An Edmonton author decided to publish only one copy of his latest book, and he did so in an unconventional way: as a non-fungible token (NFT).
Todd Babiak decided to make one copy only The Daughters of Walsingham as an NFT. The book was then purchased using digital currency by Edmonton businessman Chris Labossiere, who provided the only digital copy to the Edmonton Public Library.
This means that Edmontonians will have exclusive and free access to the book.
It’s history along the way. The EPL will be the first library to borrow an NFT item for free with a library card. The copy is available to EPL cardholders from March 22nd.
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It also means that Babiak is the first author in the world to sell a complete novel as an NFT to just one buyer.
“We’re excited to be a part of this extraordinary story,” said EPL’s Tina Thomas. “Being on the edge of new technology that can change the way books are published and offered in the future is so exciting.
“We are grateful for the generosity of library supporters like Chris Labossiere, who have given the Edmonton audience exclusive access to this incredible piece of fiction from one of our favorite local writers.”
An NFT is a unique digital asset that represents real objects such as art, music and books. They are bought and sold online, usually with cryptocurrency and are becoming an increasingly popular way to buy and sell digital art.
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Think of it as a record of who owns a piece of digital content.
“Art is the perfect usecase for smart contracts,” Babiak said. “Instead of publishing The Daughters of Walsingham in the traditional way, the tokenization of a novel – like any work of art or any contract – allows me to have a direct connection with my reader.
“It’s a simple, effective, elegant and safe way to make a contract with anyone, and why not publish a novel this way and see what happens? Just one book, one buyer, one close relationship with just one reader, ”he added.
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Babiak’s daughters inspired the book. The Daughters of Walsingham is the story of 14-year-old Gwendolyn Spire, who lives in Alaska in 1962. She is then called to Walsingham Academy, a secret place where girls have been trained in secret activities for generations.
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The EPL uses this as an opportunity to learn more about NFTs and share these experiences with society. This – together with Bossier’s support – also gives more people access to a book that would otherwise only have been available to the individual book buyer.
Over the next few months, the EPL will host opportunities to learn about cryptocurrency, blockchain, and NFTs through classes and events.
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“It’s an incredible opportunity for us to once again be a library leader in embracing new technology that is changing the way readers access literary works of art,” Thomas said. “We are diving into the new world of digital creation and sharing, and we look forward to continuing to experiment and learn with our customers.”
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