I listened with dread to the message on the answering machine. “Hi, This is Shikha. Please call me when you get a chance.” I began analyzing her every inflection, her tone, her pauses with an intensity that would have done a CBI profiler proud. Goddammit! She didn’t sound happy, she didn’t sound like she wanted to sign me. The last couple of months had been a blur as I had waited to hear if publishers were interested in signing a contract for my debut novel.
Now with that short message, my hopes went crashing to the ground. It was all over for me before it had begun. I spent the next ten minutes pacing the floor. Phone her! I can’t! Phone her! I can’t! ….. I don’t want to hear bad news!
The inner dialogue continued, until even I tired of the drama, finally dialed her number and attempted a feeble nonchalant air, as if my books being rejected didn’t matter a damn. I was an artiste! Published? Who cares about publishing when you can simply create!
“Hi Karan, We are interested in helping you publish your debut novel. It is a hilarious novel and we are sure it will do well.” she said. I could feel her smiling, explaining details to do with the contract, fireworks were going off inside me. Feebly, I attempted a speech of thanks. Useless. There are some emotions that don’t translate easily into words. This was it. My dream, which happened, again almost accidentally. I couldn’t believe that it had happened, and pinched myself to be assured.
I remembered the journey again flashing in my mind. Devoting an hour a day and writing in order to finish my first draft. The constant ideas and instances that would come into my mind and how I would take notes and pen them down later. It involved a lot of thinking, you had to be in the mood to write. It was not that simple. It took around six months of discipline and self belief and finally it was ready. Then the next obvious step would be to get an editor to work on the draft. The constant follow up, the pestering and daily reminders to meet and discuss. Publisher’s are always busy handling many books at one time. So you really need to focused on getting your book become their current focus. That only happens if you are confident about your product. Then when your book is ready and dressed with the help of few editors and you are satisfied with the final output, you put it into market, emailing manuscripts and letters to leading publishers and then waiting few weeks for them to read it and give their feedback. The journey is nerve wracking.
But then when you finally get it published, the experience and happiness you get from your readers is the most satisfying one which you cannot put in words. It’s bliss, the realisation that you are able to share your thoughts, your feelings with so many people at once and touch their lives is self fulfilling.
The book launch events, the PR events and constant visits to bookstores to make sure that your book is available all the time. An author’s role has never been tougher. Marketing yourself and the book are now a must do, in today’s day and age, you got to be on the social media. It’s a boon for author’s as we get to interact directly with our reader’s and hear their feedback. It only motivates you for going ahead and continue writing.
Nowadays, there are lots of authors and the publishing industry is booming, this is a good time for first time writer’s to try their hand at writing. Who knows, whether you might be the next Bhagat!
For me, finally it happened and I hope it happens again and again!!