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In Brazil, where the book was initially released twenty-five years ago, nobody paid any attention to it. A bookstore in the north-eastern part of the country told me that during the first week that it was available for sale, there was only one individual who purchased a copy.
It took the bookseller an additional half a year to sell a second copy of the book, and the buyer was the same individual who had purchased the first copy. Who can say how long it took to sell the third item?
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By the end of the year, it was clear to everyone that The Alchemist wasn’t working. My original publisher decided to cut me loose and cancelled our contract. They wiped their hands of the project and let me take the book with me. I was forty-one and desperate. But I never lost faith in the book or ever wavered in my vision. Why? Because it was me in there, all of me, heart and soul.
I was living my own metaphor. A man sets out on a journey, dreaming of a beautiful or magical place, in pursuit of some unknown treasure. At the end of his journey, the man realizes the treasure was with him the entire time. I was following my Personal Legend, and my treasure was my capacity to write. And I wanted to share this treasure with the world.