My sincere and heartfelt thanks to each of you who commented on my previous post and wished me well for the book. I really need your wishes because, while on one hand the book is long out of my system and I am waiting for its release as if it has been written by a distant cousin or an acquaintance, on the other I am gripped by the what-if anxiety because it will be ultimately published under my name.
What if it sells only 95 copies? What if it sells only 256 copies? What if only 445 and then forgotten forever? Will my friends or people at workplace -- or you, dear reader -- silently laugh at me? -- "He used to be so smug. But look, his book sank without a trace. No wonder he is avoiding us these days."
My fears are not without reason. I know quite a few people -- fellow journalists who are about my age and who are supposed to be the star writers of their respective papers -- who have written books but are yet to be acknowledged as 'authors'. One such person I know of recently wrote a book which, unfortunately, failed to click, but that did not prevent him from selling the complimentary copies he had got from his publisher to his colleagues at a discounted price. I mean, he actually went around the office selling his book and collecting the cash and returning the change.
There is another, who I have great respect for but who writes books that have titles which go over people's heads. Why I respect him is that he still soldiers on: doesn't matter if any of his books doesn't sell more than 300 copies. There are about a dozen examples I can give -- of people who are considered as 'authors' only by themselves. How can I forget Ms X, who has some 15 books under her belt, but you find those books only on her shelf and never in a bookshop.
That should explain why I am nervous. But then, fortunately, I have this other half in me who has had the book long out of his system and who no longer cares when exactly the book will hit the stands and how many copies it would sell. That half is already in a self-congratulatory mode. The reason behind his celebration? Well, to quote him accurately: "Bugger, do you even realise that you have actually progressed from wanting to write to book to have actually written one?"
Yes buddy, I do realise that. I know I've won, even if I sell only 55 copies.