Tag Archives: paulo coelho

Giving it away may make you bigger than Madonna


What’s true for me today is …

Giving it away can make you bigger than Madonna – at least in principle.

If you’re intrigued, read the Julie Bosman NY Times interview with Paulo Coelho about his new book, Aleph. You’ll need to read all the way to the end for the Madonna reference, which,in truth, is just a passing comment but too good not to comment on. Turns out Paulo Coelho has more Facebook fans than Madonna, which is more or less attributed to his prolific use of social media and Coelho’s habit of sharing his writing online for free.

Really, it’s the principle that’s important. Sharing your work for free, with positivity and in good faith, attracts positivity.

The second thing Coelho says that I think is important: “They used to see writers as wise men and women in an ivory tower, full of knowledge, and you cannot touch them. The ivory tower does not exist anymore.” (Click here to read the full quote)

It’s the mention of the ivory tower that struck me. I like the visual image of the tower barrier – it’s easy to relate to and sometimes cracking the publishing game can feel like scaling a tower, like there is a lot of distance between your writing/ideas, the editor who reviews them (decides), and the audience.

I didn’t really consider this from the reader point of view, however. Do you think social media, like blogs and Facebook, has removed the “ivory tower,” so to speak? Or, do you think there is less “writer’s mystique” because there is so much chatter about writing to communicate in the world these days?


If can download a recording of Coelho’s live interview with Brendan Burchard online here. In the interview Coelho mentions that he was forty before he published his first book. I didn’t know that. There’s hope yet!