Crypto for Creatives: Publica (PBL)

Buy books with Ether! A publishing tokenised platform, crypto-powered

an evolutionary publishing platform using blockchain to innovate how books are funded, distributed & read.

Taking out the middle-man (ie. Amazon Kindle) and creating a new ecosystem (incl. marketplace) for book projects to be born, be nurtured and thrive. Yes, it’s really just the beginning for crypto-books….

Don’t worry, I’m not going to waffle on about blockchain tech and how cool crypto is. Let’s just check out this young ebook-focused project and hope it survives or catches on over time….

First step you can browse the catalog here. You can buy a book with crypto directly on the web platform using MetaMask eth extension (for those new to MetaMask, here is the whole process explained as you’ll need to use PBL or Pebbles token).

Next, check out the live app on Apple and Google Play: Publica.

The app is a mobile version of the bookstore with e-reader and integrated crypto wallet to hold your Ether and PBL or Pebbles token. This is because PBL uses the Ethereum blockchain. Where to purchase Ether? Tons of places online! Where to purchase PBL? Currently, on the EtherDelta exchange, or Cryptopia, where you can then move them to wallet addresses such as Publica app, MyEtherWallet or Metamask browser wallet. It’s not yet on IDEX at time of writing, which is normally good for most Ethereum-based tokens.

But wait…

…there is more going on here, than just a crypto-powered e-reader / bookstore. With Publica, you can also tokenise your book project and get it listed here. In other words, raise funding for your book.

Tokenise your Book with Publica Book ICO

You can browse some of the book ICO’s currently running on the Publica Medium list. Anyone can invest in a book using PBL tokens (via MetaMask) in order to receive a new token (called BOOK, unsurprisingly). BOOK tokens represent your specific investment, supporting a particular project to fruition, and giving you special access when it’s published.

A BOOK token is an indivisible token that represents access to a unique piece of digital content. A token is therefore a unique access key. Each book that is published or crowdfunded on Publica is assigned its own, unique BOOK token.

Unfortunately, many of the current book ICO’s running are not achieving their goals, partly because it’s still down to the author to drum up interest in their project, and partly due to the infancy – and potential – of the Publica ecosystem.

Let’s face it, these days anyone can write a Google doc and then sell access to it to anywhere, to anyone online (even for crypto on OpenBazaar) – IF you have acccess to an audience that is. Or can contact the right people who do have one. Because that’s the main problem, catching attention and gaining a following or exposure – who will like what you write, and will want more?

Gain a following before you think about selling a book

Well, there are many ways to do it. You could start writing for free, post sections on free sites like Wattpad, and attain feedback on every chapter (and help others in turn, joining a nice number of fellow writers in your genre).

If successful, then you could write a complete book and you’ve already got one following to sell it to. These sites like Wattpad or Smashwords are ideal for tapping into a community for your writing. Or you could use Facebook fan groups and start marketing it all yourself on other platforms too. Then, if you get some success (and improve as a writer), it could be time to launch a book ICO on Publica.

Offline and online marketing is an extensive and tiresome road (that could be spent on writing) and where bumping into that golden publishing deal would cut out most of this hard work. Even when published, it’s a competitive, creative world out there. It’s much better to be famous already, and then write something!

An all-on-one, crypto-powered writing ecosystem…

…doesn’t exist yet. But, if Publica survives, rest assured the big boys will be watching, and will be ready to adapt their business models and move in. Let’s hope Publica can survive the mixed sentiment for crypto right now, keep their heads down and get a solid head-start. This is because their solution may serve creatives better than ever before.

To be honest, I’d like to see a website like Wattpad, with its large community and easy writing interface, go ‘full crypto’. I’d love to be able to tip authors directly and leave them comments when I’ve read something I love, on the fly (even if I don’t love or don’t have time to read the entire book).

I can already do this for music, so I use, or I can write posts to Steemit. So I’m sure it’s all coming. But even then, Publica wants to do more, to actually help with the process of funding and creating a book project, plus offer a marketplace for them, putting them through a proper process. This lends professionalism to writers, helps cut out a lot of stress and fees, and also a lot of bad writing. This is where more use for a token could emerge.

What other uses could the Pebbles PBL token bring? Other writing services, tipping (as mentioned above), design, formatting, proof-reading and such movement towards a whole ecosystem to do with writing, feedback, promotion and publishing.

Investing in PBL, supporting new book ICOs

It’s Jan 2019, and thanks to the crypto winter, unsurprisingly the project and price are struggling along with most of crypto, including ETH itself. However, purchasing PBL and using MetaMask, already gets you access to a ton of books created using the Publica model, and empowers you to support new writers.

Publica is one of the first blockchain publishing projects with a working product and a revolutionary way forward towards a token-powered book ‘ecosystem’. If PBL survives the winter and fulfills the early promise of its project, the price should rise, as the ecosystem starts to prove its value over time.

UPDATE: They recently announced a fiat layer option to the bookstore app allowing any Publica book to be purchased without crypto also. This is a good move considering the bear market and potentially slow pace of adoption.

Youtube video

Publica main website
Medium – updates and info/tutorials
Twitter updates
Telegram interaction
Reddit discussion

Jan 2019

Note: This entry forms part of my personal adventures in crypto-space. Comments, ideas and corrections really appreciated to enhance my site and help me educate/be educated. I may even ask you for your (best) crypto address so I can send a tip in exchange for quality info.


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