What Are Literature NFTs?

What Are Literature NFTs

A new avenue for writers, are literature NFTs worth the hype? Find out.

In January this year, a post by the co-Founder and CEO of a web 3.0 media company, nft now, Matt Medved, went viral on Twitter. The tweet that reads “Literature NFTs will change the world” caused a heated discussion on the social media platform. Many are concerned that non-fungible token (NFT) books would further privatize free access to information, whereas some are excited that they would create completely new ways to make literature.

But firstly, what is a literature NFT? You may have noticed that NFTs are primarily used for digital art. This is true, but NFTs are slowly gaining momentum across multiple creative industries, including music, games and literature. Let’s take a look at the possibilities and challenges of incorporating NFTs into the literature space.

A new form of writer-reader interaction

With NFTs, authors will be able to limit quantities and periods for a release and create hype around their books. They can also use NFTs to offer their readers unique features, like special forewords, illustrations and authors’ notes. Another way in which NFTs could add value to literary works is by giving authors the option to put out a limited number of digitally-signed copies. This could be an intriguing way for authors to engage with readers and fans and increase their work’s value.

Creative freedom

NFTs can be a way for writers to experiment with publication formats—especially those whose interests lie in technology. With the decentralized nature of NFTs, writers can play with various formats when releasing their work and build direct relationships with their buyers and fans without having any publishers telling them what’s sellable or not.

In February 2021, author Blake Butler published his book Decade, which he wrote back in 2008, by turning it into a GIF (graphics interchange format) of flashing pages of his book and then minting it as an NFT. Commercial publishers previously rejected Butler’s work because of its “complicated structure and dense language”. But now, with an NFT as a publishing alternative, Butler had the option to publish and sell his work by himself. Purchasing the GIF gives you proof of ownership of Decade, with which you can receive a PDF version of the book. Overnight, someone bought the NFT for 5 Ethereum (ETH), which was US$7,569.50 at the time.

Permanent ownership

An NFT book is a receipt for a digital book, something in your possession. This makes a literature NFT different from an eBook that you can purchase from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. When you purchase an eBook on Amazon, you only have it for as long as Amazon is around and agrees to keep providing it.

In some ways, possessing a literature NFT is similar to owning a physical copy of a book. You own it once you buy it, and it won’t disappear at the whims of an outside party. In fact, with NFTs, you don’t just own any copy but a specific copy within a series of copies, just like how you can hold different editions of a physical book.

Concerns with NFTs

Some are concerned that since NFT books would be on the expensive end, they would invariably make some books inaccessible to the general public and limit access to information that should otherwise be freely available. The scarcity of NFT books would make them more expensive than regular eBooks and physical books. This contradicts the purpose of libraries and eBooks, which gives everyone equal access to books and information.

Moreover, there is also the evergreen concern about the environmental impacts of NFTs. The Ethereum blockchain, on which most NFTs are built, forces miners to solve complex equations in order to add their assets to the blockchain. This process continues to grow more complex and energy-draining as ETH becomes more popular. The calculation process is extremely energy-intensive and relies on electricity generated by fossil fuels, particularly coal. Bitcoin mining is responsible for 85.75 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Such a carbon footprint is comparable to countries such as Bangladesh and Chile.

Despite environmental concerns, NFTs benefit the publishing industry by adding new ways to promote books and earn additional revenues. If you are a budding writer who always dreams of publishing a book of yours but are sick of submitting manuscripts to commercial publishers, why not try to be a crypto writer and publish your book as a unique NFT?

Also read:

Header image courtesy of Unsplash

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

4 Business Sectors Reaping Profit from FIFA World Cup 2022

4 Business Sectors Reaping Sweet Profit from FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar will generate roughly US$6.5 billion in revenue, topping the previous record of US$5.4 billion from the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Thanks to the once-in-four-year tournament, Qatar’s GDP is estimated to grow by 4.1% in 2022, and the tournament alone could add up to US$20 billion to Qatar’s economy.

Transparency in the Post FTX World What is Proof of Reserve

Transparency in the Post FTX World: What is Proof of Reserve?

In November this year, two big league crypto businesses, FTX and BlockFi, filed for bankruptcy. FTX had a death spiral after news broke out that the Sam Bankman-Fried-owned exchange had used customer funds to make risky bets through his hedge fund Alameda Research. On the other hand, FTX was closely associated with BlockFi, with them having signed a loan agreement with each other and BlockFi holding US$355 million in digital assets on FTX.

How Do Recommendation Engines Work

How Do Recommendation Engines Work?

Picture this: You just finished a film on Netflix and want to follow it up with something similar. Luckily, Netflix comes to the rescue and gives you the perfect suggestions to continue your weekend movie binge. This isn’t just a hypothetical scenario but something a lot of people actually go through.

Quantum Computing Has a Cybersecurity Problem. Here’s How Experts Are Solving It

Quantum Computing Has a Cybersecurity Problem. Here’s How Experts Are Solving It

In 2019, Google used its quantum computer, the Sycamore machine, to prove that quantum computers can solve a problem in mere minutes. Experts working on the quantum computer found that their system could execute a calculation in 200 seconds, whereas a standard computer would take 10,000 years to complete. What on earth is this powerful tool?

Here Are Some Alternative Sites People Are Jumping To

Musk May Have Killed Twitter: Here Are Some Alternative Sites People Are Jumping To

Ever since Elon Musk purchased the social networking site Twitter for US$40 billion, things haven’t been looking too good for the company’s future. Not only did Musk fire over 50% of the employees soon after stepping on board as the new chief executive officer, but he also intends to allow maximum freedom of speech. This can end up making Twitter a cesspool of racism and misogyny, as well as other forms of hate speech.

How Do Venture Capitalists Choose Which Project to Invest In?

How Do Venture Capitalists Choose Which Project to Invest In?

For those in the entrepreneurial space, raising funds can be very challenging. Not only is it difficult to find the right investor for your startup, but it is also hard to convince said investor to put money into your venture. With over 75% of venture-backed companies failing, the venture capitalist (VC) you approach is taking a serious risk when putting their money into your startup.