A New Way to Collect and Enjoy Your Favorite Books

Book lovers, rejoice! Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), also known as crypto-collectibles, have launched thousands of literary projects on the blockchain. These NFTs create a whole new way to collect and enjoy your favorite books, poems and articles.

But what exactly are literary NFTs, and how are they revolutionizing how we experience literature?

What is a literary NFT?

Traditional publishing has been successful for a long time. According to Grand View Research report, the industry was estimated at $138.5 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $142.33 billion in 2022 and $164.22 billion in 2030.

However, there is a growing need for a more open and decentralized publishing system, which is where literary NFTs come in.

A literary NFT is a digital work of literature (such as a poem, book or article) minted on the blockchain. In other words, the work exists on a decentralized computer network, which makes it resistant to censorship. In addition, the work may not be altered without the permission of the author.

The versatility of literary NFTs enhances their beauty and importance. They can act as a digital collectible, showcase a written work, or serve as access to exclusive fan communities. There are also cases where manufacturers release individual NFTs of fictional characters.

How do literary NFTs work?

Literary NFTs exist on a blockchain, a public ledger that records crypto transactions and ensures their efficiency. While other blockchain networks support Literary NFTs, the Ethereum blockchain has the largest number of Literary NFTs.

You can construct a literary NFT from digital objects, including intangible and tangible objects. They are similar to physical collector’s items except that they are digital. Therefore, you will get a digital file instead of a book to keep on your shelf or library.

Additionally, the buyer obtains exclusive rights over the NFT. The reason is that NFTs have only one owner at a particular point of time. Their unique data verifies ownership and easily transfers tokens between owners.

In addition, the owner can protect specific information inside the NFT. For example, you can sign your work by including your signature in the NFT’s metadata.

Projects exploring literary NFTs

Even as literary NFTs are still in their infancy, 2021 is seeing a number of NFT projects coming out from well-established and independent creators.

This crypto writer and artist explores the possibility of creating art and writing on the blockchain. Kalen Iwamoto’s works are available on several NFT exchanges. You can see Kalan Iwamoto as the first crossroad step between art and crypto-native writing.

Why are literary NFTs valuable?

eBook piracy has been on the rise over the years. This may not sound like a big problem, but authors lose thousands of dollars to people who illegally copy and distribute their eBooks.

When authors make a special, collectible edition of one of their titles, they want to avoid this problem of piracy. This is because the value of the collectible edition will decrease as many new editions appear on the market.

Literary NFTs are valuable because only a limited amount of an author’s work is available at a given time. Furthermore, a proper blockchain-published title is encrypted and decentralized, stored in bits on multiple computers in a process called Decentralized Encrypted Assets (DEA).

The reader who opens the book brings all the bits together and decrypts them. After that, it renders the book for you in a readable format. With such immense security, books on the blockchain are worth more than regular e-books.

Take, for example, Blake Butler, who published his book titled Decades in February 2021. Butler wrote the book in 2008, but commercial publishers rejected it because of its “dense language and complex structure”.

Blake Butler converted the book to the Glowing Pages Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) and minted it as an NFT. With NFT, Butler self-published and sold his work. Overnight, someone bought the NFT for 5 ETH (ethereum), which was then $7,569.50.

Perpetual ownership

NFT Books are receipts for digital books that you own. This quality sets literary NFTs apart from the eBooks you can buy from online eBook stores like Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

eBooks and the likes purchased from Amazon are available only as long as the platform is operational and has agreed to provide it. However, owning a literary NFT is like owning a physical copy of a book. Once you buy it, it’s yours and won’t disappear because of a third party.

Additionally, with NFTs, you can own a specific copy within a range of other copies, similar to how you can own different editions of physical books.

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