Under-the-Radar Publisher and Author

By Natasha Sinel

I love this month's YAOTL topic—under-the-radar authors. Let's face it, as an author, unless your book is one of the lead titles at a major traditional publisher, you're pretty much guaranteed to fall at least slightly under-the-radar.

But some of the smaller lesser-known independent presses put out amazing books. And while these publishers do have the editorial, production, distribution, and marketing talent, they just don’t have the same kind of marketing dollars to spend that the big houses have. So that’s why it’s so important to seek out books published by them and make sure we get them into the hands of readers who will love them.

Sky Pony Press, the children's imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, which is the fastest growing independent publisher, published my debut novel THE FIX. Sky Pony, under the leadership of Editorial Director Julie Matysik, is publishing some really powerful risky YA, as well as fun bread-and-butter type books like Minecraft fiction, magic and joke books, as well as middle grade non-fiction history books.

As part of its newer marketing efforts, Sky Pony recently launched The Sky Pony Express, a blog that will feature daily content, including giveaways, interviews, chats, and much more. I’m really excited about this, especially as a show of Skyhorse’s support for its children’s imprint.

So, as part of our under-the-radar theme, I’d like to call out one of my favorite books of 2015, which was published by…you guessed it, Sky Pony Press.

It’s a novel in verse told from dual points of view. The language is gorgeous, the characters are believable, relatable, and lovable, and the story is devastating yet hopeful.

Here it is: Marie Jaskulka’s THE LOST MARBLE NOTEBOOK OF FORGOTTEN GIRL AND RANDOM BOY. It’s different. It’s brave. It’s beautiful. Take my word for it. Or don't. Read it for yourself.

Natasha Sinel writes YA fiction from her home on a dirt road in Northern Westchester, NY. She drives her kids around all afternoon, but in her head, she's still in high school, and hopes that no one near her can read minds. Her first novel THE FIX, released from Sky Pony Press in September 2015.


  1. Great topic for a post! My YA novel is coming out this fall from a small press. Editorial work has been amazing, but the marketing challenges are ahead. Congrats on The Fix, and thanks for recommending The Lost Marble Notebook - I'm going to look them both up right now!

    1. Thanks for the support, Kristin! And good luck with your fall release!

  2. This sounds interesting. I'll add The Lost Marble Notebook to my TBR pile!

  3. My first book came out with a small publisher--and I'm truly glad it was.


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