Author Paulo Coelho Illustrates the Upside of Openness

Budding authors may not be able to duplicate the success of Paulo Coelho, but Coelho’s willingness to experiment across mediums is certainly worth studying. From Jeff Jarvis’ Guardian column:

Coelho is the thoroughly modern author. But he still believes in print. For him, this isn’t a matter of print v digital. It’s a question of what comes when you add digital to print. What does it bring him? “It gives me a lot of joy,” he said, “because writing is something you do alone.” He recalled the night in 2006 when he read that he had become the second best-selling author in the world. He was bursting. “My God, my wife is sleeping. How can I share this news with anybody?” Now he can shout it from the mountaintop of his blog.

Coelho’s embrace of digital outlets is liberal, even by Web standards. In addition to his blogging and social media efforts, Coelho set up a site that aggregates P2P links to free (pirated) versions of his books. He briefly discusses his P2P moves in a New Statesman column:

… I knew from previous experience that the free-sharing of my book over the internet would increase its visibility, so I didn’t hesitate to post it on peer-to-peer websites and on my blog.

The more I’ve ventured into the virtual world, the more I have realised that the internet has a logic of its own and its credo is: share everything freely.

(Via Craig McGinty’s Twitter stream)

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