Blockchain Publishers Bypass Industry Gatekeepers
Small indie book sellers are finding high-tech ways to reach readers directly.
Lost Books, a Canadian micro-publisher has just launched its debut offering, “The Lost Direction,” onto the blockchain.
An epic fantasy set in a lost world, “The Lost Direction” is available in eBook form via Bookchain, a Montreal-based company which runs their own blockchain on top of the popular decentralized Ethereum network. Purchases of the book are registered on-chain, and readers can access the content from any web browser, using Bookchain’s own eReader, which is based on the ‘web-first’ Colibrio eReader SDK.
Why Blockchain publishing technologies?
“The book itself,” says the publisher, “is all about passing through mysterious gates and passage-ways, and about having to find different, alternative ways to reach one’s destiny. It seemed only fitting to apply that same spirit of exploration to distribution and marketing, by encouraging a lot of different unique pathways for people to arrive at the book on their own terms.”
“As a small publisher, it doesn’t really pay to sit back and allow a few giant centralized players to dictate terms and control the market. Authors have to do everything themselves anyway, even many times after landing deals with established houses. Thanks to today’s technologies, indie micro-publishers can really experiment with what works best for them and their audience, and cut out the middle-man as much as possible.”
Lost Books is also currently experimenting with accepting crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and others using the popular Shopify platform with Coinbase Commerce powering the back end, but has not yet announced a launch date. In the meantime, readers can buy directly using fiat currency and conventional credit cards through Gumroad, which Lost Books says is one of their favorite secure direct-to-reader sales platforms for eBooks.
“For more conventional buyers,” says the publisher, “we used PublishDrive, which is an aggregator that enables micro-publishers to push their eBook out from a central hub to platforms like Amazon, Apple Books (iTunes), Barnes & Noble, Rakuten Kobo, Scribd, and eventually others, including maybe some Chinese publishing sites.”
Print editions are additionally available for the truly ‘old-fashioned’ via Lulu.com’s global print on demand distribution network.
Audiences of the book are finding its contents well-suited to crypto-currency and decentralization themes. It is an adventure fiction cast in the mold of the Odyssey, and revolves around Ancient Quatria, a purported prehistoric crypto-civilization whose existence was erased after its conquest by a later empire, but which once is said to have controlled a vast globe-spanning thalassocracy and trade network head-quartered in Antarctica before the last Ice Age, when it was nearer the equator.
Online conspiracy theorists believe that, as the glaciers of Antarctica melt, remains of this lost civilization will be (or are being) revealed. They cite such evidence as the Wilkes Land Magnetic Anomaly, along with numerous supposed findings across the Antarctic continent on Google Earth by amateur investigators on YouTube.
The publisher, of course, invites readers to seek out the truth for themselves, and find their own way to “The Lost Direction.”
Purchase Direct (Via Gumroad)
About Lost Books
Lost Books (https://lostbooks.ca) is an independent Canadian micro-publisher of fantasy and science fiction leveraging cutting-edge blockchain technologies to circumvent traditional industry gatekeepers and sell directly to readers.
UPDATE: 1 May 2021
The Lost Direction is also available as a limited edition NFT book.
Originally published at http://www.wicz.com.