With just three and a half months left until its new location opens in downtown Phoenix, Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Ariz., launched a month-long Indiegogo campaign Sunday night to raise $80,000 by Christmas Eve. “We hoped we were going to be able to borrow money from the bank,” said Changing Hands co-founder and co-owner Gayle Shanks, who took out a mortgage on her home to help make the store’s second location a reality.
But, as Shanks notes in the Frank ‘N Moby Build a Bookstore video, created by TED fellow Safwat Saleem, “It’s enormously expensive to open a bookstore. The thing that costs the most is putting books onto shelves.” The video, which was intended to be a humorous addition to the more standard fare on the independent fundraising site, is narrated by Moby (as in Dick) and his friend Frank (as in Frankenstein). Shanks wanted the video to be creative, reflect the staff personalites at Changing Hands, and fun. She also gave filmmaker Saleem and illustrators Sebastian Million and Jon Garza free rein to create donation perks like T-shirts that ask, “Who you calling Dick?”
To minimize the percentage that Indiegogo takes, Shanks chose the option that means if the store doesn’t meet its funding goal of $80,000 in 30 days, it won’t get a penny. “Our hope,” she says, “is to get more.” The $80,0000 is just a fraction of what the store will need. As for her fallback position if the fundraiser doesn’t work, she says simply, “We’ll beg.” That’s how strong her determination is to keep the new store on track to open with everything it needs in February.