Morgan James Publishing was founded in 2003 by David L. Hancock, a mortgage banker at the time, who had written a book and been less than thrilled with the conventional book publishing process—yet pleasantly surprised by the immense power of publishing a book.

Created by an Entrepreneurial Author for Entrepreneurial Authors, Morgan James became the first hybrid publisher to blend the strength of traditional publishing with the flexibility of self-publishing.

 “Morgan James makes an extraordinary effort to help its authors to grow their own business,” comment Publisher’s Weekly’s Lynn Andriani and Jim Milliot.

David, with his bride, Susan, named the new company after their two children, daughter Morgan Renee and son Ethan James.

In just over ten short years, Morgan James Publishing has grown from publishing 6 books per year to publishing an average of 150 front list titles each year, with a backlist of over 2,000 titles.

Morgan James focuses on four book categories: Nonfiction, Fiction, Faith, and Kids.

  • Morgan James Publishing is regularly ranked by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the fastest growing publishers in the nation.
  • Morgan James ranked #44 on Fast Company’s Fast 50 for its significant accomplishments and impact on the industry over the last ten years.

Our Story

Click each toggle below to read each section of Morgan James’ story, as told through a case study of its Founder, David L. Hancock.

Publishing: A Key to Personal Credibility
Morgan James Publishing was founded as a result of its founder, David L. Hancock, a mortgage banker at the time, realizing how publishing a book could enhance the personal credibility of people who have a high level of expertise in their chosen field of specialization. As a mortgage banker, Hancock indicates he had reached a plateau in his career and was looking for a way to take his business to the next level. After spending significant time with such marketing masters as Tom Hopkins, Tony Robbins, Todd Duncan and Jay Conrad Levinson, and being encouraged by Levinson to write a book of his own, he embarked on his first endeavor in the world of book publishing. Quoting Hancock, “Publishing a book helped me to double my bottom line in less than eight months, and I enjoyed the positive reinforcement that came from my book helping other people. But the traditional publishing process was a terrible experience.”

For his third book, Hancock decided to self-publish, but was not satisfied with that process, either, especially the lack of credibility of a self-published book as compared to a book published under a recognized imprint. He says, “I knew there had to be a better way. I had been helping friends and associates through the process of writing and publishing their own books based on my experiences, and I decided that I could offer more effective help if I started my own publishing company.”

In 2006 Hancock met his mentor, Rick Frishman who he admits taught him what he didn’t know about publishing. Frishman, founder of Planned Television Arts (PTA), became a great referral source of entrepreneurial authors looking for a better solution in publishing. PTA also became a great source for current Morgan James authors to gain better access to traditional media outlets. It was a match made in heaven. Frishman subsequently retired in 2008 from PTA and came on board as Publisher for Morgan James. Immediately Morgan James started to play in a more public space with stories showing up in the trade journals like Publishers Weekly, Yahoo! Business, etc. Since then, Frishman has continued to guide Hancock and Morgan James down a clear, traditional, yet entrepreneurial path. Under his leadership enhancements like higher eBook royalties and the implementation of paying advances to the authors became great additions to what Morgan James was already doing.

Helping Others Help Themselves
While still pursuing his daytime job as a mortgage banker, Hancock began to lay the groundwork for a new publishing business whose sole vision was to work with professionals to take their businesses to the next level by authoring and publishing a book, in the same way he had done for his mortgage banking career. Hancock comments, “I was more interested in how a book could help its author than I was in selling a lot of books.” Thus, Morgan James Publishing, named after Hancock’s two children, Morgan Renee and Ethan James, was born, and shortly afterwards, Hancock retired from his mortgage banking career to devote his full attention to his new publishing venture.

Changing the Model
Hancock realized that a key to his success would lie in his ability to change the traditional publishing model by printing more books to order and carefully managing them through the distribution channel to maximize visibility for the author while at the same time minimizing the costs of inventory and returns. He says, “This is where Lightning Source came in. I was not only intrigued by their innovative business model, but I was also attracted by their relationship with The Ingram Book Group, a well-established, well-respected entity I wanted to ultimately establish a relationship with myself. By partnering with Lightning Source early on, as my business grew I would be well positioned to expand that relationship to Ingram when the time was right.” Additionally, Hancock liked the fact that by working with Lightning Source, not only would he be able to produce books to order, but he could also work through Lightning Source to produce longer offset runs of books when appropriate.

He adds, “Our primary objective is to publish good books. To do that, of course, we need to help our authors write good books. But we also need to manage the inventory in such a way that we can be profitable. Lightning Source gives us a good mix of offset and print to order to keep just ahead of the demand, keeping our expense outlay to a minimum.”

By partnering with Lightning Source and Ingram Publisher Services, Morgan James has dramatically reduced the time it takes for a book to go from manuscript to market. With Lightning Source as the production arm, Morgan James can also take advantage of extensive services and distribution options in the United States, Canada and The United Kingdom that complement the IPS offerings.

One recent title, The Millionaire Messenger, by Brendon Burchard, literally went from manuscript to #1 New York Times Best Seller in less than 60 days! “Morgan James Publishing is a great example of how publishing should work,” said J. Kirby Best, former Lightning Source CEO. “There is absolutely no reason why an author should have to wait nine months to a year to see a book in print. We are proud of the role we have played in helping Morgan James and its authors achieve success.”

New York Times rankings are based on figures of almost 4,000 bookstores and of wholesalers serving 50,000 hardcover retailers and 60,000 paperback retailers (gift shops, department stores, newsstands, supermarkets). The numbers are statistically weighted to represent sales in all such outlets nationwide.

Hancock comments, “Some of the more traditional publishers print 5-10,000 books, ship them to stores and hope they sell, with an industry average of 40% or more being returned to the publisher. My banking background says that is ludicrous. With Lightning Source and IPS, we have strategically placed books in bookstores in partnership with those stores, keeping our average returns at less than 25%. And we achieve great credibility for our authors. The model has worked well for us. It makes more financial sense to manage our distribution effectively than it does to waste money on printing and shredding like much of the industry does.”

Strategic Advantage of Strong Author Relationships
One core value of the Company is having strong and mutually beneficial relationships. The leadership has spent years developing many of the key business relationships that have allowed the Company to get its books in bookstores and obtain widespread Web coverage. The intentional development of positive relationships with people in all facets of our business is unique in the industry and translates into a very real strategic advantage.

Entrepreneurial Authors Sign On to Entrepreneurial Model
Morgan James has trademarked the term Entrepreneurial Publisher™ because of its unique collaborative approach with authors and other publishers, treating them as partners rather than solely as intellectual property suppliers or competitors. Hancock says “My Guerrilla Marketing training teaches me to eliminate competition by creating opportunities for collaboration”.

The model is obviously working, with several well-known traditionally published authors, including Rick Horrow (When the Game Is On the Line), Jay Conrad Levinson (Guerrilla Marketing), Rick Frishman (Author 101), Dr. Robert Anthony (Beyond Positive Thinking), Brendon Burchard (The Millionaire Messenger, and Gordon D’Angelo (Vision), having chosen to publish titles with Morgan James because of the company’s innovative way of doing business, according to Hancock. The firm has signed a multi-book deals with Levinson and Frishman that will result in many great books for years to come.

Higher Author Royalties
Morgan James’s authors are paid a higher royalty than is typical for the publishing industry. Every author controls the rights to his or her book and may publish it through other channels, or lift it entirely from the Company and turn it over to another publisher, at the author’s discretion.

The Company encourages its authors to take their material and offer it in other media, such as audio books and video programs. Authors are free to publish these materials with the Company or publish them elsewhere. One of the Company’s biggest success stories is with Robert Anthony’s book, Beyond Positive Thinking. The audio book version, which the Company also publishes, sells for $119, and is selling over $65,000 worth of inventory every month.

The Company’s founder David Hancock and Knowledge Exchange Press Executive Publisher David Garfinkel, a former McGraw-Hill Executive, have extensive backgrounds in internet direct response marketing, and the principles and techniques of this discipline have had a strong influence on the marketing and other business practices of the company.

Selective Publishing based on Content, Character and Family Values
The Company is very selective in what it publishes, and one of the Company’s rules of thumb is that the Company will not publish anything the founder, David Hancock, would not be comfortable showing his children.

However, the Company does not hesitate to publish titles outside the norm of the traditional publishing industry, such as Mark Joyner’s Confidential Internet Intelligence Manuscript, a $60 book of only 92 pages.

“The price is high but the value is there. A steady stream of monthly sales underlines that assertion. We expect to pioneer new types of products, compared to what you see now and would typically expect from a book publishers, and we know that success breeds imitation. So in that way we expect to broaden the vistas of the publishing industry at large.”

Multiple Imprints
Its manufacturing and distribution flexibility has also allowed the publisher to launch several new imprints, including:

Morgan James Nonfiction, providing readers the inspiration and guidance they need to be successful.
Morgan James Fiction, focusing on good, clean stories to entertain, encourage, inspire and even educate the public.
Morgan James Faith, grouping the best of our Christian Faith books for distribution to world supporting the ultimate cause.
Morgan James Kids, designed for books dealing geared to and for our younger generation.
Guerrilla Marketing Press, which focuses on the very successful Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerrilla Marketing Brand giving business unconventional methods to reach their conventional goals.

“These five imprints serve our mission in a very valuable way”, says Hancock, “because each one targets a growing, information-hungry audience known to buy a lot of books.”

Hancock’s vision became a reality. In just over 10 short years, he has taken Morgan James Publishing from a start-up to a $20 million dollar business.

Morgan James operates globally and has hundreds of titles in its inventory, including Hancock’s own The Entrepreneurial Author co-authored with Jay Conrad Levinson.

In order to maintain a close and personal working relationship with its authors, the company has set up a series of satellite offices across the U.S. for meetings with its clients. The entrepreneurial nature of the business, along with the entrepreneurial bent of many authors, makes it advantageous to have face-to-face mastermind sessions to further business.

Hancock has also realized his goal of becoming affiliated with Ingram, using the company’s Ingram Publisher Services (IPS), a full service option for publishers who want warehousing, sales, and fulfillment services for their titles. Under the program, Ingram stocks the books, solicits and takes orders, ships the books, collects payments and manages orders to outlets of all sizes, including chain retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and Powell’s, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and others. Over 98% of retailers in North America alone.

Imprints

Morgan James Nonfiction

works that provide readers with the inspiration and guidance they need to be successful; authors whose book provides assistance in the pursuit of his or her career, the development of his business, or the expansion of his vision

Guerilla Marketing Press

focused on the very successful Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerrilla Marketing Brand, providing businesses with unconventional methods to reach their conventional goals

Morgan James Fiction

focusing on good, clean stories to entertain, encourage, inspire and even educate the public

Morgan James Faith

grouping the best of our Christian Faith books for distribution to world supporting the ultimate cause

Morgan James Kids

designed for books dealing geared to and for our younger generation

Locations

Headquartered in New York. 

newyork

5 Penn Plaza, 23rd Floor, Manhattan, New York, 10001

Our Madison Square Garden Headquarters is located at 5 Penn Plaza on 33rd Street and 8th Avenue. This Midtown West office is across the street from Penn Station, only a block away from your subway stop.

Madison Square Garden is also across the street from our Headquarters. You can go right from your visit to watching the Knicks and Rangers play. Penn Plaza is next door and offers you a huge selection of shopping, dining and lodging options.

Administration offices in Virginia.

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11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, Virginia, 23606

Our Oyster Point office space is located at 11815 Fountain Way in Newport News, Virginia. In the heart of City Center where many events take place at Fountain Park. Shopping, retail, and dining conveniences are easily accessible from the office. City Center is steps away and popular restaurants such as Red Robin, Texas Roadhouse and Salsa’s are in close proximity.

 

Acquisitions office in Nashville. 

nashville

725 Cool Springs, Suite 600, Franklin, Tennessee, 37067

Located in the heart of the edge city of Cool Springs in Franklin, with a stunning lobby and reception area, scaled wood finishes and chrome accents. Located in the Highwoods III building, close to I-65, at Cool Springs II. Located just outside of the prestige Nashville metro area, Williamson and Davidson counties. The office is close to amenities such as shops, hotels and restaurants.

 

Acquisitions office in Melbourne, Australia.

melbourne

Level 32, 367 Collins St, Melbourne, 3000

Located on the top floor of one of Melbourne’s most prestigious addresses, 367 Collins Street. Positioned in the heart of Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD), this centre features floor to ceiling windows showcasing sweeping views of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), also known simply as “The G”, Port Philip Bay and towards Geelong. This location provides seamless connectivity with direct access to train, tram and bus transport. The Centre is within 400 meters of Flinders Street Station and has excellent tram access routes to the south, south-east and western suburbs.

The 367 Collins Street Centre is immersed in Melbourne’s city life with everything at our doorstep including retail amenity, eateries, theaters and gym. This location is in a contemporary environment in the heart of the City’s financial district.

Acquisitions office in Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA.

15300 Croydon Drive, Suite 300, Surrey, British Columbia,V3Z 0Z5

In the heart of south Surrey, the tech-powered office space at 15300 Croydon Drive positioned in Fraser Valley’s thriving business hub. Right off of Highway 99, this great location offers local professionals a contemporary space to work and meet with authors in a sophisticated setting. The building’s diverse tenant roster includes attorneys, accountants, financial professionals and more.

Grab coffee at Tim Horton’s or Starbucks just minutes away. And for lunch, you can take a short drive to popular food chains like Subway or treat clients to a great selection of upscale eateries including Tap Restaurant and The Keg Steakhouse & Bar.

Associations & Accolades

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) Dun & Bradstreet business information: D&B D-U-N-S Number: 14-998-4655 Publisher’s Weekly’s Fastest Growing Press Fast Company Magazine #44 on the Fast50 Google Marketing Partner Habitat For Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg Building Partner Habitat For Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg Board of Directors Ingram Publisher Services First High Volume Title Publisher NASDAQ – Opening Bell Ceremony December 17, 2008 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS): 511130 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC): 2731, 2741

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