I am the author of three books and an advisor for Publica, a blockchain-based book publishing platform. In April 2018, I became “the world’s #1 first bestselling blockchain author” when Publica announced at the London Book Fair that their platform had gone live with my book, ‘Escape The Cubicle: Quit The Job You Hate, Create A Life You Love.’
In this Q&A style post, I share my experience of publishing a book on the blockchain. I discuss how authors could use the Publica platform to publish their own works and get paid directly without having to go through or rely upon publishers and other middlemen as well as outlining the new opportunities available for authors and other creatives.
What was the experience of publishing on blockchain?
My experience of publishing my book, Escape The Cubicle: Quit The Job You Hate, Create A Life You Love, with Publica on the blockchain was straightforward and simple. You can use the same files that you use on all other digital bookstores such as Amazon and Kobo. As a user, I don’t need to worry about technology. Publica takes care of all that. As an author, I just need to ensure I provide the correct files (which are usually an epub, for the text and jpg for the cover)
How does Publica work? What does the business model look like?
Publica is a new global distribution channel for books of all kinds: all languages, all countries. As an author, you keep your rights and design your own business model because they will program it into the blockchain via the smart contract. The buyers’ money goes straight from their wallets to the sellers’ wallets (i.e. the author). Publica takes no exclusive rights from an author because the transactions are locked in a smart contract on the blockchain. The business model and the revenue belonging to the author. Publica charges a 10% commission as a platform maintenance fee.
How is Publica using the blockchain?
Publica is essentially “tokenising” books. A BOOK token is an Ethereum ERC20 token that represents access to a specific book. A BOOK token is, therefore, a unique access key. You can buy several BOOK tokens (book copies) and give away or sell your books whenever you wish.
How do authors get paid for their work?
PBL tokens are the Publica platform’s internal currency. Readers use PBL tokens to participate in Book ICOs on the Publica platform or to purchase any book listed in the Publica store. All authors will create a digital wallet. Authors receive their revenue in PBL tokens so they have full control over their finances. Authors can also be able to exchange their PBL tokens to fiat on cryptocurrency exchanges
The publishing industry sometimes acts as gatekeepers to ensure a certain level of quality. How does blockchain manage the quality issue?
The focus for publishers in recent years has shifted away from quality control to distribution and, even so, authors are expected to help to promote and sell their books. What blockchain allows is a different way to distribute books and for the authors to be able to sell their books directly to their fans and readers. This also means the authors are paid directly cutting out the middle i.e. the publisher. The quality of self-published books has also increased in recent years due to the accessibility of more professional editors and cover designers in the marketplace.
What prompted you to seek Publica? Were you rejected by mainstream publishers?
I never set out to be published by a traditional publisher due to the poor terms they typically offer authors and instead wanted to have control over my own financial model and make my own creative decisions when it came to producing my book. Being empowered to make those decisions for myself is why I chose to publish with Publica. I was also interested to see how the publishing industry could be disrupted by blockchain and how it empowers authors to have more control over their creative pursuits especially when it comes to retaining rights and being at the heart of the financial transactions.
What is your advice to those who might be looking to seek Publica as a platform?
By using tokens and blockchain technology we can now introduce immediate and direct transactions between authors and readers, bring trust and transparency into the ecosystem as well as give authors tools to set up their own business models by using smart-contracts. This allows authors to sell directly to their readers at an unprecedented and scalable level. With no middleman, authors are in full control of their author business. Blockchain empowers authors by placing them at the heart of the financial model and this can only be a good thing for authors. Authors can start their Book ICO campaigns now.
For more info, check out:https://publica.com/
Check out these helpful tutorials on how to get started on Publica here.
Check out the latest book ICOS here.
Disclaimer: Sukh Jutla is an Advisor for Publica
Written by Sukhi Jutla
An IBM Blockchain Foundation Developer, she made global headlines in April 2018 when she became the World’s First #1 Bestselling ‘Blockchain’ Author. She has authored two more books and is the co-founder of MarketOrders, the online B2B marketplace for gold jewellery and diamonds. As a female tech ambassador, Sukhi is a regular keynote speaker and passionate about supporting female entrepreneurship. She is an IBM Blockchain Foundation Developer and her efforts have been recognized by a number of industry awards including the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, We Are The City Rising Stars Award, Management Today’s “35 Women under 35”; and listed as one of the Top 100 Asians in UK Tech. In April 2018 Sukhi made global headlines when she became the World’s First #1 Bestselling ‘Blockchain’ Author. Named as one of the 50 most influential people in Blockchain.