Uniquely, Metrostar is both a brand licensing agency and a literary agent. We understand that finding the right home for our clients’ books involves a very different set of skills and contacts than finding the right licensees for their brands. So we have separate teams working on each.

 

Brand Licensing with Metrostar

Put simply, we take intellectual property, whether that is a book, television series, character, brand or organisation and look at it in the same way consumer goods or service companies look at their products – as a brand. We’re particularly interested in the brand’s potential to stretch into new product areas. These can take many guises from books and DVDs to magazines, food, clothing, games, mobile applications, giftware, exhibitions and promotions. If a brand has that potential, we help its owner, (the licensor), to find the right partner organisations (or licensees) to realise it.

 

The aim of the exercise

At Metrostar we think of licensing as ‘brand nutrition’; developing new products which ‘feed back’ into the original. Done well, it creates a fitter, happier and healthier brand. Done poorly it creates a rather tired, fat and unappealing one. After all, you are what you eat! So we resist talk of ‘cashing in’ and ‘milking’. We help to create new products which enliven and enhance brands – and through that, we generate new revenues. The plans we create and the partners we work with are carefully crafted and selected. We talk about clients’ needs and each licensing partner needs to ‘get’ a brand before we recommend them – and we always favour product quality. The right licence in our view is the one which builds the brand, not the one which offers the short-term commercial return.

 

The secret of our success

As well as having some wonderful brands in our portfolio, we are extremely proactive, very creative and maddeningly persistent. We believe passionately in our brands’ potential and we just go on (. . . and on and on) at licensees relentlessly (but nicely!) until they understand it too.

 

The Fruits of our labours

Scattered across the Brands pages of this website you can see many of the wonderful products we have helped bring to market. We are extremely proud of the quality and creativity of our licensed products and are proud to have been nominated consistently at The Licensing Awards. We have won just twice – which we’re not overjoyed about – so we try harder!

 

Book Publishing with Metrostar

With 20 years’ experience of commissioning high-quality books for top UK publishers and 10 years’ experience as agents, we know a good deal about publishers and publishing. With our help, our clients, be they authors, illustrators, TV producers, charities or organisations, create wonderful, successful, profitable books.

 

We have a particular expertise in TV-led publishing and are known by many in the publishing industry for our work in this genre. Our unique and extensive experience of publishing TV inspired books and managing TV brands gives us invaluable insights into how programmes are commissioned and made, the issues concerning rights ownership and talent, and the policies of different channels regarding on-air trails. We have worked with over twenty different British producers from the very large conglomerates to the smallest of indies and have grown to become one of the largest British agents of publishing rights in TV programmes in the UK.

 

That said, we’re still small and agile with a relatively small portfolio of clients. We take the time and trouble to help each through every stage of the publishing process from idea to finished book, making sure that book publishing is as profitable and enjoyable as we would all wish it to be!

Claire Potter

 

Claire’s background is in brand management. After completing her law degree, Claire joined Unilever’s graduate training scheme with Brooke Bond Foods where she worked on soup, tea and mushy peas before leading the team which launched Chicken Tonight cooking sauce in the UK. She held senior marketing positions with Golden Wonder and Ladbrokes before joining BBC Worldwide as UK Marketing Director for their combined publishing businesses. Whilst there she worked on TV brands such as Teletubbies, EastEnders, Top Gear, Only Fools and Horses, Walking with Dinosaurs and Gardeners’ World. Excited by the challenge of the internet, Claire left the BBC to join the Guardian Media Group as Marketing & Product Development Director for their recruitment web site, Workthing. In 2003, Claire had a baby boy. In 2004, she gave birth to Metrostar and has never looked back.

 

Claire’s passion for brands and consumer insight underpins Metrostar’s planning processes.

Stuart Cooper

 

Stuart Cooper joined Metrostar in 2006, bringing over 20 years’ experience in book publishing. He has worked as an editor or commissioning editor for major houses including Cassell, Conran Octopus and Pavilion. Most recently he was Senior Commissioning Editor at BBC Books, where he was responsible for the Doctor Who and Torchwood lists and also worked on tie-ins for Grumpy Old Men and Top Gear. Stuart has commissioned and edited bestselling books across a wide range of subject areas, including reference, lifestyle, comedy, travel, natural history, popular culture, and adult and children’s fiction. He has also worked with some of the biggest names and brands in UK publishing, including David Attenborough, Alan Titchmarsh, Terence Conran and the Royal Horticultural Society.

 

Stuart manages Metrostar’s book publishing activities – which involves working with clients to create great book ideas and helping them to deliver them – as well as selling those ideas to publishers.