By The Editor
Sukhi Jutla is the author of three books and is also an advisor for Publica, a blockchain-based book publishing platform. In April 2018, she became “the world’s #1 first bestselling blockchain author” when Publica announced at the London Book Fair that their platform had gone live with Jutla’s book.
Blockchain Asset Review spoke to her about her unique experience of publishing a book on blockchain. She discusses, among other things, 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.
BAR: What was the experience of publishing on blockchain?
SJ: 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 the 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)
BAR: Please explain how Publica works? What does the business model look like?
SJ: 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 belong to the author. Publica charges a 10% commission as a platform maintenance fee.
BAR: What is Publica doing exactly?
SJ: 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.
BAR: How do you get paid for your work?
SJ: 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
BAR: Being a devil’s advocate, I must say the key role publishing industry plays is in quality control? How does blockchain manage that?
SJ: 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.
BAR: What prompted you to seek Publica? Were you rejected by mainstream publishers?
SJ: 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.
BAR: What is your advice to those who might be looking to seek Publica as a platform?
SJ: 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 (by clicking here.)