Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Royalty and Other Fictional Characters

Who on earth thought of this cruel term called royalty? There is nothing royal about it. It is bloody unfair to term the few coins we authors make (when someone buys our book) as royalty. It just creates false impressions. Just makes it hard to be an author.

Does anyone here know JK Rowling? She is the one who added being a wizard as a career choice for many an unsuspecting kid. She has done something similar for other Muggles too. She has inspired many people to take up writing as a profession. So what are her own credentials? Impressive. Her personal wealth of £545 million, gets her to rank as thirteenth richest woman in Britain. In 2006, Forbes named Rowling the second-richest female entertainer in the world.

One of these newspapers that I was reading told me that not very long ago, her lifestyle was like mine. In those days neither of us was a billionaire. I still kept my part of the promise. She went ahead and became rich. Authors are never rich. So what's the secret?

Whenever I tell someone that I have written a book, they always look at me and turn green. What do you do with all that royalty, they ask. I have to keep up the pretense. It is all about the image of being a billionaire author (I mean, JK Rowling is one). I guess I can't blame these guys. If people know that you get paid in the form of "ROYALTY", it is logical that your readers expect you to have a lifestyle of the rich and famous. It is too much pressure.

My friends need to know this. I get royalty when someone BUYS my book. Yet each of those fellows will come up and ask me for a free copy. What is this about insisting on a free copy of my book? My boss wants one, my colleague wants one. I go to a party and the host introduces me as an author and then all the bloody guests want a free copy. So if you want to know how my book made it to the bestseller lists, I bought most of them to gift to my friends, relatives and colleagues. I have to sneak in to my neighborhood book store and buy a few copies at a time so that when someone asks for a copy - oh yeah... another one of those misers who will not support a struggling author - I have to gift him or her one of those copies.

My colleagues are cruel. Last week when everyone was being given out their annual increment letters, some jealous guy went and told my boss that I did not need the pay rise. My boss too just shook hands with me and said pretty sheepishly, "You are a rich author. You get paid in royalty. I know this salary is just your pocket money Abbey. So... no... I won't embarrass myself by giving you a raise." It is hard being an author.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Abhi
I paid for book!
Now can I have my share of the Royalty - as a 30ml Chivas please!
Karnail

Abhijit Bhaduri said...

Hi Karnail,
This is what I call an irresponsible person. You ask for a share of my royalties and that too in scotch! What currency do you think I got paid in? In alcohol??
Gosh!
Abhijit

Anish said...

Hey.. even I paid for the book...promise would buy the next one u put up together as well... can we upgrade it to a Glenfiddich :-)

BTW.. u working on another one already or not ?

Anish

Abhijit Bhaduri said...

Hi Anish
Thanks for supporting a struggling author. I truly am obliged. I think we should upgrade to Shivaji Regal... I mean Chivas Regal!!

Geets said...

how true...that part about free copies...I face the same problem too! best wishes for the sequel