Free is Better

NY Times ran an article yesterday about the famous Brazilian writer Paul Coehlo who, among many other great works, wrote the best-selling The Alchemist. It was a very intriguing read as the writer himself publicly supports content piracy. He even puts his books free for download on his web site.

In his website — Pirate Coehlo— he says:

RULES OF THE GAME

A] I the case that you download a book and like it, please buy the book, so we can tell to the industry that sharing contents is not life threatening to the book business.
B] You can do a relevant service to your community. Print and handle FOR FREE to a local library in a small town, to a hospital, to a prison. The intention of Pirate Coelho (as well as my free web books) is first and foremost share thoughts with people who cannot afford buying books.

Paul Coehlo is also among few of the authors who really embraces social media as a tool to engage audience. He constantly updates his Facebook page and interacts with his fans on Twitter. He has over 6 million followers on Twitter.

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It reminds me of the Eight Generatives coined by Kevin Kelly in his blog.

Immediacy

Personalization

Patronage

Interpretation

Authenticity

Embodiment

Findability

Acessibility

I think as economy becomes more and more competitive and more stuff being moved online. Distribution becomes free and duplication is abundant. Creators, i.e. artists, designer, producer, filmmaker, musician, need to embrace the free model. Industry such as publishing needs to be more open-mnded to experiment new business model.

Kevin Kelly has another good article about 1000 true fans.

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About thethirdthinking

Entrepreneur, educator,social venture, storyteller, curator of TEDxTaipei, founder of The Big Question Conference, runner, traveler, design thinker.
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