Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rael wants to become a cool Pirate (but sells his e-books for 3+ years)

When it come out just recently that bestselling Brazilian author Paulo Coelho has become a pirate believing that free electronic books translates into wider readership, by joining the Pirate Bay site calling on readers to share everything he has written, Rael announced, "I fully support Pirate Bay and this bestselling author move. I myself ask all those reading my downloadable books (available for free on our Web site, to share them with as many people as they wish. Copyrights are just a thing of the past, an attempt to maintain devastating capitalism while suppressing freedom."

However, Rael first made electronic versions of his books mid-2001. Rael then began selling his e-books and continued to do so for 3+ years until January 2005 when he finally decided to make them available for free download on the Internet. (Click on the images below to enlarge)

[11 April 2001] Before e-books were created...

 [08 Jun 2001] Rael raises the price of his book from $9.95 to $14.95 and begins selling the electronic version for $9.95

[14 Dec 2004] Rael sells his e-books for 3+ years (from July 2001 to December 2004)

[14 Dec 2004] Prices still high until Rael makes his e-books available for free since January 2005...

[19 Jan 2005] Finally available for free : )
[19 Jan 2005] Rael decreases the prices for all his books after making the e-books available for free...

Rael still sells hard copies of his books through various channels such besides his own website. Before Internet shopping was in vogue, Rael used to make his followers sell his book on the streets. Raelians had to first purchase the book and sell them at zero markup. To motivate the Raelians to do this "diffusion of the Messages", the Top 10 Best Sellers are announced at Raelian seminars for Structure members.

When asked if Rael makes anything out of the sales of his books, most Raelians would regurgitate the official tagline, "The books are sold to cover the cost of printing." However, this isn't entirely true... the cost of printing, say a 200-page book is no more than $5. Yet, the selling price of The Message Given to Me by Extraterrestrials (a compilation of Rael's first 2 books) was once as high as $14.95 (after e-books were available). The proceeds are generally used at the local level while Rael receives royalties from books copyrighted under the Raelian Foundation. IRM maintained the profit-level generated from e-books by selling Rael's compilation book for $9.95 with almost zero cost.

Following the creation of Clonaid's precursor Valiant Venture in 1997 and before the hoax claim of "baby Eve" in Dec 2002, I wrote a letter to Rael urging him to make all his books available on the Internet. I reasoned that it would bring him more followers since more people will get access to the "Messages" after the hype of human cloning and that the people who would buy into his story would help him financially.

Rael resisted my suggestion and didn't make any immediate changes, even after cloning hoax, and frustrated I started releasing Rael's writings chapter by chapter that I had typed manually on an official Raelian Internet forum in 2003... within hours of its discovery, a couple of moderators frantically deleted all of them! LOL

Advocatus Diaboli

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