Star Power: Building Value into Your Titles and Company

August 1997
by Stephen J. Kerr

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As a mergers and acquisitions consultant in the book, audio, and video publishing industry, I value publishing companies and have the opportunity to see what works and what does not. One important element in the success of publishing companies that shows up again and again is “Star Power.”How It Works

In the motion picture business, Star Power is something that every executive understands all too well. If you have a Meg Ryan, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robin Williams, or Tom Cruise attached to your picture, or a name director like Stephen Spielberg, that movie can be pre-sold around the world for tens of millions of dollars before it is ever made. You hear terms like “Box Office” and “Bankable” used in relation to a star’s name.

In book, audio, and video publishing, your titles can have Star Power too. You may not be able to get one of the stars of the publishing constellation like Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King, Deepak Chopra, or Danielle Steel to publish through your company, but that does not mean that you cannot use Star Power to sell books. Star Power can be utilized by having a recognizable name in a title as in The Dallas Cheerleaders Workout video, The Great Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook, or even Snoopy Learns his A, B, C’s.. Star power is also at play when a known actress, such as Meryl Streep, reads a classic children’s story like The Velveteen Rabbit. As crass as some publishers feel the use of cheerleaders, candy, actors, and…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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