On the up · 27 March 2017

Ebookadabra: The Netflix of kids? picture books

Ebookadabra
Ebookadabra features books from several major publishers
The digital membership economy has emerged in recent years as a profitable solution to the waypeople consume digital media.

The subscription model allows businesses to form long-term relationships with customers, offering favourable pricing structures that benefit both user and platform. The children’s picture book market looks likethe latestto have been cornered.

Ebookadabrabrings together 100s of picture booksfrom major publishers like Disney and Harper Collins, offering incentives forchildren to read through reward games and collectable stickers. The app incorporates an innovative search engine that allows children to explore the library throughvisual search terms.

Business Advice caught up with founder Tom Grayson to hear more about his plans for usingthe’subscription modelto bring books to a global audience.

(1) Who are you and what’s your business?

I’m Tom Grayson, founder of Ebookadabra a Netflix? of kids’ picture books which encourages reading through a system of rewards, games and sharing.

(2) How long have you been around for?

We founded our company in 2014 and launched our product last December.

(3) How do you make money?

We sell monthly subscriptions to Ebookadabra in return for access to our library of picture books, rewards, games and other cool features.

(4)whatmakes you different and why should people take notice?

We’re focused on picture books and getting kids excited about discovering and reading them.

Our model is subscription because we want to create an experience close to a virtual library or book club without any payment hurdles that might put families off consuming books. We are digital and mobile, meaning you can access our library anywhere, anytime.

We don’t see anyone else doing this in the UK and we know that the industry is ripe for disruption. It’s important because literacy is important not just for its own sake but also because it is directly linked to poverty and inequality.

Books need to be taken to a wider audience, they need to be more diverse and they need to compete with the tonne of other activities grabbing kids’ attention.

(5) What was key in terms of getting started?

Two things. First, meeting my business partner Stphane (our CTO) who immediately grasped the vision and has the incredible skills required to turn it into a reality. Second, convincing major publishers like Harper Collins and Disney to support Ebookadabra.

ebookadabra
Ebookadabra launched publicy in December 2016
(6) What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Getting to launch! It took twice as long as expected and was three times as painful, but now we have a great content library and a beautiful reading experience that we know works with young kids.

(7) What setbacks have you had along the way?

What is worst is wasting time. We’ve made some bad decisions that have cost us some cash but worse, our time. Be that talking to the wrong people about money or making a change to the product that wasn’t justified.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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