In recent months crowdfunding Web site Indiegogo has become a go-to spot for booksellers looking to raise money, either to open a location or expand an existing one. In late November, about the same time that New York City’s iconic children’s bookstore Books of Wonder completed its campaign to revitalize, refurbish, and renew after 32 years, two other bookstore fundraising campaigns went live on the Indiegogo site.
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria, which began as a 100%-volunteer, month-long project in Washington Heights, N.Y., in June 2011 stayed open until the end of August 2012, when it lost its month-by-month lease. Now the store, which distributed more than 30,000 books in English, Spanish, and Russian to its neighbors, many for only $1, is looking for $60,000 to set up a permanent location. With two weeks left in its Indiegogo campaign, Word Up has raised over $20,000.
In Hudson, Ohio, events coordinator Kate Schlademan turned to Indiegogoto raise $50,000 to secure a business loan to buy The Learned Owl Book Shop, the 43-year-old independent bookstore, where she works. Owner Liz Murphy put it on the market in April. In the first week Schlademan has received contributions of just over $6,000 toward her goal. The campaign closes in mid-January.