What is an ebook NFT?

Co-Written With Trishna Mukherjee

A digital file, be it an image, a digital illustration, a song or even an eBook, with a unique identification code is a NFT (non-fungible token). So, if you take an eBook and assign it a unique ID it essentially becomes an eBook NFT. Confused? Don’t be! This article will explain everything about:

  • The concept of NFTs
  • What Is an ebook NFT
  • The crucial role of Blockchain in creating NFTs
  • What’s in it for authors?

The concept of NFTs

Before we try decoding the fuss behind eBook NFTs let us first wrap our heads around the concept of NFTs.

I am sure you must have heard about Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, Mona Lisa. Now, there are countless copies of this painting, both physical as well as digital. However, all these copies are absolutely worthless. Only the original painting at Louvre Museum in Paris has value and is insured at a whopping $100 million! So now you ask, what’s a Mona Lisa got to do with an NFT? 

Well, say you created a digital art/image and posted it on social media. Anyone could copy your file and post it on their account. But what if the digital file you created is assigned a unique ID? Then, no matter who makes a copy of your image and no matter how many copies of your image exist, only the digital image with the unique ID will have value. Essentially, the digital image you created with its unique ID is equivalent to the Mona Lisa at Louvre and all the unauthorised copies of your digital image are equivalent to all the worthless copies of Mona Lisa in the world! 

You could remain the owner of the NFT you created, or you could also decide to sell it. Like Leonardo da Vinci still remains the creator of Mona Lisa while Louvre owns it, you still remain the creator of the NFT even though the ownership of the NFT gets transferred to a buyer upon its sale. The new owner could keep it or resell it, maybe even at a higher price!

Next stop. We explore eBook NFTs.

What is an eBook NFT?

You now know a NFT could be any digital file. As eBooks are digital files, they too can be converted into NFTs. But the question is, why bother with converting an eBook to a NFT when you can simply purchase and download the eBook from Amazon, right?

Owning an eBook NFT is like owning a first edition of a book or a signed copy of a book from the author. Even though a Harry Potter book can be bought easily anywhere, and there are even pirated versions of the book being pedalled on the Internet, the first editions of Harry Potter have become priceless and could sell at a colossal $5000. 

Likewise, there could be countless copies of an eBook on the Internet, but an eBook NFT is precious and invaluable. Readers and collectors would have to turn to owners of eBook NFTs, to own, purchase and read these invaluable eBook editions.

But how does one verify the originality of eBook NFTs?

The crucial role of Blockchain in creating NFTs

Though eBook NFTs are not as popular as arts and graphics NFTs, they are the future of the publishing industry. How?

Say you have a physical book and its receipt of purchase and need a box to store it. Any box that you select for storage will have a fixed capacity. You might be able to fit the book, the receipt and a couple of more things in the box but if you want to store more stuff you will have to get another box.

The equivalent of the physical book is an eBook. All the other things that you wished to pack in with the physical book can be equivalent to other files, like a video of the author’s interviews, images of the author and even the unique ID needed to create a NFT. Like we needed a box to store the book, we need a database to store the eBook and all other data. This database is called a Blockchain.

Every block in the Blockchain is like a physical box with fixed storage capacity. The moment a Block gets filled with data; it is locked. A new Block is then needed to store further information. However, this new Block will forever remain linked to the first block. The result is you end up with a series of linked data. And this linked data in a Blockchain is like a public record of ownership.

What’s in it for authors?

An eBook NFT could be purchased and resold. However, the Blockchain will keep a linked record of every owner and seller right up to the original creator or author of the eBook. In effect it ensures proof of originality. A buyer could easily confirm if the eBook NFT they are purchasing is original. What’s more, every time an eBook NFT is sold, the authors and publishers could keep earning their percentage of royalties! Ingenious, isn’t it? 

Now that you know what an eBook NFT is and how invaluable it could be to own it, do keep a lookout for our adorable, silly, and interactive picture eBook NFT, Make a Wish for a Unicorn. Created with a reason to leave behind a legacy for younger generations in a protected and piracy free space. 

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