The Edmonton author decided to publish only one copy of his latest book, and he did so in an unconventional way: as an unchangeable symbol (NFT).
Todd Babiak decided to make just one copy of Daughters of Walsingham sem NFT. The book was then purchased in digital currency by Edmonton businessman Chris Labossiere, who gave the Edmonton Public Library the only digital copy.
This means that Edmontonians will have exclusive and free access to the book.
It’s a story in the making. EPL will be the first library to lend an NFT share for free with a library card. The copy is available to EPL cardholders through the OverDrive app from March 22nd.
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It also means that Babiak is the first author in the world to sell an entire novel as an NFT to just one buyer.
“We are excited to be a part of this incredible story,” said Tina Thomas of the EPL. “Being at the forefront of new technology that could change the way books are published and offered in the future is so exciting.
“We are grateful for the generosity of library supporters such as Chris Labossiere, who has allowed Edmonton viewers private access to this incredible work of fiction by one of our favorite local authors.
NFT is a unique digital asset that represents real things like art, music and books. They are bought and sold online, usually with encryption currency and are becoming an increasingly popular way to buy and sell digital artwork.
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Think of it as a list of who owns a piece of digital content.
“Art is the perfect use for smart contracts,” said Babiak. “Instead of publishing Daughters of Walsingham a traditional way, to represent a novel – like any work of art or any contract – allows me to have a direct connection with my reader.
“This is a simple, effective, elegant and safe way to make a contract with anyone and why not publish a novel this way and see what happens? Just one book, one buyer, one close relationship with only one reader, “he added.
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Babiak’s daughters were the inspiration for the book. The Daughters of Walsingham is the story of 14-year-old Gwendolyn Spire, who lives in Alaska in 1962. It is then called the Walsingham Academy, a secret place where girls have been trained in secret activities for generations.
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The EPL uses this as an opportunity to learn more about NFTs and share those lessons with the community. It – along with Bossiere’s support – is also giving more people access to a book that would otherwise only be available to one book buyer.
In the coming months, the EPL will host opportunities to learn about cryptocurrency, blockchain and NFT through courses and events.
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“This is an incredible opportunity for us to once again be a leader in libraries in adopting a new technology that is changing the way readers approach literary works,” said Thomas. “We are immersing ourselves in a new world of digital creation and communication and look forward to continuing to experiment and learn alongside our customers.
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