Stories have the innate ability to transport you to the wonderland of imagination. It reveals parallel worlds to us, shows us it’s possible to experience the magic of living in our heads. Ever finished a storybook and found yourself wondering what you are doing in your mundane, real life when you are so in love with your characters? Well, it’s the same for kids. Storybooks for kids are perhaps the ONE failsafe gift, that would fit in at any stage of their fast-changing lives!
But, how can we be sure that they are connecting deeply to what they read? Are we truly certain that we have stimulated their imagination, given them what they can truly relate to?
Storybooks for kids have the power to shape their minds, their thought, their personalities and so their destinies. We, as parents know this, and we go through a lot of looking and asking before purchasing the best storybooks for kids. Only to find the book lying behind the cot, and the kid is not even looking for it!
Isn’t it important to find the books that vibe with your child?
One mom found this conundrum very limiting, and she found a way to help herself and fellow parents to pick the right books for their kids as they progress through the various stages of childhood. Apurva Dalpati, the founder of Bibliophiles has done extensive research on how the storybook industry for children has multiplied and personally curates and recommends storybooks for kids that cater to each and every developmental milestone.
We at Kidskintha invited Apurva over for a chat to show us how she did it, and be the storyteller of her tale. Read on…
In conversation with Apurva Dalpati of Bibliophiles..
Hi Apurva! Thank you very much for being with us! Please describe this platform in your own words. What would you say is the USP of Bibliophiles?
Bibliophiles is the station for parents who want to make reading a lifestyle for their children. Storybooks cater to varied interests across all ages. At Bibliophiles, we take it upon ourselves to give your child all the books he requires as per his interests and age.
I provide answers to generalized questions like what books should every child read?
Or which storybooks are best for your children? To specific child-related questions like what books should my 10-year-old be reading? Is Harry Potter suitable for a 6-year-old? And many many more queries on storybooks for kids.
Do you know there are all kinds of books for all ages, starting right from the prenatal stage? I have done extensive research on each stage of child development and how books add to cognitive, mental, and physical development. Our USP is the customized service I provide to all my clients, new and old.
What has been your inspiration for entering the world of storybooks for kids?
I am a voracious reader and as a parent I wanted my child to get into this wonderful world of stories as early as possible. I wanted to read to her at the prenatal stage and that’s when all my research started into storybooks for kids in English and I decided to start this platform.
What challenges did you face while starting Bibliophiles and how have you managed to overcome them?
I started with Bibliophiles in March 2020 and I was faced with the biggest hurdle of all — The Lockdown! I had to take charge of all aspects of the business single-handedly. It was only after the lockdown was eased that I hired people and was able to delegate work. Now I solely focus on research and interacting with my client base.
How do the storybooks you pick for children reach the Bibliophile platform?
I connect with publishers who send me a cohesive list of books. I then delve into research and shortlist the books that might interest my clientele. This is very time-consuming as I have to anticipate the demand of the storybooks, and then I place the order with them. It takes a minimum of 2 to 3 months for the books to get delivered. I then prepare a catalog and launch it on my website. I am extremely well versed with all the books that you see on my website. That’s how I can make recommendations for any age group based on their interests.
I end up answering parental queries like what is the best book for kids? at what age should a child read fluently? and list down the 10 favorite magical storybooks for children based on the child’s age and interest.
Do you have a set of criteria for a children’s storybook to feature on your platform?
There has to be a positive message in the children’s storybooks that I recommend and display on the website. I am a Bibliophile and if you see through my perspective, you will realize that every book has a unique element to it.
How long does it take for a book order to fulfill once it’s been placed?
We dispatch the books within 2 days of getting the order and use a third-party delivery channel to do so.
What are your sources of marketing? What has worked the best for Bibliophiles?
It was word of mouth that kick-started this whole platform. Then came marketing through Whatsapp. Now we have ten groups on Whatsapp. This is where I update the parents of the latest collection that enters Bibliophiles. Instagram has also been a sales booster. And now my website reels in our potential clients.
How do parents motivate their children to read? At what age should a child be able to read a storybook independently?
Kids are very curious. If you surround them with toys, they will play with them. Similarly, if you give them storybooks, they will open them and read them. Never force your child to read. Let them come to the book. When your child is playful, then read the book to him.
Every child is different. Some kids read fluently as early as 4 years and some start at the age of 6 or 7. Till they start reading by themselves, motivate them to read by reading to them and showing them the doors that can be unlocked with independent reading.
Who is your competition and how do you overcome this aspect of the entrepreneurial journey?
Amazon is my biggest competition. It is a huge company and it offers heavy discounts. I am unable to do so. I provide customized service to my clients — remember the names of the kids I cater to, remember their birthdays and their areas of interests and expertise.
Where do you see Bibliophiles in the next 5 years? Please shed some light on your future goals and how you plan to achieve them?
I want to inculcate the art of reading in all kids and ensure this habit blends into their lifestyle. And I want to achieve this goal through my platform, in India and internationally.
What is the one habit that you think every entrepreneur could use?
You can never be overly passionate about your venture, so I would advise all entrepreneurs to always stay inspired and carry on with passion through good times and bad.
What are you reading right now?
For my research, I am reading Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer and simultaneously I am also immersed in One Thousand Stitches by Sudha Murty. Well, the latter is purely for my pleasure.
How would you describe Kidskintha?
Kidskintha for me is a one-stop information portal for all parents. If I ever want to update myself on the latest developments and offerings in the world of kids, I come to Kidskintha. Devishobha has done a magnificent job!
Did You Know?
A fetus is able to hear distinct sounds at around 18 weeks. At this stage, the fetus is not able to understand the language but can hear the differences in tones and rhythms, and reading or talking to your child at this stage has real benefits for the child.