Get Your Spin on with Spin Offs


Today is the first in a new feature, the guest post! Karl Jones is an editor at Grosset & Dunlap, the mass market imprint of Penguin Young Readers. He’s here to tell you about licensed publishing. What is it? How can you do it? Why would you want to? Ladies and germs, put your hands together for Karl Jones.


“Why would I want to write for licensed publishing?!”

While I’ve never heard this exact phrase spoken aloud, I’ve felt the dismissive stares and seen more than my fair share of raised eyebrows at publishing events from New York City to the Rocky Mountains. Some folks assume licensed publishing isn’t sexy. They’re wrong. Others think the stories are lacking in creativity. Also wrong. But more importantly for aspiring authors looking to get their feet wet before jumping head first into the wacky world of children’s literature, dismissing licensed publishing projects means many of them are overlooking some great opportunities to hone their craft and most importantly, get paid to write.

For those not in the know, licensed publishing includes an expansive side of the publishing industry in which books are made about existing creative properties such as movies, television shows, toys, video games and more. Licensed books are as diverse in content and format as their traditional trade counterparts, including fiction, non-fiction, activity, picture books, and more but they are unique from trade publishing in that the characters and worlds that drive the content already exist other media platforms, oftentimes more than one.

Here is my brief and incomplete list for what becoming an author for a licensed publishing project can do for you!

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