We all like to think that we know what’s in store for us. That somehow we have a hand in the short and long range outcomes of our lives. Maybe we do, maybe we don’t.
We posted recently about how giving up control can help you gain control. More on that in a great anecdote from Jeff Jarvis who publishes the Buzz Machine blog. He relates a Paulo Coelho story about how the author has posted one of his own copyrighted books online and has surpassed 100 million downloads. He welcomes the "pirates" who spread his book around and even finds that his sales have increased.
But the best part for him is that before the internet, 100 million readers were an abstraction. Now he can interact with them (well, probably not ALL of them) through the social media tools that he employs in his daily life.
The cognitive disconnect of selling more books by giving away books is going to take a very long time for people to come to terms with.