An Unlikely Story - Books, Coffee (and bikes too) project video thumbnail
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CA$ 761 pledged of CA$ 6,500 goal
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By Annabel Townsend
CA$ 761 pledged of CA$ 6,500 goal
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About this project

(Header image by @reelcardinal at Noni's Cafe)

Recently I sent out a tweet:

"Peoples. Who wants a new bookstore in YQR? I promise it will be different. And caffeinated."

I think it was my most liked tweet ever.

This gave me enough encouragement to start this Kickstarter officially. There are other book lovers out there!

An Unlikely Logo
An Unlikely Logo

The Plan:

An Unlikely Story is a independent bookstore, micro-publisher and coffee shop, nestled in the heart of Regina. We have the opportunity to create something awesome, and we need your help getting it together!

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

The Bookstore:

Of course, we already have a few bookstores in Regina, but An Unlikely Story aims to be rather unique because our focus is on local creativity. We will be selling work by local authors and books that are published in Saskatchewan. But that's not all - we will also stock self-published books. Too often, the only way to get hold of self-published titles is through an ebook on Amazon. Instead, we champion traditional paperbacks - real books! Our store will give self-published authors a new, physical stockist so their work can reach a totally different audience. We have already been testing this venture with some pop-up shops around Regina.

Some of our books at a recent pop-up shop
Some of our books at a recent pop-up shop

The Publisher:

Interested in self-publishing? An Unlikely Story offers basic editing and proof-reading services for your book, and can format and print your work into shiny fabulous paperbacks which will then be stocked in our store. Anything will be considered, but we are big fans of far-fetched fiction, obscure nonfiction and children’s books – of the sorts that can be read repetitively at 3am without Mummy losing the will to live…. (that’s enough, - Ed.)

Books from our micro-publisher, Procaffeinated Press
Books from our micro-publisher, Procaffeinated Press

Coffee:

An Unlikely Story will also incorporate Wheelie Good Coffee. Wheelie is a little coffee cart towed by a bicycle that can be found on the Farmers’ Market over the summer. We do the freshest pour over coffees, teas and hot chocolate, and even roast our own beans for you to take home too. The bike (her name is “Cherry”) and the coffee cart will be stationed in the store so you can grab a drink while you browse the books, or even find inspiration in caffeine while writing your own novel!

Books and Beans
Books and Beans

Bikes…?

Well sort of, yes. We like cycling. Wheelie Good Coffee would not be Wheelie without the bike, and our business model has always been mobile. Although the bookstore will have a permanent base, An Unlikely Story began as a series of pop-up shops at various locations, and we would love to continue to do these as well. Therefore, all the décor and store fixtures will be moveable and bike wheels will feature prominently!

Wheelie Good Coffee
Wheelie Good Coffee

 Location:

Location! Location! Highly important!

An Unlikely Story would be housed inside a very special new venue opening up in Regina. A huge warehouse building is becoming home to a brand new permanent market, featuring all sorts of small, artisan vendors that will all share the space together, and we're very excited to be part of this unique project. It's nestled between Regina's downtown core and the Warehouse district, and we think it would be an ideal spot for An Unlikely Story as part of the new 'place to be' in Regina.

And don't worry, there's parking...!

The warehouse building
The warehouse building

 "Soooo... what do you need the money for?"

Alternatively,

"Why only $6500?"

We are not seeking the fund the whole entire venture from scratch, because so many of the individual elements already exist. Wheelie Good Coffee can just be Wheeled in, ready to go. Most of the books are already in my basement, waiting for a new home - and more importantly, they are acquired on consignment so there are few upfront costs.

The funds raised here will instead go towards physically building the store - that is, materials and parts for bookshelves, a bar area for the coffee and some other cafe furniture. (We are lucky enough to have some talented and handy volunteers willing to do the actual construction for us already.) It would also cover less than interesting things like our insurance policy.

Should we raise more than we aim to, the extra will be well spent on printing or acquiring more books, and some marketing initiatives.

Goodies!

Here's a few of the backer rewards!

Mugs
Mugs

 

Journal
Journal

 

Coffee!
Coffee!

 

Risks and challenges

Every new start up business is always going to be risky, just because it is uncharted territory. We need to find our tribe and develop a customer base, and keeping the project going while building that following up can be very tricky. However, we can at least balance that risk somewhat as part of the project - Wheelie Good Coffee - is already established (3 years in business) and has a decent following. This means we are not starting everything from scratch, which will be a big help. Annabel is also a seasoned entrepreneur and has plenty of experience with start-up businesses. Understanding what we are letting ourselves in for puts us in a better position to prepare this project for future challenges.

The biggest risk as we see it is the venue itself. We are as sure as we can be at this point that we, and the other vendors will be able to move in there in a few months' time (provisionally May), but at the time of writing, we have not yet signed a lease agreement. If, in worst case scenario this all falls through, we shall continue doing Wheelie Good Coffee market stalls and Unlikely Story pop-up shops in order to raise more funds and eventually find a suitable venue all of our own.

Another significant, but less dramatic challenge with the venue is just that is a new venture itself. We have no guarantees that customers will find us up there in a new space, and building awareness of its existence may be a long slow process. However, the advantage of being part of a multi-vendor market style location is that if everyone markets their own business, we can all benefit from the increasing passing trade. The more vendors in the building, the larger the potential audience.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About $4

    High Five!

    Pledge $5 and we will give you a massive High Five when we first see you in the store. (You may have to introduce yourself!). Furthermore, your name will be displayed on our Plaque of Wonderful Humans forevermore.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $7

    Bookmark our cause

    A $10 will get you two exclusive and handmade Unlikely Story bookmarks - one prettified with a bookish quote on it, and the other with a fabulous design for you to colour in! Your name will also go on the Plaque of Wonderful Humans.

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    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $19

    A Cuppa Joy

    Books and coffee go together like... books and tea? Either way, you need something to enjoy your beverage of choice in. Get an exclusive hand designed Unlikely Story mug and two bookmarks for a $25 pledge, and your name on the plaque.

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    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $37

    Creativity Fuel

    Get a hand designed Unlikely Story journal to write your masterpiece in, your Wonderful Human name on the plaque, and an exclusive mug for your Creative Fuel for a $50 pledge.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 150 or more About $112

    A cosy afternoon

    Your perfect cosy afternoon:
    A random book from our store and a journal to scribble your thoughts in,
    2 mugs to share a cuppa with
    and 4 exclusive Unlikely Story bookmarks
    (and your name goes on the Plaque of Wonderful Humans).

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 300 or more About $224

    The Ginormous Random Mega Bundle

    2 personalised mugs
    1 bag of locally-roasted coffee beans
    2 random books from our store
    1 journal
    4 bookmarks
    1 pair of cosy reading socks
    1 soft toy 'plot bunny' to help you write your own novel
    Your name on our Plaque of Wonderful Humans
    And free shipping! (in Canada only, sorry!)

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Funding period

- (30 days)