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The Ripped Bodice will be the only exclusively romance bookstore in the United States, opening Spring 2016 in Los Angeles CA.
The Ripped Bodice will be the only exclusively romance bookstore in the United States, opening Spring 2016 in Los Angeles CA.
The Ripped Bodice will be the only exclusively romance bookstore in the United States, opening Spring 2016 in Los Angeles CA.
599 backers pledged $91,187 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$91,187

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Our Story

We (that’s Bea and Leah, sisters and founders) love romance novels. We always have. Or at least, we have since we were allowed to pick out our own books.

That's us as wee ones! Bea is on the left, Leah is on the right. Barney is getting us excited about reading!
That's us as wee ones! Bea is on the left, Leah is on the right. Barney is getting us excited about reading!

What we found when we discovered the romance genre was an incredible community. A community of smart, funny, engaged readers who love to talk about books as much as we do.

But we also (quickly) discovered the stigma attached to the genre. The idea that these books are less than others.

We don’t agree, and neither do the millions of women and men who read romances every day, making it the best selling genre in North America, to the tune of $1.08 billion in 2013 (that's from the Romance Writers of America FYI). Financially at least, the romance genre is doing just fine.

But there is no physical space where romance enthusiasts can come together to buy the books they love.

We want to change that.

The Ripped Bodice will be the only exclusively romance bookstore in the United States, opening March 2016 in Los Angeles.

Following in the footsteps of many local booksellers before us, The Ripped Bodice will be more than just a place to buy books. It will be a community space, with a full calendar of events, including author signings, book clubs, lectures by leaders in the industry, and so much more.

A hint of what’s in store (teehee)

Store Layout and Inventory

We’ve thought long and hard about how to lay out The Ripped Bodice. We want to make it easy to both find what you’re looking for and discovery new works. In the romance section of a full service bookstore, things are generally organized alphabetically, making it hard to browse if you just want paranormal witch stories/cowboy heroes with hearts of gold/Regency house parties that go terribly awry. Because The Ripped Bodice is devoted exclusively to romance, we have the luxury of organizing by sub-genre. 

The Minerva Library

Named after one of the first circulating libraries in Regency England, The Minerva Library is our exclusive Romance-of-the-month club. Half-year and full-year memberships are both available, with members receiving one new book each month, along with a small surprise (like a necklace or notepad) chosen by Bea and Leah, and a snazzy membership card to show off to all your friends. 

Book Clubs and Community Events

We will have a full calendar of exciting events including author signings and lectures and numerous romance bookclubs. 

We also want to have fun with the diverse fandoms that romance intersects with. TV shows like Downtown Abbey, Outlander and The Bachelor franchise and movie adaptations like The Notebook and each new iteration of Pride and Prejudice are beloved by many in and outside of the romance world. We plan on hosting TV nights and screenings with snacks, booze and spirited discussion. 

Charitable Giving

We want to give back to our local community wherever possible. We have several different avenues of charitable giving that we are excited to pursue. 

-Offering customers the chance to round up for charity at checkout. Donating a few cents here and there can add up in a big way.

-Donating used books to women's shelters around Los Angeles

-Exclusive apparel that benefits a different charity each month

What's In A Budget?

There are three main categories of expenses that we will break down below. Please note: it is important to us that our backers understand where their money will be going. Brick and mortar stores are expensive to open and we want you to know the specific associated costs. However all of these numbers are preliminary and subject to change.

1: Inventory

The main cost associated with opening a bookstore is the cost of your inventory, that's the books!

We are using an estimate of $50 per square foot of selling space. Romance novels cost about $4-7 each for booksellers, so that is between 7 and 12 books per square foot. 

We have not chosen our space yet (although we have started to explore some fantastic real estate options) but we are using an estimate of 1150 square feet to make these calculations. That means the our initial inventory buy for the store will cost $57,500.

2: Fixtures and Furniture

We need somewhere to put all those books! This is the cost of all of our furniture, shelving, lighting, and flooring. Everything we need to make the store beautiful and unique. Our budget for this section is $18,000.

3: Everything else

This list includes our computer equipment and point of sale system, signage, a sound system, publicity and promotion, utility costs, and professional fees like permits and licenses. Our budget for this section is $14,500

All Together Now!

$57,500 for inventory + $18,000 for fixtures and furniture + $14,500 for everything else = $90,000

But once we hit that goal, please don't stop giving! Every extra dollar means a more beautiful, diverse store for our community.

Rewards

Risks and challenges

As with any business, there are a number of obstacles and challenges associated with opening a brick and mortar bookstore.

Here are the three main challenges we are facing:

1. Opening costs

We have formulated our budget after extensive research but there are always costs that cannot be accounted for. Every extra dollar we raise above our goal helps to insure that we can cover any unexpected expenses.

2. Standing out in the bookseller market

We are confident that such a unique store will attract customers, especially the motivated and engaged community of romance readers. We know that many of our target demographic does not live in Los Angeles, so we are planning on an online store as well as a physical location.

3. Financial solvency

Meeting projected sales goals can be a challenge. We have an aggressive marketing strategy to bring in new customers and keep them coming back. A key aspect of this is always evolving. We will maintain an exciting roster of events (both in-store and online), focusing on new releases.

Press Inquiries please contact Sabrina Dax at Sabrina@SabrinaDax.com

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 7 or more About $7

    A Dash of Romance

    The average price of one romance novel = an exclusive download of our hand-drawn, original wallpaper. Add a bit of romance to your digital devices!

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    15 backers
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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About $15

    A Hint of Romance

    The Ripped Bodice's Essential Guide to Modern Romance Novels

    We have created a completely original guide available through digital download exclusively to our Kickstarter backers!
    Featuring personal essays and lists of some of our favorite novels across the many romance subgenres, the guide is perfect for both new and experienced readers.

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    71 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A Smidgen of Romance

    Carry all your romance novels in a Ripped Bodice tote bag!

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    166 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    A Morsel of Romance

    Show off your love for romance with our Ripped Bodice hats.
    Perfect for ladies and gentlemen alike.

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    15 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    A Smattering of Romance

    Show off your love for romance with a Ripped Bodice tank top. Choose from three different designs.

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    58 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    A Chunk of Romance

    1 awesome Ripped Bodice Hat + 1 Tote Bag

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    A Taste of Romance

    Feel the (discount) love. A tote bag, plus your choice of tank top - both featuring hand-drawn designs.

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    55 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Another Taste of Romance

    Show off your love for romance with a soft and cozy Ripped Bodice long-sleeved shirt.

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    31 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A Shower of Romance

    Wear your love for romance on your sleeve with our Ripped Bodice sweatshirt.

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A Passel of Romance

    Feel the love. A sweatshirt, plus a tote bag

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    26 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    A Plethora of Romance

    A sweatshirt, plus your choice of tank

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    A Ton of Romance

    One sweatshirt, one tank, and one tote.

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    19 backers
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  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About $250

    A Shelf Full of Romance

    Sponsor a (book)shelf!

    Put your name on a piece of The Ripped Bodice. Each sponsored bookshelf will feature a small plaque with the name of the generous individual or group (subject to approval, we probably won't accept Satan).

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About $250

    A Drawer Full of Romance

    Sponsor a drawer in our card catalog!

    Put your name on a piece of The Ripped Bodice. Each drawer in our antique library card catalog will feature a small plaque with the name of the generous individual or group (subject to approval, we probably won't accept Satan).

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    Limited 14 backers
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  15. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    A Slew of Romance

    Your chance to see your name in a romance novel!

    Bea will put your name (first or last) in her debut novel. Would you rather be a country maid or a butler in London? The choice is yours!

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Romance is Real Quilt

    Completely one-of-a-kind handmade quilt, designed by Leah Koch. Inspired by the romances novels we love!

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A Half-Year of Romance

    A Six Month Subscription to The Minerva Library, our exclusive romance novel of the month club. Each month you will receive a new release romance novel and a small, fun surprise chosen by Bea and Leah (such as a necklace or notepad)! Shipping is included in this reward. Will begin shipping when the store is open and continue for six months. US Customers only.

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    Ships to Only United States
    10 backers
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  18. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Fine Smut Quilt

    Completely one-of-a-kind handmade quilt, designed by Leah Koch. Inspired by the romances novels we love!

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
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  19. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Smart Girls Read Romance Quilt

    Completely one-of-a-kind handmade quilt, designed by Leah Koch. Inspired by the romances novels we love!

    (plus both digital downloads)
    (photos of all our rewards are to the left!)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  20. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    A Full-Year of Romance

    A One Year Subscription to The Minerva Library, our exclusive romance novel of the month club. Each month you will receive a new release romance novel and a small, fun surprise chosen by Bea and Leah (such as a necklace or notepad)! Shipping is included in this reward. Will begin shipping when the store is open and continue for one year. US Customers only.

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    Ships to Only United States
    2 backers
    $
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  21. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About $1,000

    Sponsor our reading nook!

    With your sponsorship, we will happily put any name or phrase you choose on a sign in our reading nook for all customers to see.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
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  22. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About $5,000

    Host your event in our store!

    Let The Ripped Bodice be the site of your next big shindig.

    It could be a personal event like a bridal shower or bachelorette party or a professional event such as an author signing or book launch party.
    On a mutually agreed upon evening, you will have full run of the store. We will provide appetizers and work with you to make sure you have everything you need for the perfect night.

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    Limited 1 backer
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  23. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About $5,000

    Sponsor our POS system.

    A point of sale system is one of the larger initial costs for any store.

    With your sponsorship, we will happily put any name or phrase you choose (subject to approval) on the back of our computer for all customers to see.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  24. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About $5,000

    A Water Closet Full of Romance

    Is it your dream to have your name on a bathroom door? Make that dream a reality!
    Our bathroom will be yours to name.
    What will you choose?

    Lady Caroline Smith's Water Closet
    The Live Your Dreams Bathroom
    The Southern Illinois Friends of Romance Bookclub Restroom of Glory

    Your choice is subject to approval and will be prominently displayed on the portal to our loo.

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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)