Monday, April 18, 2016

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: W. Terry Whalin, Morgan James Publishing and Elective Course Instructor

Please tell us about Morgan James Publishing.

For the sixth straight year, Publishers Weekly has named Morgan James Publishing as one of the fastest growing independent publishers (a small list). We publish about 150 books a year and about 30% of those books (or 50 titles) are Christian. The Christian books are sold into the Christian brick and mortar bookstores as well as the general market bookstores like Barnes & Noble.  I've been in publishing 20+ years and I've never seen a publisher like Morgan James. We are non-traditional in many ways that we operate, but we pay traditional royalties (monthly) and an advance. Also we can get the book into the bookstores in six to eight months, as opposed to the typical 18 to 24 months with other houses. 

In January, we published The Masked Saint (a Christian novel) based on the true life experience of author Chris Whaley. The Masked Saint movie released on January 8th in over 400 theaters in the U.S. Our novel was inside of about 80% of the Barnes & Nobles in the U.S. 

We receive over 5,000 submissions a year for those 150 books--yet I'm always looking for excellent proposals or manuscripts. We publish Christian nonfiction and fiction and even a few children's books, General Market nonfiction and fiction and children's books.  

More details about Morgan James are at: (a two page document)

Give us a snapshot of your classes:

Viral Marketing on Social Networks

People in publishing talk about social media, almost like it is magic---yet it can be a huge waste of time. How do you build your social media presence without costing hours of time?  I've been on twitter since June 2009---but in the last few years, my twitter followers are growing over 100 new followers a day. I have over 170,000 followers on Twitter. I have over 4800 Facebook friends (the average person has around 300) and I have over 4,000 connections on LinkedIn. Here's the key: I spend less than 30 minutes a day on social media. What is the secret sauce for it? It is what I will be teaching in this session. You can build a large social media presence but it will take consistent work, but not loads of time.

Understanding and Negotiating Book Contracts

If you get a contract, congratulations. But now what? How do you understand it and negotiate it with the editor? I've signed over 60 book contracts with traditional publishers. For the last three and a half years, I've been negotiating contracts with authors and agents every week. It is what I do for Morgan James. This session will do away with the mystique about contracts and give you practical insights that you can use with your next contract. Come and learn from my experience.

Read more about W.Terry Whalin.

Write-to-Publish meets June 8 – 11
in the Chicago area.

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