*** Special Feature - June 2016 ***
How low will you stoop to fulfil your dreams? Jeet Roy, a college Casanova, has published a book by unfair means. All he wants is to earn loads of money and have hot girls chase after him wherever he goes! Rohit Sehdev, a one-book-old popular fiction writer is furious when he finds out that his publisher has cheated him out of his royalties. Karun Ahuja is a highly ambitious schoolboy who wants to win the heart his lady love by writing a novel about it and he doesn't mind playing dirty to get to the top.
Ruthlessly exploiting these ambitious young men is their unscrupulous publisher. Sometimes funny, sometimes shocking, Paperback Dreams is the story of a new breed of young writers who will do anything to get famous, fast.
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When you love someone, what's there to prove? Everything! It looks like life is teaching Rohit a lesson. His publishing deals, his relationships, even his job - nothing seems to be working out. To make matters worse, Karan is still trying his best to ruin him as a writer. But when Nisha leaves him, it's the ultimate blow. To win her back Rohit must prove he loves her enough to do things that matter to her: like helping Tara find a publisher. As Rohit takes control of his life, he begins to find things slowly changing for the better for him too. But will Nisha be happy with that? Will she come back to him? Just for You is an adorable, bittersweet story about love and its responsibilities.
The central character – Rohit, an author, rebels against his inner self and struggles to settle with his unbalanced life while Karun, another (very) young author leaves no stone unturned to ruin his reputation as a writer because of his revelry and jealousy towards him. Rohit suffers the ultimate blow when is his girlfriend, Nisha leaves him. In order to gather the ripped shreds of his life, Rohit tries to win Nisha back by doing the things that would matter to her the most, in turn bringing his life back on track (or not)! Meanwhile, Karun keeps trying his best to ruin his career anyway!
My Journey to get Published
We live in a strange world. We sing of freedom and liberation but in reality most of us are not even allowed to choose the Partner we love and want to marry or even, more importantly, the career we want to invest our whole life in.
As soon as I finished my graduation and took up a job as I was supposed to, I felt that crazy, strong punch of reality -— life had become incredibly boring and I was just not able to come to terms with the idea that I spent twenty three years of my life, dreaming about the ways I want to experience the world while studying about all the geographical, geological and scientific wonders of the world like the great rock of Gibraltar, The Dead Sea and the ‘mars-scape’ of Ladakh.
Ever since I was a kid, I have been called a dreamer. It was probably the reason I did not have many friends in school. “You need to be more practical in life – you cannot become a writer, a painter, a photographer, an architect and a film maker all at the same time!’ they all said. But how could I ever believe, or rather succumb to them? Iwanted to do it all! There was no way at all I would give up – we all have one life, and one life only (in our conscious state of mind, at least). I wasn’t happy reducing my whole universe to a white walled cubical, working as a corporate puppet focusing only on making vulgar amounts of money, even if the means by which I acquired set my teeth on edge. . I had to give myself a chance and that was when my adventures in the publishing industry began.
Back in the day, (this is 2007 I am referring to) the situation was a little different. There were not many publishers in India who would support popular fiction in English. Chetan Bhagat was still establishing himself as a writer and many viewed the genre skeptically. Some shunned and out-rightly discredited the kind of writing I was doing. I still come across some people who do not hesitate to throw their ‘witty insults’ at me for being a popular fiction writer. With my manuscript that held my absolute faith, I went door to door of most publishers. Mostly I only got to see the smiling faces behind the reception desks taking my manuscript and saying, “we will let you know”. After regular follow ups, I would get only a standard mail that sounded completely impersonal and automated —‘your manuscript does not fit our current publishing slot’. Out of all, only one publishing house showed interest. They were a very small publishing house and had only one successful title to their name. They showed a lot of promise and I could see that they believed in my work. This is was enough reason for me to sign a contract with them.
The book was an instant hit. Within weeks of its release it shot to the top five bestselling titles in India. The book still sells well – Those Small Lil’ Things. The publisher was in a hurry for me to write my next book and I was super excited to do so – this was my big chance to reach out to the world and say all the things that I always wanted to say and to bring the positive social change that I had always dreamt of – the thrust behind my desire to become a writer, a filmmaker, an artist! Fan mail was pouring in like Harry Potter’s letter of acceptance at Hogwarts. I got my royalty cheque at the end of the financial year and somehow, the figure did not match the figure I had expected – I had been in touch with the distributors and the retailers; I had an idea. I decided to move to another publisher and was fortunate enough to find one. There was no looking back after that.
With five novels published, I have been lucky enough to have worked with all kinds of publishers in India and have a fair understanding of how the industry works. I won’t be all diplomatic and say that it’s all flowers and roses. It is a tough ride, like any other field. And if you want to survive – buckle up for hard work because there is no other way to make it!
There are many stories that I want to share with my readers in the coming years – the journey has just begun. Apart from sharing stories I have many other aims targeted. I have started a project that I am working very hard for these days. I want to promote reading culture in our country. It’s a very ambitious project and in ten years from now I do see myself bringing a ‘reading revolution’ in India. I will start with introducing book shelves with ‘Rahul Saini Recommendations’ in every school and college library I visit and would be open to conversations and discussions about the books. Hopefully it will help in the germination of a reading culture. I firmly believe that we are what do, we do what we think and we think what we read – it runs in our mind and makes us who we are. It’s all linked.
About the Author:
Rahul Saini is the bestselling author of five hugely popular books – Those small Lil’ Things, Just like in the Movies, The Orange Hangover and most recently Paperback Dreams and Just For You, which created a lot of buzz and raised many questions about the current scenario of the publishing industry in India. The collective sale figure of his books is more than 5 lac copies. All his books have featured in various bestselling lists across the nation. His books have strong comic tones and present the up-beat stories that portray the fun loving, free spirited and the outgoing character of today’s youth. Apart from being light entertainers, his books carry relevant social messages. His first book has also been translated into Hindi which won the award for the best translation by the Federation of Indian Printers and Publishers. Trained as an architect from Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Gurgaon, apart from being a novelist, he is a keen photographer and an artist and has had successful art shows. He is into film making and script writing as well. Currently he is working as a visiting faculty member for an art and design program at a prestigious university in India.
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- 3 Copies of Paperback Dreams
- 3 Copies of Just for You