Thursday, May 06, 2010

Thursday Thirteen #47 . . . 13 Noteworthy Author Rejections

What aspiring author and writer wanna-be hasn't suffered through the pain of rejection a time or two? Okay, more like 15-20 times and sometimes twice in a single day. Well, no need to despair. In fact, it's happened to some of the best . . .

1) The author of the Dr. Seuss series had his work rejected more than 15 times before he found an editor interested in working with him.

2) Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach was rejected 140 times before it was eventually published.

3) C.S. Lewis received over 800 rejections before he made his first sale.

4) 20 publishers rejected William Golding’s Lord of the Flies before it was published in 1954. On of the publishers who rejected the Lord of the Flies described it as, "…an absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull."

5) Agatha Christie has been called by the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling writer of books of all time and the best-selling writer of any kind, along with William Shakespeare. However, her first mystery novel received over 20 rejections.

6) James Patterson’s first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, was rejected 26 times before finally being accepted.

7) Stephen King received the following rejection for his bestselling novel, Carrie:We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell."

8) J.K. Rowling spent six years writing the first installment of her Harry Potter" novels, and was rejected by 9 publishers before landing a deal with London’s Bloomsbury Publishing.

9) Alex Haley, author of Roots, wrote every day, seven days a week for eight years before selling to a small magazine.

10) Ray Bradbury has had about a thousand rejections over his 30 year career and claims his work still gets rejected

11) Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind was rejected 38 times.

12) Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time was rejected by 26 publishers. After being published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, it went onto to win the Newberry Award and it is now in its 69th printing.

13) Louis L’Amour who has 300 million copies of his 123 books in print, had 200 of his stories rejected before he finally made his first sale.

So, if you're thinking about giving up, don't! Keep writing, working on your craft and submitting your work. All you need are equal portions of luck and talent and a whole lot of persistence . . .



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CountryDew said...

Wow. I don't know whether to be depressed or uplifted by that, so I am choosing to be uplifted!

My TT:

colleen said...

I like writing but hate the submitting. It's so much work. I am encouraged by these numbers.
Quite a few famous authors were originally self published as well.

I am Harriet said...

Suddenly, I feel like it's cool to be rejected :)

Have a great Thursday!

Brenda ND said...

Thanks for the encouragement. Have you heard of the book, "Really Rotten Rejections"? It has true rejection stories like the ones you've shared. :)

Journeywoman said...

Thanks for this list. I needed to hear/read it today.

Kimberly Menozzi said...

Submitting is the hardest part. But I have to laugh when people say things like "So-and-so was rejected 15 times before he found a publisher."

I have a writer friend who is published but still gets 15 rejections a *week*! LOL!

Happy TT!

Karen said...

What an interesting post. I read "On Writing" by Stephen King (which was great by the way) and he had a giant nail in the wall on which he put all of his rejection letters. I believe it was also "Carrie" that his wife rescued from the trash and told him to finish.

Alice Audrey said...

800? Whewh! Because I'm closing in on 200. Oh, wait. I'm published now.

Kristen said...

Thank goodness someone had the smarts to finally publish all of those authors!

Cora said...

That is all so interesting! It'd be so cool to be in the shoes of, say, C.S. Lewis when he finally got a sale. I can't even imagine.

Thanks for stopping by my blog for TT!