Written by Emily Harstone March 19th, 2014

Skyhorse Publishing: Open To Book Proposals

Updated September 2020: Vanity Fair published an in depth article on some of their more questionable decisions and business practices.

Skyhorse Publishing is one of the largest small presses in the United States. They were founded in 2006.  Over the past couple of years they have started to acquire other small presses. Skyhorse started out focused on publishing non-fiction and that is still their primary interest. However they have imprints that are interested in publishing work in other genres that you can see on their site. This review is only focused on Skyhorse.

Skyhorse has published a number of well known best selling books within the non-fiction genre. They have wide distribution and you often see Skyhorse books on the shelves of Barnes & Nobles. The books range from serious research based non-fiction, to diet books, to books written by “celebrities”.

In the past year they’ve shifted their strategy to focus more on publishing work by controversial figures the big 5 won’t publish, like Woody Allen.

It is easy to sift through their back catalog to see if your book might fit. They do not require agents or previous publication experience in order to submit a proposal.

They are currently looking for proposals in the following categories: Sports, History, Humor, Adventure and Travel, Health and Fitness, House and Home, Business, Food and Wine, Pets, and Current Events. They are also interested in a number of sub categories so make sure to check their website.

They take around a month and a half to respond to proposals.

They have decent distribution and I have read their books but they have a deeply mixed leaning towards negative reputation because of disorganization and alleged un-payment of authors, that were reported on The Water Cooler. We are actively monitoring this publisher and may update this review at any time to include new information. Authors have also complained of lack of marketing support for their work.

They seem to be doing a better job in terms of paying their authors in the past two years, but the situation has not improved for their employees. They are a number of negative reviews here.

When you send them a proposal it should consist of the following: A brief query letter, a one-to-two page synopsis, an annotated chapter outline, rudimentary market analysis (focusing on what might be your literary competition), a sample chapter or two, as well as a bio containing all previous publishing credits. That last portion is why you should submit to literary journals and magazines. Even if you are not being published in the same genre at all, any publishing experience really makes a difference.

They accept all submissions through email. If you are interested in learning more or submitting please visit their website here.


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