Illustration of a wizard in blue carrying books down a cobblestone street

What is Soltype and Why Should You Care?

Greetings, people of the P0x! I have been away for a while, mainly because I spent a weekend binge watching Lucifer (I find it seriously addictive), then feeling terrible about myself for not doing anything constructive. I also found a new Nano (XNO) faucet, with a twenty minute cool-down, which is just the right amount of time required to distract me from focusing on anything else. I took a break to get my medication adjusted (sedatives had me sleeping too much) and am back on the wagon, hopefully with a new lease on life and writing for crypto.

In light of that, I have a manuscript for a novel I'd like to publish. (I've had it for a while, but haven't yet got around to going the self-publishing route.) However, having looked at Readl, I decided that it wasn't for me. (It uses AWS to store content and its policies seem a bit iffy.) I have subsequently looked at Soltype. Despite the fact that it uses Solana (SOL) and the Phantom wallet (I prefer SolFlare), it looks like it could be a viable option for me. Here's what I have found so far, having not yet downloaded Phantom and connected it, nor published anything (since I currently have no SOL, pun intended):

What is Soltype?

According to the Soltype Website:

"Soltype is a web3 publisher that makes eBooks for NFT collectors. Soltype provides you with the tools to buy, own, and resell the stories you love as NFTs."

As far as I understand from reading the documentation, Soltype is a platform for creating/publishing and reading eBooks stored on the Solana blockchain, as NFTs. Minted (purchased) NFTs are encrypted and transferred to buyers' Phantom wallets. On connecting one's wallet to the Soltype Website, the eBooks are decrypted and made available in/to the site's reader.

Soltype provides creator/intellectual property rights to authors (including the rights to modify and/or create derivative works). Buyers only have the rights to purchase, read and resell the eBook NFTs (using a Creative Commons No-Derivatives license or similar).

Readl vs Soltype

As far as I can determine, there are three main differences between Readl and Soltype (excluding the fact that Readl uses ETH, IIRC):

  • Readl stores content on AWS, which isn't Web3-friendly. SolType stores it on the Solana blockchain.
  • Soltype uses Darkblock to encrypt the content it stores.
  • I didn't like some of the terms/wording in Readl's ToU/Privacy Policy (although I can't recall exactly what). I had no objections to Soltype's.

Why Should You Care?

"Soltype is a cutting-edge Web3 publisher specializing in curating and producing NFT eBook collections. Our mission is to partner with traditional publishers, combining their exceptional title distribution capabilities with our innovative web3 publishing technology. By bridging the gap between traditional publishing and the emerging NFT eBook market, Soltype aims to reach a wider audience and redefine the way digital content is published and consumed."

Soltype aims to revolutionise both the publishing industry and the second-hand book market. It does so by ...

  • cutting out the middlemen (publishers and resellers)
  • connecting independent authors with their readers (community)
  • giving authors control over initial distribution (number of items in an edition) and revenue (including royalties from resale)

Embracing Literary NFTs and Web3

"As the world of literature adapts to the digital age, the fusion of traditional publishing with NFT eBooks presents an opportunity for growth and transformation. Soltype is at the forefront of this revolution, providing a platform that combines the best of both worlds and paves the way for a new era in literature. By collaborating with traditional publishers and harnessing the power of NFTs and web3 publishing, Soltype is poised to reshape the literary landscape and usher in an exciting future for authors, publishers, and readers alike."

Personally, I am all for embracing Blockchain and Web3 technologies. I'm also a fan of open standards like ePub and the possibly lesser-known DJ Vu (as opposed to the proprietary Amazon and Adobe PDF formats). As useful as Adobe Digital Editions, Reader and Amazon Kindle are, they are proprietary software made by mega corporations. I'm all about Free and Open-Source (FOSS) software and decentralisation. I do a lot of my reading in electronic/digital form (since it's mostly technical in nature, dead tree format is both cumbersome and not environmentally friendly). A platform such as Soltype, with the potential for me to both publish and purchase eBooks, could be a useful addition to my online reading activities (although I don't expect to engage in any Walpolling activities thereon).

I curtailed my Walpolling activities

What's Not to Like?

  • Soltype uses the Solana blockchain, of which I'm not a fan. At least it's not ETH, though.
  • Uses the Phantom wallet. (I prefer SolFlare, since I think Phantom had/has a vulnerability, but I'm not sure.)
  • Authors pay a small amount of SOL in order to publish and readers pay a small amount of SOL for transfer of the NFTs to their wallets (gas fees).
  • Soltype doesn't state in what form the eBooks must be. I'm assuming that popular formats (DJvu, ePub and/or PDF) are allowed/used, unless it uses some proprietary/site-specific format.
  • As with other forms of NFT artwork, you've got to promote it yourself, even though the site does apparently have a "What's New" section.

For more information, please refer to the links in the "Resources" section below.

Thumbnail image: Author's own artwork

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Great White Snark
Great White Snark

I'm currently seeking fixed employment as a S/W & Web developer (C# & ASP .NET MVC, PHP 8+, Python 3), hoping to stash the farmed fiat and go full Crypto, quit the 07:30-18:00 grind. Unsigned music producer; snarky; white; balding; smashes Patriarchy.

Cryptographic Anarchy: (Mis)Adventures in Crypto
Cryptographic Anarchy: (Mis)Adventures in Crypto

The content of this blog is exclusively to do with online privacy/security, cryptography and cryptocurrency: Understanding it, investing in it, mining it (in groups/crowds), developing/programming it, the social problems it aims to solve and the various ways to make more of it (or not, as various losses and failures happen). Let's get away from banksters, Capitalists and fiat, to an anarcho-syndicalist commune. Banner image: Blogger's own. Contemplating making an HD NFT version if there's interest.

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