Since founding Morgan James Publishing in 2003, entrepreneur David Hancock has helped launch the careers of thousands of authors. Whether it’s a business- or faith-based title, a novel, or a children’s story, the books’ accolades speak for themselves. To date, Morgan James has more than 29 New York Times bestseller listings, more than 80 on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal lists, and a dozen titles on PW bestseller lists. Recently, Extra Virgin Olive Oil by David M. Neuman was featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show. Another author, Natasha Graziano (Be It Until You Become It), was featured on the cover of Glamour magazine. And those are just a few of Morgan James’s many success stories. “If an author has a goal, we know how to help them reach it,” Hancock says.
Publishing with Morgan James allows authors to have the credibility, distribution muscle, and opportunity of a traditional house but with key differences. Authors can retain control, ownership, and involvement in the process while benefitting from a faster time to market.
“We don’t offer any ‘services,’ sell any ‘packages,’ or have any upsells with an author once they are part of the family,” Hancock says. Morgan James covers all the costs of production, printing, and distribution, and they pay higher than industry average royalties as well as small advances. Through their Entrepreneurial Vision Mastermind™ platform, authors can track the progress of their book’s development from design decisions to marketing strategies.
One of the cornerstones of the Morgan James philosophy is that, more than a book or a genre, the house is investing in the authors themselves—their lived experiences, unique strengths and abilities, and distinctive voices. The Morgan James team also looks for projects that exist in conversation with broader communities. “We love publishing books that are part of something,” Hancock says, “whether it’s an entrepreneurial venture, small business, big business, nonprofit, or faith message.”
Morgan James works actively to help authors find the right readers. That support comes in the form of consumer direct marketing via social media, landing pages, keyword optimization, newsletters, and more. They seek out professional reviews for their authors and, prior to the pandemic, hosted three live events in Nashville each year to celebrate new book releases and to form deeper relationships with their authors.
“Morgan James, the first hybrid publisher to market, as reported by PW, is one of the few hybrids today that actually invest in marketing for the books we publish after publication,” Hancock says. “We are in it for the long haul.”
In addition to direct support from a qualified group of publishing and marketing experts, Morgan James believes in providing authors with the tools they need to advocate for their work and develop robust author platforms. In exchange, Hancock also has a few asks of authors: that they bring their entrepreneurial spirit to the publishing partnership, provide a fully edited manuscript, be willing to invest time and effort in “doing what successful authors do,” and commit to purchasing 2,000 copies of their work at a few dollars above print cost over the life of the agreement.
In addition to empowering authors to tell their stories, Morgan James is giving back in another way—by partnering with the charitable organization Habitat for Humanity, supporting the construction of homes, donating books, and more. Building homes and publishing books may seem like strange bedfellows, but for Hancock, it’s all about investing in community and sharing in a world of ideas and positive human endeavors.
“In the early days of Morgan James, nobody knew who we were,” Hancock says. “The independent bookstores were the only ones giving us a chance. They saw us building houses down the street from their bookstore and supporting their communities.” As is the case with authors who choose to publish with Morgan James, “the partnership with Habitat for Humanity has been a rich and rewarding experience from the very beginning.”