CEO Series

This M’sian Startup Is Going Global By Simply Turning Kids Into Storybook Heroes

  • Amazing Fables is a Malaysian publisher of customisable children’s story books.
  • Founded in 2017 and launched in 2018 by entrepreneur Warren Leow, Amazing Fables lets buyers pick and choose from an array of themes such as animals, magic kingdoms, and heroic adventures, and customise each book to fit the name and look of the reader.
  • They deliver internationally, with pricing for their books starting at US$24.99.

Despite the proliferation of smartphones and readily available internet, research has shown that there still remains an appetite among readers for printed material. This goes especially true for young readers, with appetites for printed books still going strong over recent times.

All this only goes to show that despite what people think, there is still opportunity in print and actual paper-based reading material.

Seeing an opportunity, Warren Leow, an active entrepreneur and VP at creative content giant Inmagine Group, came up with the idea of going into the business of publishing children’s storybooks.

“I’ve always had an interest in writing, and was doing quite a bit of prose and poetry at one point,” he explained. “It was on my bucket list to write a full book and I figured, heck, why not?”

So in August 2017, Warren along with Koushik Challa and Akash Dubey, two tech collaborators from India, decided to create Amazing Fables—a company with a focus on creating personalised illustrated books for younglings.

“We came together by a chance encounter,” he explained. “The three of us wanted to do something different, especially in the space of education.”

“Amazing Fables was established to create content that will inspire young people via rich storytelling, vibrant visuals, and positive values and facts.”

Making It Personal

After launching in June 2018, Amazing Fables now creates storybooks (starting from US$24.99) that all have a very similar feel to the hardcover illustrated storybooks that many will remember from their childhood, from themes with themes like adventure and heroic tales to lessons on environmental conservation and global warming.

Image Credit: Amazing Fables

The only difference is that these books allow the reader to directly play a part in the fantasy.

For example, each Amazing Fable book has its main character named after the reader, be they a boy or a girl, with the option to also choose things like hairstyles and the colour of clothes, all to make each experience as immersive as possible.

Amazing Fables lets you customise the main character’s name, gender, and look.

And to be as globally-present as possible, Amazing Fables also hires, produces, and ships worldwide, with their writers, illustrators, and printers based in places like the United Kingdom, Argentina, Romania, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Some of the options offered by Amazing Fables / Image Credit: Amazing Fables

Storytelling Around The World

Warren hopes that with this global strategy in place, his business will be able to take advantage of a huge opportunity that is now presenting itself.

“Parents are moving back towards physical content such as printed books as a way to discourage their kids from spending too much time in front of screens,” he said. “Also, many are trying to find ways to connect with their young ones amid their busy and hectic schedules as modern parents.”

“By having a personalised product, the book becomes a visual storytelling aide where parents can conjure up little tales to wow their kids.”

With this in mind, Warren firmly stated his intent to turn Amazing Fables into a company with as wide a reach as possible.

“We want to be an end-to-end content publishing platform which can inspire 100 million kids each year through various touch points,” he said. “Personalised books are only the first step of the journey.”

Image Credit: Amazing Fables

This goal isn’t without a proper approach either—Warren hopes to leverage upon the lessons he’s learned to lower the cost of marketing and grab at the huge opportunity present in the United States and the rest of the world.

“For me, the United States is a very important market to crack, with its US$2-3 billion addressable market for children’s books,” Warren said. “And I would also like to get the books translated into European languages, languages from important emerging markets such as Indonesian, Turkish, Thai and Vietnamese, as well as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.”

“By leveraging the network we have across different geographies and the know-how gained from managing global businesses, we hope to lower the cost of marketing,” he added. “The key is to lower the cost-per-action while having an excellent product.”

“Good products with poor marketing won’t go far.”

Aiming For The Fairytale Ending

But these aren’t without challenges, chief of which is product differentiation—over the years, there has been an increase in interest towards all things personalised, with children’s books coming as no exception. Warren, however, believes that it’s in the quality of the product and the service where the battle will be won.

“I think the space will get competitive, but the key differentiator will always be the quality of the content, the smoothness of the customer experience, and the strength in marketing,” he said.

In this respect, Warren is working hard to make sure his books will be able to stand out from similar products in the market by including high-quality materials and a stern focus on making sure that each story will be engaging and relevant to the reader.

Warren Leow of Amazing Fables / Image Credit: Amazing Fables

“The core product in terms of technology isn’t rocket science—it’s the strategy that will differentiate the growth of the products in the future.”

Right now, Warren says that his company are on track to launch 10 books by the end of 2018, with 5 already published and out in the market.

“So far, sales in Malaysia have been encouraging even in the early stages,” he said. “Hopefully, once we set up our relationships with printing and fulfillment partners overseas, we can fully automate the marketing process for the global market so more kids can enjoy reading the stories!”

  • To know more about Amazing Fables, check out their website or Facebook page.
  • You can also use the code VULCAN15 for a 15% discount on their website.

Feature Image Credit: Amazing Fables

 

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