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$12,296 pledged of $45,000 goal
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By Regis Murphy
$12,296 pledged of $45,000 goal
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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 regis@wowbooksclt.com 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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    THANK YOU! For real, EVERY dollar counts and gets us closer to our goal. We'll thank you on Twitter and Facebook, and gladly high-five you when we see you in person.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    MARK IT - You get our sincere thanks with mentions on Twitter, Facebook, and the Worlds Of Wonder website, and a limited edition bookmark.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    CHEERS! To thank you for your donation at this level, you'll receive a bar quality Worlds Of Wonder pint glass! Feel good drinking out of it knowing you helped make a science fiction/fantasy bookstore and bar a reality. Additionally, you'll receive a high quality Worlds Of Wonder sticker, guaranteed to impress tailgaters and Highway Patrol officers alike. You'll also be thanked online at Twitter, Facebook, and our website.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    BE LIKE BEEBLEBROX! A $10 donation gets you an 11" X 18" towel with "Don't panic -- go to Worlds Of Wonder" printed on it. You'll also receive our public thanks on Twitter, Facebook, and our website.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    FAN COMBO! For your kind donation of $15, you'll get a Worlds Of Wonder pint glass, sticker, bookmark, and our thanks publicly displayed on Twitter, Facebook, and the Worlds Of Wonder website.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    GRAB A PAIR! Yes, this level gets you TWO Worlds Of Wonder pint glasses -- one for each hand (claw/hook/paw)! Public thanks will be issued through Twitter, Facebook, and our website, too.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    GET WONDERSTUCK! You'll get a custom made Worlds Of Wonder logo patch, manufactured by the renowned Contagious Media Productions(Greensboro, NC -- http://www.isitcontagious.com/). You can either sew or iron the sucker on. You also get a Worlds Of Wonder sticker and the limited edition bookmark. And we will thank you on Facebook and Twitter, as well as on the Worlds Of Wonder website.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    CHAOS THEORY! For a donation of $25, we'll hide your name and a unique number in a book in the store. It will have instructions to notify us once it's found. Upon notification, both you and the person who found the note will receive a book of your choice, up to $26 value, from our store. If we aren't notified that the slip has been found within 12 months, you will get to choose a book from stock worth up to $26. We'll thank you on Twitter and Facebook, and you'll be listed as a Lord of Chaos on our website.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    DRINKING BUDDIES - To thank you for a generous gift of $25, we'll send you two Worlds Of Wonder pint glasses and a Worlds Of Wonder bar towel with "Don't panic -- go to Worlds Of Wonder" printed on it.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    HANDMADE STUFFS DRAGON! You get a very cute cuddly plush dragon, handmade by a Charlotte craftsperson (owner of the Etsy shop Handmade Stuffs), and a Worlds Of Wonder sticker. And you'll be thanked through Twitter, on Facebook, and on our website.

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    HANDMADE STUFFS SEA MONSTER! You get a very cute cuddly plush sea monster, handmade by a Charlotte craftsperson (owner of the Etsy shop Handmade Stuffs), and a Worlds Of Wonder sticker. And you'll be thanked through Twitter, on Facebook, and on our website.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    HANDMADE STUFFS GREEN DRAGON! You get a very cute, cuddly plush dragon, handmade by a Charlotte craftsperson (owner of the Etsy shop Handmade Stuffs), and a Worlds Of Wonder sticker. And you'll be thanked through Twitter, on Facebook, and on our website.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    HANDMADE STUFFS BLACK DRAGON! This handmade cute, cuddly plush dragon is black with purple wings and pink features. Too adorable! Made by a Charlotte craftsperson (owner of the Etsy shop Handmade Stuffs). You also get a Worlds Of Wonder sticker and you'll be thanked through Twitter, on Facebook, and on our website.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    HAVE WE GOT A SHIRT FOR YOU! Look good, feel good with this limited edition, very first Worlds Of Wonder T-shirt featuring a cowboy android graphic. Comes with a Worlds Of wonder sticker and our enthusiastic thanks to you noted on Twitter, Facebook, and our website.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    REMOTE CONTROL! For your gift in this amount you will receive a pass entitling you to control of the Worlds Of Wonder TV for up to 5 hours. You choose what everyone at the bar watches (with limited restrictions. No porn.). Delight or irritate as you wish! TV pass can be used any time outside of special events, Sunday mornings, or during Karacteroake. You will be allowed to use the pass during Saturday Morning Cartoons time, but only for cartoons or programs suitable for all ages. We will thank you on Facebook and Twitter, and will tweet when you activate your pass to let the world know what you have made the rest of us watch.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    FEZZES ARE COOL! Get your very own high quality wool felt Worlds Of Wonder red fez, very much like what a Time Lord might wear. You will also receive thanks worthy of a Time Lord on Twitter, facebook, and our website.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    REWARDS OF WONDER! Get the limited edition android cowboy T-shirt, a pair of Worlds Of Wonder pint glasses, a WOW sticker, a tote bag, a patch, and a "Don't Panic" towel. Aw, what the heck -- we'll even throw in a special bookmark! Also our thanks given online on Twitter, Facebook, and the Worlds Of Wonder website.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    NAME YOUR POISON! For your thoughtful donation of $100, you can have your very own drink listed on the Worlds Of Wonder menu. Create your own recipe (if you actually want people to order it and drink it, use real ingredients we can easily obtain) or rename an existing beverage. Only 6 people get to do this! You'll also receive a Worlds Of Wonder pint glass, a sticker, and our thanks on the internet via Twitter, Facebook, and our website.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    DANCE OFF SUBSTITUTE! For $100, Regis will take your place in a dance off when you have been challenged to one. The win is not guaranteed. Will require advance notice (48 hours preferred). You will also receive thanks through our social media and website, and are welcome to record the amazing dance moves.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SPONSOR A SHELF! For your generous gift of $100, a nameplate will be attached to a shelf below eye level on one of our bookcases in the store announcing to the world that "This shelf sponsored by/in honor of..." with your name (or name of your choice) for a minimum of one year. And four months (of your choosing) out of the year, YOU select what gets displayed on that shelf from our inventory OR for your own advertisement or promotion. You will also be listed on our website as a Shelf Sponsor and thanked publicly on Twitter, Facebook, and in a special press release.The months you choose the display, we'll post on our social media accounts about it with pictures. You also get a Worlds Of Wonder sticker and bookmark.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    TOTAL WONDER! Get everything in the REWARDS OF WONDER package, PLUS a Worlds Of Wonder fez AND 2 VIP tickets to our exclusive pre-opening party! We will thank you on the Worlds Of Wonder website, on Twitter, and on Facebook, AND your name will be added to the Wonderkind plaque to be displayed in the store.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    T.ROB'S CHAOTIC TOTAL WONDER! Combined CHAOS THEORY and TOTAL WONDER rewards for a super supporter! Everything in the REWARDS OF WONDER package and CHAOS THEORY level, PLUS a Worlds Of Wonder fez AND 2 VIP tickets to our exclusive pre-opening party! We will thank you on the Worlds Of Wonder website, on Twitter, and on Facebook, AND your name will be added to the Wonderkind plaque to be displayed in the store. Only 1 available, and only available if your name is T.Rob. Thanks, T.Rob!!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    MEET BUBBA THE MONSTER HUNTER... AND GET KILLED BY HIM! Yep, you can pay to die a (probably not very) honorable death in a Bubba The Monster Hunter story by awesome urban fantasy author John G. Hartness! For your donation at this level, John will Tuckerize you in an upcoming story. What better way to impress your family, friends, and neighbors? Oh - by wearing a Worlds Of Wonder T-shirt, too, you say? Okay, you'll also get one of those, as well as digital copies of Bubba books Monsters Mashed and the new Casket Case. And our thanks, of course, on Twitter, Facebook, and our website. When the story your name is used in is published, we will make special posts on social media and our website about it, too.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    SPONSOR A SHELF! For your generous gift of $200, a nameplate will be attached to an eye level shelf on a bookcase in the store announcing to the world that "This shelf sponsored by..." with your name (or name of your choice) for a minimum of two years. Every other month, YOU select what gets displayed on that shelf from our inventory. You can also use the shelf at that time for your own advertisement or promotion. You will also be listed on our website as a Shelf Sponsor and thanked publicly on Twitter, Facebook, and in a special press release.The months you choose the display, we'll about it and post on our social media accounts about it with pictures. You also get a Worlds Of Wonder sticker and bookmark.

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    YOU'VE GOT WOW! Every other month for a year (so, 6 times), you'll receive a mystery box stuffed full of Worlds Of Wonder merchandise (minimum $40 value each box). Books, collectibles, toys, magazines, apparel, novelties --- any and all of these could be included. You will receive a survey to note your likes and dislikes to help us fill each box with things you'll appreciate, but there will be plenty of surprises. We will also thank you on Facebook, Twitter, and the Worlds Of Wonder website.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    MAKE YOUR MARK! Advertise whatever you'd like on bookmarks customers can pick up (for free) in store. We will have no less than 500 high quality, glossy bookmarks custom made (can be done as 2 separate designs, 250 each), printed on both sides, with whatever message and/or graphics you want.* Advertise your business, your book(s), your organization, your event, yourself... it's up to you! The bookmarks will be prominently displayed at the cash register, strategically placed throughout the store, and given to customers when they check out. You choose when to display the bookmarks. You'll be thanked for sponsoring Worlds Of Wonder with mentions on Twitter, Facebook, and our website, and we will announce through social media when your bookmarks are displayed, complete with pictures.

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    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    A YEAR OF WOW IN A BOX - Every month, for 12 months, you'll receive a mystery box stuffed full of Worlds Of Wonder merchandise (minimum $40 value each box). Books, collectibles, toys, magazines, apparel, novelties --- any and all of these could be included. You will receive a survey to note your likes and dislikes to help us fill each box with things you'll appreciate, but there will be plenty of surprises. PLUS, you get a bonus starter box with goodies from this Kickstarter (again, a minimum $40 value), and mentions with our thanks on Facebook, Twitter, and the Worlds Of Wonder website.

    THIS WILL ALSO GIVE YOU A LEVEL UP IF YOU'RE A MEMBER OF THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY CUSTOMERS!

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    BAG 'EM! For a $400 donation, we will have your logo (and no other logos) printed on both sides of reusable, non-woven shopping tote bags given to Worlds Of Wonder customers. Promote your brand, company, or organization as a supporter of literacy, local business, and Worlds Of Wonder. We will also thank you with a special mention on our website and on Twitter and Facebook, with pictures of the tote bags (and your logo) posted.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    BOXES, BEVVIES, AND A BASH! You get everything from the $350 YEAR OF WOW IN A BOX package, PLUS an additional, special Christmas WOW box (minimum value $50), a birthday WOW box at your (or your loved one's) birthday (again, minimum value $50), a set of FOUR Worlds Of Wonder pint glasses, the limited edition T-shirt, and two invitations to the pre-opening VIP party.

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

    YOUR OWN PRIVATE (WORLDS OF) WONDERLAND! Have the place to yourself, or with up to 15 friends, for a private party, complete with open bar! Schedule up to 5 hours to have exclusive use of Worlds Of Wonder. We will provide gift bags of goodies for your attendees, and can help arrange entertainment,too. Private parties can't be during or before already scheduled special events, but they can be immediately after. Of course, we will thank you online for your donation and, if you want, post on our social media accounts and website about your special event.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    SPONSOR A WHOLE BOOKCASE! For a gift at this level, we will let everyone know how awesome you are by prominently displaying your name (or your company's name, your organization's name, your loved one's name, or your favorite author's name) on it with a "This bookcase sponsored by/in honor of..." nameplate. You will be invited to decorate the bookcase however you like (excepting illegal or terrible offensive stuff, or anything that interferes with the functionality of the bookcase as a means of displaying books) -- paint it, cover it with stickers, put your company's logo on it, whatever. AND, on the month of your choosing, you select what gets displayed on the bookcase for an entire month. You will also be listed on the Worlds Of Wonder website as a Bookcase Sponsor, be publicly thanked on Twitter, Facebook, and in a special press release. The month you choose the display, it will be blogged about and posted with pictures on our social media accounts, and another special press release will be sent out. Plus, you'll receive 5 Worlds Of Wonder stickers and 5 tote bags.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    BE KING OR QUEEN OF THE BAR! This is a big gift, but it comes with a big reward. You will get your own barstool, marked with your name and reserved for only you or your designee. You get a beverage named after you, created with your input. You will be a guest of honor for all Worlds Of wonder events for a full year, with admission to our pre-opening VIP party. You'll receive two Worlds Of Wonder pint glasses and we will have a special glass etched with your name displayed at the bar (when you aren't drinking from it). You also get the limited edition Worlds Of Wonder T-shirt, a red Worlds Of Wonder fez, a bar towel, and stickers. Not only will you be thanked publicly on Twitter and Facebook, but you will have your own listing on the Worlds Of Wonder website (if you like) and a special press release will go out announcing you as the King or Queen of the Wonder Bar.

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Funding period

- (30 days)