Author makes piracy pay

Paulos Coelhos
Originally uploaded by dianapassy

A few years ago a friend of mine recommended The Alchemist by the famous author Paulo Coelho. It ws a real waste of money. I really disliked it. That’s the trouble when you try an author for the first time. Unlike music (which you can hear on the radio) or even the movies (where you often see a trailer), it’s often difficult to tell if you are going to like a new book unless you have the time to sit in a bookshop and read a chapter or two first.

Aha, but if I had known about The Pirate Coelho, a blog, established by the million-selling author himself, I might not have wasted my money after all. You see, Coelho has been happily pirating his own work for years, spreading electronic versions of his novels over the BitTorrent filesharing network. What the blog does is direct you to where the pirated version are located. He recently told a conference that rather than hurt his sales, this act of self-piract has actually sent them through the roof.

If you think about it, giving away free digital copies of digital books makes a lot more sense that giving away free music. Downloading a couple of chapters allows you to see how much you might like an author unknown to you, and if you do, go can ahead and buy it, preferably at your local bookshop.