The German Non-Fiction Prize is entering the metaverse. On 30 May 2022, this year’s award will be presented not only at the Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace but also in virtual space. The digital certificate for the best non-fiction book of the year will be inscribed on a blockchain. Together with Creatokia, the book industry’s NFT platform, the German Non-Fiction Prize is allowing publishers to try out the technology around non-fungible tokens. To start, four of the non-fiction books nominated for this year’s award, as well as the winning title from 2021, “Hegels Welt” (“Hegel’s World”), already exist in special digital editions as NFTs now. They will go on sale from 23 May 2022.
The German Non-Fiction Preize and NFTs: How does it work?
The following works are available as NFTs:
From 23 May, interested readers can acquire the NFTs through a microsite using tokens or euros. From that date, for a period of one week, until shortly before the announcement of the best non-fiction book of the year on 30 May, ten limited special Non-Fiction Book Prize editions of each of these titles will be available for purchase.
These digital originals include the e-book of the title with adapted cover, digital signature and jury statement, as well as at least one other item of digital content chosen by the publisher. From among all purchasers of these NFTs, the German Non-Fiction Prize will draw a name to receive an invitation for two to the award ceremony in 2023.
In addition to the award ceremony in Berlin, the German Non-Fiction Prize will be digitised as a digital certificate through its inscription on a blockchain, in a unique and non-replicable form, for the prize winner.
NFT stands for non-fungible (i.e. non-interchangeable) token. A token is a kind of digital key that serves as a means of identification and authentication on a blockchain. It can be linked to files, so that a given digital content is assigned a unique NFT. In this way, only the owner of the corresponding token can access the associated content. Since tokens are stored on a blockchain, they cannot be altered. Publishing books based on this technology guarantees the uniqueness of a copy, opening up a whole new market for collector’s items and digital originals, such as first editions. Using this platform, publishers and authors can offer their target groups attractive and exclusive products that cater to the needs and habits of new generations of readers shaped by the digital world.