Consulting and agenting for IP brands and authors
Our approach to IP brand management cuts through the complexity of telling and selling stories across international borders
Pixie B is an agency and consultancy based in Hong Kong. We offer strategic insight and bespoke research on aspects of the publishing, film, television, gaming and education sectors in China and East Asia. We support multinational companies, entrepreneur-owned businesses, and government bodies in their business planning, and offer a full range of agency services to implement and manage their plans in the complex China market. We also support companies and individual authors looking to secure international opportunities for their content.
Specialising in China's booming audiobook and podcasting marketplace, and book publishing industry veterans, we pride ourselves on providing targeted, practical advice that cuts through the noise and complexity of telling and selling stories across international borders. We occupy a market leading position in placing narrowly focused international content in this dynamic sector.
The company was founded by Jo Lusby and Michelle Lombard in 2017. A fluent Mandarin speaker, Jo is a leading international expert on selling and publishing IP in China as well as taking unique stories from Asia to be published internationally. Michelle is a seasoned corporate executive and experienced CFO with a proven track record in major multinational magazine, news, and educational publishing businesses around Asia.
And the story behind our name? It's a play on words between Chinese and English, and it highlights the way that the same stories will be read differently between different cultures and languages. If you want to know more, ask us!
The Pixie B consultancy offers narrowly targeted project-based research that offers strategic insight, market intelligence, and specific recommendations for business planning. Our network of associates have decades of in-market expertise across print and audiobook publishing, film, television, education, and online gaming.
Our clients come to us for intelligence that enables them to reach new audiences, or publish into new formats. We provide businesses with end-to-end management and agency representation services that help identify areas of commercial opportunity, and ensure plans can reach their full potential. We help companies to navigate China's complex regulatory environment, and encourage our clients to think broadly about the commercial potential for their IP and identify new routes to market and revenue opportunities.
Through our author representation practice, we partner with established agencies around the world, including Asia specialists Peony Literary Agency and others. We work with a wide range of authors, specialising in stories that travel between Asia and the west, whether they be Chinese fiction in translation or English non-fiction.
Jo is a fluent Mandarin speaker and veteran of the international publishing industry in Asia.
Prior to co-founding Pixie B, Jo was North Asia head of the world’s largest consumer book publisher, Penguin Random House (and, prior to its merger, Penguin Books). Between 2005 and 2017, she launched and managed operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, and Hong Kong, and established a market-leading, award-winning local publishing and sales business across the English, Chinese, and Korean languages. During her tenure, her authors won major international prizes including the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Man Asian Literary Prize. She published bestsellers ranging from the #1 children's hit Peppa Pig in Chinese, the autobiography of tennis sensation Li Na, and the international award-winning novel Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong in English.
Jo is a high-profile member of the regional business community, and is the co-chair of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival and chair of the British Chamber's creative industries committee. Jo is regularly quoted by international media outlets including The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Economist and The SCMP on aspects of the publishing and IP industries in China.
Jo is a mentor for Fruits in Suits and a volunteer for the TAILS animal rescue organisation. She is a qualified PADI Scuba Dive Master and a lapsed but enthusiastic violinist. Jo first moved to Asia in 1995, initially teaching English in Kamaishi, Japan and Nanjing, China, before moving to Beijing to work in magazine publishing in the year 2000.
Michelle is a seasoned corporate executive with a well-earned reputation for getting things done, also known as organisational transformation, growth, and leadership.
A specialist in the media, luxury, and education sectors, Pixie B co-founder Michelle was previously CFO for Tatler Asia Group, the region’s leading luxury group, where she was responsible for finance, operations, and strategy across the company’s digital, print and experiences businesses. She was also President of Asia Emerging Markets for Pearson, the world’s largest education company, and Asia-Pacific CFO for The Financial Times. In between, she has developed a practice supporting established businesses and start-ups ranging from FinTech disruptors to children’s luxury retailers and travel publishers.
Michelle thrives on the challenge of leading and supporting organisations as they undergo the process of change, strategic review, repositioning, and growth. A qualified accountant and MBTI Instructor, Michelle began her career with PwC in her native South Africa.
In her spare time, Michelle is a passionate advocate for animal welfare and LGBT+ causes. Michelle has been a non-executive board member and is treasurer for the international NGO, Animals Asia since 2021, working to protect Asiatic Moon Bears and advocating for the end to the practice of bear bile farming. She is also a volunteer for TAILS animal rescue charity in Hong Kong. A regular speaker at industry events and conferences on organisational transformation and innovation, Michelle is a mentor for the Pink Alliance QSA x Fruits in Suits student programme and a volunteer for the Hong Kong Gay Games 2023. A qualified PADI Scuba Rescue Diver, Michelle loves travel, photography, great food and fine wine (in no particular order). Michelle previously spent nine years living and working in the UK, and has lived in Hong Kong and Singapore since 2006.
Marysia is the founder and principal of the Peony Literary Agency. With extensive experience of publishing and agenting in both the UK and Asia and a degree in Chinese, Marysia set up Creative Work in Hong Kong in 2007, becoming one of the first author representation agencies in Asia. In 2010 she established Peony Literary Agency, representing a wide range of fiction and non-fiction authors. She was the first agent to represent the Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan, selling worldwide English language rights for his novel Sandalwood Death, and is one of few agents in the Asian field specialising in sales of copyright both in and out of Asia, selling both as an agent to major international markets, and as a sub-rights agent into China.
Freya is a fluent Chinese speaker and a native of the UK. As Agency Assistant, Freya is responsible for communications, translation, and general admin for the company and on behalf of clients. A graduate of Edinburgh University's Chinese department, Freya previously spent a year living in Taiwan, where she developed fluency in Complex and Simplified Chinese and a liking for Taiwanese films and hiking. She went on to specialise in Chinese film and literature in her last year at university. Outside of work, Freya volunteers with Splash, an NGO in Hong Kong teaching domestic helpers how to swim.