Liang is a longtime Friend of the Beat and we can tell you that he has informally been in this position for quite a while. And given his background in everything from events to publishing — he launched Diamond’s book distribution arm, Diamond Book Distributors — he has a lot of information to share.
According to the PR:
‘’After 30+ years in this industry that have given me so much, I wanted to take my passion and expertise and partner with companies to help them grow and develop new business,’’ said Kuo-Yu Liang, founder, Ku Worldwide. “In a nutshell, I can help companies make money, save money, and save time.”
Kuo-Yu began his publishing industry career as a sales rep for Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, working his way up to Associate Publisher at Del Rey. Among the authors Kuo-Yu published were Terry Brooks, Anne McCaffrey, Philip Pullman, R.A. Salvatore and J.R.R. Tolkien. In his position as Director of Licensing and Business Development, Kuo-Yu acquired licenses to publish original IP for Star Wars, Halo, Major League Baseball, and Peanuts.. Fun fact: while working at Random House Kuo-Yu met with Jeff Bezos to discuss a new internet bookstore Jeff was building called Amazon.com.
Kuo-Yu joined Diamond Comics in 2003 to launch a new division called Diamond Book Distributors. As VP Sales, Marketing and Business Development, Kuo-Yu built a new business from the ground up to distribute books, collectibles, comics, games, graphic novels and manga into bookstores, ecommerce, libraries and schools, Kuo-Yu launching an international division with teams in Australia, Canada, China, Japan, and the UK with customers in 71 countries. In 2006 Kuo-Yu launched the Diamond Kids Group to develop a new market for middle-grade and young adult graphic novels. Fun fact: while working at Diamond, Kuo-Yu met with Greg Topalian at Reed Exhibitions to discuss the idea of launching a new consumer event that became New York Comic Con.
In 2018 Kuo-Yu joined ReedPOP, a division of Reed Exhibitions, as Global Director, Business Development. In this role Kuo-Yu worked with a portfolio of events including BookExpo, Comic Con Africa, Comic Con Seoul, Emerald City Comic Con, MCM, PAX West and Singapore Comic Con. When COVID-19 devastated the event industry in 2020, Kuo-Yu added Global Director of Sales to his role and led the team to transition to selling digital media for the ReedPOP digital portfolio of websites including Dicebreaker, Eurogamer, Nintendo Life and Rock Paper Shotgun.
Kuo-Yu (he/him) is a board member at the non-profit Book Industry Charitable Foundation, and is an advisor to Shelf Awareness and The Sharjah International Book Fair. Kuo-Yu is a past advisory member to the Bertelsmann Synergy Board, Lucasfilm Licensing and ReedPOP Global Strategy Group.
Kuo-Yu is an immigrant from Taiwan, where his mother was a movie star. He now lives in Seattle with his wife, the romance novelist and Amazon Book Review senior editor Adrian Liang, his daughter and cosplayer Mia, a dog named Cashew and cats Chowder, Mochi and Tonks.
Those looking to hire Liang’s expertise can contact him at email@example.com.