The Haunting of Bagger Bones: Preston Rutt

After watching Steve Jobs unveil the iPad in 2010, this entrepreneur noticed a gap in the e-book market

Name: Preston Rutt
Company Name: The Haunting of Bagger Bones
Location: Greater London
Date Launched: 30/12/15
No. of employees: 5
Website: www.baggerbones.com

Tell us what your business does:

We are a digital publisher that turns the reader into the star – with a little help from the awesome processing power we all carry around in our pockets in our smartphones. Simply take a photo, choose your name, and you become the star.

Our first app is a personalised kids’ story called The Haunting Of Bagger Bones. It features around 2,000 personalised narrations by Ray Brooks, the much-loved voice of Mr. Benn.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

I watched Steve Jobs’ keynote in January 2010. When he unveiled the iPad, I knew kids’ storytelling was about to make a quantum leap forward.

How did you know there was a market for it?

26% of all books sold in 2014 were e-books. But in the children’s book market, only 3% were e-books. That discrepancy represents a huge opportunity, especially when you consider how digitally-literate today’s kids are; even from a young age.

What were you doing before starting up?

When we started Magic Touch, one of us was working in advertising. One in the music industry. One of us was trying to make it as a children’s author. One was running myfootballclub.co.uk. And the other was starring in EastEnders!

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Not particularly. But I think it’s the only way to make any real money.

How did you raise the money?

The company I work for in my day job – TMW Unlimited – run a business incubator competition. It’s an internal ‘Dragon’s Den’ to help employees bring their business dreams to life. I was the runner up, which meant I secured the agency’s financial support and technical expertise.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

Initially, we hope to make money through App sales. But we also plan to partner with companies and brands that want to make use of our technology.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

Creating an app is an expensive thing to do and comes with no guarantees of success. Securing financial backing has been by far the most difficult thing for us to do. That said, working out a way to integrate 2,000 personalised narrations into an app has been no easy task!

What was your first big breakthrough?

Persuading Ray Brooks – the voice of Mr. Benn – to commit to hours of voice recording. The man is a legend with a voice like chocolate.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

No one will make this happen but you.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

At the helm of the digital publishers that everyone’s trying to emulate.

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