Kuo-Yu Liang, a former executive at ReedPop and a key figure in the growth of graphic novel publishing and distribution, has launched Ku Worldwide, a consultancy firm offering guidance and industry analysis designed to support companies serving the international pop culture market.
A longtime book publishing veteran, Liang, (or Ku, as almost everyone in the industry calls him), has more than 30 years experience in book publishing, trade book distribution, graphic novel and comics distribution, and large-scale events and exhibitions. He began his career as a sales rep at Random House in 1991 before rising to Del Rey associate publisher in 1995, where he published such authors as Terry Brooks, Anne McCaffrey, and Philip Pullman, as well as licensing original content for Star Wars, Halo, Peanuts, and other notable brands.
In 2002 he was recruited by Diamond Comics Distributors, the dominant distributor of comics in North America, to launch Diamond Book Distributors, a new business unit focused on the book trade, graphic novels and pop culture merchandise. Appointed DBD v-p sales, marketing and business development, Liang was responsible for building a book trade distribution infrastructure from scratch that could deliver pop culture collectibles, games, graphic novels, and manga to an international marketplace of bookstores, libraries and schools. Later he launched Diamond Kids Group, an early effort focused on the fast growing market for middle grade and young adult graphic novels.
In 2018 Liang joined ReedPop, a division of Reed Exhibitions that oversees consumer pop culture events around the globe, working with such ReedPop events as BookExpo, Comic Con Africa, Comic Con Seoul, Emerald City Comic Con, Sinapore Comic Con, and others. Later as ReedPop global director of sales, he worked to transition his team to selling digital media after events were halted by the Covid-19 pandemic. He left ReedPop in November 2020.
Liang said, ‘’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. In a nutshell, I can help companies make money, save money, and save time.”