Help Make Star Cat Books Happen.
Do you love books and reading? Do you want people to have access to fantastic books and art from all around the world? I do. My name is Nancy and I need your help to bring books and a sense of art and community to the town of Bradford, Vermont. My passion is great art, great literature, and being able to give everyone access to them. My dream is "Star Cat Books," an independent bookstore that will bring a fantastic selection of literature to the people of Vermont. But in order to open I need your help. Don't worry, I have some fantastic rewards for you. By helping this store open, you are giving the gift of art, literature, and community to an entire town. I intend to make Star Cat Books something very special. I want people to feel the magic I felt when I was younger and there were independent bookstores everywhere. Will you help me give the joy of reading back to a community that needs it?
How much do I need to raise?
- $8,000 minimum in contributions.
I have already provided over $7,000 of my own money towards the acquisition of the existing store's inventory and fixtures (the sales price is $15,000).
But I will need a new inventory system, modernized point-of-sale system, barcode scanners, and of course new stock — which will include both gently used/rare and new books. Those don't come free, unfortunately! Then there's the money I need to set aside to pay authors to come for signings and events. We want to make this store a place that people come to not just for books, but because it's truly special.
That means any monies received over the $8,000 are needed to actually get the store up and running. Please do keep that in mind when you're contributing.
And what do you get out of it?
Note: Our final logo is yet to be finished by our excellent illustrator/designer, Timothy Zach.
Instead, for just our Indiegogo campaign we have a lovely, Special Edition logo made by a member of Comicmix, which is sponsoring us here: Evelyn Kriete made this, and we couldn't be more pleased!
That means your gift will be UNIQUE and one-of-a-kind. Only available during our Indiegogo campaign.
- Any level: a limited-edition bookmark in a clear plastic sleeve with our cat & star logo on it
- $10: a limited edition print of our resident crazy cat, printed just for you on heavy paper
$25: a die-cast pin of our limited-edition cat & star logo
$50: a heavy cotton book bag, with small exterior pouch, with our limited-edition cat & star logo on it
$100: a 15 oz. shiny white bistro mug & book bag with our limited-edition logo on it
$500 a specially signed book by:
- tucked into one of our book bags just for you.
Support your friendly neighborhood bookstore.
We all hear it nowadays: Live local. Buy local. Support local. But how many of us do? Where I now live, the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont, along the Connecticut River — just north of Dartmouth College — people live that creed every day.
(existing site of bookstore — to be renamed and relaunched as Star Cat Books, LLC)
My background is in books — 30+ years'-worth of it.
I've worked in the publishing business for over 30 years now, both in the production end of matters for major publishers on both coasts of the US (I still keep my hand in, in fact), and as a bookseller. My bookselling days go back to managing stores for Lauriats in the Boston, MA, area in the mid-1980s, and later on the North Shore of Boston in the later '80s. I love selling books, love talking to customers, love "hand-selling."
I studied Children's Literature at Simmons College as part of their Master's program after my BA in the mid-1980s, and my specialty while working as a copy editor, proofreader, and developmental editor for publishers has been science fiction and fantasy.
Hence the specialty for Star Cat Books: gently used and new books, specializing in science fiction and children's books.
I have a background in creating websites & integrating POS systems into them via databases, so we can modernize the existing bookstore inventory, including our new acquisitions of course, to allow our customers to finally be able to buy directly from Star Cat Books on the web as well as through programs such as Abe/Amazon Books.
Ebooks: Friend or Foe?
I know from ebooks — I've had to as ebooks have evolved over the last decade — and was one of the earliest adopters (I freely admit my complete and utter geekdom in having a Newton Message Pad and using it to read books...). We plan to participate in the indie bookstore platform with Kodo to provide our customers with a viable way to acquire and purchase ebooks both through us and at home.
While distribution systems for publishers have changed radically over the last few years, creating a "the sky is falling" attitude in the media, those of us in the business for this long know that smaller bookstores themselves are not all going the way of the dinosaur. Why? Because indies have known all along that one must change constantly, keep with the flow. And to keep it local.
In keeping with our promise to uphold our "stay local" creed, we will be supporting local authors (of which there are many! did you know that the award-winning author of 1940's "shocker" The Lost Weekend lived right in this valley?) We will be supporting and coordinating with local stores and merchants (I've already joined the Bradford Merchants' Association as of this morning — we even meet at the locally owned coffee house, The Local Buzz), and we will be commissioning in as many local artisans' crafts to support the bookstore as possible.
Bradford, VT, supports a vibrant community of merchants, including an old-fashioned 5¢ & 10¢ store (Hills), one of the best local restaurants & its lounge which is open late (right across the street from what will be my bookstore's location), a coffee shop, pizza joint, general store and hangout, ice cream (did you know New England sells, per capita, more ice cream than any other US region? go figure!), and it even hosts the home of Copeland Furniture — which makes furniture (the factory and factory store is in town) for The Company Store, featuring designs such as Frank Lloyd Wright's chairs and tables.
(the opposite side of the street from the bookstore's location, downtown Bradford, VT.)
What Else Do We Have Planned?
We are planning author signings, readings, and events. Writers' workshops. Stitch 'n b*tch evenings for our local knitters. Coordination with local shops to co-host events, such as talks about outdoors sports led by Farmway, supported by hiking books on the nearby Appalachian Trail on special that month. Books on landscaping and gardening would be supported by talks from our local fantastic nursery, JM Landscaping & Garden Center. Draw-your-own comic book Saturdays in the back room, hosted by a local artist. And much more. The world is our oyster — we have so much talent in the Upper Valley, it's almost embarrassing. And everyone loves to share it with the others.
(Bradford, VT, approaching from the south, on VT Rt 5)
Other Ways You Can Help
Please get out the word:
Share it via the Indiegogo Share Tool.
Write it on someone's forehead (backwards, of course, so they can see it in the mirror!)
Tell your friends, your mom, your dog, your hamster, your roommate. Any and all lifeforms (and even some non-lifeforms) are more than welcome to contribute to the party. But remember: SHARE THIS! The bigger, the better.
Why we all wished you lived here:
So we could give you a big hug to thank you for just reading this. But especially because we think you'd love to see the Upper Valley and Bradford, Vermont, in particular. And, of course, Star Cat Books when it moves into the bookstore space in downtown Bradford.
Spring, summer, fall, winter — every season is lovely here. I'm not just making that up. I'll be posting updates here with photos of weird and wonderful things you can see if you do end up visiting this area (and fun to see and read about even if you do never make it here).
(view from my front porch this fall — I kid you not, every sunset here is a study in Maxfield Parrish art...)