Introducing Novel, S10s independent bookshop/cafe

by Kate and Joe from Novel in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Introducing Novel, S10s independent bookshop/cafe

Total raised £3,696

£5,000 stretch target 16 days left
184% 132 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 10th June 2024 at 6:57pm

Opening Novel, Crookes' bookshop/cafe!

by Kate and Joe from Novel in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Wow! We hit our initial target 🎉 you’re all absolute legends, thank you for your support, it means the world to us.

So, let’s explain talk about what our plans would be if we were to reach our stretch target.

The additional funds would allow us to renovate and furnish the top floor of the building, which boasts an impressive 30msq floor plan and ceiling height and would be perfect for additional events. I’d love to use it as a pop up gallery, a cinema space (we really want to host evening events where we watch adaptations of books we stock), and much more.

It would also allow us to add in shelving capacity and stock a bigger range than we have planned currently. We’d love the community that has formed around Novel to help us with our monthly selection, so having extra funds would mean we’d be able to add more into our range with your help. As much as Joe and I have enjoyed having read and enjoyed everything we stock, this model is somewhat unsustainable and so we’re looking to the community for all the best recommendations.

I am forever grateful to all the small businesses who gave us a platform and let us host pop-ups early in our journey, and would like to 'pay this forward'. Meeting the stretch goal would increase our capacity, meaning we could host pop-ups, and expand our giftware range to support more small businesses and creatives.

I’d just like to say another huge thank you to everyone who has already supported, shared and claimed one of our snazzy rewards. We truly appreciate your generosity, and we can’t wait to welcome you in and thank you in person. 💕

A Room of One's Own


Hi there! We're Kate and Joe, and for the past two years we have been running Novel, Sheffield's pop-up book shop. We want to tell you a little bit about the big plans we have to open Crookes' independent bookshop/cafe down at 221 School road, and the rewards available to those of you who want to help us hit the ground running.

We’ve been dreaming up this business over the 12 years we’ve been together, and for the last two, have had the pleasure of making this bookselling dream a reality, and are now ready to open our first bricks and mortar venue. We sift through contemporary releases to find the most inspiring, innovative, and thought-provoking books out there, and at the centre of the curation is a diverse list of authors, themes, and publishers. We love bringing bookish people together, and are delighted to have found the perfect venue to call our home in the heart of S10. 


Running a bookshop has been something we've discussed endlessly, it's always been our dream project. We love to read, we love chatting about what we’ve read, we love independent businesses, but when we did the maths, the initial investment to set up a fully operational shop from scratch felt so huge that we left our business plans on hold.

Back in the summer of 2022, a few months after Kate had dipped out of teaching on the back of a Crohn’s diagnosis, we decided there was no time like the present to take Novel for a test drive, so took the plunge and began selling books at markets and events across Sheffield.


Later that year, we were offered a little 2m x 1.8m nook at the back of Queen of the Suburbs coffee shop in Crookes, which was our home until the cafe’s closure in November 2023. It was a truly lovely chapter in Novel's journey, we met a load of wonderful regulars and had a blast working with the dreamy baristas at Queens. Our little business grew into something that was viable.


We have always been on the lookout for our own premises and have viewed 20+, but we were unable to find somewhere that hit the sweet spot of being both affordable and the right location/space. 

That was, until 221 School Rd threw up a ‘to let’ sign a couple of weeks before Queen of the Suburbs closed its doors.


Located just 7 doors down from our previous sublet, we knew it would be the perfect home for Novel. The reason we’ve been pretty quiet over the last few months is that we’ve been getting the plumbing sorted, having carpenters come and measure up the space, and having the designs knocked up for Novel 2.0. 

We’ve poured so much time, money, and love into ensuring that we are creating something that you will love. We’re excited to welcome you in late June 2024.

Novel: The Sequel


So, what are we planning on opening?

I popped a questionnaire out a couple of months ago, and I’d like to thank the 150+ respondents for helping further shape our business plans. We have listened, and we want to give the people what they want!

Novel will always primarily be a bookshop. We will continue to champion independent publishers, and curate a range of diverse, thought-provoking reads that we have mostly read and enjoyed. Expect a big expansion of our range - we want you to browse to your heart's content!

The bookshop-cafe set up we had at Queen’s was sublime, so you’ll be able to grab a hot drink and bake and take a seat in the back room of the space. Think of our space as a cosy hideaway, you can pop in and get some work done, get your caffeine and baked good fix, and in doing so, support our small independent business.

Some new and exciting elements we have in store is the increase in capacity for the amount of book clubs we will be able to host, as well as other in-person events. We would love to add author events into our calendar, allow other businesses to host pop-ups in the space, and host evening events once we’re all set up (life drawing? Knitting groups? All ideas welcome). 

We’re passionate about Novel being a space where you can try something a little different, pick up a new skill, and enrich your free time supporting creatives and those wanting to share their stories and skills.

At our core, we hope to bring a little more fun to the wonderful community that has grown around Novel.

How You Can Help:

By supporting our Crowdfunder campaign, you'll not only help bring this little dream to life and you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy some of the rewards, including brand new merchandise that we're making in collaboration with Sheffield-based social enterprise, Printed by Us

Printed by Us run workshops to teach homeless and vulnerable people the craft of screen printing, creating small batches of hand printed items on quality, ethically-made garments. Each t-shirt will be printed on an EARTHPOSITIVE EP38 Unisex 100% organic cotton extra heavy jersey t-shirt, because we care about the planet, our community and hate see-through cheap, synthetic tees!


We want to assure you that we’ve poured our heart, soul, and savings towards this project. We are putting our usual bookselling operations on hold during renovation, we’d offer people the opportunity to support us in the meantime. 

If you could please share this or even claim a reward, it would mean the world to us!

Lots of love,

Kate and Joe


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£28 or more

Novel T-shirt!

You requested it, and we’ve listened! Get your Novel graphic t-shirts, made in collaboration with an incredible Sheffield-based social enterprise, Printed by Us. We're fussy about tshirt quality, so have opted for a heavy jersey 100% cotton tee. A size guide can be found on our instagram. NOTE: these will be ordered once the crowdfunder campaign is finished, we can post/you'll be able to collect from our new shop once we're open!

£5 or more

A feelgood fiver

Billionaires want to launch phallic shaped vessels into space, whereas we’re just hoping to launch a non-phallic shaped humble bookshop/cafe in the heart of Crookes. Help us fight against the monopolisation of the book market, and put money back into our communities to keep the local economy thriving. Note: this reward does not include anything redeemable, besides a huge thank you from Joe and I. You're the best!

£15 or more

5 of 20 claimed

Ticket to our opening evening

Want to pop in and browse before everyone else gets the chance? By purchasing this reward, we’ll send you an exclusive invitation to a mini opening party to thank everyone who has supported us. This will fall on a weekday evening in May, and more details will be given closer to the time. If you’re unable to attend on that date, we’ll make sure you are reimbursed!

£15 or more

Paperback and a tea/coffee

Pop into Novel once we're open and claim your paperback and a hot drink of your choice.

£16 or more

15 of 25 claimed

Attend a future book club

Join us at an upcoming book club in our new space! You'll have first dibs on tickets for the 2024 events, which we'll provide the details for once we're open. Purchasing this reward also includes a copy of the book we'll be reading, and the option to have it delivered to you if you live within a 1 mile radius of our new shop.

£35 or more

T-shirt, paperback and a coffee

Get your Novel graphic t-shirts, made in collaboration with an incredible Sheffield-based social enterprise, Printed by Us. Also, claim your paperback and coffee when you visit the space! NOTE: these will be ordered once the crowdfunder campaign is finished, we can post/you'll be able to collect from our new shop once we're open!

£44 or more

£50 Novel voucher

Buy a £50 gift voucher for £44, either to spend in store or virtually.

£125 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Hire Novel for an event

Hire out the shop for a birthday party, xmas do, or any kind of evening shindig you’ve got coming up. We'll be there to staff on the night to support any activities you may have planned! (up to 15 people seated)

£50 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Novel VIP plaque

This reward gets you your own personalised ‘reserved’ plaque in Novel’s cafe. Give us a 30 minute heads up via DM before you arrive and we’ll make sure your spot is ready.

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