Paulo Coelho Nation
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Arguably one of the most influential modern day philosophers, Paulo Coelho was born in 1947, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he was raised, and where he attended a Jesuit school.

An interesting teenager story of Paulo Coelho goes that he told his mother that he wanted to become a writer. His mother's response was "My dear, your father is an Engineer. He's a logical, reasonable man with a very clear vision of the world. Do you actually know what it means to be a writer?". At the age of 17, Coelho's introversion and opposition to following a traditional path led to his parents committing him to a, mental institution from which he escaped three times before being released at the age of 20.

Infact, at his parents' wishes, Coelho even enrolled in law school and abandoned his dream of becoming a writer. One year later, he dropped out and lived life as a hippie, traveling through South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe and becoming immersed in the drug culture of the 1960s.In this context, the message in the Alchemist makes so much more sense to me !

In 1986, Coelho walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, a turning point in his life. On the path, Coelho had a spiritual awakening, which he described autobiographically in The Pilgrimage.

In 1982 Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which failed to make any kind of impact. In 1986 he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to take it off the shelves since he considered it "of bad quality." After making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in 1986, Coelho wrote The Pilgrimage. The following year, Coelho wrote The Alchemist and published it through a small Brazilian publishing house who made an initial print run of 900 copies and decided not to reprint!

He subsequently found a bigger publishing house, and with the publication of his next book Brida. Meanwhile The Alchemist became a Brazilian bestseller and went on to sell more than 30 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling books in history. It has been translated into more than 67 languages, winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author !

Since the publication of The Alchemist, Coelho has generally written one novel every two years including By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, The Fifth Mountain, Veronika Decides to Die, The Devil and Miss Prym, Eleven Minutes, Like the Flowing River, The Valkyries and The Witch of Portobello. I was surprised to read that in total, Coelho has published 26 books! Two of them -- The Pilgrimage and The Valkyries -- are autobiographical, while the majority of the rest are fictional, although rooted in his life experiences.Others, like Maktub and The Manual of the Warrior of Light, are collections of essays, newspaper columns, or selected teachings. In total, Coelho has sold more than 100 million books in over 150 countries worldwide. Coelho also publishes short stories for Ode Magazine.

What is most interesting about Paulo Coelho is his view on File Sharing. Paulo Coelho is a strong advocate of spreading his books through peer-to-peer file sharing networks. A fan posted a Russian translation of one of his novels online. Sales of his book jumped from 3,000 to one million in three years, with no additional promotion or publicity from his publishers. Coelho took to pirating his own books (!!!) on Pirate Coelho which provides free translations of many of his books and was caught by the head of Harper Collins! He then managed to reach a compromise with the publishers: each month a new novel can be read for free on the publisher's website.


Follow your dreams, transform your life. Paulo Coelho              Never save the best for later. You don’t know what tomorrow holds. Paulo Coelho             You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it's better to listen to what it has to say. Paulo Coelho

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