Thursday, December 24, 2009

Joy Berry Books

(Post: English)
"First there was Joy Berry the children's book author. Now there's Joy Berry the brand."

Over the past 30 years, the former Northern California public school teacher and day-care center operator has written over 250 books for Scholastic, Random House, Penguin, Grolier, and Childrens Press, with titles such as Do-It-Yourself Potty Training and Help Me Be Good About Being Rude.

Though Berry, 64, has sold over 85 million books that brought in some $450 million in revenue, she felt her work had become lost among her various publishers and distributors.

Instead of renewing her licenses, she let them lapse with the goal of republishing under her own name.

She hired John Bellaud, 35, and John White, 31, as branding consultants, in 2006. In turn, they brought on Kay Koplovitz, 64, the founder of USA Network, as a consultant (and later as an equity partner.)

Now Berry, who holds a masters degree in human development, is selling her lifes work through startup publishing house Joy Berry Enterprises.

With $2 million in personal funds and a $1.6 million investment from Brock Capital, JBE hired Morty Mint, the former president of Pearson's Penguin Putnam U.S. and Canada unit as a brand consultant; contracted with a 40-person national sales team through Continental Sales; and signed a long-term contract with distributor Quebecor World.

Launched in April, JBE has released 80 of her titles, which retail for between $8 and $13 each, and plans to produce 175 more titles over the next 18 months.

White projects $2.1 million in revenue in 2009 and more than double that in 2010.

Source: BusinessWeek

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