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Paulo Coelho Reveals the Secret of The Alchemist's Success

Season 5 Episode 520
Aired on 09/07/2014 | CC tv-pg
More than a worldwide best-seller, Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist is a true phenomenon. When it was first published in 1988, it sold only a handful of copies, but 25 years later the book has sold 65 million copies, has been translated into 80 different languages and has been on the New York Times best-seller list for more than 300 weeks.

Oprah, who is conducting Paulo's first interview on American television, says she first heard about the book from Madonna in 1996. "So I thought, well, I've got to read this book that changed Madonna's life. So then I passed it along to everybody I know. Everybody I know passed it along to everybody they know. And their children."

While grateful for celebrity support, Paulo says that's not what made the novel a best-seller. Watch as he reveals the true secret to the book's success.

More from this episode

From Paulo Coelho
Paulo reflects on 25 years of The Alchemist

Read an excerpt from his latest novel, Adultery
Watch OWN