Skyhorse Publishing

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Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. is an American independent book publishing company founded in 2006 and headquartered in New York City, with a satellite office in Brattleboro, Vermont.[1]

Skyhorse Publishing
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. - Logo.jpg
Founded2006
FounderTony Lyons
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationNew York City
DistributionSimon & Schuster (United States & worldwide – except South Africa)
Key peopleTony Lyons (President and Publisher)
Publication typesBooks
ImprintsAllworth Press, Arcade CrimeWise, Arcade, Sky Pony, Sports Publishing, Carrel Books, Talos Press, Night Shade Books, Good Books, Helios, Not For Tourists, Hot Books, Racehorse Publishing, Clydesdale Press, Seahorse Press, Racehorse For Young Readers
No. of employees56 (as of October 2018)
Official websitewww.skyhorsepublishing.com

History

The current president and publisher is founder Tony Lyons, former president and publisher of Lyons Press until 2004. As noted by Publishers Weekly, "Skyhorse's list will have some similarities to the old Lyons Press, with books on sports, flyfishing, nature and history a central part of Skyhorse's publishing program. The list includes narrative nonfiction, military history, gambling and business titles. In addition, [Tony] Lyons intends to bring back 'forgotten classics.'"[2]

Growth and expansion

In 2010, Skyhorse acquired Arcade Publishing with its portfolio of 500 titles,[3] as well as another 300 titles through the acquisition of Allworth Press.[4] Skyhorse also announced the 2011 acquisition of Sports Publishing with its 800 titles, and the launch of a children's and young adult imprint called Sky Pony Press.[5] By 2011, Skyhorse grew "from one imprint to five, and from eight employees to more than 40".[6] The company "entered a three-year, 30-book licensing agreement with Norstedts of Sweden to acquire world English rights to a range of titles on crafts, health, fitness and cooking."[6] In 2011, Publishers Weekly listed Skyhorse Publishing as one of the fastest-growing independent presses.[7]

Skyhorse added 250 new titles to its catalog with its acquisition of science-fiction and fantasy publisher Night Shade Books in 2013.[8] Also, that year Skyhorse announced the launch of the new imprint, Carrel Books, catering to the library market with books on medicine/health, history, biography/memoir, business/careers, among others.[9] In 2014, Skyhorse partnered with Perseus Books Group to acquire the assets of Good Books.  While Perseus retained the Mayo Clinic line of health books from the Good Books catalog, Skyhorse obtained all other books assets, including the New York Times Bestselling Fix-It and Forget-It series.[10] Another Skyhorse imprint, Talos Press published its first book in 2014. In partnership with the literary agency, International Transactions, Skyhorse launched the new imprint, Yucca Publishing.[11]

In May 2015, partnering with David Talbot, founder and former editor-in-chief of Salon, Skyhorse launched the investigative book imprint Hot Books.[12] Hot Books’ first title, released September 2015, was The Beastside: Living (and Dying) While Black in America, written by D. Watkins. In an interview by Fresh Air host Terry Gross on NPR, Watkins  recounts harrowing stories of growing up in East Baltimore.[13]

Skyhorse started a new division in 2016 called Racehorse Publishing, which publishes a range of categories, including promotional titles, instant books, and classic works of literature.  The promotional line is operated under the new Clydesdale Press imprint.  Another new imprint, Seahorse Press, publishes books on boating, sailing and sea adventures.[14] Skyhorse launched the new imprint Arcade CrimeWise to publish crime fiction, mysteries, noir, thrillers, and spy novels.[15]

To manage the close to 1,000 titles that it stood to publish in 2016, Skyhorse increased staff from 56 to 81 in 2015.[16]

Skyhorse Publishing had revenue of more than $43 million in 2015 and a backlist of 6,000 titles. With 93 people then on staff, the company planned to release 900 books in 2017 through its 18 imprints.[17] Practical books for sports lovers, gardeners, cooks and gamers, etc., sold more than 3  million copies in total during 2015. Adult coloring books, first introduced in May 2015, have sold over 4,000,000 copies.[18]

In June 2017, a group of Skyhorse employees announced intentions to hold a union election in order to join United Auto Workers Local 2110.[19] According to a National Labor Relations Board count, staffers fell short of the votes needed on November 30, 2018, with 18 voting for, 28 voting against, and an additional 23 votes submitted but counted as ineligible ballots.[20]

In April 2018, Skyhorse announced “a major reorganization” with job cuts of 16 full-time positions and plans “to reduce new titles published by ‘approximately 25 percent’ in 2018” compared to 2017, when it released 1,120 titles.[21] Publisher Tony Lyons announced the decision in response to a decline in net sales by 19% in 2017, and issues related to paper shortages and book distribution.[22]

Skyhorse and Simon & Schuster released the news in July 2018 that Simon & Schuster will distribute Skyhorse titles in the U.S. and most markets and territories around the world beginning on January 1, 2019.[23]

Bestselling books and notable authors

In 2008, Skyhorse published the erotic travelogue Around the World in 80 Lays, by Joe Diamond, writer for Playboy TV's travel series Sexy Things to Do Before You Die.[24] Skyhorses's 41st bestseller Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe by Malcolm Nance, debuts as #9 on the New York Times e-book bestseller list, July 3, 2016.[25]

The Case Against Impeaching Trump by Alan Dershowitz became a New York Times bestseller on July 29, 2018.[26] Published through Skyhorse's Hot Books imprint, “Mr. Dershowitz said he wanted to offer a counterpoint to the raft of books arguing for the validity of impeachment.”[27]

On March 23, 2020, Skyhorse Publishing announced that it had acquired and released the memoir Apropos of Nothing by Woody Allen through its Arcade imprint.[28] The book, originally set for an April 7 release by Hachette Book Group, was cancelled after Hachette employees staged a walkout in protest.[29] Apropos of Nothing was listed on the April 26, 2020 New York Times Best Seller list for Hardcover Nonfiction.[30] On September 8, 2020, Skyhorse published Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump by Michael Cohen, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller.[31]

The book, The Walk by Philippe Petit, about his walk between New York's World Trade Center towers, released by Skyhorse on July 21, 2015,[32] based on a major motion picture also titled The Walk directed by Robert Zemeckis and released on September 30, 2015.[33] On September 16, 2016, Skyhorse released the official motion picture tie-in book Snowden, timed to the release of the Oliver Stone film by the same name.[34] The book Last Flag Flying, by Darryl Ponicsan, published by Skyhorse on September 5, 2017, has been made into a feature film.[35]

Sky Pony, the children's book imprint of Skyhorse, publishes a line of unofficial Hacks for Minecrafters books, and a series of original, unofficial novels. Along with Scholastic, the official licensing publisher of Minecraft books in the U.S., the two houses publish the majority of Minecraft titles for kids.[36]

On May 17, 2021, Skyhorse announced that it would release Blake Bailey's biography of Philip Roth, Philip Roth: The Biography. The book was originally published by W. W. Norton & Company, which withdrew it after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Bailey.[37]

Skyhorse has published thirty-five titles about the assassination of John F. Kennedy,[38] including many promoting conspiracy theories.[39][40] The company was reported to have invested $1 million on acquisition, printing and marketing for the publication of eight new books on the subject in 2013; as well as $300,000 to $400,000 on the reprints of seventeen others.[40] Authors on the subject published or re-published by Skyhorse include Richard Belzer,[38][40] Gaeton Fonzi,[38] Jim Garrison[40] Mark Lane,[40] Peter Dale Scott,[40] Roger Stone,[38] Jesse Ventura,[38] and Harold Weisberg.[38]

Criticism

Skyhorse Publishing has been criticised for printing books containing conspiracy theories and for workplace toxicity.[41] The Los Angeles Times has described it as "almost comically agnostic on the truth".[42]

In 2013, the Southern Poverty Law Center chided Skyhorse Publishing for allowing the American Free Press, whom they described as "an anti-Semitic periodical run by long-time Holocaust denier Willis Carto", to sell two of Belzer's books co-written with journalist David Wayne, Dead Wrong and Hit List.[43]

References

  1. ^ Millot, Jim. "Skyhorse Publishing: From Zero to $40 Million in 10 Years", Publishers Weekly, September 9, 2016, retrieved November 13, 2018
  2. ^ Milliot, Jim (22 September 2006). "Lyons Forms Skyhorse Publishing". Publishers Weekly. 253 (38). Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  3. ^ "Skyhorse Takes Arcade for $548,000", Publishers Weekly, July 27, 2010, retrieved July 17, 2015
  4. ^ Millot, Jim. "Skyhorse Buys Allworth Press", Publishers Weekly, November 19, 2010, retrieved July 17, 2015
  5. ^ Deahl, Rachel. "Skyhorse Acquires Sports Publishing Assets; Launches Children's Imprint", Publishers Weekly, December 28, 2010, retrieved July 17, 2015
  6. ^ a b "Skyhorse Publishing, Sweden's Norstedt Ink Licensing Pact", Publishers Weekly, October 13, 2011, retrieved July 17, 2015
  7. ^ "Fastest-Growing Small Presses, 2011". Publishers Weekly. 7 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Skyhorse, Start Complete Acquisition of Night Shade", Publishers Weekly, June 4, 2013, retrieved July 17, 2015
  9. ^ "Skyhorse Announces New Library Focused Imprint", Publishers Weekly, October 23, 2013, retrieved July 17, 2015
  10. ^ "Skyhorse and Perseus Partner to Acquire Good Books' Assets", Press Release, October 2, 2014, retrieved July 17, 2015
  11. ^ "Skyhorse Launches New Imprint, Yucca", Publishers Weekly, January 6, 2014, retrieved July 17, 2015
  12. ^ Fialkoff, Francine. "Skyhorse, Salon Join Forces on 'Hot Books'", Library Journal, July 6, 2015, retrieved July 17, 2015
  13. ^ Baltimore Author Discusses 'Living (And Dying) While Black', "NPR" October 1, 2015, retrieved October 13, 2015
  14. ^ Milliot, Jim. "Partnerships, New Hires Boost Skyhorse Publishing", Publishers Weekly, November 20, 2015, retrieved December 1, 2015
  15. ^ Milliot, Jim (April 23, 2019). "Skyhorse Forms Arcade CrimeWise". publishersweekly.com. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  16. ^ Milliot, Jim. "Partnerships, New Hires Boost Skyhorse Publishing", Publishers Weekly, November 20, 2015, retrieved December 2, 2015
  17. ^ Berman, Randee Mia. "The Sky Horse Is the Limit - A Galloping Publisher", Huffington Post, January 18, 2017, retrieved January 30, 2017
  18. ^ Milliot, Jim. "Skyhorse Publishing: From Zero to $40 Million in 10 Years", Publishers Weekly, September 9, 2016, retrieved September 17, 2016
  19. ^ Adams Otis, Ginger. “Employees at Skyhorse Publishing vote on choice to unionize”, New York Daily News, November 25, 2017, retrieved November 21, 2018
  20. ^ Adams Otis, Ginger. “Skyhorse Publishing staff narrowly loses bid to unionize”, Publishers Marketplace, December 13, 2018, retrieved November 21, 2018
  21. ^ Cader, Michael. “Skyhorse Cuts 16 Jobs, 25 Percent of New Titles”, Publishers Marketplace, April 9, 2018, retrieved November 21, 2018
  22. ^ Isaac, Catherine. "Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, April 10, 2018". www.shelf-awareness.com.
  23. ^ Briefs: Skyhorse Publishing Moves to S&S, Publishers Marketplace, July 19, 2018, retrieved November 16, 2018
  24. ^ "The New E- in Erotica". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  25. ^ "E-Book Nonfiction Books – Best Sellers". The New York Times – via NYTimes.com.
  26. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction Books – Best Sellers". The New York Times. July 29, 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
  27. ^ Alter, Alexandra; Ember, Sydney (8 July 2018). "Yet Another Book Takes on Impeachment: This Time, the Case Against". The New York Times – via NYTimes.com.
  28. ^ Alter, Alexandra; Williams, John (March 23, 2020). "Woody Allen's Memoir Is Published". nytimes.com. Retrieved March 29, 2020.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  29. ^ Martoccio, Angie (March 6, 2020). "Woody Allen's Memoir Canceled After Hachette Employees Stage Walkout". rollingstone.com. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  30. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction – Best Sellers". The New York Times. April 26, 2020 – via NYTimes.com.
  31. ^ Lippman, Daniel (October 14, 2020). "Michael Cohen Writing Book about DOJ and Trump World". politico.com. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  32. ^ Petit, Philippe (July 21, 2015). The Walk: Previously published as To Reach The Clouds. ISBN 978-1634505000.
  33. ^ "The Walk Movie (2015): Dec. 13, 2015 – added the US Blu-ray release date of January 5, 2016". Movie Insider. 13 December 2015.
  34. ^ "Skyhorse Publishes Official Motion Picture Tie-In book to Oliver Stone's New Movie, SNOWDEN". www.kusi.com. Archived from the original on September 24, 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  35. ^ Zeitchik, Steven, Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2017, retrieved October 10, 2017
  36. ^ Maughan, Shannon. "Publishers Still Mining Sales from Minecraft Titles", Publishers Weekly, January 27, 2015, retrieved November 13, 2018]
  37. ^ Italie, Hillel (May 17, 2021). "Philip Roth biography, pulled last month, has new publisher". Associated Press. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  38. ^ a b c d e f Birnbaum, Robert (November 18, 2013). "JFK Is Still Dead: Another Historiographical Moment". Virginia Quarterly Review. Charlottesville, Virginia. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  39. ^ David Corn, Trump's No. 1 Booster Goes Real Dirty to Attack the Clintons: With his new book and video project, can Roger Stone get any lower?, Mother Jones (September 18, 2015)
  40. ^ a b c d e f Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. (June 2, 2013). "For JFK Authors, the Truth Is, Conspiracy Theories Sell Lots of Books". The Wall Street Journal. New York City. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  41. ^ Nast, Condé (2020-09-17). "Skyhorse Publishing's House of Horrors". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2021-09-14.
  42. ^ Vognar, Chris (2020-10-08). "Woody Allen's publisher can't be canceled". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2021-09-14.
  43. ^ Elias, Marilyn (Winter 2013). "Conspiracy Act". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center (152). Retrieved December 22, 2014.

External links