Check out these various sites recalling those surprising rejections from publishers, some classic authors rejected many, many, many times.
- John Grisham’s first novel was rejected 25 times.
- Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) received 134 rejections.
- Beatrix Potter had so much trouble publishing The Tale of Peter Rabbit, she initially had to self-publish it.
- Gertrude Stein spent 22 years submitting before getting a single poem accepted
Everyone's heard the story of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Plenty of publishers took a gander at the Chosen One and decided not to choose him, including bigwigs like Penguin and HarperCollins. Jo Rowling finally decided to try a small London firm called Bloomsbury, who accepted only after the CEO’s eight-year-old daughter read the book and declared it a winner."
"Gone With the Wind – one of the most enduring novels and movies of all time, of course. There aren’t too many people who haven’t heard the phrase, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” But it was 38 publishers who didn’t give a damn originally. When Margaret Mitchell finally found a publisher in Macmillan (Macmillan also published White Fang and Call of the Wild)."
'There is no commercial advantage in acquiring her, and, in my opinion, no artistic.'
'His frenetic and scrambled prose perfectly express the feverish travels of the Beat Generation. But is that enough? I don't think so.'
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D H Lawrence
'for your own sake do not publish this book.'
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
'an irresponsible holiday story'
And finally, a list of how often famous writers got rejected along with a few coping skills from WritingClasses
- Laugh at your rejections.
- Learn from your rejections.
- Always have a new project underway, something that will give you hope no matter how many rejections come your way for the previous project.
Dune by Frank Herbert – 13 rejections
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – 14 rejections
Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis – 17 rejections
Jonathan Livingston Seagull – 18 rejections
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle – 29 rejections
Carrie by Stephen King – over 30 rejections