Friday, December 6, 2013
Bitcoins? Time To Mint Bookcoins
There’s a new gold rush out there. There are over 80 entrants into the world of digital currency, lead by Bitcoin. Virtual currency is the latest craze. You have peercoin, namecoin, Zeuscoin, fireflycoin, gridcoin, litecoin -- all seeking to establish themselves as money.
Oh, you thought only governments printed money? Now people are using and trading in digital dollars, and I don’t mean through PayPal, VISA, or AMEX. This growing industry is not well-regulated nor monitored closely enough, though it’s under great scrutiny.
Bitcoins are now worth nearly seven billion dollars, but it is scarcity, speculation, and experimentation that have bid it up. Bitcoin pricing is so erratic -- it has swings of $100 in a given day. It’s not stable enough to be a currency. It is more of a commodity, like gold, though gold has a physical purpose whereas bitcoins serve no other purpose.
If billionaires can print their own money, can authors and publishers do the same? We need a Bookcoin or some kind of currency for buying and selling books. Books can be a form of currency, traded for things of value, for they are truly valuable things.
If a book became a unit of money it might allow it to hold its values. Right now the trend is to devalue books by charging little for them, alternated with giving them away.
But if we started to establish a book is worth four cups of Starbucks gourmet coffee or five Big Macs, maybe we’d have a new standard set.
Books, of course, are not a commodity, and should be valued based on a personal scale: Did the book impact your life, change your mind, inform you, enlighten you, inspire or entertain you?
Right now books sell for below the minimum wage. Authors are earning pennies for their efforts. Words may be free to all of us, but the way a writer lines them up has value. Authors spend years in training, practicing, thinking, experiencing. Bookcoins are exactly what we need to reestablish a fair marketplace for books.
If that doesn’t work, you can always gamble and invest in Bitcoins.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013