I write to empty my mind and to fill my heart. — Paulo Coelho
Archive for the ‘Paulo Coelho’ Category
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” — Luke 7:44-47, New International Version (NIV)
THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not LOVE I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing. — Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World
The Supreme Gift, a rewrite by Paulo Coelho of The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond, a book that was to greatly influence the life of Paulo Coelho.
The Supreme Gift, is currently only available as an e-book, only available on Amazon and iTunes (it may become available on Kobo).
Writers get a far better deal on leanpub, as do readers.
Leanpub pays 90% royalty to authors, less a 50 cent flat fee.
For the reader, multiple download formats, open source formats, not propriety formats.
Amazon is a propriety format, restricted to an Amazon Kindle. iTunes I do not know.
Kindle spies on what the reader is reading, Amazon can and do arbitrarily delete contents of a Kindle.
Kobo readers are better than Kindle. Open source format for e-books.
Kobo Touch is currently in WHSmith in UK at £30 (approx 45 euros), it was £90. The equivalent six inch e-reader from Amazon, Kindle Touch, is double the price.
For those who do not have an e-reader, download and install Calibre.
Calibre can also be used to manage books on an e-reader.
A few ball park figures (for writer can substitute publisher):
The Supreme Gift on Amazon — $3
Assuming writer gets 40% — $1-20
The Supreme Gift on leanpub — $2
The writers receives 90% less 50 cents — $1-30
Thus reader and writer get a better deal on leanpub.
But let us go a step further, a book about a gift, let us incorporate the principles of the Gift Economy that Charles Eisenstein describes in Sacred Economics.
Charles Eisenstein, in keeping with his idea of a Gift Economy, gift to others with no expectation of return, you can purchase Sacred Economics from a bookshop (if you can find), download as an e-book (pay what you wish), or download for free.
Leanpub lets us do something clever. We can set a low minimum price, say $1, a suggested selling price of say $2. A slider lets us pay what we choose, we can pay more than the suggested price, and we see how much of the price we choose to pay, goes to the author.
If we choose less than the suggested price, the author has granted us a gift. It is then for us to decide what we do with our gift. We may, for example, tell others, we have then passed the gift on, if they choose to download and pay, then we have also repaid the author.
It is what bass player Steve Lawson calls a zero cost transaction. No one has actually lost anything, you do not know where it may lead.
Bandcamp in part, operates in this way. You can listen as often as you wish, you are encouraged to share, sometimes download for free or pay a low minimum price, pay what you wish. And surprisingly it works, people are willing to pay, and if they share, more people discover the music. A complete contrast to the greedy Big Record Labels, who rip off everyone and criminalise those who dare to share.
Steph Bradley spent six moons walking around the country, sharing and collecting tales of what is possible, what people are trying, and collecting together in Tales of Our Times. She was inspired by Paulo Coelho to follow her dreams. On St Valentine’s Day, she will publish on leanpub, Searching for Love, an anthology of love poetry.
The Greatest Thing in the World (1874), a meditation Henry Drummond wrote in 1874 that illuminates the importance of 1 Corinthians 13. Widely read and quoted during his lifetime, it went on to sell over 12 million copies and it continues today to influence people to follow God’s two great commandments: to love God and to love each other.
Can it get any worse with WHSmith?
Unfortunately, oh yes.
I wanted to give a present each to two sisters. I decided upon Manuscript Found in Accra, pick up now, as on special offer in WHSmith.
Yes, on special offer, but try finding a shop that knows, or has in stock.
Knowing where not in stock, or no more than one, I thought I would try where I had not yet tried.
WHSmith Farnborough had a grand total of one copy in stock.
This was getting to be beyond a sick joke. I sought out the assistance of a member of staff.
What she told me was unbelievable, they had just sent back seven copies.
I pointed out, sticker on book clearly said, Buy One, Get one Half Price, how is this possible when you only have one copy in stock?
A second sticker said book was £3-99, ie half price.
She then bizarrely told me, you do not have to buy the second one of that book, you can buy something else!
I am wishing to buy Manuscript Found in Accra, but I am told maybe I should buy something else!
Books have become commodities, like baked beans, out of stock of one variety, well buy a different variety.
She questions why I wish to but two copies of the same book, tells me this is not what people usually do. Buying two copies of the same book, is apparently seen as abnormal behaviour.
I ask for the manager.
The manager basically tells me the same thing. They had ten copies, sold two, are sending seven back, leaving one in stock. He too questions why I wish to buy two. At the same time, he tries to tell me it clearly is not selling, but even he concedes, odd to return when on offer.
I was even told it was not an international best seller. Simply not true. And yet the manager conceded, Paulo Coelho does sell.
And why do they have Manuscript Found in Accra, catalogued as a health book?
It does not sell. An international best-seller, from an international best-seller, and it does not sell.
Could this be, because complete failure to promote on special offer? Could it be because not on display in the window? Could it be because all that is ever on display is celebrity crap, which they are bribed to display by the publishers, as the only way to sell celebrity crap is through marketing hype and massive discounting?
It then occurs to me, when do they have deliveries? Thursdays. And when do returns go back? Thursday. Therefore, those going back, have not yet gone back? Correct. They are in store? Yes. Therefore, can go and get?. No, system will not allow, once removed from the system, the boxes are now sealed.
But to be fair to the manager, none of this is his fault, it is the imbeciles at head office, his hands are tied, and he does his best to be helpful. Even he, can see the crass stupidity of the system he is forced to operate under.
He checks on the computer. He confirms what I already knew low stocks in stores, Godalming has three, but Guildford has ten.
He tries Godalming. Same problem as Farnborough, removed to return, only one copy on the shelves. Tries, Guildford, yes, still have. He asks, that they reserve for me two copies. He even offers to drive over and pick them up, but I say no, I will go and collect.
WHSmith has on special offer, Manuscript Found in Accra, an international best-seller, from an international best-selling author, fail to have adequate stocks, fail to display, then do not sell many, then send back what stocks they do have, before the offer expires.
You could not make it up if you tried.
Paulo Coelho on life, the universe, everything.
Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions. I discovered very early in life that the best way for me to communicate is through my writing, but it took me years to realise that it’s what I needed to do full time.
I remember the moments after I was born. Someone entered the room, and I said to myself: “This is my grandmother.” Nobody believes me. I’ve asked doctors if it’s possible – the answer is always no, but I know what I saw that day.
Writing is a solitary experience. I’m extremely superstitious. If I talk about the book or name the title out loud before finishing, I feel the energy I need to write will be drained. It’s so intimate I can’t even share it with my wife.
My connection with Brazil is so abstract. My blood and my way of thinking is Brazilian, but that’s it. I don’t tend to go back to the past and, although I have an apartment there, I rarely visit. When I move, I really move.
I’ve made a lot of money. It’s nice to be able to wear a very good coat in the Geneva winter [where Coelho now lives], but I feel I’ve always been rich. I could afford my greatest pleasures even when I wasn’t wealthy. Travel, archery, writing and reading don’t cost a lot.
I can control my destiny, but not my fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left, but fate is a one-way street. I believe we all have the choice as to whether we fulfil our destiny, but our fate is sealed.
A lot of people feel intimidated by me. There are usually two ways they deal with my fame: they either become very shy and I have to do all the talking, which bores me, or they start name dropping and boasting about how much money they have.
I don’t miss being a hippy. I had an enormous amount of fun and I travelled the world on a shoestring. But I couldn’t stay in that state forever, totally stoned, wandering across the planet.
Humans are not monogamous by nature. For the sake of the preservation of our species, we are not meant to be. But I do believe in marriage. I’ve been married for 34 years. Love is the most important thing in my life.
In anger, I react like an animal. My temper is Latin. If I’m in a bad mood, you’ll know about it. I’d be a terrible politician as I always say what I think.
A lot of people want to be vampires. Fighting against the ageing process is futile. I’m thrilled that I haven’t died young and that I’m getting older without bitterness. It’s a joy.
I have a lot of free time. There is this idea that when you’re a successful writer you’re always so busy, but I’m not. I spend a lot of time walking around and having coffee with strangers.
I visit obscure book shops just to check that my work is still stocked.
Published in The Observer.
An afternoon in Guildford, I had expected to be home late afternoon, but did not arrive home until early evening.
I arrived home to a live webcast with Paulo Coelho talking on-line to readers via a video link. Anyone could join in, so long as they had a computer with camera and microphone. I caught the tail end, maybe the last ten minutes of what was just over an hour.
What was interesting, was what I caught, was lovely examples of synchronicity.
Paulo Coelho said readers hate this book. I cannot see why. Well actually I can see why, it is not The Alchemist, and people like their authors to write the same book. As Paulo said, he does not write for his readers, he writes for himself, it is what he wants to say.
People like fairy tales. The basic premise of Dark Mountain, is that people live in a fairy tale, they do not face up to the stark reality of the world around them. The Winner Stands Alone, is a crime novel, but it is more than a crime novel or a thriller, it is a damning indictment of our society, our obsession with stuff.
Paulo Coelho then went on to say how he became a writer, it was not until he was 40. He had always dreamed of being a writer, but he was a successful songwriter, he kept putting it off. Finally, he could put it off no longer. He walked El Camino de Santiago, then he wrote The Pilgrimage, then he wrote The Alchemist.
In my conversation with Steph Bradley, I told her of how Paulo Coelho did not start writing until he was around 40, that before he was a successful song writer and record producer, that he walked El Camino de Santiago, that contrary to popular misconception, his first book was not The Alchemist, it was The Pilgrimage, his account of walking El Camino de Santiago. When you undertake this pilgrimage you give something back, his gift was The Alchemist.
Steph Bradley is a storyteller, writer and poet. She had a dream, and like Santiago in The Alchemist, she had the courage to take the risk and follow her dream. She gave up the job she loved and spent six months shod in only a pair of red flip flops from Brazil and wearing what she could carry on her back, walking from town to village, telling stories, collecting stories. These she then collected together in Tales of Our Times. She is now working on a paperback, based on her walk, but set in the future, and on an anthology of her poetry, Searching for Love. Both to be published in the spring. She then hopes to go on another tour, telling her tales.
Steph spent time in Brazil, she learnt Portuguese, the first book she read in Portuguese, The Alchemist. Her inspiration for following her dreams, Paulo Coelho.
Both offers are running simultaneously, ie buy one, get half price, buy two, get second one at half of half price.