Baby Cube was founded by husband-and-wife team Yang Wenxuan and Liu Hong. The company grew out of their past professional experience in online retailing and literary publishing and out of their community outreach work focused on helping children to start reading. “It started as a reading club in 2010 when my daughter was little and grew by word of mouth and through social media, where I recommended picture books and carried out reading promotions,” Liu says, adding that “investments from various sources made company expansion and our publishing program possible in 2015.”
Establishing its own identity was the top priority for Baby Cube. “One key differentiator is our strength in social media marketing, which we further leverage to obtain higher sales and wider distribution,” adds Liu, whose team of 87 people (spread across three offices) annually publishes about 300 titles, ranging from bath books to graded readers. “Presently, online retailers, physical bookstores, and social media contribute equally to our annual sales.”
Little Critter, Baby Cube’s brand for bilingual editions, is its best-known product line, with around 70 titles, and contributes the largest share to its revenue. “Having the original text at the back of each title and providing a parent guide to go with it have proven to be a winning combination,” Liu says.
Asked about the company’s unique name, Liu explains that cube refers to “the multidimensional aspects of reading, where literacy, learning, emotions, experiences, and understanding come together. Reading is not a flat process, and its positive impact reverberates throughout a child’s life. So the reading process has to start as early as possible, and this is the reason we kick-started our publishing program with titles for babies to three-year-olds and all the way up to 16-year-olds.”
Baby Cube bestsellers include titles by Christopher Franceschelli, Nina Laden, Linda Liukas, Roger Priddy, Robert Munsch, and Mo Willems. More than 350,000 sets of Nina Laden’s Grow Up/Peek-a Who/Peek-a Zoo/Ready, Set, Go have been sold. “We have also parlayed our expertise in literary publishing to create a range of original and beautiful illustrated series on Chinese culture, history, and Tang poetry,” adds Liu, pointing out that “promoting reading and nurturing the parent-child bond through books remain our main goals, and to achieve these, we are working to grow our reading services through different programs and delivery platforms.”