Yeah, Dark Imperium was surprisingly low on the model name-dropping, particularly compared to some of the short works from previous years which were obviously meant to tie in with particular releases.
My suspicion is that BL is probably not meant to act as a direct means of marketing the miniature range, at least not in the narrow sense of "put out new Night Lord books, rake in the new Night Lord player bucks". From what BL authors and editors have said about how books are assigned or proposed, I don't think they're really organised in that way, or (less charitably) organised sufficiently to do that sort of thing even if they wanted to. There was mention of how part of the reason that BL turned away from being intimately tied to miniature releases was that someone at GW realised that there was no possibility for a new Eisenhorn or equivalent work to be created under that business model, which in turn restricted their potential audience. On some level they clearly recognise that there's money to be made outside of simply pushing specific miniatures.
I reckon the 'softer' version of that idea is true though, that GW sees BL as a way of promoting GW more generally and luring new consumers in. If they only buy books, great, they wouldn't have bought GW stuff otherwise so there's a customer. If they do move from books to minis, even better, just as with everything else non-miniature related they put out or licence. Under that model, yeah, there's probably no expectation from GW proper that BL has to be perfectly self-sufficient and making killer profits year-on-year because it's serving this other function as well.
Edited by Sandlemad, 18 January 2020 - 07:59 PM.