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My Country My Life sends cash registers ringing

By RAJESH SINHA DNA India | Monday, 07 April 2008

NEW DELHI: The NDA’s prime minister-in-waiting LK Advani may not match the Clintons – who are reported to be earning more from book-writing and speeches than in White House – but his autobiography is still reported to be “doing very well”.

What is more, My Country My Life has got a very good response in Pakistan, where Advani spent his early life, said Kapish Mehra of publishers Rupa & Co. Incidentally, Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf’s book had also attracted great attention in India.

And, while the hard-cover English version is being picked up fast, Mehra said a Hindi translation is slated to come out in May and, for those interested, the book is now also available on the internet.

In his bid for the top post, Advani is leaving nothing to chance. Projection of the personality matters and the book and the website are aimed at augmenting his visibility, and this started with the launch itself: Advani’s book release in Delhi last month was high-profile and in Mumbai, it was star-studded. Asked about editions in other languages, Advani’s secretary Deepak Chopra said, “It is planned, but we are yet to tie up with publishers.”

Mehra said there had been offers for publication in other languages and these were being worked out. This would help take him to the people in all corners of the country and familiarise them with the leader. So far, the book has been “an out and out success”, as he put it, and has “crossed the bars of all types, and people of all ages and walks of life are reading it”.

As for the potential sales, he said, “Our stakes are in six figures.” The book sparked some controversies, but this is seen to mean that it is being seen and talked about.