Hi everyone! Looking for views, feelings, criticism, on my enterprise idea. It's a sensitive topic, and maybe controversial idea, but all perspectives are appreciated. If you think it's a terrible thing to introduce into the world, tell me so, don't be gentle.
I want to open a book store called Banned Books, a bookstore which specialises in books from around the world which are, or have been, banned or censored. Books are categorised according to the institutions that banned them, so for example you can browse books banned by the British Empire, the former Soviet Union, the Vatican etc. The profits from the store go to purchasing stock for a Museum of Banned Books, which will be a permanent collection (not for sale or rental, not a library), where visitors can read and learn about key books from around the world relating to the history of free speech and censorship. The museum's job is to preserve and make accessible texts which have limited market appeal, but significant historical interest. I have my own research database of some 200 books which are suitable for the store and/or museum.
I appreciate that the problem I’m addressing is a little abstract for a social enterprise. I am a believer in free speech, and I am sensitive to the power of institutions to control the public narrative and restrict access to material that is disadvantageous to them. I believe that in some corner of the world there should be a reserve of that material, somewhere safe, so that people can know and see what the controversy is about. I have no obligation or desire to sell a text which is deplorable or immediately dangerous. Supporting the museum through a store protects the museum from political changes in access to state funding.
I will initially sell books from my current company's van, which I can transform into a bookmobile that can travel to street festivals around Europe (Tallinn street festivals will be our pilot), and then move to an online model. The margins on books are extremely low, so I'm planning a combination of low overheads, strong marketing, ancillary products and merchandising that will compensate for that.
Feedback at this stage would be appreciated!
Also, I've been negotiating, but I cannot purchase the .com domain name for this company, nor .net, .eu or .org. If anyone has a preference between .online, .site, or .xyz, then let me know. Or indeed if you have a better name for the company then suggest it. It seems I'm the only person that likes .xyz 🙂