Saturday, July 28, 2012

आज की महबूबा

आप मुझसे क्यूँ ही बातें करते हैं
जब मेरी बातें कम, खुद की ज़्यादा करते हैं

अकेलेपन, ख़ामोशी से डर नहीं लगता हमको
पर आपकी एकतर्फी ज़ुबान से, हम भागा फिरते हैं 

आपके बारें में बहुत सुना है हमनें
कि आपके हुस्न पर हज़ारों आशिक़ मरते हैं

किस काम के हैं वो आशिक़?
जो आपकी आशिक़ी में खुद को दगा दिया करते हैं

ज़िन्दगी आपके बिना ही जी लिया हमनें
कभी सोचा, क्या आप हमें भी याद किया करते हैं?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Third Book: Reason Behind Delay

I finished writing the third book - She is single, I'm taken - in March, before I went on my India trip. I had been in conversation with Rupa for quite sometime, which wanted to take over all the three titles of the trilogy. However, the earlier two titles were with Srishti, and as any small publishing house would have done, Srishti negated Rupa's offer of releasing the earlier books. I was fine with it. Srishti gave me a break; I was and would always be indebted.

But the third book was not yet signed with any publisher, so I was free to chart my own route. Rupa was willing to take it over and after a lot of negotiation, I was happy beyond bounds for they gave me a very good offer. Rupa, no doubt, is one of the biggest names in the Indian publishing. I sent my manuscript to Rupa in mid-March, for which they had been pressing, and left for my travel. Since they wanted my manuscript so much, I presumed that they would begin the editing process for the book.

I kept travelling while Rupa sent me an elaborate marketing plan which included interviews with all the major newspapers and review sites. I realized that all the PR and interviews that every author gets has little to do with the book that they have written and a lot to do with the publishing house they are associated with. Srishti has been a low-profile player: spending zilch in marketing and had carved out its own niche in the chic-lit 100 rupees space. I was happy that with Rupa, I would be getting not only a hefty advance but necessary PR, which I missed earlier.

Happily I came back in May and scheduled a meeting with Rupa's editor. I had already been given the agreement: which was very fair and transparent. At the meeting with Rupa, I had been told that their publishing schedule was packed for this year and my book would come out early next year. I was shocked. All the while, I was thinking that the editing process was being carried out but alas, they told me that it would have started only after I signed the agreement. And moreover, it would take at least three months to complete the editorial process.

Also, I was told that only the trilogy would be acquired by them, not my further books. I felt a little bit cheated. They wanted to acquire what was already selling; they were not betting on my writing.

I was in two minds. At one side, I had one of the best publishing houses in the country offering me whatever I could have wished for; while on the other side, there were thousands of readers eagerly waiting for my book, which I'd been delaying since February. In July, I chose to go with the latter and came back to Srishti. It was a tough decision for me, much like every other decision that I have taken in 2012. Srishti was quick at task as I outsourced the editing process to my friends and sent the entire thing to Srishti within a week.

I'm happy as now, the third is being rolled out and my next book, on my start-up, would come out by early next year - is also witnessing many interested takers.