Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

How To Approach a Licensee?

Tough Question…

And honestly, I don’t know the answer to that exactly because it will be different for every license you give.

And different for every project you have.

And different for every licensee.

Some approach you, others you approach through meetings. So no right answer.

For example, you might have a really nifty young adult series with teddy bears, so you would research and set up meetings with teddy bear companies. But you wouldn’t do that with your tech-filled sf series. (Unless it was a very strange series.)

Robert Jeschonek wrote an amazing story about sentient underwear that was first published in Fiction River and then I bought it as a reprint for Pulphouse. Got a hunch that story will be reprinted a lot. That story might have some marketing traction in the apparel segment. Just saying.

So I think the answer is first, get ready. You need to know what your brand is, how to do an effective Brand Guide (Brand Style Guide), and the companies you want to partner with. In other words, research and learning.

Plus you need to have a lot of stuff under control and in place. The art, the publishing side, and most importantly your business.

And you need to make sure you are not hurting your own brands, or selling all rights for some stupid reason. The new world of writing stories is fantastic.

And without limits.

And honestly, I haven’t felt this excited about writing in a couple decades at least.





  • Philip

    Dean, can you post a link to buy the issue with the underwear story? I’ve been reading a lot of weird and bizarre fiction lately and that sounds oddly in my wheelhouse. Thanks.

    • dwsmith

      Philip, any issue of Pulphouse, actually. That is what Pulphouse Fiction Magazine is all about. You can get it in the first issue of Pulphouse and Jeschoneck has a story in every issue, all of them weird. Just look on Amazon under Pulphouse Fiction Magazine.

  • Jason M

    I just got into a, um, *spirited discussion*, on Twitter about avoiding tradpub contracts so that you can retain ALL your licensing rights.
    Unfortunately, it was 20 tradpubbed romance authors vs. me (solid indie). Several insisted that Amazon was more damaging to authors than traditional publishing ever was.
    I was like, “You’re not seeing the BIGGER PICTURE here.”
    They didn’t care. In the end, I backed away quietly. You can lead a donkey to water but you can’t stop him from being an ass.

    • dwsmith

      The lectures are very, very clear. Dry, but good clear graphics. I would suggest every writer watch them, but I know that will never happen. About a semester’s worth of legal learning.

      I just watched the one in that series on Work for Hire since I have a special interest in that for all the Star Trek and Men in Black and Spider-Man copyright work I did, getting it back. Spot on the money and confirmed what I knew and added even more ammunition for me, actually. (grin)

      So thanks. I sure wish most writers would watch those. They would handle their careers differently if they did. And make more money. But after a couple of decades now of trying and failing to get writers to learn the basis of their own business, I hold out little to no hope.