Science Fiction/Fantasy Bookstore & Bar: Worlds Of Wonder
Science Fiction/Fantasy Bookstore & Bar: Worlds Of Wonder
Science fiction & fantasy books, collectibles, graphic novels... and a bar! A geek's dream hangout operated by true fans for all fans.
Science fiction & fantasy books, collectibles, graphic novels... and a bar! A geek's dream hangout operated by true fans for all fans. Read more
About this project
Hi. I’m Regis Murphy, sometimes known as Regis O’Wow, and I have an idea.
What if there was a place that was kind of like a sports bar, where fans would gather and have a good time, but instead of being for sports fans it’d be for science fiction fans, and comic book fans? Where maybe on the big screens, instead of football, there’d be Doctor Who or anime or Sharknado. Where the noise level would be moderate enough for playing board games or card games like Magic the Gathering, or to just talk about cool books you’ve read or movies you’ve seen . The drinks could be named after fantasy characters or authors. There’d be live entertainment, but they’d be things like chiptunes, nerdcore rappers, writers talking about books, and bands that rock songs about the X-Men. We could do stuff like show old cartoons on Saturday mornings, host nerdy trivia, and have karaoke where people wear costumes and maybe even sing in character.
Now what if, on top of all that, this place was a bookstore? But focused on science fiction and fantasy and speculative fiction, like horror and some paranormal romance. Graphic novels. Manga. A place with a great selection, and real book loving people who are passionate fans themselves and are enthusiastic about connecting folks to good books. Have you ever been to an author signing where, afterward, everyone left to go for drinks and hang out with the author? Wouldn't it be great to have that experience without even having to leave the store?
That place could be so cool. I’d call it Worlds Of Wonder.
I’ve managed bookstores and book departments for over 20 years. I’ve also managed a couple of cafes, achieving great success and outperforming expectations. I am a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy and comic books. I live in Charlotte, which is a great place for a geek like me. It’s home to HeroesCon among other things. Charlotte’s also known nationally for its excellent craft breweries. I love Charlotte. But did you know that it only has ONE independent bookstore that’s not a used bookstore? Biggest city in the state; one indie bookstore.
Some people might not think that’s a big deal. Some people think in the days of internet shopping and ebooks that bookstores are just destined to fade away. I’ll never believe that. Bookstores will always be important parts of the community. And did you know that ebooks sales are plateauing at under 25% of all book sales? And that polls at the end of last year show people in all age groups prefer physical books to ebooks? Sales and foot traffic at the chain bookstores are actually still strong. But do you know where more and more people go to buy books? Independent book stores. Yep, the indies are doing better than the big box chains. And niche bookstores, like those that focus on a specific genre, are doing best of all.
Wise people have said that if you don't like the music you hear on the radio, then you should make some yourself. And writers are told to write the kind of books you want to read. Well, this is the kind of place I want to go to in Charlotte. If it sounds like the kind of place you would like to go to, I hope you will back this Kickstarter and help make it a reality. I have the background. I have the passion. I’ve got the energy. What I don’t have enough of is money.
We need help getting started. I am putting all my savings and all my energy into this business, but it won't be enough to create the kind of place the Charlotte area deserves. The goal of this Kickstarter is to raise at least $45,000. That amount, added to my savings, will ensure Worlds Of Wonder can meet the basic costs required to open in at least some form.
The greatest expenses Worlds Of Wonder faces at start-up are the costs of initial inventory, payroll for employees, a Point Of Sale system, and lease and build-out costs. The money raised through this campaign will go toward those. Specifically, with $45,000:
$22,000 will go toward inventory,
$10,500 will secure the lease,
$5,230 will pay two full-time employees during pre-opening start-up (while we aren't creating revenue yet), and
$7,270 will cover Kickstarter fees and the costs of the incentives.
As you may or may not know, Kickstarter funding is all or nothing. If the basic goal is not achieved, no money is collected. I know $45,000 is an ambitious goal. I know it's a lot to ask. But I know there's a need for a place like this in Charlotte, and plenty of you agree with me. If you want to not only be able to go to Worlds Of Wonder, but also be a part of making it happen, please support this Kickstarter. With your generous help, and with the support of readers, proud Charlotteans, science fiction and fantasy fans, we will meet that goal of $45,000.
To make Worlds Of Wonder truly great, though, will take even more.
If you help us raise our stretch goal of $100,000, we can make Worlds Of Wonder something really special. We can have a better initial inventory ($40,000), secure the lease and pay rent for 6 months while building the business ($24,500), cover all Kickstarter fees and incentive expenses ($11,000), pay salaries for two full-time managers for 6 months ($15,692), obtain a POS system ($7270), and make leasehold improvements ($1538). If this stretch goal is met, all our Kickstarter supporters who donate $5 or more will receive 2 vouchers for free breakfast during Saturday Morning Cartoons, and all who donate at least $50 will be named on a plaque (Behold! The WonderKind!) hung prominently in the store and will receive an additional pint glass and sticker. All supporters who donate $100 or more and help meet the $100,000 stretch goal will also receive VIP passes to our pre-opening, invitation only party.
If there is enough support to raise our super-stretch goal of $200,000, we will be able to open the store and bar with no additional debt. If that goal is met, ALL sponsors will receive an additional Worlds Of Wonder pint glass & towel, ALL will be named on the WonderKind plaque, and we will host a special Kickstarter backer party for all of you. Additionally, if $200,000 is raised, everyone who donates will receive a WOW In A Box mystery box (minimum $40 value).
You can find out more about Worlds Of Wonder on our facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/WOWBooksCharlotte and on our website, http://www.wowbooksclt.com. Also, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Risks and challenges
Every business venture is subject to risk, even something as perfect as Worlds Of Wonder. The business will depend on suppliers and gas prices and things outside our control. Unforeseen competition could pop up. The overall economy could change. And then there's the honest fact that this particular business concept has not been tried in Charlotte before. Our business planning and market research has been thorough, though, and the outlook for success in this market is strong.
Our staff has a combined 42+ years of retail management experience, the large majority of that in bookselling. They have experience in the hospitality industry as well. Regis has opened no fewer than 9 bookstores for other companies and operated exceptionally profitable cafes. Both of Worlds Of Wonder's managers have been recognized professionally for outstanding strategic thinking, customer service, and business acumen. They know how to operate a customer focused business successfully. On top of all that, they are real science fiction and fantasy fans who love the Charlotte area. This new store could not be in better hands, and I'm confident we can overcome any challenges that arise.
The more capital we raise before opening, the more assured success will be. The fuller the shelves, the better the equipment and ambience, the better we can impress customers, grow sales, and build sustainability.
If you help us raise the basic goal of $45,000, Worlds Of Wonder will certainly be able to open and all incentives will be fulfilled.
If, with your help, we can achieve a stretch goal of $100,000, we can broaden our inventory, cover more expenses, and hire more employees. Those moves will, in turn assure greater customer satisfaction, which will help secure Worlds Of Wonder's success.
If luck and your support is strong enough to help us reach the super-stretch goal of $200,000, Worlds Of Wonder will be able to open and operate without any additional debt. That would make the risk of failure almost nonexistent. With that amount of financing, Worlds Of Wonder will be the top-notch destination we all want it to be.
Our target opening date is May 1, 2015. Many goals have to be met in order to open on time. Different licensing requirements and building improvements, for example, could delay things. The sooner and more adequately the business is funded, however, the easier it will be to open the doors on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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