Alright, I have to admit that this post is heavily inspired.
No, not the Anu Malik kind of “inspired” but nevertheless …
I recently joined a Facebook page called Confessions. The premise is interesting. You post whatever your gripe is anonymously and get it out of your system. It raised a lot of red flags in my brain.
Red Flag 1 : Confessions
Red Flag 2 : Anonymous
Sleaze Alert! Whine Alert! Backbiting and Slander galore!
Don’t ask me why I did that. I guess I need a life, clingy eight year old kids, troublesome boyfriend, husband whatever …
A life time of bouncing from crisis to crisis does that to you. You aren’t complete until your arse is on fire, your credit card maxed out and collection goons are laying a trap to repossess your car or home. When you’ve lived a life like that, a life where your biggest problem is power outages in your colony is kind of humdrum isn’t it?
So this blog post is heavily inspired from Confessions.
No, I am not going to talk about the men in my life or any such thing. Being mysterious is much more happening than a tell-all journal, which may be such a climb down from the lurid fantasies one invariably creates in the mind.
I am going to talk about what happens when bloggers turn authors. Here are some confessions or observations based on personal experience and that of other blogger-authors.
Now we bloggers have a closed community. We are expressive, opinionated and closet ledger keepers. We keep a close watch on the number of hits our blog has got, how many people have commented on our post, and then we reciprocate by visiting their blogs and commenting. Such reciprocity, such democracy.
THOU SHALT ALL BE EQUAL
And then one blogger breaks ranks and writes a novel!
It infects the blogosphere! Everyone has a novel inside him or her which is desperate to break out. For me it was Preeti Shenoy’s 34 Bubblegums and Candies and Varsha Dixit’s Right Foot Wrong Shoe.
So I wrote the book that was desperate to break out from within me, A Bowlful of Butterflies. It had a middling kind of response but that’s alright. Everyone knows that one does not make money from novels, not unless one is Chetan Bhagat or Amish Tripathy.
I am sure there are others who got motivated by me. Now we moved into another world. From humble and equal bloggers we entered the highly competitive world of novelists. By the way, the world of novel writers is replete with examples of cut throat competition, betrayal and intrigue. No, not in the pages of the novels but in the real world.
You have this nice blogger friend, you visit his/her blog and comment. He/She visits yours and comments. It’s chugging along nicely. Then suddenly she/he announces that he or she has a book deal by one of the biggies, Harper Collins or Penguin! Now what do you do?
Feel outclassed? Naah!
Send a shot and succinct “Congrats”
On an afterthought add a smiley :)
Bad mouth the publisher (not in print though). Remember the novel that is desperate to break out from within you? No, definitely not in print.
Turn up nose and say you do not read Indian authors in English. Munshi Prem Chand was the last stalwart in desi literature. Feel free to substitute Premchand with Tagore or any one else …
Resist urge to delete the blog link from your reader … we need to keep abreast with competition.
Once the book is out demand autographed free copies for your Bua, Naani and 30 assorted relatives. (This is fellow author Nandita Bose’s solution.)
Tell everyone loudly and emphatically that you have a real job/business. It’s easy to write a book, you just have too many responsibilities and can’t write one, yet.
Write a nice review of the book in your blog, say that it is nice, the story is wonderful, the premise original … but …
Munshi Prem Chand was better
Dan Brown does better action
Description is lacking/excessive/heavy
Characters are unreal
Remember to just put one of these things. You do not want to make an enemy.
Oh and then as a final twist to the knife
Mention the book’s price and ask whether it isn’t too much
Meanwhile – happy blogging