In another first for the NFT industry, NiftyLit, a new San Francisco-based book publishing company, has released the first-ever literary NFT. As the name suggests, a Literary NFT is a unique digital asset tied to a piece of literature. So let’s get to it: what is NiftyLit and what is Literary NFT?
What is NiftyLit?
NiftyLit is a new literary magazine that publishes literary works exclusively as unlockable content related to NFTs. More importantly, book publishing company NFT promises to give its writers the majority of revenue from NFT sales. Additionally, the company’s goal is to establish a “more equitable system for publishing, community engagement, and compensation for writers and artists.”
According to his websiteNiftyLit is a “group of literature 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 low remuneration of authors. More often than not, publishers offer “exposure” as the main reward. NiftyLit aims to solve this problem by giving authors over 50% of net literary NFT revenue from primary and secondary sales.
“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, co-founder and CEO of NiftyLit. “We are proud to support emerging writers from underrepresented, underserved and marginalized communities.”
How does NiftyLit work?
NiftyLit works in a simple way, much like most curated NFT platforms. Writers can submit their short stories, poetry, and non-fiction to NiftyLit. The platform will then mint selected works as NFTs with original artwork.
During the first 30 days, the works will be accessible free of charge on the site. After that, these will be available as unlockable content for NFT holders. Going forward, NFT holders will also be able to participate in virtual readings, author interviews, and other community-building activities.
“The short stories, poems and non-fiction essays we’ll be publishing in our first issues are absolutely amazing and represent a wide range of voices,” said Katie Zeigler, NiftyLit’s editor.
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 private school in San Francisco where a “mysterious” new student, the Buddha, joins. Buddha’s refusal to adhere to rules and regulations influences other students, breaking down “social structures and allegiances”.
All things considered, NiftyLit and its literary NFTs seem like a good move to fairly compensate writers and artists. It remains to be seen how the wider readership community will react to this. A backlash would not be surprising.