In yet another first for the NFT industry, NiftyLit, a new San Francisco-based book publishing company, has published the first-ever Literary NFT. As the name suggests, a Literary NFT is a unique digital asset that links to a piece of literature. So let’s dive in: What is NiftyLit and what is literary NFT all about?
What is NiftyLit?
NiftyLit is a new literary magazine that publishes literary works exclusively as unlockable content linked to NFTs. More importantly, the NFT book publishing company promises to give its writers the majority of the revenue from NFT sales. Furthermore, the company aims to establish a more “equitable system for publishing, community engagement, and compensation for writers and artists.”
According to its website, NiftyLit is a “group of literary enthusiasts who believe in the power of technology to put creative control back in the hands of artists.”
The traditional publishing industry is notorious for its poor compensation for authors. More often than not, publishers offer “exposure” as the primary reward. NiftyLit aims to solve this issue by giving more than 50% of net Literary NFT revenues from primary and secondary sales to the authors.
“We built NiftyLit because we fundamentally believe in the transformative power of art and that writers and artists deserve to be paid for their work,” said Jo Unruh, NiftyLit co-founder and CEO. “We’re proud to support emerging writers from underrepresented, underserved and marginalised communities.”
How Does NiftyLit Work?
NiftyLit works in a straightforward manner—much like most curated NFT platforms. Writers can submit their short stories, poetry, and non-fiction to NiftyLit. The platform will then mint the selected works as NFTs along with original artwork.
For the first 30 days, the works will be accessible for free on the website. After this, these will be available as unlockable content to NFT holders. In the future, NFT holders will also be able to be part of virtual readings, author interviews, and other community-building activities.
“The short stories, poems and nonfiction essays that we’ll be publishing in our first few issues are absolutely incredible, and represent a diverse array of voices,” said Katie Zeigler, Editor-in-Chief of NiftyLit.
About the Platform’s First Literary NFT
“The Buddha” is NiftyLit’s first Literary NFT. A fictional short story by acclaimed San Francisco playwright Paul G Heller, the company recently released the NFT on OpenSea. It also came with original artwork by Meryl Quinn Kernell.
The Buddha is set in a San Francisco private school where a “mysterious” new student, The Buddha, joins. Buddha’s refusal to adhere to rules and regulations influences the others students, breaking the “social structures and allegiances”.
All things considered, NiftyLit and its Literary NFTs seem like a good initiative to fairly compensate writers and artists. It remains to be seen how the wider reading community will react to this. Some backlash wouldn’t be surprising.
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