Publishing in the Time of Cancel Culture with Tony Lyons

Anna David
2 min readDec 29, 2022
Publishing in the Time of Cancel Culture with Tony Lyons

Tony Lyons, the CEO of Skyhorse Publishing, is not one to shy away from controversy.

He’s known, in fact, for picking up books from other publishers when the authors are “cancelled.”

I’ll be honest…I was scared to record this conversation because the times we live in — where anything you say if you don’t subscribe to a certain way of thinking can be an opportunity for others to take you down. But the fact is, I believe that everyone should have a right to say what they believe, even if it’s not what I believe, and that a mob mentality approach to scandals doesn’t help anyone.

And so we got into all of it — how Skyhorse picked up Woody Allen’s memoir after Hachette cancelled it, the ways some of his books have lost “likes” when they’ve been squashed, the money Vanity Fair must have spent punishing him for the Allen book and more. We also talked about which media opportunities can really move the needle in terms of book sales, why newsletter lists matter, how editorially influenced the New York Times bestseller list is and just how few sales you can have to make it on the list…among many other topics.

Brace yourself for this one.

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Anna David

NY Times bestselling author of 8 books, publisher, TV/TED talker. Want to launch a life-changing book?