Challenge,  Licensing,  publishing

Licensing Expo First Notes

Better Than I Had Expected…

The size of the Expo was down from 2019, which was no surprise. Takes the larger companies months to plan an exhibit, and months before this, such as last fall and January, we were still in uncertainty as to events coming off the pandemic. But yet a lot of them still made it, in one form or another, a lot of mid-range and smaller companies as well. So 250 booths this year, where in 2019 there were around 400. But still amazing.

WMG Publishing had me, Kris, and Allyson at the show. We did not have a booth and now never will. We figured out what we need to do as IP holders and how to do it. Does not involve a booth. We did have a suite where every night 10-12 writers, some artists, and some gaming folks sat around and talked about the show for a few hours. Going forward we will always have a suite.

Walking was as expected. Great distances. And I got up early for me all three days, making it into the show in the first hour and staying until the very end each day. Of the 250 booths, over the three days I talked to someone in a good 150 of them. Sometimes just a question, sometimes full meetings.

So off and on over the next week I will detail out some of the stuff that happened. But tonight I want to talk about the same thing I talked about in this weeks Motivational Monday videos.

Just like everyone else, going into this show I had a very hard time seeing the future of publishing and writing and owning IP. Very hard time after the last two years. It is why Kris and I have not started back up the Decade Ahead classes. Just couldn’t yet see it.

Tough to see a decade ahead when all I was doing (and everyone I knew) was looking backwards. Now granted, we all have reasons to stare back, be afraid, be sad for all of those we have lost. No doubt at all.

But that is not a way to go into the future.

So what became clear, within the first hour or so, was that no one, and I repeat, no one at the show was looking backward. They were there to make deals and work on the future.

Three full days I got to bathe in that feeling of positive, looking forward, planning for the future. And let me tell you, it snapped me out that walking backwards. I have never been good at looking at history, anyway. One reason I have such a sucky memory. I just don’t care what happened behind me, I have (until the last two years) always looked forward.

Well, I’m back walking in the right direction. And let me tell you, it feels fantastic!!

As I said, I will be back here with a ton more details over the next week or so about the Licensing Expo.

But a few observations.

— The writers on the floor from the classes were THE ONLY WRITERS there, even though every one of us has massive IP available, and half the stuff at the show originated from books.

— Burroughs Publishing and a young adult publisher were there and had booths. One traditional publisher was there with four middle grade books and that was it. Burroughs had a slot machine licensed on one of their characters in their booth.

— Indie writers can make a fortune if they learn this show and what licensing is all about. Indie writers of all sizes. (Traditional writers are dead in the water.)

— To learn this, you must come your first year and just get used to this. Spend three days on the floor walking and talking. It takes one full year for all this to sink in, then your second year you can start making contacts and appointments ahead of time. But one year first.

— I will explain in the next few weeks how meetings go, how to get a presentation ready for a person you would like to partner with in some area. You have the IP, they do the manufacturing and distribution. Great partnership.

— Writers must start opening their minds to what is possible. Booths are made up of display and tables and chairs for meetings. On one booth, I took some pictures of just one display and there were over 20 plus things that I could license for one of our series or another. Or do myself POD. The amazing thing is that we writers are great with imagination, yet we don’t know enough about licensing and copyright to imagine what products could come from our IP. That is part of going one year, taking a billion pictures, talking until you are almost can’t speak, and walk until your feet ache.

But most of all, come next year to live for three days in a world that is looking forward. That alone will change your life after the last few years we have all been through.