In the years since, we've been more than just a bookstore: we've hosted bookmaking sessions with the local primary school, two weddings, three births, three Super 8 Film Festivals, the First and Last Annual International Tzatziki Festival and a host of readings. We've cooked thousands of big dinners and watched thousands of sunsets from our terrace. We've argued about music, art, and literature and, of course, we've danced amongst the books in the nighttime. We've brought hundreds of writers, artists and bibliophiles together from around the world.
To create Atlantis, before we laid the first book, the founders spent months raising money. Aside from a few thousand culled from student loans and funnelled to cover lean times, that initial business plan and capital kept us going for a solid seven years.
Unfortunately those years are past.
In 2009, the Greek economy collapsed, tourism rates plummeted, taxes went way, way up, and eReaders pinched hard on our sales.
As austerity became the new normal in 2010, the bookshop found that its methods of importing stock and utilizing retail space would no longer be sustainable.
We are changing our model to keep up. We've drastically cut down on expenses. We've launched our own in-house publishing outfit, Paravion Press: www.paravionpress.org. Paravion has secured a subsidized print run in Manhattan this winter and with a strong web and retail presence we hope the venture will profit and its fruits will dovetail into Atlantis soon enough. We are working with the venerable Penguin Books UK to plan a literary festival in Oia this October, bringing some prestige, publicity, and a new swarm of literary enthusiasts to our island.
Even with these changes and additions, nothing has proven a simple quick fix. It's clear that moving forward, we need to invigorate the shop with new stock and broader goals so it can again become a profitable entity in the post-crash Kindle-powered years to come. We have confidence in our next phase. We know the Atlantis community can pull this off.
In order to maintain that magical storefront as the flagship of our literary ventures, we are asking friends to contribute to our next step. To this end we are asking friends to contribute 100 euros each.
If one hundred is beyond your budget, we'll gratefully accept what you can give. If you are able to give more and feel it a worthy cause, there is no limit we will not accept.
With this money we will undertake improvements to the shop to make it more viable, accessible, and better able to serve as a retail space and community forum. Planned improvements include:
-Overdue renovations to the shop interior
-Transformation of our terrace into a flexible retail and performance space
-A fresh stock of unique books that will help solidify our niche as a purveyor of the fine volumes and small press gems from around the world.
Raising these funds is imperative to the survival of the shop and if we fall short, we do not expect to be able to open our blue doors for another season in Oia. We are inviting you to be a part of this next chapter of Atlantis Books and the literary and artistic projects the shop has engendered. Despite everything, it remains an exciting time to be in the business of words and we ask you to please join us.
We want you to feel damn good about becoming an even larger part of the life of Atlantis Books, joining with others around the world who still feel a connection to our store. This is why we are using the Indiegogo platform to host our campaign. Everyone can follow our progress. It is clean and transparent and if our pledges don't meet the mark, your contributions will be refunded. Of course, if we reach our30,000 goal, we celebrate together! This is the moment when we vote to decide if the shop improves and grows for us to share in years to come.
We are asking for a lot of money because we only want to ask once. This is the amount that allows us to make fundamental shifts to our business to achieve a new sustainability. Less than this and we would be in the same position next winter. We will not do that. We will either sustain ourselves for a good while, or we will hug each other and love the time we had.
Please know how seriously we take the responsibility of your contribution.
Finally, know this:
We are optimistic about the future. We have plans of festivals, sculptures, new books, new shelves and a thousand more communal dinners. The will and desire are in place. We want Atlantis to continue connecting people, books, and the ideas they bring together.
If you have any questions please email or call one of us from the shop. We're eager to share details and find a way to keep the store we love so our kids can come here and run it some day.