Coelho’s quest

Here is the bookend to my Guardian column about Paulo Coelho, Googley author. He writes in The New Statesman about his journey online. Snippets:

So I’ve spent a lot of time on my website, knowing that it is one of the rare public platforms, besides the traditional book signing, open to me. Yet, despite the success of the site and newsletter, I felt that more could be done – but what? The answer is the result of ten years’ fascination with the medium. . . .

I knew from previous experience that the free-sharing of my book over the internet would increase its visibility, so I didn’t hesitate to post it on peer-to-peer websites and on my blog.

The more I’ve ventured into the virtual world, the more I have realised that the internet has a logic of its own and its credo is: share everything freely.

When I was with Coelho, I asked him whether he’d ever write a book about the internet. He said no. I still won’t bet against it. He sees as only he can a mystical world in those wires and tubes. It’s a magic land, the internet.