Some writers continually submit the same manuscript until it is accepted. Others chose to do a more polished draft before sending it out again. A select few learn from the lessons of submissions, to write a completely new book.
What they all have in common is a persistence to never give up on their dream; a dream that has elevated them from writer, to best-selling author.
They have written some of the most critically praised and commercially successful books of all time. In some cases their enormous sales were so consistent that they even kept their publishers afloat.
Yet in spite of this phenomenal success, every single one of these best selling authors was initially rejected. Literary agents and publishers informed them in an endless stream of rejection letters that nobody would be interested in reading their book.
Here is an extensive collection of the some of the biggest errors of judgement in publishing history.
After 5 years of continual rejection, the writer finally lands a publishing deal:
Agatha Christie. Her book sales are now in excess of $2 billion. Only William Shakespeare has sold more.
J K Rowling. The Christopher Little Literary Agency receives 12 publishing rejections in a row for their new client, until the eight-year-old daughter of a Bloomsbury editor demands to read the rest of the book.
The editor agrees to publish but advises the writer to get a day job since she has little chance of making money in children’s books.
Yet Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling spawns a series where the last four novels consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, on both sides of the Atlantic, with combined sales of 450 million.
Louis L’Amour received 200 rejections before Bantam took a chance on him. He is now their best ever selling author with 330 million sales.