Skyhorse Publishing reported that revenue rose 14% 2013, topping $26 million. The independent press, which was named one of Publishers Weekly's fastest growing small presses of 2010, is relatively young--it was founded in 2006 and released its first title in 2007--and closed its launch year with sales totaling $2.1 million. Now, with some 3,000 titles, Skyhorse is, founder Tony Lyons said, benefiting from its continued ability, as a small company, to be nimble in a dynamic marketplace.
Pointing to highlights of the year, Skyhorse touted its first children's bestseller, Loom Magic!, which was published in late November. The title, which Skyhorse said has 190,000 copies in print, capitalized on the 2013 craze around the children's toy, Rainbow Loom, which is a kit for making rubber-band bracelets.
Other highlights of 2014 include the acquisition of Night Shade Books, and a solid growth in digital. E-book revenue for the company was up 17%, and Lyons said that the press now has about 90% of its list digitized. (The only titles which Skyhorse does not publish in e-book are those it does not retain digital rights to, and a handful of full-color titles it has decided against converting.)
Skyhorse now has 49 full-time employees and, looking ahead, Lyons is hoping a recent distribution switch to Perseus will better position the publisher in 2014; he noted that Perseus is "better suited" to handle the large number of titles, across multiple imprints, that Skyhorse now publishes. Skyhorse will add to its list in 2014 with the launch of two previously announced new imprints: Carrel Press, which will focus on books for the library market, and Yucca Press, focusing on commercial fiction.
Speaking to concerns in the coming year, Lyons said one of his biggest worries remains about getting books in customers hands. Aside from the growing competition among content creators for peoples' attention, Lyons also frets over continuing closures in the bricks and mortar space. "Clearly, there have been a lot of stores closing, and a lot of [public relations] venues closing, and that makes [marketing your books] very challenging."
When asked whether he's worried about Barnes & Noble, and its seemingly precarious state, Lyons said he is confident that the retailer is not going away. "I worry about a lot of things as a small publisher in New York in 2014, but B&N is way down on my list of fears. I feel like they’re incredible merchandisers, and any problems that come up, [they will be able to fix]."