Pearson plans to sell textbooks as NFTs

Pearson looks to use NFT textbooks to gain profits from secondhand resales.
August 04, 2022 - Cynthia Chung

Academic textbook publisher Pearson has just announced its plans to mint its digital textbooks as NFTs to maximize its profits. The announcement was made by the company’s CEO Andy Bird during the company’s mid-year financial status announcement. 


Bird explained that he wants to implement NFTs to its digital textbooks so as to keep better track of the ownership of them and capture revenue that was previously lost from being resold the secondhand market.

According to Bird, ‘In the analogue world, a Pearson textbook was resold up to seven times, and we would only participate in the first sale.’

He explained that a Pearson textbook is typically resold up to seven times therefore hopes he can use NFTs to earn commission from second-hand sales of its textbooks each time the books changed hands. 


‘The move to digital helps diminish the secondary market, and technology like blockchain and NFTs allows us to participate in every sale of that particular item as it goes through its life,’ he added. 


​​​​It is not clear how or when NFTs will make an appearance in Pearson’s textbooks. However, Pearson already has its own digital textbook ecosystem dubbed Pearson+, a subscription-based platform which is expected to be updated to include NFTs. 


While Pearson explores how it can adopt NFTs and blockchain technology to benefit from secondary sales, Bird mentioned that Pearson would also be looking into ways his company can take advantage of the Metaverse:


‘We have a whole team working on the implications of the metaverse and what that could mean for us.’


Selling books as NFTs is not an entirely new concept. For example, Germany-based digital distributor Bookwire launched its own NFT marketplaces in May last year. It aims to offer publishers, readers, authors, listeners, labels and content creators together to integrate their work into an ‘authoritative, permanent digital record. 


Photo: Getty


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