Skip to content

Reflections of a working writer and reader



Copyright and Pirates

Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist, is using BitTorrent and other filesharing networks as a way to promote his work. His publishers weren’t too happy about giving away free copies of his books, so he’s taken matters into his own hands.

On his website, Pirate Coelho, you are allowed to download his novels for free.

Coelho’s view is that letting people have digital copies of his books without payment increases sales. In a keynote speech at the Digital, Life, Design conference in Munich he spoke about how uploading the Russian translation of The Alchemist made his sales in Russia go from around 1,000 per year to 100,000, then a million and more.

2 Responses to “Copyright and Pirates”

  1. Debra says:

    While it’s still much easier and more comfortable to curl up with a book than read online, then this is a smart move. Probably the majority of people who’ll download the book and get hooked on it will buy a copy from a bookstore. Even if people read the whole thing online, it just adds to word of mouth advertising.

    Now I’m off to check out the site, and I bet you if I like the look of the book I download, I’ll be spotted in the bookshop in a few days queuing up for a “real” copy.

    jb says: Yeah, me too, Debra.

  2. Dr Sanguivore says:

    I think that all authors should upload at least 5 chapters of their books to give readers a taste and encourage sales. I guess that’s just my utopian fantasy.