After reading this morning’s anonymous allegations about his publishing company, Morgan James Publishing, founder David Hancock (right) sent the following statement in reply. (In the interest of full disclosure, it should also be noted that I am a former employee of the one Morgan James executive named in the allegations, publisher Rick Frishman, and we’ve remained close enough since then to have written glowing LinkedIn recommendations for each other.)
Ah, the beauty of the web! A place that we all can share our opinions and ideas. It is unfortunate that sometimes the whole truth isn’t always available, initially. But that is why comments and responses are so valuable.
I’m David Hancock, the founder of Morgan James Publishing. I founded it in 2003 with the sole intention of helping business people grow their business by the power of a book. I never imagined it would turn out as big as it is today.
Let me get to the point of my post. Publishing is changing. The existing model is broken. I know this for many reasons but also because I’ve been told by those in the industry. The big houses. Sure traditional publishing has money flowing only to the authors but the average author stands to loose the rights to the work and never see a dime more than the advance. The average advance as reported by Simba, is only $1,500. Not a big win for the authors.
The letter continues, after which Frishman has his own statement…
Publishers actually lose more than authors do. According to a similar report, publishers actually lose money on 94% of the books published each year. Our collaborative approach is a win win for both the author and the publisher. We share in the profits and like most traditional publishers bear the bulk of the risk. Certainly doesn’t mean self publishing. We are very picky about which books we will accept. I’d bet that the 3,800 authors we turned down last year don’t feel like we were a self publishing house.
Yes, we do use one of the nation’s largest printing houses, but not exclusively the on demand feature. Lighting Source does all of our printing. From large offset runs to shorter runs based on the success of the books and the current demand.
We do have a sales force and full bookstore distribution. It happens to be Ingram Publisher Services. The same company that sells for and distributes for publishers like Berrett-Koehler, Bloomberg, O’Reilly Media, and Severn House to name just a few. And it works. Right now we have books on shelves in major and minor bookstores across the country. Some even with Cover Out placement in Barnes and Noble. From authors you know, like Jay Conrad Levinson, Mark Victor Hansen, Joel Comm, Mitch Meyerson, and some that you will soon know, like Mitch Ditkoff, Tony Rubleski, Monroe Mann and more.
Rick Frishman is a brilliant industry expert. We began referring business to his firm in 2006. We didn’t require it, but the work proves itself. We’ve actually doubled our book sales through the bookstores because of his work. It wasn’t until January of 2008 that Rick came on as a partner and our publisher. Our author education model, which is designed to help the authors succeed as a business author, was in place from the beginning. Rick’s added value is just that, added value, to the authors and to us.
Okay, thanks for letting me share my opinion. We are not for everyone, but we do offer a good option for those looking for a better option. I’m happy to answer any questions, alleviate any concerns or just chat about the industry. Feel free to contact me!
Rick Frishman also emailed a statement aimed at setting the record straight:
- We get 4000 manuscripts and accept about 3%. (Last year: 131)
- We are not a POD house. Our books are offset and we have great distribition with IPS. Our books are in stores; with a POD house- they are not.
- People do not pay to publish with us.
- The EAU course was around since 2003. It is not my material and you do not have to take it.
- People do not have to hire PTA- We want them to market their book and we teach them how
- We give a portion of every book to Habitat for Humanity.
- We have a health care plan – group policy that MJ authors can sign up for.
- Authors buy books back for much less than ( the big Guys). I have to buy my books back from my major publisher for 50% off of list.