Why I’ll Never Be Published

Apparently, writers must have a target audience.


Sometimes in moments of reverie, I sprawl supine upon my bed and daydream about becoming a published author. Wouldn’t it be cool, says my ego, if I, Tippy Gnu, got a book published?

But it will never happen. Problem is, I’ve got no book sense. Nor am I disciplined. And I sure as heck don’t know what to say, to convince any publisher to memorialize my scrivenings into the great American novel.

If I ever did meet with a publisher, manuscript in hand, here’s how I imagine the interview would go:

PUBLISHER: Who’s your target audience?

TIPPY GNU: Anyone I manage to hit.

PUBLISHER: I mean, who is this book intended for?

TIPPY GNU: Whoever wants to read it. Do you want to read it?

PUBLISHER: Maybe.

TIPPY GNU: Then maybe this book is intended for you.

PUBLISHER: Well, what is your demographic?

TIPPY GNU: I’m neither a Demographic nor a Repugnantan. I vote Independent.

PUBLISHER: Let’s just talk about the genre. This is a romance, isn’t it?

TIPPY GNU: (backing off) Look Buster, just because I’m talking to you, it doesn’t mean I’m in to you. Besides, we’re both men, and I don’t swing that way.

PUBLISHER: Just describe the plot, would you please?

TIPPY GNU: Oh, it goes kind of like this: Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl get in a big fight. Time passes, until it seems they’re going to hate each other for the rest of their lives. But suddenly boy and girl make up and get married. The end.

PUBLISHER: And where did you get the idea for this plot?

TIPPY GNU: I’m very imaginative.

PUBLISHER: Sir, we get an awful lot of manuscript submissions like this. Why would we want to publish your manuscript over anyone else’s?

TIPPY GNU: Because mine’s the best! Because I’m so unique! Because I poured my heart and soul into this! Because I’m willing to travel all over the country and promote this book on radio and TV! I’ll blog about it! I’ll do book signings!

PUBLISHER: N-no, I’m sorry.

TIPPY GNU: (falling on the floor and groveling) PLEEEASE, PLEEEASE! Publish my boooook! I’ll do anything! Anything at all! Hey, maybe I really do swing that way–I’m willing to give it a try! Just publish my book! PLEEEASE!

PUBLISHER: Sir, let go of my leg.

After security drags me out the door and boots me into the street, I’ll have the confirmation to support my conviction: I can never be published.

But there is one thing I know I can do.

I can sure lie in bed and daydream about being published. For hours and hours upon hours. And that’s way better than writing any book.

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