Like Hillary, the Lairies had a bit of a setback recently. Our Kickstarter campaign received lots of votes but didn’t quite make it to the finishing line successfully. You can read all about it here.
Since then we’ve been re-grouping, reviewing and discussing what to do next.
The Campaign Trail
The dozens of messages, calls and conversations we’ve had in the past week have convinced us that we’re on to something when we say that trumps can be good for you. We still believe that parps, bottom burps, toots, farts, fluffs, guffs and windy pops are not only responsible for the funniest sound a body can make, they can also help kids to learn literacy through laughter.
The original Lairytales concept was for a personalised book service that used a series of funny characters to help children engage with stories and literacy. When we decided to run a Kickstarter campaign we realised that the concept didn’t offer us much to give away as rewards to our backers.
So we adapted the idea to fit the crowdfunding process. We introduced standardised print-runs of each character’s story, so that we could offer tiered rewards.
The problem with this is that it doesn’t give young readers the sense of ownership and level of engagement we were after.
From our research with little people and their responsible grown-ups, we know now that Lairytales need to be:
- Available to everyone
It isn’t enough to present children with content that they passively consume. They want to be hands-on, involved, and up to their armpits in the creative process.
Make Lairytales Great Again
So, here’s the plan:
- Lairytales will be built as a mobile app, at first for iPads and tablets. The stories will be free at the point of use – that means kids can download the app, read the stories and play the games at zero cost. And no ads: Ads in apps make parents want to smash things.
- Within the Lairytales app, children will be able to create their own character, which will be added to the story with some Lairy magic. Not only will they be able to give their creations naughty names and horrible habits, they’ll also be able to choose distinguishing features that help them to relate to the characters. We’re thinking mobility aids, cochlear implants, visual aids and more. We’d love to hear other suggestions for making the characters more inclusive, so leave a comment below!
- If they create a character they’re really proud of, our little artists will be able to notify an adult and the personalised version of the Lairytale, including the child’s creation, will be available to buy as a printed book.
- Lairytales will still include the same wickedly wonderful learning tools based on core curriculum subjects that we promised, delivered in a way that encourages kids to choose to learn.
Without the funding we’d hoped for, getting to market is going to take a little longer. There are partnerships with printers to set up, web services to sort out, and a whole heap of development and design work to get through.
One of the aspects of the Kickstarter campaign that we’re most proud of is the way we stepped up as a team, delivering more content, ideas and assets than we’d ever done before. Maintaining that momentum is policy number one.
That’s why today we’re committing to a timeline, and we hope you’ll hold us accountable to it: By September 2017 Lairytales will be available in the App Store.
We’ll document our experience on this blog over the coming months so you can follow along and share our learnings.
Please stay with our story, it’s about to get interesting again.