Pick yourself up, dust yourself off (the art of rejection)
This notable list came via Nathan Bransford today from http://www.onlinecollege.org/2010/05/17/50-iconic-writers-who-were-repeatedly-rejected
In respect of my previous blog on the possibility of being judged for progressing down the independent route, I loved that at least three of the listed writers, now unarguably illustrious mainstream headline authors, had trotted down that route themselves. They are:
Zane Grey: Zane Grey self-published his first book after dozens of rejections.
Marcel Proust: Marcel Proust was rejected so much he decided to pay for publication himself.
Beatrix Potter: The Tale of Peter Rabbit had to be published by Potter herself.
But in addition, in this gloriously freeing article which gives hope and inspiration, are others:
William Golding: William Golding’s Lord of the Flies was rejected 20 times before becoming published.
James Joyce: James Joyce’s Ulysses was judged obscene and rejected by several publishers.
Isaac Asimov: Several of Asimov’s stories were rejected, never sold, or eventually lost.
John le Carre: John le Carre’s first novel, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, was passed along because le Carre “hasn’t got any future.”
Jasper Fforde: Jasper Fforde racked up 76 rejections before getting The Eyre Affair published.
Kenneth Grahame: The Wind in the Willows was not intended to be published, and was rejected in America before appearing in England.
Ursula K. Le Guin: An editor told Ursula K. Le Guin that The Left Hand of Darkness was “endlessly complicated.”
Pearl S. Buck: Pearl Buck’s first novel, East Wind: West Wind received rejections from all but one publisher in New York.
Louisa May Alcott: Louisa May Alcott was told to stick to teaching.
Agatha Christie: Agatha Christie had to wait four years for her first book to be published.
William Faulkner: William Faulkner’s book, Sanctuary, was called unpublishable.
Patrick Dennis: Auntie Mame got 17 rejections.
Meg Cabot: The bestselling author of The Princess Diaries keeps a mail bag of rejection letters.
Richard Bach: 18 publishers thought a book about a seagull was ridiculous before Jonathan Livingston Seagull was picked up.
John Grisham: John Grisham’s A Time to Kill was rejected by 16 publishers before finding an agent who eventually rejected him as well.
Shannon Hale: Shannon Hale was rejected and revised a number of times before Bloomsbury published The Goose Girl.
Richard Hooker: The book that inspired the film and TV show M*A*S*H* was denied by 21 publishers.
Thor Heyerdahl: Several publishers thought Kon-Tiki was not interesting enough.
Vladmir Nabokov: Lolita was rejected by 5 publishers in fear of prosecution for obscenity before being published in Paris.
Laurence Peter: Laurence Peter had 22 rejections before finding success with The Peter Principles.
D.H. Lawrence: Sons and Lovers faced rejection, and D.H. Lawrence didn’t take it easily.
Robert Pirsig: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance faced an amazing 121 rejections before becoming beloved by millions of readers.
E.E. Cummings: E.E. Cummings named the 14 publishers who rejected No Thanks in the book itself.
Madeline L’Engle: Madeline L’Engle’s masterpiece A Wrinkle in Time faced rejection 26 times before willing the Newberry Medal.
Rudyard Kipling: In one rejection letter, Mr. Kipling was told he doesn’t know how to use the English language.
J.K. Rowling: J.K. Rowling submitted Harry Potter to 12 publishing houses, all of which rejected it.
Frank Herbert: Before reaching print, Frank Herbert’s Dune was rejected 20 times.
Stephen King: Stephen King filed away his first full length novel The Long Walk after it was rejected.
Richard Adams: Richard Adams’s two daughters encouraged him to publish Watership Down as a book, but 13 publishers didn’t agree.
The lesson learned? ‘Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.’ With a little help from great names. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBUFIcs-zzo