Dave Boxers was an aspiring author, one who had no small amount of talent but very little luck. His material was just original enough to be fresh but not so out-there as to be a risk, and yet publishers just didn’t seem interested in taking a chance.
He had at one point hired an agent, but that too had gone badly; the agent had been far more interested in screwing Dave’s wife. So much for just taking fifteen per cent.
He had also edited much of his more recent work alone, since his usual editor – his wife – was busy screwing his agent.
All things considered, this was not a great situation for an aspiring author, one who had no small amount of talent but very little luck.
How, then, does a luckless but talented author get himself published? Dave asked himself this question on a regular basis. He asked himself this while eating his breakfast cereal, while in the shower, while watching “Desperate Housewives”. In his dreams, he was pursued by voracious manuscripts, chomping at his hands, as he vainly searched for the Great Publishing Contract in the Sky.
He frequently woke up with a start in the single bed of the spare room, listening to the rhythmic creaking of his wife and agent through the wall.
He had hit upon the idea of a name change, Boxers being a relatively humorous name for someone trying to write some serious fiction. He had thought about going all the way to the boring end of the name spectrum, but he figured Dan Brown sort of had that niche filled. He had thought about something more absurdist, but while he wasn’t sure that Englebert Humperdinck had ever written any books, he knew he couldn’t top that name.
None of it had worked. Somewhere, deep in the bowels of the publishing industry, there was a pile of manuscripts with stamped self-addressed envelopes, a pile so large that it was beginning to have its own gravitational pull. This thought was strangely comforting to Dave, since he was sure that if someone got sucked into the pile by Newtonian physics, maybe someone in a publishing company would read one of his manuscripts.
Good old Isaac, he thought. Helping a fellow out.
It was only after several months of publisherlessness that Dave hit upon the idea that would make him a big name. He printed a set of glossy bookmarks, emblazoned with the message ‘also available from this author:’ and pictures of some of his covers. He then attached those to letters, upon which he scrawled, “Dude – this guy’s a free agent again! Snap him up while you still can!” and signed it ‘Andy’, since he figured that everybody in the English-speaking world knows an Andy.
The very next week, the phone began to ring.