Rick Frishman is a leading book publicist and has been for more than 30 years. He is a publisher at Morgan James publishing in New York and has been published himself 12 times. Frishman has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows including Oprah and Bloomberg TV, and has been featured in a number of trade publications and magazines. He also is the co-host of his own radio show, Taking Care of Business.
I had the distinct opportunity to sit down with Frishman and pick his brain about the in and outs of publishing according to his experience and the process followed at Morgan James. This week, we take a look at the first part of that insightful interview.
Can you tell our readers how you got your start in the industry?
Sure. I started out as a producer at New York’s WOR radio in 1975. I then founded Planned Television Arts, an organization that is dedicated to providing book promotion and other author publicity services. That gave me the opportunity to work with industry greats such as Harvey Eckhart, Richard Branson, and many others, which really whet my appetite for publishing.
The truth is that I always wanted to be an author. The problem was that I couldn’t write. Regardless, I began looking for a way that I could make it happen, which is when I joined up with Morgan James Publishing.
What can you tell us about Morgan James Publishing?
We are known as the Entrepreneurial Publisher because of our dedicated focus on helping entrepreneurial writers become published authors. Since we were founded in 2003, we’ve gone from publishing six books annually to more than 100 titles, with a backlist of more than 1,400 titles.
We only publish non-fiction books and we not only have to like the potential author and connect on a personal level, but also see eye-to-eye on the need to give back to the community. Morgan James, for instance, gives a portion of every book sold to Habitat for Humanity.
What is your competitive advantage or “thing” that sets you apart from other publishers?
Probably the speed at which we can accomplish the book projects we choose to pursue. While most writers will stand in a long line, first waiting to see if a publisher is interested (which could take up to a year), and then waiting for the book to actually be published (again, it could take 18 months to 2 years), we have a significantly shorter time line.
It normally takes us only about 10 weeks to get a book out once it has been teed up. This is practically unheard of in the industry. Despite the fast pace, we are very careful and thorough, and are known for our attention to detail. After all, we work with some of the best and brightest in the industry.
When seeking out the next big idea, is there something in particular you search for or is there something in new authors that grab your attention?
Two things: an idea and the passion to see that idea through. The key is in knowing that you don’t have to be a great writer. You just have to have a great idea or content. You can always find a writer.
I have published 12 of my own books and I didn’t write a single one. I just had a great idea and great content to relay to the ghostwriter. I passed along everything she needed to know and she put it on paper in the eloquent manner I needed. And following this tactic, I’ve sold hundreds of thousands of books.
Do you have a good success story?
I have a great one, actually. I had a wanna-be author who approached me at one of my Author 101 University sessions. He was flat broke, but he had an idea and he had a proposal. So, I introduced him to an agent who helped him publish his book, Life’s Golden Ticket. His name is Brendon Burchard. It’s likely you’ve heard of him because he turned into a New York Time’s Bestselling Author. That was in 2008.
In January 2011, Brendon wrote a book titled The Millionaire Messenger and it took him only 13 days. He delivered it to me in February and we had it published on March 5. By April, it had already been on the NY Times Bestsellers list for a month. Now, we had done quite a bit of promotion and queuing it up before it was ready, but this is still a realistic scenario.
My interview with Frishman continued to get better as talked, yielding even more fantastic advice for all you hopeful authors, including how to submit ideas, additional tips and tricks in the process, and even seminar information where anyone can hear Frishman speak. For a sneak peak on this final point, visit www.author101university.com. Come back next week as we continue our conversation.