When they are created (or minted) NFTs can either be unique, or limited in number to a discrete run - unlike standard ebooks, which are essentially copied indefinitely. And unlike an ebook - which never really belongs to you in the true sense - NFTs really can be owned. That means you can transfer them to a friend so they can read it; you can even sell it on, if you can find someone who wants to buy it. And NFTs can increase in value, in much the same way a rare first edition might. Not that this is guaranteed - a lot of NFTs are being minted now and many will probably be worth less than the electrons uses to create them - but still, there is that possibility, a possibility which is entirely lacking in standard issue eBooks.
NFTs - what and why?
If you have bought one of my books, then the chances are it was an ebook. Only a small proportion of my book sales are physical books. Thats reflective of the world, of the way things are changing. There are a myriad of reasons to opt for virtual versions of things, and though the lower price helps, it’s by far the end of the story.
Ebooks are portable, they don’t clutter up anything other than your Kindle, and that has a huge amount of storage in any case.
On the other hand, they are essentially limitless in their ability to be copied, and this in turn has a reflection on the perceived value.
This is where NFTs come in. NFT stands for non fungible token. What the hell does fungible mean, anyway? It’s nothing to do with mushrooms. Instead, all it means is that these tokens are unique. They are not transferrable for one another, in contrast to - say - pounds or dollars or (to get more modern) BTC or ETH...
This ties in with why I have decided to make all my books available to download for free. If anyone wanted to get my books for free, then they can easily track down some torrent site or other free repository from which to do so. I can’t stop that, no way. So if you want to read one of my books - go ahead. Download a free copy, have a read, see what you think. It’s totally free (or will be, once my term in KDP select is finished).
If, having read it, you decide you like it enough that you want to support me having written it, or if you want to really own a copy - then you can buy a physical copy…or maybe (if you’ve got enough clutter anyway) an NFT.
Buying an NFT might sound a bit daunting (it was for me when I was first learning about it) but though it’s a little bit fiddly, it’s not all that difficult. See THIS SECTION if you want help with learning how.