Amazing Fables Brings Stories to Life with Amazon Polly

Amazing Fables

Global from Day One

The startup community is alive and well in Southeast Asia. Warren Leow is a startup guru and cloud advocate based in Malaysia. His latest venture, Amazing Fables, delivers personalized children’s books to customers in more than 20 countries. “Cloud computing has allowed a startup like mine to operate globally from day one,” he says. Leow took advantage of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Activate for Startups program to launch his business, receiving credits and support from AWS. “I wanted to create a platform to publish stories that would inspire kids, based on my own experience as a child when reading was my window to the world,” says Leow. Amazing Fables’ mission is to nurture a sense of creativity and enthusiasm to explore, and it has produced 10 different titles available in 10 languages.

“With AWS, we can easily optimize the loading speed of our website across different geographies, so customers in Australia and Chile have the same low latency.”

Warren Leow, Founder of Amazing Fables

 

  • About Amazing Fables
  • Benefits
  • AWS Services Used
  • About Amazing Fables
  • Amazing Fables is a Malaysian startup selling personalized children’s books to customers around the globe. It currently offers 10 different titles in 10 languages. Each printed book comes with a video book, using text-to-speech technology to bring storytelling to life.

  • Benefits
    • Offers easy access to a range of new technologies
    • “Reads” video books in 10 different languages
    • Enables startups to operate with a lean team
    • Optimizes website loading speeds
  • AWS Services Used

Text to Speech, Done Right

One of the benefits of being on AWS, Leow says, is the ability to explore new technologies through off-the-shelf tools such as Amazon Polly. Amazing Fables uses Amazon Polly to bring its stories to life, by “reading” its books to customers. “There were other text-to-speech technologies out there, but in my opinion, they weren’t good enough. I was pleasantly surprised when I came across Amazon Polly while doing research on how to create interactive books,” Leow says. Customer feedback has been positive, with buyers noting how accurate pronunciation is.

There is a certain amount of manual manipulation required, such as matching the timing of Amazon Polly’s output to a particular book, Leow explains, but AWS online documentation is thorough. “Overall, the learning curve was not steep. It was more getting used to the syntax and how to use the Speech Synthesis Markup Language feature to have different intonations and accents,” he says. Amazing Fables’ stories have been translated into popular languages such as Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, French, German, Korean, Indonesian, and a few other languages.

Video books are offered as a free supplement to the printed version, and they provide valuable word-of-mouth marketing when parents and kids share the videos with friends. “The applications of Amazon Polly are limitless,” Leow says, explaining his use of Amazon Polly in other projects that use artificial intelligence to support multilingual video editing. He also envisions use cases for animating chatbots to help visually impaired people or automate public announcements.

Automation for Lean Teams

Amazing Fables is able to run with a lean team of three, together with 11 freelancers from around the world, because most processes are automated. With AWS Auto Scaling, it only takes one engineer to maintain its website and applications. In its first six months, the startup sold more than 1,000 books, and international sales are continuing to rise. Leow says, “With AWS, we can easily optimize the loading speed of our website across different geographies, so customers in Australia and Chile have the same low latency.”

For now, Amazing Fables is focused on content development and marketing. “AWS has future-proofed our business for growth, and this gives me reassurance,” concludes Leow. “I’m excited to see what new services and solutions AWS will deliver next, along the lines of Amazon Polly, which can further enhance our storytelling experience.”

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