After five years of continual rejections, Agatha Christie lands a publishing deal. Her sales now number $2 billion. Only Shakespeare has sold more.
J.K. Rowling’s literary agent receives 12 publishing rejections before the eight-year-old daughter of a Bloomsbury editor demands to read the rest of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The editor agrees to publish it but advises the writer to get a day job.
“Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling”—rejection sent to Dr. Seuss.
“Anthologies don’t sell was the gist of 140 rejections sent to authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul, which sold 125 million copies.
“I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years,” was advice given to Vladimir Nabokov whose Lolita has sold 50 million copies.
“The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level,” reads a rejection of The Diary of Anne Frank.
All of these stories and more are found at literaryrejections.com. The site is a fun read.
I like author May Sarton’s advice to writers: “Hold on, trust your talent, and work hard.”
Here’s another quote, this one from 64-year-old Diana Nyad who conquered the 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida on her fifth attempt: “We should never, ever give up.”
And a Nyad quote for those of us still writing after “all these years,” –”You never are too old to chase your dreams.”
Nyad said that swimming “looks like a solitary sport, but it’s a team.”
You could say the same about writing. Writing buddies are invaluable, especially when the rejections roll in. Believe in yourselves, writing buddies. We believe in you.
How do you handle rejections? Please register on the site so that you can comment below. If you have trouble registering, please contact us. Thanks and happy writing!