Down about a rejection? Let’s put it in perspective.
A guy named Joseph Heller received this gem when submitting a book called Catch-22.
“I haven’t really the foggiest idea about what the man is trying to say. It is about a group of American Army officers stationed in Italy, sleeping (but not interestingly) with each others’ wives and Italian prostitutes, and talking unintelligibly to one another. Apparently, the author intends it to be funny — possibly even satire — but it is really not funny on any intellectual level. He has two devices, both bad, which he works constantly… This, as you may imagine, constitutes a continual and unmitigated bore.”
And an editor wrote this to H.G. Wells after reading The Time Machine:
“It is not interesting enough for the general reader and not thorough enough for the scientific reader.”
–provided by C.I. Chatelle at MediaChannel.org
Wanna know what Knopf, one of the biggest U.S. publishers, turned down?
Here’s the short list:
Orwell’s Animal Farm
Kerouac’s On the Road
Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl
Brown’s Da Vinci Code
An editor at Knopf noted about Sylvia Plath: “There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice”
–provided by David Usborne at http://www.independent .co.uk/news
I guess some people begged to differ?
Dr. Seuss received almost 100 rejections.
Harry Potter racked up 14 publisher rejections.
A Wrinkle In Time was turned down 29 times (www.susiesmith13.tripod.com)
The Tale of Peter Rabbit was turned down so many times that Beatrix Potter first self-published! (www.susiesmith13.tripod.com)
Faulkner once received a personal rejection. It read: “If the book had a plot and structure, we might suggest shortening and revisions, but it is so diffuse that I don’t think it would be of any use. My chief objection is that you don’t have any story to tell.” (www.susiesmith13.tripod.com) (Ouch!)
So, when agents say …blah, blah, blah…this is such a subjective business…they might actually mean it.
Chins up everyone. You’re in good company.