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Skyhorse Publishing

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

aliceshortcake

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Maddie beat me to it. Perhaps a mod could merge the Skyhorse/Arcade threads?
 

Axordil

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To play devil's advocate on the "Get out of slush free, er, for $100" card--if they generated enough funds that way to hire another reader, would that not help everyone?

It could happen...

I must be in an unusually optimistic mood today.
 

Weirdmage

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I wonder what contract terms were offered to those authors.

I've seen one author say that the contract terms with Underland stays the same after the purchase, so this looks like an outright buy. Unlike the NSB situation.
 

juniper

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Looked at this publisher's site today while reading a review of a book published by them. I have no way of knowing if it's a solid place, but their "About Us" blurb sounds promising.

"We opened our doors in 2006 committed to bringing the world a broad mix of books. With six New York Times bestsellers, more than 2,000 books on our backlist, and nearly 600 planned over the next year across our five imprints, we've been thrilled with the response we've received from the press, booksellers, and readers."


Looks as if the "$100 for a quick read" has disappeared from their submission guidelines.

"... If we are interested in seeing more than the first 50 pages, we will contact you and request the balance of the manuscript. Therefore, please refrain from submitting unfinished novels.

Send all submissions to: "submissions at skyhorsepublishing dot com". If we are interested, we will get back to you within 4-6 weeks. Unfortunately, due to the volume of queries, we will not be able to respond to everyone."
 

veinglory

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I wonder if they were best sellers when published by Skyhorse, and if so what those titles were. To me, even with several imprints, 600 hundred sounds like a lot of titles
 

Round Two

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Undercover

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Well Mandm, I'm pretty sure Skyhorse is legit and if they're giving you attention because your books are doing well, I can only see that as a good thing. I don't know what type of advance you think reasonable, but to some writers here a 1,500 dollar advance is a nice chunk of money.

If they are offering you a contract and an advance and all that and you still don't know what to do, you can perhaps email a few agents telling them about your situation. It might come of some interest to them and may be able to help you get a better advance and whatever you want to change on the contract. Good Luck to you.
 

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Undercover is offering some good advice here. I'd certainly bounce the details off an agent and ask if they are interested.

My two non-fiction books pulled a $1,500 and a $2,000 advance, but that was way back in 1988 and 1990. It seemed a lot then for small press. You hardly see that today with the lesser-known or indie houses. What you need is an agent's assistance and a proper round of submissions to the Big Five publishers.

tri
 

mandm

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no bites yet

Thank you, Triceratops.

Out of the handful of agents I approached about taking this on (even sending them the actual offer), only one replied. She said the advance and offer was not good enough to take on unless I paid her $150 an hour to negotiate the contract.

So I contacted the author of the other book they rep and asked her for the name of her literary agent thinking this does two things--tells the other author that her publisher is going to be publishing the competition and at the very least puts us on an even keel if I do acquire her agent to rep me too.

What are the royalties like? Have you had non-fiction advances recently? If so, what are they like now?

I wrote these books on a lark, to share my hobby with others. I did not realize they would be such a huge hit. It was a way of experimenting with Amazon self-publishing with a product that was not my "baby" like some of my fiction is. At the same time, I've come to have loyal readers that I don't want to disappoint and I already promised them I would release the paperback next week via Amazon CreateSpace. Waiting until April of next year to see it published would hurt.

There are other writers in my writing group and we share our experiences, good and bad, and learn from them. One of those authors has book sales that are even higher than mine for a non-fiction release. So wherever I go, she may follow.
 

mandm

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big five publishers?

You mention big five publishers. Who are they? I didn't know anyone was open to receiving unsolicited unagented submissions. Last I read they weren't. Now I'm thinking maybe they were the wrong ones.
 

Undercover

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Random House
Simon & Schuster
Penguin
Hachette Group
MacMillan
Harper Collins

Here's more on them: http://www.scottmarlowe.com/post/Publishinge28099s-Big-6-Who-are-they.aspx

But Tri's right, it might be 5 now since two of them merged, right? Didn't Penguin and Random House? Anyway, I would keep trying agents. And if you get no response, you can always try to negotiate yourself. Remember to ask a ton of questions and if you don't feel comfortable with it, you can always just keep your books the way they are. What's that old adage, why change what isn't broke?
 

CaoPaux

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Is moving their distribution from W.W. Norton to Perseus Books Group, starting next year. (Which of the three channels has yet to be revealed.)
 

triceretops

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They did get back to me and affirm that they do publish YA titles and that an agent is not needed. Distribution is a good thing and I do sniff an advance in there somewhere, maybe token or small. My agent would have to dig that out.

ETA: Just made sub, so we'll see what come of it. Notified agent.
tri
 
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Angkor

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Skyhorse

My agent has placed a number of books with Skyhorse and he speaks highly of them. He plans to try to place five of my books with them. Four of these have been in print; and one is completed, but not published.
A glance at their titles reveals heavy leaning toward nonfiction, especially sports, crafts, etc. So, I'm not fully confident I'd be a great fit (four of my books are fiction/thrillers; the fifth is nonfiction). I'll report my impressions here once I hear back.
 

Angkor

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My agent has placed a number of books with Skyhorse and he speaks highly of them. He plans to try to place five of my books with them. Four of these have been in print; and one is completed, but not published.
A glance at their titles reveals heavy leaning toward nonfiction, especially sports, crafts, etc. So, I'm not fully confident I'd be a great fit (four of my books are fiction/thrillers; the fifth is nonfiction). I'll report my impressions here once I hear back.

UPDATE: I terminated my contract with my agent months ago. I felt he'd shot his wad and wasn't able to deliver. I also didn't like what I'd read about Skyhorse and wanted nothing to do with them. I now have another agent with contacts in the traditional Big-5 publishing houses.
 

Roxxsmom

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I see a number of agents who take SF and F selling books to Skyhorse recently, ever since they bought out Nightshade (which they now own and operate). Nightshade was a SFWA approved market before it fell on hard times and stopped paying its authors, and the SFWA approved the buy out by Skyhorse as an "at least the Nightshade authors will get something then" compromise, but I notice that Skyhorse is still not on their list of approved authors, and googling the subject yields nothing about whether their becoming approved is being negotiated or in the works. I assume this means their royalties and advances are below the minimum SFWA requirements.

They also don't require an agent for submissions (neither did Nightshade back in the day), so am I right to a assume that an agent who has a number of sales to Skyhorse without also having at least some sales to big-5 subsidiaries is probably someone to keep away from?
 

oldschool

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[They also don't require an agent for submissions (neither did Nightshade back in the day), so am I right to a assume that an agent who has a number of sales to Skyhorse without also having at least some sales to big-5 subsidiaries is probably someone to keep away from?]

Yes, that would be wise. Unless you don't care about making money from your writing. Skyhorse pays very small advances, and since most books don't earn out - hence no royalties - you'd be essentially writing/working for free. Signing with an agent that doesn't sell to the Big Five - who pay lower advances than previously BTW - is most likely a waste of time.
 

MickRooney

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I can only sound out what has already been said here on Skyhorse.

A solid publisher, but advances are low. I've bought several aviation books and the quality has been good. Yes, a few editing glitches, but I see that in books from the big houses as well.

The $100 reading fee was an ill-judged move and it didn't last long before they removed it.

Definitely more a non-fiction publisher; one of their big release titles this year was CNN aviation expert David Soucie's book on MH370. Prior to release, he expressed concerns (via social media) about issues with the cover design and communication from Skyhorse when it went to pre-order. Those issues were eventually resolved, but it made me wonder if a less prominent author would have got the same response and changes made.

I can't speak from the YA fiction side in general, but the non-fiction titles from Skyhorse get their deserved marketing, but like many independent publishers, there are limits and a budget; a great deal falls on the efforts of the author. Soucie has a media platform and a PR company to promote his public speaking events, outside of Skyhorse.

I think that's the key here. If you can place a book with an independent publisher (whether via an agent or direct submission), you need to work hard on your author branding and platform. Without it, that $2000 advance may be all you see in author earnings.
 

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