Librio Then, Librio Now

8 minute read

A couple of years ago, Netflix released stats on how many episodes of a show viewers watched before they get hooked. For example:

Breaking Bad – 2 episodes

Mad Men – 6 episodes

Orange is the New Black – 3 episodes

The average of the 25 shows they released data for is 3.84 episodes.

Netflix Show Hook
Netflix Show Hook

I imagine there are similar stats of how many blog posts a new blogger makes before consigning it to the pile of started-but-never-maintained-blogs-of-the-Internet. Light research didn’t reveal any to me, but it did reveal that 95% of blogs lie abandoned. It’s time to wake the Librio Blog from its slumber and push on to the tipping point of Continuous Blogging, where the blogger binge writes and the readers cannot help themselves but to binge consume the wonderful blogness.

The last post left us in Bologna, home of the children’s book fair, ragu and Mortadelli Belly. Looking back, even though it’s only three months ago, Librio then feels so different to LIbrio now.

What have you

Time has seen us move on from the early stumbling steps in Bologna. From The Have Nots, we are working our way towards being The Haves. Here’s what we have three months later:

Ed+Enzo_Librio Fouding

A company. Serendipitously founded on May 4th, Star Wars day, in the building which used to house my previous company. It couldn’t have felt like a cleaner cleaving of my present from my past. Enzo woke up mid-signing and demanded to be held. It only seemed right to hold a baby while signing a children’s publisher into existence. 

TGIM beer

An office. Located in TGIM (Thank God It’s Monday). They have a very Swiss concept of “The first nomadic co-working space in the world”. We have cardboard desks to emphasise our start up nature. We have children’s books spread over the desks so we can look at the illustrations, feel the covers, compare their sizes. What if we..? How about…? This doesn’t work… I love… Nothing beats the feeling of a real book in your real hands.

A team. My initial thought in 2014 was “I’m going to quit my job, learn to code, work with Nick and this’ll be a two man show”. I did not quit my job, nor learn to code. Nor would that have been the most effective way of running this company. And so we have a team. Four people who all think – or at least think they think – that Librio is as good an idea as I do. With much team comes much responsibility. I, we, now have to make sure this works. The flip side is with much team comes much potential. And we will make it work.


A printer. We have a partner to print our books. To pack our books. To send our books to our (not-yet-existing) customers. This is relaxing. In the Librio business plan, the biggest questionmark was over How To Do The Physical Stuff. That aspect is now clear, so we can focus on building. We visited them a couple of weeks ago and they gave us a hard copy of how our book could look. It was incredibly exciting and motivating to hold in your hands a physical object which may soon exist as a result of our virtual work.

A story. This justifies its own post nearer the time of launch. It was a process which started tentatively in March, went bananas in April, went quiet in May and finished gloriously in June. I like the story more and more. It has everything I was looking for: originality, adventure, empathy, humour and magic. Dragons? More anon.


An illustrative style. This was a big one and certainly deserving of its own post, which is going up the same time as this one so you don’t have to wait with bated breath. Incidentally, what an odd phrase that is. I’ll let someone else explain, though.

A drive. This is somewhat intangible, but I think back to it a lot. After visiting the printer last month, I had a two hour train journey with my friend and fellow passenger on the Librio journey, Tim. In those two hours, we talked about what the future could hold. All the directions we could go, all the amazingness we can bring to the world. And at no point did financial reward come up as a topic of conversation. Obviously, it would be premature to talk of financial reward when we are a company with 0 products and 0 income. However, if we do it right and make all this amazingness, it should come with some measure of financial reward, but that is at no point in our thinking right now. After 10 years of being in an industry with a view to “make as much money in the shortest time possible at whatever the cost”, it was extremely refreshing and highly motivating.

A deadline. We must have a product before Christmas. Put bluntly, we need to sell books at Christmas to fill our coffers for the coming year, to enable us to create all the magic we intend to create. Thus, the clock is ticking. There is much to get done, there is much to look forward to.

Book of Dreams

The mantra of Summer 2017 is the mantra of summer 1989. If you build it, they will come. Everyone I talk to Librio about says “Oh, how sweet! Doesn’t that sound nice!”. While they’re actually thinking “This guy seems a bit like a loony. Children’s books? With zero experience in the industry? With a wife and two kids to support?” I long for the day when we have a website, a book, a following. Where I can say “I make amazing children’s picture books” rather than “I’m planning to…”. I want that moment of Reveal, when we tell the world what Librio is about and show them why, really, we don’t feel like it’s entirely hyperbolic to have “the future” as our website placeholder.

You can jump right into how we found our illustrative style by viewing this post.

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