Posts Tagged ‘Stewart Warwick’


February 7, 2012

We like to share. We are social creatures. It is part of the human condition. It is what makes us who we are.

When we read a book it is because someone has given, lent or recommended it to us. If were are very lucky we may have met the author.

When I go away I like to take books with me to read. I then give them away.

In hotels we often find books others have left behind.

My introduction to Paulo Coelho was an attractive Lithuanian girl sat by a river reading The Zahir.

Synchronicity and Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho likes to share. That is why he writes.

He recently uploaded The Way of the Bow to FrostWire, free for anyone to download.

Paulo Coelho featured on FrostWire

These are the download statistics for the last few days (from FrostClick):

Sunday (2321 GMT), 7,020 downloads, downloading 24, sharing 974

Monday (1835 GMT) 11,713 downloads, downloading 17, sharing 910

Tuesday (1829 GMT) 12,409 downloads, downloading 22, sharing 1,057

Paulo Coelho only sold a few thousand copies of The Alchemist in Russia, until a pirate copy appeared on the net.

In 1999, when I was first published in Russia ( with a print- run of 3,000), the country was suffering a severe paper shortage. By chance, I discovered a ‘ pirate’ edition of The Alchemist and posted it on my web page.

A year later, when the crisis was resolved, I sold 10,000 copies of the print edition. By 2002, I had sold a million copies in Russia, and I have now sold 12 million.

When I traveled across Russia by train, I met several people who told me that they had first discovered my work through the ‘ pirated’ edition I posted on my website. Nowadays, I run a ‘Pirate Coelho’ website, giving links to any books of mine that are available on file- sharing sites. And my sales continue to grow — nearly 140 million copies world wide.

Paulo Coelho is banned in Iran. His response, to make available free downloads in Farsi.

Aleph in Farsi

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley arose from a late night story telling on the shores of Lake Geneva.

We cannot like a piece of music until we have heard it.

I am happy to share music with others. If that makes me a pirate, then I am proud to be a pirate.

When I saw The Sixteen in concert in Guildford Cathedral last October, I asked was they on youtube? Officially no, but yes, you will find us there. I asked in order that I may share.

The Sixteen – Miserere Mei Deus – Allegri
St James Cathedral – Victoria – The Sixteen

A couple of years ago I was in Brighton and found Brighton Books open (not usually open on a Sunday). I asked of the music they were playing. Unlimited Art by Jacob’s Stories. I was pointed in the direction of Resident Records from where I could obtain a copy.

I gave copies to friends, I went back and bought a few more copies to give away.

Jacob’s Stories led to Mechanical Bride and Stewart Warwick. Stewart Warwick led to Shadowboxer. Shadowboxer led to BandCamp. BandCamp led to their blog, and the blog led to Gabriel Kahane through featured album of the week Where are the Arms.

Bandcamp connects creative artists with those who may appreciate their work, thus bypassing the music industry. But it does far, far more.

It gives the creative artist a presence on the internet. It allows sharing. We can listen to the music on-line. We can share. Click on share, and you can share on twitter, post onto to you and your friends facebook wall, copy the embedded code and you can embed the code on your blog. And you can download the music (often for free), buy albums, real albums not digital downloads, and the digital downloads are available as high quality audio, not mushy, low quality, highly compressed mp3 files. [see mp3 v FLAC]

I expected BandCamp to post on facebook an image of the album cover, nothing more. Why a little play button? I clicked. It changes into a little media player, listen to the entire album as often as you like. This is going to help creative artists and destroy the music industry. Yippeee!

To keep it clean and simple, no volume control. Use volume control on computer. It is also to encourage downloads.

And when the little media player appears to replace the image of the cover, it lets you not only listen, but share with others and download.

The embed code for a blog lets you choose from about half a dozen options how it will be displayed, including track lists if you desire.

I am amazed at the amount of money flowing through Bandcamp direct into the pockets of artists. $13,935,756 to date $1,038,844 in the past 30 days. Albums outsell tracks 5 to 1, in the rest of the music buying world, tracks outsell albums 16 to 1.

BandCamp is a good example of how websites have evolved into something different, probably the main difference between web 1.0 and web 2.0.

Web 1.0 you landed on a website and hopefully accessed or acquired some information. I say hopefully, as too often so badly designed that you give up as you were wasting your time. A good web 1.0 design had sharing, ie it gave you something, but not social interaction. Web 2.0, this blog is an example, has interaction, social dialogue takes place. We see that even more so with twitter and a very good example is Paulo Coelho’s blog.

Few understand, let alone make effective use of web 2.0. It is not broadcast, one to many. Social network: social interaction, network, many to many.

Tweet level gives some measure of the effective use made of twitter (and it is not simply a crude measure of the number of followers. [see Can we rank twitter streams?]

@keithpp 62.2

@paulocoelho 92.6

Paulo Coelho, Neil Young, Neil Gaiman, and many others, all recognise the value of sharing. Neil Young calls piracy the new radio, as that’s how music gets around.

Piracy is the new airwaves

Those who bleat about sharing, who through flawed thinking think it is bad, should heed the words of Andrew Dubber (see Hear / Like / Buy):

Music is pretty much unique when it comes to media consumption. You don’t buy a movie ticket because you liked the film so much, and while you might buy a book because you enjoyed reading it so much at the library, typically you’ll purchase first, then consume … But music is different — and radio proves that. By far the most reliable way to promote music is to have people hear it. Repeatedly, if possible — and for free. After a while, if you’re lucky, people get to know and love the music. Sooner or later, they’re going to want to own it…whether it’s a pop tune, a heavily political punk album, or an experimental, avant-garde suite — the key is very simple: people have to hear music, then they will grow to like it, and then finally, if you’re lucky, they will engage in an economic relationship in order to consume (not just buy and listen to) that music. That’s the order it has to happen in. It can’t happen in any other order. There’s no point in hoping that people will buy the music, then hear it, then like it. They just won’t. Nobody really wants to buy a piece of music they don’t know — let alone one they haven’t heard. Especially if it’s by someone who lies outside their usual frame of reference. And a 30-second sample is a waste of your time and bandwidth. It’s worse than useless. That’s not enough to get to like your music. Let them hear it, keep it, live with it. And then bring them back as a fan.

But the music industry and Hollywood, very often the same global corporations, do not like sharing, they wish to criminalise sharing. The tried with Sopa, cooked up in back room deals with corrupt politicians on the take and failed miserably. They are trying again with Acta, an international treaty that will criminalise sharing, would disconnect from the net those who share. We killed Sopa and we must kill Acta.

Say NO to ACTA

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