November 29, 2022

Readl Lays Out the Foundations for a NFT Book Marketplace

This article was originally published  in Issue 6 of Vagobond Magazine

By E. R. Donaldson

I became interested in blockchain publishing around roughly November 2021. At that point, I’d only just heard the term “NFT.” I’d been independently publishing my own novels for roughly a year and was still looking for a chance to break into the space. After a bit more research, I thought there might be something truly special in this application of blockchain technology. I immediately developed a vision of what I thought blockchain publishing would look like. 

Then, as I tumbled down the Web3 rabbit hole, I realized the wide array of philosophies and approaches to this space. I consumed content for months-on-end, researching any and every literary/publishing NFT effort I could find. Somehow, Readl escaped my notice.

I’m glad that oversight has been corrected, because this project looks really cool. 

The idea behind Readl is to create a marketplace for NFT collectibles that integrates multiple forms of media into a single collectible: ePub files, audio, video, and animation are all promoted on their website as being supported. Their Genesis Collection (https://marketplace.readl.co/genesis-collection) showcases the classic works they’ve made available for collection in various editions with rarity ratings ranging from “rare,” “super rare”, or “legendary.” Currently, the maximum number of copies authorized to be minted 

for a given edition is set to 100 (which puts everything in the “rare” category or above). At the time of this writing, I’m not certain if there is a plan to change this or not.

I loved the way the Genesis collection is displayed: every available edition for each of the classical titles being lined up in a box collecting and identifying them as variants of the same work. Depending on the rarity level, the collectibles sport a different cover image. Unfortunately, beyond the variant covers and posted rarity levels, it wasn’t immediately clear upon browsing whether there were actual differences in the content contained within the collectibles. This is one potential area that the platform might seek to improve upon in the future.

As a speculative fiction writer, the “Universes” tab was quick to grab my attention. As of this writing, there are three fictional universes published on the platform with the promise of more to come. Being both a writer and a reader, the ability to group content like that (as opposed to having disparate pieces floating around the general marketplace) is of huge appeal. The one thing I noticed, though, is that the grouping didn’t seem as polished on this tab compared to the Genesis collection. This may be because variant editions of the current universes works aren’t yet available, though given some of the works are variants of the same work translated into other languages, I suspect this is not the case.

These are my first impressions, but it was enough to make me want to learn more. In a field that is growing increasingly saturated with varying takes on literary NFT projects, that ability to capture reader and creator attention is going to be essential. For those interested in taking a look at the platform themselves, you can check out the essential links at https://pages.readl.co/




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