Publica took to Twitter May 23, 2018, to announce that New York Times bestselling author Matthew Kepnes would be releasing his next book via an ICO. The book, titled “Backpacker’s Guide to Europe,” has an ICO launch date of June 6, 2018, but that doesn’t necessarily mean participants will be able to read the book on this date.
The system provided by Publica allows authors to raise finance to finish their book and then make them available to participants of the ICO. Authors will typically release their books in electronic format which can be viewed with the Publica e-reader app for Android devices. The app also serves as a digital wallet to purchase books from the Publica catalog. Publica has also stated that authors may choose to publish the book as a hard copy, but it’s unclear how tokenization would work in this case.
Matthew Kepnes’ book ICO will use a fixed supply of 1,000 BOOK tokens which are ERC20-compliant. The tokens will be offered at $10 each which gives a hard cap of $10,000. Even though self-publishing is quite cheap in this digital age, a $10,000 hard cap seems like quite a modest amount for a publication by a New York Times bestselling author.
Once a participant in the ICO has bought a token, they will be able to pass the token on to friends and family to read the book. If a book released via an ICO becomes collectible, the token value could even increase and be traded on secondary token exchanges. Publica’s own internal tokens, known as Pebbles (PBL), are currently available on Cryptopia, Cryptology, and Kucoin exchanges.
The ICO for Backpacker’s Guide to Europe includes an FAQ, and for anyone asking why cryptocurrencies and blockchain are required for book distribution, they provide the following response:
“By using cryptocurrencies 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.”
Matthew Kepnes, also known as Nomadic Matt, is a leading travel expert from the USA. Up to the age of 23, he had never traveled overseas, but that all changed after a trip to Thailand in 2005. Since then, he has visited more than 70 countries and blogs online about his nomadic adventures. His first book, “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter,” was published in 2013. It quickly became a New York Times bestseller in the travel section.