Last week, I saw a man standing under a kind of halo. He was emanating incredibly positive vibes, an aura of some ethereal sort. His smile was captivating, beatific; his demeanour, munificent. Fascinated, I stopped by and asked him ‘Are you God?’
‘No’ he replied, I’m an author’.
‘Then why are you looking like this?’ I snapped, feeling irritated. ‘Why don’t you look haggard and wild-eyed? Why aren’t you frustrated?’
‘Because my publisher called me today.’
‘Well, not publisher exactly, my agent.’
‘Well, that’s good, too.’
‘Or rather, I called my agent and he said he had been planning to call me. That’s almost the same, isn’t it?’
”Absolutely. And what did he say?’
‘He said he had heard from the editor.’
‘Accepting the book?’
‘No. Rejecting it.’
‘It wasn’t my book, someone else’s.’
‘And the previous month, the editor had rejected six others.’
‘But .. I mean, isn’t this bad?’
‘No, it’s good. My agent says it increases the chances of mine getting approved.’
When I published my first book with Penguin, I had visions of being a star. But these are tough times for authors. Authors, however, are probably the most eassily pleased people in the world. First, we suffer great anxiety at the hands of our editors, publishers and marketing folks. After our book is somehow published, there is a clamour for free copies from our dear friends who then, promptly put it away in their bottom drawer. But suddenly, a genuine reader from Jhumritalaiya or
Ouagadougou writes in to say that our book was “quite enjoyable”. So we go into raptures and toodle off to write the next book. With a smile on our face and the wolf still at the door. Owwoooooo.
PG Bhaskar is a private banker and has authored several books. He tries hard to keep up with the times @bhaskarpg and www.pgbhaskar.com. Look out for his weekly humor column on B-Change Saturdays.
Featured Image Artwork: Bhoomika Ghaghada