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Hi Matt, this is Pablo from Argentina (the one that inherited your espresso machine).

Glad to see you are pursuing new ventures, sad to see the bookstore did not reach a sustainable point.

I think there is project that you may know, or not. Not sure if what they are doing is actually applicable to your bookstore, but nevertheless it has many ideas that may be interesting to you or the brave soul that continues with Lorem Ipsum. It is called "Orsai" (a word derived from soccer term off-side)

Back in late 2010, a writer and famous argentinean blogger living in Spain, Hernan Casciari, got some money from his "blog-novel-developed-into-book-and-then-into-a-play" and decided to make his dream come true and do something incredible: To publish a 100% ad-free literary magazine, on real paper, with the best printing quality, only featuring writers and artists he and his lifelong friend "Chiri" admired. It would cost like 15 sunday papers, and they would make the whole magazine available as DRM-free PDF download some weeks after its paper release.

Crazy, indeed. At the very same moment, the book industry was claiming Internet was destroying the paper book and making culture die by piracy: "people do not pay for cultural goods", they said.

But, against all odds Hernan did it, and published all 4 issues as promised. Readers bought the magazine in 10-packs and then re-distributed them to friends. They barely made even that year.

So in 2012, they tweaked the concept with a subscription model, and got 5500+ subscribers who paid in advance about USD 90 for a 6-issue yearlong subscription. With that model, they printed 6 beautifully made magazines, with some interviews that were unique and outstanding quality in all contents. The authors were very well paid, and the subscription model allowed for stories to span the whole year. A complete success.

NO ONE IN THE MIDDLE, is their motto.

I have been, in fact, a "Orsai distributor" this year. So people came to my place, and without knowing me they gave me about USD 90 to have their magazines every 2 months... The distribution became a great way to meet people, as in last issues we simply gathered on a small cultural center and had informal and interesting meetings with drinks and food.

This whole concept derived into a editorial company being created, one where the authors get 50% of the street price of EACH BOOK SOLD, together with a list of buyer´s email addresses to entice authors into one to one contact with their readers.

And finally, the related point: It derived into a bar in San Telmo: "Bar Orsai".

San Telmo, a trendish Buenos Aires area, is the right place to enact what they call "un bar para borrachos que leen" (spanish for "A bar for book-reading boozers").

So the place looks like a pub, with tables and a -hum-, a bar. For reasons that are more related to who were early into the project, it is known for its pizzas, so technically it is a pizzeria. But I am sure that if Hernan Casciari had a NASCAR racing friends, the place may have been a car repair shop.

The place is not a bookstore, it is not a cultural center or art gallery. It is not a theater either. But it is all of these at the same time. One night, an author comes to read his new book, the following night a renowned artist draws in one table for everybody there to see. There are magazines and books for sell. So you can order a fugazzeta, a beer, and a book.

It is not a new concept, but what it is new is how it came to be. The other way around: blog -> community -> books -> play based on the book -> literary magazine -> stronger community -> editorial -> bar to get community together.

It was born on the web in 2001. It is now a brick and mortar place. You had a brick a mortar store which was "web enabled". Looks like a closed circle to me. Perhaps the answer to have Lorem Ipsum stay opened is to leverage this "people with love for reading will love a place to meet and have fun".

If your spanish is still as good as when you were around, take a peek: http://www.editorialorsai.com. Watch the video, which resumes the whole story.

Un abrazo! ///Pablo

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