Famous Books Rejected Multiple Times
Commenting on That First Page, a reader remarks:
Then there is the story of Orwell’s novel being rejected by American publishers because “American readers don’t like animal stories!”
Publishers and agents alike have turned down books that finally made it into print and immortality.
Two books devoted to the subject give details of now embarrassing reasons given for turning down writers who have become household names:
Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews (1998), Edited by Bill Henderson and Andre Bernard. (“You’re welcome to Le Carré; he hasn’t got any future.”)
Rejections of the Written Famous (2003) by Joyce Spizer (“Tony Hillerman’s agent told him, ‘Get rid of the Indian stuff'”)
Here, with the number of times the book was turned down, are some examples to give you courage next time you receive a rejection letter. (Note: the figures are taken from websites and not directly from the books.)
Auntie Mame, Patrick Dennis (15)
Carrie, Stephen Kng (30)
Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfeld and Mark Victor Hansen (140)
Diary of Anne Frank (16)
Dr. Seuss books (15)
Dubliners, James Joyce (22)
Dune, Frank Herbert (23)
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell (38)
Harry Potter book one, J. K. Rowling (9)
Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach (18)
Kon-Tiki, Thor Heyerdahl (20)
M*A*S*H, Richard Hooker (17)
The Peter Principle, Laurence Peter (16)
The Prncess Diaries, Meg Cabot (17)
Watership Down, Richard Adams (26)
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle, (26)
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