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The emergence of blockchain has been one of the most revolutionary advancements in the last few years. The idea of a trustless, decentralised ecosystem has led to a series of technological innovations that are disrupting some of the biggest industries on the planet.
While blockchains are mostly associated with cryptocurrencies, NFTs are another great outcome of these decentralised networks. What started as mere JPEGs, soon turned into a revolution in the world of art and collectables. The year 2021 witnessed a burst of new projects, and the NFT market peaked during that time.
Since then, the NFT industry has seen plenty of innovation, with several new and exciting use cases and types of NFTs coming to the fore. One such emerging form of NFTs is known as the Literary NFT. In this article, let us take a closer look at this particular type of NFT and how it is changing the game for upcoming writers who are willing to explore the burgeoning new world of Web3.
Literary NFTs: What are they?
Although the traditional publishing industry has been making steady progress with an average turnover of $700 million every year, there has been a compelling necessity for a system that promotes a more open and transparent ecosystem in publishing. This is precisely where literary NFTs are changing the game.
Literary NFTs are articles, poems, books, etc., minted directly on to the blockchain. This implies that the literary work is stored across a decentralised network of computers. This makes it resistant to censorship and ensures that the work cannot be altered, modified, or removed without the author's consent.
How exactly do literary NFTs work?
Literary NFTs work just like physical books, but the buyer usually gets a digital file instead of an actual novel. This file is minted on the blockchain, a public ledger where details regarding the author, owner and other relevant information about the book are stored. Once purchased, these digital assets can be stored in a crypto wallet and traded on an NFT marketplace. Every time a literary NFT changes hands, its ownership details are updated on the blockchain. This allows the new owner to verify and trace the transaction history to the author.
The author can also set perpetual royalties, giving them a small percentage of the purchase cost every time the book changes hands. This ensures the author receives a steady flow of income for as long as the book exists on the blockchain, which is technically forever. Although several blockchain networks are capable of sustaining literary NFTs, the Ethereum blockchain is well known for holding the maximum number of these digital collectables.
What makes literary NFTs so valuable?
Literary NFTs are an excellent way for emerging writers to monetise their work without worrying too much about the opinions of publishers. They have complete creative freedom and sell directly to their audiences.
Verified authenticity and better revenue model
With a literary NFT, you know you have an original book. The ownership details can easily be accessed and verified. Also, as mentioned earlier, the author can set up a perpetual royalty, wherein they get paid every time the book changes hands. This is a much better system than the traditional model, where publishers and distributors hold on to a significant chunk of the revenue.
An evolution in the interaction between readers and writers
With literary NFTs, writers can create a more personal and solid relationship with readers. Authors promote unique features such as illustrations, special additions and notes assigned to literary NFTs. This helps create hype and a deeper connection with the art stored in the NFTs.
Projects exploring Literary NFTs
Although literary NFTs are still nascent, a few projects are actively exploring this space.
TheVerseVerse: This is a platform that helps acclaimed poets and writers leverage web3 to monetise their work. It is most known for publishing the work of crypto-native poets such as Sasha Stiles and Ana Maria Caballero.
EtherPoems: This is one of the first projects to mint a poetry collection on the Ethereum blockchain. It is a group of poets who write and sell their work directly on the Ethereum. A smart contract then divides and distributes the sales proceeds to all the poets.
Creatokia: This is a literary NFT marketplace that connects artists, publishers, and readers under one roof. It offers a convenient and easy way for publishers and authors to bring literature and literature-related content to the web3.
Kalen Iwamoto: Iwamoto is one of the first artists to explore writing and creating art on the blockchain. Her work focuses on experimentation, playfulness and pushing the boundaries of conceptual writing, art, and the NFT medium. She is also a co-founder of TheVerseVerse.
LIT Project One: This is a Literary NFT published by 10x New York Times best-selling author, journalist and ghost-writer, Neil Darrow Strauss. The NFT is listed and available on OpenSea, with 892 copies and a floor price of 0.25 ETH each.
NFTs could provide a much-needed boost for the literary world. They offer writers more creative control and better monetisation opportunities and help develop a powerful sense of connection between the writer and the reader. There is no doubt that NFTs will eventually explode in the years to come. So as a writer, this is one of the most opportune moments to explore the world of Web3, especially the prospects of literary NFTs.
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