I had the absurdly awesome opportunity to attend a small MySpace-organized private lunch with author Paulo Coelho this afternoon in Paris before he spoke at the Le Web conference. Coelho, who has sold 135 million copies of The Alchemist, announced his new movie project, The Experimental Witch, in partnership with MySpace. He’s pictured to the left with MySpace COO Amit Kapur, who was also at the lunch.
The movie is based on his book The Witch of Portobello and it marks the the first time he has granted movie rights for any of his creations. Hollywood producers have been clamoring for years to make a film version of The Alchemist, but so far he has declined.
The Experimental Witch project invited MySpace users to contribute original video and music content. 6,000 entries were submitted and 15 winners were selected for the final film, which is currently in production.
Coelho is an unabashed MySpace fan, he told me today. He has been active on the site for three years and has over 38,000 friends there. He says MySpace is among his favorite websites, and says that it is a great way to connect with fans.
But I also asked Coelho if he uses Facebook, and what he thinks of it. He said that he loves Facebook too. When I pressed as to which site was his favorite, he said “I love MySpace like a wife, I’ve been there for a long time. But Facebook is my mistress.”
Coelho’s website is here. He also updates a personal blog daily here, where he links to a site that has pointers to pirated copies of all of his books. When I asked him why, he says it’s because it helps sell more books. People like to read a little of the pirated versions, he tells me, but then they buy the book.
Since he’s one of the best selling authors of all time, who am I to disagree.