Skyhorse Publishing Review: The Right Path for Your Book?

POSTED ON Feb 20, 2024

Christopher Ortiz

Written by Christopher Ortiz

Home > Blog > Reviews > Skyhorse Publishing Review: The Right Path for Your Book?

Any writer who wants to publish their work will be faced with the decision of choosing the right publisher. And there are a lot of options out there! Some may stand out for specializing in certain genres. Others may appeal due to a personal connection or recommendation. And there are a few that have a fabulous track record, ethos, and social proof (and Skyhorse Publishing is one of them).

In the following review, we’ll take a look at what Skyhorse Publishing is, how they’ve acquired such a reputation, and who they might be a good fit for.


New Call-To-Action

What is Skyhorse Publishing?

Skyhorse Publishing is a publishing company that opened its doors in 2006. Their team is committed to bringing the world a broad range of book genres.

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. But there is also a strong dose of politics, public health, current events, true crime, history, military history, reference, and humor!

Whether you are writing about a guide to fly fishing, a lively story about organized crime, 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. 

This eclectic mix of genres, styles, and attitudes has largely contributed to Skyhorse Publishing's avant-garde reputation as a home for free thinkers who have fresh perspectives.

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 with their subsets of children’s books under Sky Pony Press, Sports Publishing for sporting books, and Not For Tourists for travel guides (amongst many others). 

What Genres Does Skyhorse Publishing Publish?

As we've seen, Skyhorse Publishing 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, while never completely irrelevant, don’t take precedence. What comes first is the spirit of the writer, and that spirit challenges the status quo. If any part of the book celebrates freedom of thought or self-improvement, then it will likely be worth consideration to submit to Skyhorse Publishing. 

Which Authors Publish with Skyhorse Publishing?

Skyhorse Publishing has an incredibly diverse selection of authors who have published with them, including the Nobel Prize for Literature winner Mo Yan. 

Other 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 at Skyhorse.

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, as long as you meet their criteria.

The first is to note what genres they are currently accepting submissions for, 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 to put together. 

Once you've emailed your submission to their team, you can typically expect a response within six weeks if they are interested.

Unfortunately, due to the volume of submissions they receive no response will be given if Skyhorse Publishing is not interested in the work. 

Skyhorse Publishing Review: Pros and Cons

Here are some benefits and some potential drawbacks of working with the company:

Pros of Skyhorse Publishing

Flexibility: Skyhorse is known for its willingness to work with debut authors and unconventional ideas. They are open to a wide range of genres and topics.

Speed: They are often faster to market than traditional publishers, which can be appealing if you're eager to get your book out quickly.

Author-friendly contracts: They typically offer higher royalties than traditional publishers and may provide more control over the publishing process.

Marketing support: While not as extensive as larger publishers, they do offer some marketing support, which can be beneficial for authors looking to promote their work.

Cons of Skyhorse Publishing

Limited resources: Skyhorse is a smaller publisher compared to the big houses, so they may have fewer resources for marketing and distribution.

Quality Control: Critics have accused Skyhorse of poor editorial standards and lack of quality control, leading to books being published with errors, inaccuracies, and sometimes plagiarism.

Treatment of Authors: There have been complaints from authors regarding their treatment by Skyhorse, including issues with contracts, royalties, and communication.

Political and Ideological Controversies: Skyhorse has published books that have been criticized for promoting fringe or controversial political and ideological viewpoints, leading to backlash and calls for boycotts.

Legal Issues: The company has faced legal challenges, including lawsuits from authors and other publishers over various issues such as copyright infringement and breach of contract.

Financial Troubles: Like many independent publishers, Skyhorse has faced financial challenges, including reports of delayed payments to authors and difficulties in staying profitable.

Distribution challenges: They may not have the same distribution reach as larger publishers, which could impact the availability of your book in certain markets.

Less prestige: Skyhorse may not have the same level of prestige or recognition as some of the bigger publishing houses, which could impact how your book is perceived in the market.

As you can see, there could be some serious downsides to partnering with Skyhorse to publish your book – so let's look at some alternatives.

Alternatives to Skyhorse Publishing

Writers of course have numerous other options to consider for publishing.  

Primarily, an alternative would be for the writer to consider self-publishing.

Self-publishing would give you full creative control of your work. Often when working with publishers, writers 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, you will have the final say and won't have to answer to anyone.

Given that Skyhorse Publishing doesn’t specialize in one genre, they may not resonate with you in the same way as a publisher whose entire focus is on your writing genre.

Finally, the submission process itself can be an arduous and soul-sapping experience. 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 your own hands, you may have increased peace of mind that you are in control of the success of your work, not at the mercy of a submissions team you 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 you have the patience, self-belief, and finances to endure the submission process and accept a negative outcome in your distribution, then Skyhorse Publishing may be a good option for traditional publishing. That being said, authors have had negative experiences with them in the past, so we can only give them a 2 out of 5 stars.

If you wish to have more control over your publishing process (and receive a much higher percentage of the royalties), you might wish to consider self-publishing vs traditional publishing.

Self-publishing is a very realistic pathway to achieving success on your own terms, and there are plenty of incredible self-publishing companies out there that can help you through the process from start to finish.

If you are interested in learning how to self-publish a book, you can reach out to the team at selfpublishing.com for a free, no-obligation strategy call. You won't have to wait for anyone to accept your manuscript. We can help teach you how to turn your next book into a bestseller.


New Call-To-Action
Liked this post? Share it with friends!
Related posts

Reviews, Marketing

BookBub Review for Authors: A Complete Guide

Reviews

Bargain Booksy Review

Reviews

An Honest MasterClass Review: Pros, Cons, Costs & Alternatives