Monday, February 7, 2011

Even the famous were rejected

We've all been there at some point. Feeling like there are only rejections cluttering your inbox? Thinking that you will never get an agent? Never get published? The journey can be very frustrating. But sometimes hearing about other authors rejections who turned into famous, accomplished authors can help us feel better.

Judy Blume. She "received nothing but rejections" for two years. Judy Blume stated, " I would go to sleep at night feeling that I'd never be published. But I'd wake up in the morning convinced I would be. Each time I sent a story or book off to a publisher, I would sit down and begin something new. I was learning more with each effort. I was determined. Determination and hard work are as important as talent."  Who hasn't felt like this, right?


Meg Cabot. Who hasn't read THE PRINCESS DIARIES? It slipped through the hands of 17 publishers before finally being accepted for publication.

Stephen King. He received dozens of rejections for his first novel, CARRIE. He even recevied a rejection from a publisher that stated, "We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell."

William Golding, author of LORD OF THE FLIES. This book was rejected 20 times. One rejection from a publisher said, "an absurd and uninteresting fantasy."

Anne Frank. 16 publishers rejected her! One publisher said, "The girl doesn't, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the 'curiosity' level." Another said the book was scarcely worth reading.  Really??

J.K. Rowling. So, the first Harry Potter book was rejected by DOZENS of publishers. Big ones, including Penguin, HarperCollins and Bloomsbury. Guess how the book finally became published? A CEO’s eight-year old daughter begged her father to print the book.

John Grisham. His first novel, A Time to Kill, was rejected by a dozen publishers and 16 agents before breaking into print and launching his best-selling career.

EE Cummings. His first work, The Enormous Room, was rejected by 15 publishers. He eventually self-published the book which went on to become considered a masterpiece of modern poetry. And get this--he dedicated the book to the 15 publishers who rejected him. Nice!

Now, doesn't this make you feel a little better?

"The best revenge is massive success." Frank Sinatra

19 comments:

Melissa said...

It is nice to know that all the big ones were in the same position as we are now. It's comforting.

Liz Fichera said...

I love that quote by Sinatra!

Jen Daiker said...

It's like this post was made for me. I have been feeling a lot like Judy Blue lately, wake up happy, go to bed unhappy. I hope this waiting pays off like it did for her.

I have to say that JK Rowling's way to publishing is the most interesting and cute story. It's nice to know that one kid gave us the ability to fall in love with some awesome characters.

Candyland said...

It DOES make me feel better:)

Anne said...

Yes, yes it does! Thank you, Rose.

Susan said...

Yes, it definitely makes me feel better to read your post today. By the way, one more to add would be Jonathan Livingston Seagull....that was rejected dozens of times but finally published and then flourished. Take care . Susan

KatieO said...

Thank you for this timely reminder! I hope it's okay that I'm sharing a link to this post over on my blog, because I think we could all use an uplifting thought for Monday ;-)

Misha said...

Ah yes...

That does make me feel better...

hmm...

Now it's time for writing.

:-)

The Golden Eagle said...

It does!

Love the quote. :)

LTM said...

normally, I skim over stuff like this, but TODAY, I needed it. Thanks, Rose! <3 :o)

Mary Vaughn said...

The greats make it look easy after they publish.
But they don't ind saying, "It felt like forever" when asked.

Pam Torres said...

It really shows how subjective this business is. It is more about having faith that your audience is out there and not giving up until you break through. Thanks for the great post!!

Christa said...

And let's not even talk about all the great unpublished authors out there:). Bought your book today. It made me so happy to support something that I believe in.

Amie B said...

i am so totally going to follow ee cummings lead and dedicate my book(s) to all the agents that rejected me! SA-WEET! gotta LOVE that!

LeishaMaw said...

Yes! Here's to rejections and the determination to beat the odds!

gideon 86 said...

Thanks for the boost, Rose...


Michael

Terri Talley Venters said...

Nice to meet you, Rose. Your blog ROCKS! and thanks for following mine. =) I just finished reading Stephen King's, ON WRITING, and he said he threw CARRIE away. His wife, Tabitha, dug it out of the trash and told him, "You may have something here."

alexia said...

I love this post! I've gotten some rejections recently, so this is perfect timing. Thanks for sharing!

Casey said...

I'm reading The Princess Diaries books right now... I think I'm on maybe the sixth one? Anyway, if I were a publisher or an agent, I probably would have rejected the book pretty much immediately just because of how annoying and dumb Mia is. The plot is good, though... and Boris Peltrowski is pretty beast... hmm... xD And she was the one that introduced me to the Lifetime Channel, which has given me such movies as The Secret starring David Duchovny and In Her Mother's Footsteps with Emma Caulfield, who played Anya in Buffy... maybe she does have some merits. Very few. Anyway. Why was I talking about The Princess Diaries, again?