By Dennis Abrams | @DennisAbrams2
‘I Worked for Four Years on Hello Ruby‘When Helsinki’s Linda Liukas decided to write a book to teach kids the basics of coding and programming, the co-founder of Rail Girls went to Kickstarter in the spring of 2014 to find funding. As she said in her pitch video, “I want to write a book for my future kids, about the magical world of technology.”
Nevertheless, as she tells Daniel James Coll at hybe.com, her crowdfunding effort was the end of a long period of work:
“Kickstarter is the end, it’s not the beginning.
“You need to have a very dedicated community of people who trust you and believe in what you are doing, to rally around you and your work.
“Running a successful crowdfunding campaign is a lot of work…
“In reality, I worked for four years on Hello Ruby before shipping it, and at least half a year on the Kickstarter campaign,” a campaign however, that made her dream possible.”
As Coll writes, Liukas turned to crowdfunding only out of fear of the kind of reaction she’d get from what he describes as “over-cautious, cynical and conservative publishers; venture capitalists wary of risking their hard-earned cash on such an experimental niche, with no guaranteed potential for profit, in the already crowded and established children’s publishing field.”
She’s quoted telling him, “If I had gone to a Finnish publisher and told them that I want to make, like, the world’s best pre-school series about programming for kids, they would have said, ‘Oh, Linda there is no market for this,’ and they would have been right; because in a land of 5 million people, there wouldn’t have been a market for a children’s book on technology.
“If I would have gone to a VC, they would have told me, ‘Oh Linda there is no profit in this,’ and they would have been also right.”
When asked “what’s next?” by Coll at Hybe, she replies:
“I definitely want to make mobile applications, and a summer school next year.I just look forward to having adventures with my little redhead sidekick in the future.”
The translation rights to Hello Ruby have been sold into more than 19 languages to date, according to the Good News report.