Meet Marji Ross
the publishing dynamo behind arguably the most successful traditional book publishing house in the country, Regnery Publishing in Washington, DC.
When Marji took over Regnery, the company had put fewer than 10 books on the New York Times bestseller list in its 50-year history. In her 20-year tenure, they added 85 more — including 14 at #1. Today, Regnery commands the respect and admiration of the industry and has built what few book publishers have ever achieved: a valuable and well-known brand.
What’s that you say — you’ve never heard of Regnery? Trust me, people in the industry know Regnery well. And if you haven’t heard of Regnery, you’ve definitely heard of their authors. Dozens are household names… Newt Gingrich, David Limbaugh, Dennis Prager, Mollie Hemingway, Mark Levin, William F. Buckley Jr., not to mention members of Congress, governors, a Second Lady and two Presidents.
Scores more have risen from obscurity to become bestselling authors and sought-after experts and speakers on the national and international scene.
Marji’s been cited as “the best marketing brain in the book business,” “the smartest book positioner in the country,” “unmatched,” “terrifying” and “a warrior princess” — monikers she is actually quite proud of!
She has also become a sought-after speaker and commentator on publishing, leadership, and marketing. Marji has appeared dozens of times on national TV and radio (CSPAN, PBS, Fox News, NPR, and numerous nationally syndicated radio shows and podcasts) and has spoken in person to large audiences eager to learn the secrets to her publishing and business success.
Marji graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in English and earned her MA in Journalism from American University in Washington, DC. When she was named president and publisher of Regnery, she became the first person outside of the Regnery family to hold that post.
Under her leadership, book promotion was reinvented. Marji and her team created marketing and publicity campaigns for her authors and books that defied conventional wisdom, overturned prevailing (and sadly outdated) strategies, and built brands that have stood the test of time.
One of the most interesting parts of Marji’s story is that she rose to become president and publisher of a leading book publishing company in an unusual way. Rather than rising through the ranks of the (insular and tradition-bound) book publishing industry, Marji cut her publishing teeth in the direct mail and newsletter business. Starting as a young editor, she rose quickly to group editor, group publisher, and senior publisher for one of the most successful newsletter companies in the country — a company that used direct response marketing principles to go from a business started in the garage of the founder to a $300 million business.
This is why she was such a potent weapon when she came to Regnery — rather than doing what everyone else in book publishing was doing (with less and less success), she applied direct marketing principles to books and authors. The results speak for themselves.
“Two things really surprised me when I moved into book publishing. First, when I met other publishers and asked them what kinds of books they published, very often they’d say ‘Oh, we publish a little bit of everything.’ And I remember thinking: ‘Why in the world would you do that? That sounds foolish — why not focus and become really good at one thing — maybe the world leader in that one thing?’ The other surprise for me was how many publishers fell in love with an author and his work. Fine, but here’s the secret: Extraordinary success comes when you fall in love with your readers.”
Meet Karen Anderson
Associate Publisher at the NY publishing house, Morgan James Publishing, Strategic Book Coach, and bestselling author
Karen has been the behind-the-scenes “book shepherd” to many of America’s top personal development, advice, and business authors. Her fingerprints are all over numerous bestsellers — as a ghostwriter, co-author, managing editor, developmental editor, Acquisitions Editor, and publisher.
In fact, during her 25+ years in the book business, Karen has worked on virtually every side of the publishing industry.
Karen also came into the book world in an unusual way. Before she entered the publishing business, Karen had another career which gave her an incredible advantage — you see, Karen was in private practice for 10 years as a Marriage and Family Therapist helping couples and families solve difficult, often intractable problems and communicate more clearly. (She has a BA from Taylor University and an MS from the University of Maryland.)
But her life changed course when Karen was introduced to the world of direct response marketing. She discovered she loved marketing. She found that strategic marketing was very similar in principle to what she had been doing as a strategic therapist to help her clients communicate better and take action to solve their problems.
After friends and colleagues repeatedly asked Karen for help with all sorts of communication and marketing dilemmas, she realized she could launch a new career helping authors, copywriters, and marketers communicate with the same clarity and empathy she brought to her counseling clients.
And because of her marketing and copywriting background, a publisher approached her to co-author a number of books for authors who had great messages but “weren’t especially gifted writers.”
It was the early days of self-publishing (and she’s an early adopter!), so she decided to self-publish her first book (back when it cost a minimum of $25k to self-publish and you had to learn all the ins and outs of book publishing on your own — from concept to design to distribution to sales).
Not surprisingly, her book was a hit and was quickly scooped up by a national publisher.
Thanks to her unique background as both a self-published author and a traditionally published author, Karen was offered a position with a national publisher as an Acquisitions Editor, looking for new authors and new books. Fast forward to today, and she’s still working with authors as Associate Publisher for NY publisher, Morgan James Publishing.
Karen’s passion is not surprising. She loves discovering and working with first-time authors — she knows that everyone has to have a “first book” and she has a keen sense for what can turn a good book into a great book. And her definition for a great book isn’t just “best seller,” it’s a book that has great sales, maximum exposure, and extraordinary impact.
And if you’re an entrepreneur? This will also be good news: Karen has worked for decades as an editor and coach with many of America’s small-business greats — helping them use books and packaged products to build their bricks-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses. Her direct response marketing skills go hand in hand with her publishing skills — making her one of the most sought-out publishing professionals today.
Over the years, Karen has helped numerous authors including Jay Abraham, Michael Hyatt, Dr. Meg Meeker, Ryan Levesque, and many others. Karen specializes in general non-fiction books including self-help, business, marketing, how-to, and faith — but consults on books in all genres.
What’s Karen’s most recent success? She co-authored an international bestseller with her husband, Steve: The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon. The Bezos Letters landed on the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists and was recognized as a “Top 20 for 2020” pick by Forbes and a “2020 Top 10” pick of the year for CEO Magazine. The book has been picked up in 16 countries (so far) for foreign-rights and subsidiary sales in Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, Ukraine, India, the UK, and elsewhere.