specialize in certain genres, others may appeal due to a personal connection or recommendation. There are a few however who don’t fit neatly into any category, and through a combination of track record, ethos, and social proof, are worth considering without being pigeonholed.
Skyhorse Publishing is one of the best examples of the latter option. In the following review, we’ll take a look at who they are, how they’ve acquired such a reputation, and what is worth pondering for any writer considering submitting.
What is Skyhorse Publishing?
Skyhorse Publishing opened its doors in 2006 committed to bringing the world a broad mix of books. With fifty-six New York Times bestsellers, more than 9,500 books on their backlist, and over 750 titles planned over the next year, they’ve shown no signs of slowing down since 2011, when Publishers Weekly called them the fastest-growing small publisher in America. The core categories of their output include outdoor sports, adventure, team sports, nature, and country living.
Not to mention a strong dose of politics, public health, current events, true crime, history, military history, reference, and humor—practical, literary, and general trade. Whether you are writing about a guide to fly tying, a lively story about organized crime, or the world of politics, or are a writer actively trying to save the world there’s likely to be a home for you and your book at Skyhorse Publishing.
You can know to see what we mean when we said prior that they don’t fit neatly into any category! This eclectic mix of genres, styles, and attitudes has largely contributed to their avant-garde reputation as a home for free thinkers, outside-the-box questioners, and anyone who has a fresh perspective on a myriad of topics.
Their various imprints are worth discussing in more detail too, as it reveals a level of depth and nuance not always found in the publishing world. As we mentioned previously, they have a goal to not just publish a specific genre or topic but keep the door open for any new perspectives. This mindset is showcased for all to see with their subsets such as children’s books under Sky Pony Press, Sports Publishing for any sporting books, and Not For Tourists travel guides amongst many others.
What type of genres does Skyhorse Publishing publish?
Skyhorse Publishing as we’ve seen doesn’t focus on one particular genre. Instead, it’s perhaps best to think about what type of attitude they like to see in their writing.
Skyhorse Publishing is dedicated to publishing books that make people’s lives better, whether that means teaching them a hobby, bringing them a unique and important story, or encouraging them to fight against injustices, conspiracies, or abuses of power. They maintain a firm stance against censorship and aim to provide a full spectrum of political, theological, cultural, and philosophical viewpoints to counter the increasingly biased environment in mainstream media.
In short, genre and topic are of course never irrelevant in the world of publishing, but at Skyhorse Publishing they certainly don’t take precedence mainly due to their array of imprints that will likely cover most genres. What comes first is the spirit of the writer, and that spirit is one of freedom of thought and challenging the status quo. If any part of the book contains these attitudes, then it will likely be worth consideration to submit to Skyhorse Publishing.
Which Authors Publish with Skyhorse Publishing?
Skyhorse Publishing as you’d expect given their genre-agnostic approach has an incredibly diverse selection of authors who have published with them, also winning a variety of prestigious prizes including the Nobel Prize for Literature winner Mo Yan.
Notable authors and their works published under Skyhorse Publishing include;
- Joe Diamond – Around The World in 80 Lays
- Malcolm Nance – Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe
- Alan Dershowitz – The Case Against Impeaching Trump
- Woody Allen – Apropos of Nothing
- Michael Cohen – Disloyal: A Memoir
- Philippe Petit – The Walk
- Darryl Ponicsan – Last Flag Flying
- Robert F Kennedy Jr – The Real Anthony Fauci
- Napoleon Hill – Think And Grow Rich
- Alex Jones – The Great Reset
How much do titles offered by Skyhorse Publishing cost?
As you’d expect given the diversity of books they publish, prices vary quite a lot. Price points starting at around $10 are common. Above that, there’s a plethora of titles at every price point imaginable up to three figures based on the type of book (individual or collection) and whether it’s limited edition, hard or softback, etc.
Can authors submit to Skyhorse Publishing?
Yes, they do accept submissions, but as you’d expect there are several criteria to be met. Below we will outline them.
The first is to note what areas they are currently accepting submissions, which can be found in the list below.
- • Sports (Team and Individual)
- • Outdoor Sports (Hunting, Fishing, and Camping)
- • Adventure and Travel
- • Health and Fitness
- • House and Home
- • History
- • Humor
- • Military History
- • Business
- • Games and Gambling
- • Horses
- • Pets and Animals
- • Nature and Science
- • Food and Wine
- • Aviation
- • True Crime
- • Current Events
The second is to take note of the process, which involves various steps including a cover letter, synopsis, sample chapter, etc. This process is fairly standard but can take some time for the writer to compose.
Once ready for submission, an email to their team will reach them and writers can expect a response typically within six weeks depending on the time of year and busy their submissions team is if they are interested.
Unfortunately for writers making submissions, due to the volume received no feedback or response will be given if Skyhorse Publishing is not interested in the work.
What are some alternatives to Skyhorse Publishing?
Writers will of course have numerous other options to consider apart from submitting SP.
Primarily, an alternative would be for the writer to consider self-publishing. In doing so, they would be benefitting in several ways that are worth consideration.
The prime benefit would be having full creative control of your work. Often writers when working with publishers engage in a lengthy back-and-forth dialogue over the direction of the book, the editing process, and even the cover art. By working autonomously, the writer will ultimately answer to no one and have the final say.
Secondly, given that Skyhorse Publishing doesn’t specialize in one genre, the writer may feel that the writer's quirks of their book may not resonate in the same way as with a publisher whose entire focus is on the topic of their writing. The writer may not have the confidence required that they fully understand all the ins and outs.
Finally, the submission process itself can be an arduous and soul-sapping experiment. A writer's time is often incredibly precious and taking precious amounts of it to compose a lengthy submission only for no reply to be received can be extremely difficult.
By taking the fate of the book back into their own hands, the writer may have increased peace of mind that they are in control of the success of their work, not at the mercy of a submissions team they have never met and have no personal relationship with.
Skyhorse Publishing Review – Final Verdict
In essence, Skyhorse Publishing is transparently an incredibly diverse and successful specialized publisher with an array of household names, awards, and titles under its belt. However, that prestige and success do not come without their pitfalls for aspiring writers, as the sheer size of the company may prove detrimental to the chances of a submission being accepted.
If a writer has the patience, self-belief, and finances to endure the submission process and accept a negative outcome in their distribution, then Skyhorse Publishing is a good option. The kudos that would come with having a book published alongside numerous bestsellers would of course be incredibly rewarding and potentially financially lucrative.
If that isn’t the case however, and a writer wishes to pursue a more realistic course of action then self-publishing is a pathway to achieving this success, but on their terms without some of the caveats that would come with submitting to a publisher like Skyhorse.