‘The book’s gone to print,’ my editor said a couple of weeks ago. It was only then it sank in (well, to be completely honest, it still hasn’t) that from here on, I had absolutely no control over the words I wrote for the past 6-7 years, and a few I wrote some months back.
It has its own destiny to face now.
A grueling month it has been. Edits, rewrites, discussions, late night chats with editor over the nitty-gritties of plot, blah, blah, and blah. Phew. As I reclined in my seat and absently counted the number of stories that I had sent, I went ‘huh. This many?’ Yeah, I’d sent 83 stories to be precise. And they picked up how many? Thirty. Thirty that the editor ‘felt’ were the best of the lot. That speaks a whole about the effort I’d put the last so many years. Thirty lousy stories were worth it. That’s all? I grimaced. But then wait a minute. Isn’t blogging all about that? Of not having to worry about best or worst, and just keep at it so you satiate your creative appetite? Be that as it may, I was (guiltily so) somewhere in the back of my mind, happy that I was done with it. Finally. It’s done. There won’t be any more of those ‘hmmm, wonder how this story would look in a published book’ kind of thoughts running in the back of my head. There'll be stories for sure, but they'll be different.
So. No big deal really, right – you blogged, now you published. And you had it all made. The package was all there, waiting to be picked up.
No siree. Uh huh.
It’s not that simple, unfortunately. Writing on the blog and writing for a book are like looking into the model of the planet rotating on a plastic axle and looking at it from up above the sky. From up there, you can only look at it (once it’s done) and either draw in a breath, or spit out a frustrating scoff. Well, either ways, it’s too far away to be actually able to do something about it. One can’t really fix those craters visible on the moon, right?
Believe me, it's nerve-racking. But then, was it fun? I guess it was… at hindsight. While you’re in the eye of the storm, all you want to do is get it over with. But now that I think about it...yeah, it was fun.
So, then what next? Well, for starters, the book is scheduled for an August release which is like a month away. The marketing head contacted me and rattled off some things that sounded like marketing-speak - like it should. Only I can’t claim to have understood it completely. I’ll let it pass. Suffice to say I understood the important words like ‘online promotion’, ‘media reviews’, and some others I don’t remember at this point. I’ll be probably talking more about it in the days to come.
And I’ll need your help. Because, I for one, suck big time at marketing and promotion and publicity and all those things that help sell an ice-cream to an eskimo. I’d rather just hand over my ice-cream to a guy astride a camel in a desert (not sell it). But then I know we’re in the real world. And especially in today’s world, we do need to have the capability of selling ice-cream to an eskimo. And whether or not I like it, the book is now a finished product.
I just hope the people out there read it. And enjoy it. Just like how you all did. That’s what matters to me. So, you'll help spread the spook..err..word when it comes out, won't you? I’m counting on you guys here.
And oh yes, I'll be back here. This is home. Really.