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Web3 benefits authors

How Do Web3 Books Benefit Authors?

Search for Web3 books and all your results will be Web3 non-fiction books, discussing DeFi, Blockchain technologies, and possibly the Metaverse.

That’s great and all, but what about the literary Web3 content? Where’s the fiction at?

That’s what we’ll try to uncover today. Shopping around for good NFT books need not be an odyssey.

Web3 Books and NFTs: The Good & The Bad

To clarify, Web3 books don’t always have to be NFTs, but most of the time, they will be due to the perks non-fungible tokens afford the literary format.

Book NFTs have the primary advantage of being trans-media due to expanding their stories beyond their original literary medium. A book NFT is called such because it’s first and foremost a story written on the page, but it does not have to stay as such. Most Web3 books also include music, games, comics, videos, and more. If incorporated smoothly, they allow the user to experience the story in more ways than just reading it.

On the other hand, the nature of Web3 books means that they have to be purchased directly from the Blockchain. This can put off many aspiring writers who’d just prefer Amazon’s too convenient one-click-purchase button, or any other book marketplace’s purchasing options.

These customer journey roadblocks seem simple, but I daresay they’re a huge component of what hasn’t allowed Web3 books to increase in popularity.

Another of these is for sure the lack of Web3 fragments ala Kindle’s book samples. Many avid readers credit a book’s free fragment as what clued them into making the purchase. We’ve all had our doubts about ordering certain books without knowing if we’d actually read them. In Web3, it’s harder to get a book sample unless the author allows it, as most NFT book marketplaces lack this function. The alternative would be to mint one of the samples as an alternative NFT, which in of itself costs the author and the reader more money. The author can also post fragments of the book on their social media.

Web3 Books Tackle Piracy

Whether it’s seen as a positive or negative force, there’s no doubt that piracy is a strong motivator for the popularity of many books. It’s at times the sole reason why many books are well-known, but their authors are not as well paid. Widespread piracy might contribute to a book becoming a cultural phenomenon. The book’s themes, characters, or ideas might resonate with a large audience, leading to discussions in various media and social circles. This cultural impact can enhance the book’s fame. Piracy gives readers access to a wide catalog of books, so it’s considered by some as a motivator for reading.  It’s safe to say you won’t find a Web3 book on a free PDF circulating Web2 until piracy itself makes Web3 books more popular in the first place. By storing information about the ownership and authenticity of digital content on a blockchain, it becomes more difficult for unauthorized copies to be passed off as genuine. Sure, there are NFT scams here and there, but so far there have been no piracy scandals of Web3 books.

Web3 Books Are Interdisciplinary More Perks 

NFT books tend to be really focused on its intersectional art mediums, opening up new avenues for marketing.

For some, this might seem like a challenge more than a benefit. Basically now, besides writing a good book or poem, you also need to have amazing illustrations, voice acting, possibly even video editing. Those are a lot of skills for a writer to have just to have a chance at standing out! 

But hear me out: bundling your NFT book with such content isn’t a hard requisite to publish it. If your book only has text, you can use use any decent AI image generator for the cover, and leave it as is. And that also leads me to my next point: with so many AI tools, you might be able to create the bundled content for your Web3 book without needing to be a top-notch illustrator or video editor. 

While some would prefer to work with a professional, if your budget doesn’t allow you to do so at the time, it might be a wiser choice to simply use AI until you can commission a professional illustrator.

Plus, Web3 is all about community. It might be that you end up collaborating with friends or even just people you meet on Web3 to create this additional content for your book, in exchange for tokens, royalties, or even for free.

Web3 Books Can Be Marketed On Marketplaces

Another common complaint about Web3 books is how they’re all practically self-published, making them harder to sell and market if you don’t already have the skillset or the willingness to do so. This means Web3 authors also lack the marketing strategies used by traditional publishers, like book tours, most offline advertising, and strategic in-store placement. Since Web3-based publishing houses are non-existent as of now*, your sole option will likely be using an existing NFT marketplace that allows book documents, or a specialized NFT book marketplace, like Legerly’s. 

I wouldn’t recommend the first option, as these are too universal for your books to stand out unless you have an existing platform to market them, like many followers on Twitter or Instagram. Since the second option is a niche-option focused on the needs of their audience, they’ll probably have more effective strategies for marketing your book online. One of these could be airdropping advance review copies to influential online book reviewers, bloggers, and book tubers.

Web3 Books Can Be Tokenized

An oft-cited use case for tokenized books is the possibility of releasing limited editions to create a sense of exclusivity, attracting collectors who value unique literary artifacts. But that’s usually a privilege reserved for established authors, what of the unpublished ones? 

For starters, tokens are the best medium for Web3 crowdfunding strategies, as they can be used as part of a fundraising or even pre-order campaign.

Authors can tokenize serialized content, allowing readers to collect tokens for each chapter or segment. This method can encourage ongoing engagement, providing a steady flow of content and revenue for the author. Note that these tokens need not be purchased, only collected by the readers to provide them with a sense of reward.

Tokenization allows authors more flexibility for their pricing models, which can be a lifesaver if you don’t count with a phenomenal budget or sponsorship for paying all of your book’s expenses. Authors can experiment with dynamic pricing based on demand, rarity, or the addition of bonus chapters, stories, or poems.

Authors can tokenize books as a form of crowdfunding or pre-order campaign. Readers purchase tokens before the book is released, providing authors with funding to support the creation process and generating anticipation among supporters. This allows the authors more budget to create their content: market their book, hire illustrators, and ensure their book will reach a wider audience. In exchange, these patrons will receive the tokens, which offer them extra content, a signed copy, or services. 

Finally, tokens allow for fractional ownership of a book. Of course, this seems like the weirdest proposal ever. Why would anyone want to just own part of a book? Standalone book ownership is iffy as is!

Well, see how some university or research books are ludicrously expensive? Like, $100 to $200 and sometimes even more expensive, when compared to a $5 Kindle book? That might be in-budget for some, but for many broke university students, these books often represent even more expenses to add on top of their already expensive education.

Most people resort to piracy for these books, but this is obviously not the most ethical choice. 

Fractional ownership offers a solution for these scenarios: have a group of five or six students pay for a fraction of the book and still gain access to it, and a possibility of earning a small percentage if the book is resold. 

The bottom line

There’s many reasons why Web3 NFT books haven’t kicked off yet. Many authors see their use cases as pointless, or don’t understand them in the first place. But in reality, they can offer benefits Web2 cannot do as of yet.

And most importantly, they give power to the authors. 

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