Help make a pop-up bookstore!
We've been selling books at comic cons, art festivals, and outdoor markets since 2010. It's time to embrace a new kind of bookstore.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, July 27 2018 7:27 PM UTC +00:00.
UPDATE - New Rewards!
We've crossed our first big threshold and that means more stuff for our backers!
Today's addition is a 5x8 notebook, 100 pages, college ruled. We've only got one style as a digital mock-up so far, but there will be at least three to choose from before we send your reward. Take a look!
Hello there readers, fans, fellow creatives, and anyone interested enough to click a link.
Let me tell you what this is about, short and sweet, before going into a bit more detail.
Who are we?
Crimson Melodies Publishing - an independent small press for speculative fiction. We sell our books both digitally and in print, and one of the ways we reach readers is by exhibiting at conventions like comic con.
What are we raising funds for?
Primary Goal: A vendor setup for a 10x10 convention booth, styled as a pop-up bookstore.
Attached Goal: Character art and swag, because it wouldn’t really be a convention without them.
Why do we need to raise funds?
We’ve been exhibiting at indoor conventions in what is called Artist Alley. It involves displaying our books on table-tops, and standing behind said tables to interact with attendees. Vendor setups have much more of an open floor, and have a lot more space. We want ours to feel like a pop-up bookstore, so we’ve got a list of things we need to buy/make to pull that off.
(You can check out our corner display from a past event over on Facebook )
(Examples of pop-up bookstores linked further down.)
Minus the kickstarter fees, $1500 will enable us to buy all the rewards for this campaign plus have extra swag to take with us. It'll cover the cost we paid an artist to commission creating two pieces of art just for this kickstarter. Plus it will give us the ability to make our pop-up bookstore really come to life, with full walls and shelves and a creative but professional feel. (More details below.)
Where are we going?
Keystone Comic Con. #KeystoneCon if you go by their marketing materials. It’s being run by the same company that does NYCC and ECCC. We’ve already paid for the space - which is AMAZING and we’re crazy excited both about being approved to exhibit and about the con itself - so now we just have to prepare. It helps that we know we're on the right track, because we've already been hearing the excitement of readers over the idea of a pop-up bookstore at comic con.
(We’ll be in booth #1013!)
Books at comic con?
Absolutely! One of our founders got their start in independent publishing by working on an indie comic (that is sadly no longer in print) and used to take their first novel with them when they attended comic cons. We've had a lot of success, even if it has been modest, selling our dark-fantasy, historical fantasy, and even romantic suspense novels at various conventions all over Pennsylvania and nearby states.
When is this thing?
September 14-16, meaning we’ve got plenty of time to get things together. But, we need to start now. That’s where you come in.
Alright, this does sound pretty awesome, but what do I get out of all this?
Rewards! There’s also the option of supporting us just because you like the idea of helping a small business take things to the next level, but part of our goal for this fundraiser is giving you a taste of being at the convention with us.
I’m on board so far. What are these fabulous rewards?
First up, swag: Swag is the stuff you walk away with when you visit a vendor at a convention, more often than not for free or a very nominal cost - we often offer free swag in exchange for signing up for our email list. Bookmarks and postcards can be swag, but this could also be keychains, stickers, bracelets, tote bags, and lots of other things. Right now, we’ve budgeted for bookmarks and stickers. Both sets will feature word art celebrating books and being a reader. Check the details for how many of each are part of your rewards.
Next up, art: One of the best things about walking around a convention - other than the cosplayers - is seeing all the amazing art. We can’t replicate the entire experience, but we can give you a couple things to put on your walls. First up is 8.5 x 11 prints of word art like the designs on our bookmarks and stickers. After that we've got something really special. One of the most amazing artists we met at several events over the past few years is going to design TWO custom pieces commissioned specifically for this fundraiser. That means they’ve never been seen before, and you’ll be at the front of the line when the ink dries. They’ll feature characters from our two main series - The Vampire Flynn and Deathspell - and will be printed as 11 x 17 posters.
(Art from Chris Williams aka CDubb. You can check out his colored and inked work at his website for examples of the poster rewards.)
Last up, our books: We've published three series, two novellas, and one anthology. For these rewards, we're offering the same thing to our donors as the people who buy from us at a convention - SIGNED COPIES. That's right, the author themselves will set pen to paper and sign the books that are obtained as part of this pop-up bookstore campaign. Check the reward levels for details.
You can find our more about our books at our website.
ANY AND ALL HELP IS APPRECIATED BEYOND WORDS. We want you to know that.
Where the Money is Going
First, it’s going toward rewards. We’ve crunched the numbers, calculated shipping costs, and shopped around for high quality items at reasonable prices. That means we’ll be purchasing swag in bulk, so we can both fulfill fundraiser rewards and have extra to take with us to the convention. This is just one way you’ll be helping us make a lasting impression at #KeystoneCon. We also planned for shipping costs to send out rewards.
Second is the pop-up shop itself. We’ve got a preplanned budget for the basics, but when we reach our goal it will help us put the final touches into place. Building walls that can be disassembled while being sturdy enough to hold up bookshelves is first on our list, meaning nails and wood and nuts and bolts and paint and probably some naughty words while we put them together. BONUS: We’ll be posting details on how we went about designing and building our pop-up shop, so you can be entertained and learn how to do it yourself!
Wondering what a pop-up booth is? Check out these examples! *Note: We do not personally know any of these companies, but we liked their setups when we discovered them during our research on building our own pop-up booth.*
After our campaign is fully funded, we have a special reward planned for everyone who contributed before the date we hit our funding goal. For right now, it’s a surprise, but we’ll announce what it is when we cross the $500 mark.
$1750 - Three extra bookmark designs for reward levels with bookmarks + new tables and table covers for the pop-up bookstore
$2000 - Three extra sticker designs for reward levels with stickers + professional commercial floor cover for our pop-up bookstore
$2250 - Adding 8.5x11 versions of Chris William's commissioned art + utility shelving for our stock area in the pop-up bookstore
We'll add more if we have the opportunity!
The long and short of it...
If you’ve never been to a convention but have wondered what it’s like, this GoFundMe is for you. Supporting us will not only give you a boost of happiness, it’ll also get you a taste of what it’s like to pick up some amazing items you’d never see anywhere else
You can share this fundraiser on your social media profiles to help us get the word out. Also, if you follow us on our social media, you’ll be able to follow along as we explore the convention floor, check out the fabulous cosplayers who cross our path, and drool over amazing art right alongside us. We also do giveaways and other special features every now and then.
Things to know about Crimson Melodies Publishing
CMP has been operating in the world of publishing since 2010. We’ve got a small contingent of authors and two extremely dedicated founders who have been pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into this press since it began.
Our books are largely dark-fantasy, historical fantasy, and romantic suspense. We judge stories by their content, meaning if it grabs our attention and shows us something about the world - especially if it has a touch of optimism surrounded by the macabre, dark, or gritty - we’re going to sing its praises.
We love attending and exhibiting at conventions. One of our founders has been a creator for over fifteen years, starting out in independent comics. Keystone is the latest comic con we’re adding to our roster, but we’ve also exhibited at Philadelphia Comic Con, Camden Comic Con, Norristown Comic Fest, and more. Anime cons have also been very welcoming to us, including Otakon, Zenkaicon and J1 Con. This year we also sold our books at a local Renaissance Faire, which was a blast, and have committed to exhibiting at a Steampunk Showcase and Walker Stalker NJ early in winter.
About Our Founders
Peter Dawes is an alias for Connor Peterson. Connor has four kids, and one of them is going into his second year of college. He’s always looking for new ways to get the word out about his books because school trips and textbooks are pretty much a constant. So please, think of the kids, and help him keep the college bound one swimming in ramen* while he studies. (*He eats better than that, we promise.)
JR Wesley is an alias for Lisa Canzoneri. Lisa has two kids and a husband who works as a software engineer. All of them like coming to comic con as attendees so they can see what mom’s been working on. Husband is the brains behind what will be the structure of their pop-up booth, and is looking forward to being micromanaged and recorded while operating a table saw. (They’ll set ground rules first, definitely.) Lisa hosts biannual free workshops for local writers as her way of giving back to the community where she and Connor have put down roots.
Both Connor and Lisa donate their time and energy to NaNoWriMo, an organization aimed at encouraging writers to finish their books. Connor is also part of the RWA, and is a USA Today Bestselling Author. Lisa has been a developmental editor for over eight years.
This is us asking for your help, but please think of this as we’re asking you to come to Keystone with us. You can pick up some pretty cool stuff, receive our heartfelt gratitude, and know you’re helping a growing independent press take an exciting step forward.
Thanks for reading all the way through! Don’t forget to check out our rewards listed on the side of the page.
(We’ll be setting up a FAQ soon for handling common questions.)
Risks and challenges
The team at Crimson Melodies Publishing has been in business for more than a decade. This kickstarter is about being able to add an extra touch of style onto our plans for the pop-up bookstore, and our biggest challenge for this campaign will be the same one we face everyday with our books - visibility and awareness.
In terms of building the pop-up shop, we do expect some bumps in the road! We've never built something like this, but we do have friends to turn to who have. That's one of the reasons we plan on sharing videos and pictures of our process, so you can learn from our mistakes, and share in some of the post-frustration humor that is bound to happen along the way.
We did build in some extra time for our reward deliveries to account for possible shipping delays.
Short of a major catastrophe, were confident in our approach to this project and to providing all rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!