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Blockchain Technology In The Publishing World

Blockchain is rapidly disrupting across all domains of business and industries. In the same way, the world of publishing too isn’t left behind to embrace the innovation of this revolutionary technology.

When one talks about the publishing industry, print media is what generally comes across ones mind.

However, publishing covers a vast area of domains such as: books, magazines, music, video games, apps, software, etc.

However, in this article, we will be talking generally about the traditional print media such as books, academic journals or even newspapers.

Print publishing like any other fields deals with intellectual property, revenue-sharing, media distribution, collaborative work, etc.

The versatility that blockchain provides makes it convenient for the above mentioned publishing process.

Moreover, the disruptive technology could mark a new era in publishing and change the way how profits are shared for the good.

Why Is Blockchain Needed In Publishing?

Publishers handles a host of processes related to the pre- and post-production into a finished final product.

Publishing industry covers everything after the first draft of a book is completed by an author.

A publishing house is crucial for the success of a written information in the form of articles, studies, reports, thesis, and books in the market.

Blockchain technology in publishing can help in the aspects of productivity, limit the cost of production and improve productivity.

One area under blockchain technology applied in publishing that proves to be very useful is contract preparation.

Blockchain with its smart contracts, are faster to put together, more secured and easily accessible for all sides of the agreement.

The distributed ledger ensures that such contracts are authentic that are validated by nodes throughout the whole network.

When two parties are reached at an agreement, the information is recorded in the ledger and becomes binding.

Publishers and authors can find this additional level of security very attractive as this could also reduce piracy as piracy is a rampant problem that publishers and authors often usually face.

<img width="1024" height="834" src="" alt="Blockchain Technology In The Publishing World" class="wp-image-19142 lazyload" />

Credit: Unsplash

Meanwhile, smart contracts make transaction clearing easier, as it enables automated payments when certain conditions are reached.

Blockchain solutions in publishing involves:

  1. Intellectual property

  2. Revenue models

  3. revenue distribution

  4. efficient production

  5. collaboration processes

Morover, blockchain technology in the publishing industry can help in wiping out the issues that publishers and authors usually face.

Content distribution, monetization process could also be more effective through the innovative technology.

A number of blockchain projects is using decentralization to help small publishers and even self-published authors compete with the industry giants.

Through blockchain-powered content distribution platforms to the implementation of rights distribution on the network, blockchain technology in publishing industry could change the marketplace for good.

Blockchain Companies Revolutionizing The Publishing Industry

Bookchain is from Montreal startup Scenarex. The platform allows authors a full control over the publication process.

An author can have access to a full suite of analytics to track their book’s reach and impact. Moreover, it streamlines attributions and royalty distribution while enabling ebook resale.

Every book file comes with a smart contract containing an author’s parameters such as:

  1. Price

  2. Number of available copies

  3. Royalties

  4. Resale permissions

Since, Bookchain runs on the Ethereum, there are small network fees including gas fees.

However, users don’t have to need to have technical know-hows with cryptocurrency to purchase and download a book as it supports fiat currency payments too.

<img width="1024" height="467" src="" alt="Bookchain" class="wp-image-19118 lazyload" />

Credit: Bookchain

Usually authors depends on the advances from their publishers to support them financially while they create their book.

Publica aims to crowdsource this whole process by putting it on the blockchain along with a distribution network along with a general e-book platform.

Authors can set up ICOs for their books by selling tokens at certain prices. They can then use the proceeds from the token sales to finish their project.

Once the book is published, the supporters will get their copies of the book while the author/publication team will continue collecting royalties on future sales.

However, the books will be tokenized and stored in a readers’ wallets. This will give them full ownership, including the ability to resale, although the author will receive part of the resale.

<img width="1024" height="405" src="" alt="Publica" class="wp-image-19120 lazyload" />

Credit: Publica is focussed on creating a common metadata format which could be used as a universal ledger for creative digital works.

Every digital asset that gets uploaded to the marketplace gets its own “Proof of Existence”. This serves as the author’s certificate of ownership.

This certificate could then be accessed by publishers via’s “Frost” API. The certificate enables them to see a work’s origin, licensing terms, and authenticity.

Proofs of existence can be applied from newspaper articles to even videos.

The whole process makes it a streamlined way in managing digital content ownership than other centralized solutions.

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Other Projects

There are various interesting projects that deserves a mention alongside the above mentioned samples:

  1. Steem: Steem is a popular blockchain-based publication model, where authors and content creators are rewarded with cryptocurrency based on their contributions.

  2. PUBLISH: An end-to-end publication system that is based on NEM. It was built primarily for news media, and focussed on modern media tools and economic viability.

Finishing Thoughts

Blockchain has a myriad of use cases, the possibilities of which are endless. It could enable authors and publishers to retain their intellectual property rights with their secured distribution.

The technology is advancing rapidly and its early adopters are trying out by launching pilot programmes on whether these offerings could work in real.

Even though, we are still in its initial stage of using blockchain for digital publishing, the potential benefits can surely point towards a bright future in the world of publishing.

Blockchain could definitely become an integral part of the publishing industry.

Cover Image: Unsplash



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