Guest blog by Jair Hernandez, CEO and Co-founder of Bab’l Books
Coming into the accelerator in September, we knew LearnLaunch would provide strong support and useful resources to Bab’l Books, our company, but we didn’t know to what extent. As a children’s book publisher, we set our goal for September and October to find 10 new existing picture books and translate them by the holiday season. Here’s how LearnLaunch launched us into success:
- Featured on Writers Rumpus
The second day of the program, Asad Butt sent out a press release to “all the media” and right away we saw interest from readers. An author from writersrumpus.com sent us an inquiry asking us if we wanted to be interviewed on her site. We definitely agreed and scheduled a call the following week.
The author, Marianne Knowles, liked our story and referred several friends whom she knew that were illustrators and authors. Due to her referrals, we now have 4 books from people she referred (before the article even went out)! The help didn’t stop there…
Looking around writersrumpus.com, we saw that Cynthea Liu was featured on it, so we contacted her and mentioned Marianne. Cynthea turned out to be great help, and she put us in touch with The National Book Development Council of Singapore (The Book Council). They are a non-profit, charitable organisation committed to addressing the needs of publishers, book suppliers, and libraries, as well as the reading and writing communities. We have a call with them next week.
Marianne just published our interview (found here) and we’ve received more submissions from illustrators and authors.
- Help from the community
As Bab’l Books was looking for possible retail locations to feature our books, two members of the LearnLaunch community mentioned they knew of a small business owner that would be willing to help. Another member heard that we wanted to speak to small publishers, so he connected us with his family friend who owns a publishing company in South America.
So far, we’ve been very fortunate to find connections throughout the community and from the fans of LearnLaunch. As mentioned in the previous blog post, we have to capitalize on the resources that are available to us.
- Mentor Madness
We spent the several days across two weeks meeting with over 50 mentors and pitching our business. Kind of like speed-dating, but with your business on the line. From these meetings, we received great advice and introductions to people that are very interested in helping us. For example, one of the mentors introduced us to the former owner of a children’s bookstore in Cambridge.
You never know where the next big break is going to come from. Being here at LearnLaunch Accelerator helps us be in the right place at the right time. And in turn, we hope to be able to give back and contribute to the companies and teams around us.