Monday, January 5, 2009

Rejection: It Happens

Even the most famous of writers - and their most famous of books - got rejected now and again. I found it encouraging to read through a list found at Famous Rejections and spy blurbs like:

Dr. Seuss got rejection letters, too. Here is one:"too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling."

Mystery writer Mary Higgins Clark recently received a $60 plus million dollar advance on her next five books, but this is what happened when she was sending out her manuscript "Journey Back to Love" in the early 1960s: "We found the heroine as boring as her husband did."


H.G. Wells had to endure the indignity of a rejection when he submitted his manuscript, "The War of the Worlds" that said, "An endless nightmare. I do not believe it would 'take'...I think the verdict would be 'Oh don't read that horrid book'."

Click on the link above to read more examples. And remember, we can persevere, too.


Rafael said...

Ah yes the tempestuous waters of publication and rejection. Soon I'll leave the safe harbor of first draft and launch my little boat boldly into these shark infested waters, dodging the detritus of some many dash hopes against the rocks of hardened agents and profit seeking editors!

Boy, I woke up with a poetic streak this morning!

HA! Good luck to us all....


Angie Ledbetter said...

Perseverence is sometimes the only thing separating the published from the unpublished. Your day's coming!

Joanne said...

I actually found your post inspiring in five small words ... $60 plus million dollar advance!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Now that makes a person feel better. I guess you just can't please everybody.

Anonymous said...

I ditto what Angie said, Janna!

Whoa, 60 mil...! I don't think anyone deserves that. Sheesh, when there's kids starving.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

I laughed out loud at the Clark comment about the boring character. This is encouraging - thanks!

Janna Leadbetter said...

Rafael - I'm impressed! I don't normally work that well at all, let alone in the morning. :P

Angie - You rawk, seriously. But you're making my head big!

Joanne - Isn't that craziness?!

FringeGirl - I think that's definitely the biggest lesson here. You did great articulating it!

Kimmi - Thanks so much! And I hope Clark donates a lot.

Melanie - I'm glad it's uplifting. I think this sort of thing helps us all.

WendyCinNYC said...

Thanks for posting this, Janna. I feel slightly less loser-ish now.

Unknown said...

I like what Angie said...I think I am going to post that on my computer desk!

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh I love this post-- always want to read that it isn't all that easy but if we keep going--who knows?? Thank you!

Melissa Amateis said...

Wow. Those are a bit harsh - "heroine is boring"? Ouch!

This all goes to prove what a subjective business this is. What one editor hates another will love and same goes for agents. That's why we have to keep on keeping on!

Author Jessica Nelson said...

Awesome post. I'm definitely checking out that link. Thanks Janna!

Anonymous said...

So good to know the high and mighty have been beaten up too! :) (that's horrible...)

Anonymous said...

Good to know that I will be in good company!

Rafael said...

Work that well? Funny, because I am not into flowery, over descriptive prose. Mind is so cut to the bone, I-want-to-say-it-in-so-few-words-as-possible that I fear I leave so much behind.

Must be the cold medicine.

LOL! :=)

Janna Leadbetter said...

Wendy - As well you should ;)

Stina - That IS quote-worthy!

Terri - You're welcome! :)

Melissa - I take solace in that fact, for sure.

Jessica - I'm glad you liked it. :)

Sharla - It sounds like most have been through some form of rejection or another.

Turkey - You and me both! :P

Melissa Amateis said...

I forgot to answer your question about the book, SUMMER OF MY GERMAN SOLDIER. No, I haven't read it, but I intend to go find it! And yeah, that little thing about not buying anymore books? Ha! Didn't last very long for me at all. I ordered another one online last night. ;-)

ChristaCarol Jones said...

Very interesting indeed! It sure is a pick me up :)

Anonymous said...

All part of the journey. :)

Barb Davis said...

I found this very encouraging... especially the $60 million!! Girls, keep writing!!!!!!!

colbymarshall said...

Awesome post, Janna. I needed this one today, because for some reason I've been in the dumps!

Stonefox said...

I love the Mary Higgins Clark one! That is pretty mean... I sure wouldn't want to get it.

Okay, I've got to sign up to follow you now, and it isn't because you are following me (though that is always nice and does wonders for the ego! :)) I find your journey intriguing and I can't wait to see where you go next. Ups and downs, you are going to get there, and it is going to be fun to watch.

Joshua said...

no matter how great a piece is, there will be someone to say that it isn't. To them I say, "You sir/mam, are a doo doo head."

But thats just me. :)

Janna Leadbetter said...

Melissa - It'll be a quick, easy read for you. But I think you'll love it!

ChristaCarol - Pick me ups like this are crucial once in awhile, don't you think?

Ana - That, my friend, is so true.

Barbara - Let's do it!

Colby - Oh, no! Let's banish those dumps!

Hi, Heidi! Thanks so much, you've said some sweet things.

Josh - *guffaw* Oh boy, do I love you!

Anonymous said...

This is encouraging, as sometimes I feel like rejections follow me like baby kittens follow their mother. :-P