Back in January, we wrote about how best selling author Paulo Coelho was happily pirating his own books
via BitTorrent, noting just how much it was increasing sales. Since he couldn't initially convince publishers to go along with it, he set up a site that pretended it was from a fan giving away various translations of his book, even though it was really run by him. He admitted it in a speech in January that got his efforts a lot more attention. TorrentFreak has checked in with Coelho to see how things have gone since he admitted to pirating his own books
. Not surprisingly, the increased attention has helped drive even more sales -- even though the attention was all about how people could get his books for free. Because of that, a couple of his books are back on the NY Times Bestseller list. It also resulted in his publisher, Harper Collins, being a bit more willing to embrace the experiment, putting a new Coelho book online each month. Of course, as we pointed out
at the time, this was still a really crippled and annoying-to-read way of offering free books online, but at least it's a step in the right direction.
What may be even more interesting is that Coelho isn't sitting back and leaving things as is. He continues to experiment. For example, rather than selling the movie rights to one of his books, he's running an experiment to have fans make a movie
out of the book, dividing up the work. Since the book involves multiple perspectives, each person is expected to choose one perspective and film it. Coelho and his team will then piece together the movie, awarding 3,000 euros to the best film segments, and also offering up 1,500 euros to whoever composes music to go with the film. This reminds me a bit of Jonahtan Lethem's experiments
with making a story of his freely available to movie makers. Hopefully we'll be seeing more such creative endeavors going forward.