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Well, look at that.
Your book baby is still alive and has weathered its first month on the rough seas of self-publishing. The holds of your ship are taking on coin. The sky is blue, the waves choppy, and for the most part you have beat back the sharks.
You got this, right?
Month two arrives, and the crest of the wave you have been sailing vanishes. Your sales drop. You attempt to prop up those sales by spending some of that hard-earned gold in the hold, on flags to fly atop your central mast. Surely everyone will see your flag and flock to it, to buy your book baby.
Month two expires and with it, your sales. Your ship takes on water and sinks, as it sails over the sixty-day new release cliff, leaving you with one oar on a shrinking raft.
This close-up view of the seas shows you the truth. The sharks were swimming below the surface and already made off with the coin that should have been tumbling into your sea chests. Your book has been pirated, and no one is paying attention to the wildly flapping flag, tied to the peak of your tattered sales. (See what I did there? 😊)
Before you sink into obscurity you try one last time, to stopper the holes sliced into the deck by the shark’s fins. You throw money at every advertising platform you have ever heard, spending the last of your once-shiny piles of gold to prop up your sales. Not to be outdone, you send cease and desist emails to every site that has your book baby illegally uploaded for sale. Of course, they ignore you. The pirate’s code trumps all.
Nothing you do can save you. You decide to ignore the pirates because there is nothing you can do about it.
There must be a better way, right?
What can a lonely self-published author do to prevent the theft of their hard work, and sink the pirate ships before they can even toss a grappling hook into your manuscript?
Are you ready to hear about one possible future for publishing?
Then read on.
Cryptocurrency. Let’s break down that term.
According to Dictionary.com, “Crypto” comes from the Greek word Kryptos, which means “secret, or hidden.” The English language derives the word ‘crypt’ from this root word.
The word “currency” has a wider range of definitions, which all help to illustrate its meaning. “something that is used as a medium of exchange; money,” and “the fact or quality of being widely accepted and circulated from person to person,” and the British dictionary also defines it as “the act of being passed from person to person.”
Cryptocurrency is a hidden form of exchange, defined as “a digital currency or decentralized system of exchange that uses advanced cryptography for security.” Simply put, cryptocurrency is a hidden form of currency that is able to be passed from person to person in complete security.
What is it that the book pirates do? Go back to part one of this series: Piracy – Not Just on the High Seas
They steal our coin.
“But wait,” you say, “cryptocurrency isn’t coin. It isn’t even touchable. It exists only in cyberspace. How does that work?”
I am so glad you asked.
The beauty of a cryptocurrency universe is that the pirates can’t get to it.
It’s not floating around in some bank (ship’s hold), waiting to be stolen by a card skimmer or password bot, nor is it in grandma’s safe bolted to the basement floor, or held in an investment firm’s dubious clutches, where sticky fingers skim coin all too often.
Cryptocurrency is held virtually and is not in any one place. The currency itself is decentralized and encrypted. There is no Fort Knox to break into. There is no place to send a trojan horse, to sneak behind the secure walls.
Instead, the currency is distributed in code bits across servers located around the world. At last count, the number of cryptocurrency servers numbered over twenty thousand.
Cryptocurrency is riding the wild seas of any startup, but there is no doubt that it is here to stay.
As the currency gains in popularity and is adopted by more and more companies, it will become one more way to pay for goods and services in this digital age. I dare say that in time, it will become the currency to which all “paper” forms of currency are tied. It will become the central pillar to which all regional currencies are pegged like the USD is used for now. But no nation wants to be tied to another nation’s rise and fall, for their own currency values. Anyone outside of the United States understands this point of pain.
And payments made with cryptocurrency are more secure than any form of payment we presently use. No one can steal the currency as it is not laying around to be stolen. Transactions are secure because they are undertaken by large mathematical calculations that only computers can solve.
What does this mean for you, as an author, you ask?
It means, that in the near future, cryptocurrency will be a way of digitally selling and receiving payment for our books, that cannot be corrupted or stolen by an outside party.
But wait, what about the books themselves? They can still be stolen, right?
…. And that is the perfect segue to the last article in this series by Susan Faw:
“Chaining Piracy: How To Save Your Damsel / Damoiseau In Distress”
You can read her 10 Questions Interview on Book Marketing, Increasing Book Sales with Sharon Anderson here.
Stay tuned for her next article on Book Piracy and what you can do about it!
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