Why is ABC The Key free?
I have been asked this question in many different ways. Jason, why would you offer such an incredible product for FREE? Aren’t you losing money by giving it away? Is giving it away smart business?
The answers are: Because it is incredible! Yes. I hope so!
We are offering ABC The Key FREE, because it is incredible and every child, and adult, should have the opportunity to learn or teach with it. Greg Toppo of USA Today published an article about literacy rates titled “Literacy study: 1 in 7 U.S. adults are unable to read this story.”
Did you know an incredible 32 million adults in the U.S., one in seven, find reading anything more than a children’s picture book challenging because of their low literacy level?
I have personally worked in the inner-city of San Antonio, TX for over 15 years at Agora Ministries, so I can vouch for the terribly low literacy rates of our students. I owe it to them and the 32 million American adults that struggle with reading anything more than a children’s picture book.
We offer ABC The Key for free, so that teachers can have a truly incredible tool to teach with, and parents can work with their students at home FOR FREE!
Are you losing money?
Yes! However, I am willing to make it work. We started selling the program for $400 for an annual classroom license and $15 a month for home users. As the economy has struggled, so has spending on non-adoption educational products. However, even the reduced sells we were making is way more than FREE.
My partners in producing ABC The Key are Teri Jones, who passed in 2009 from breast cancer, and Carolyn Glover. From the beginning we all felt that we wanted to make a difference in the literacy level. Our team wanted something that we could be proud of that made a difference with students and teachers. This was our primary passionate goal.
ABC The Key was made with that intention. However, if it can only be accessible to a small number of students, then we are not fulfilling our vision and purpose. So we choose to “leave money on the table” so we can lower the 32 million illiteracy number.
Smart business strategy?
I hope so! I suppose offering ABC The Key for FREE can be judged smart or foolish based on your definition of success in business. If we can keep the lights on, make more products, and make a difference for our students, then I say that is pretty smart. We plan to keep the lights on by selling box sets, flash cards, Skiddles the dog, posters, t-shirts, and helpful reading apps that are in development.
We are also putting advertising on our pages to help provide revenue. However, all of these things do not add up to 1/5 of what we could get by selling it to school districts and families for full price. In our formula making a difference balances the equation.
ABC The Key is a dream that has come true, a passion that has become a reality. We hope that it will make a difference and change literacy rates. If you like what you see, please join now and tell your friends, family, and teachers. Together we can make a difference.
Brooks Educational Aids, Inc.