Monday, November 7, 2011

Famous Author Rejections: Four Letter Word?

Today I'm thinking: REJECTION

Lets talk about it, shall we? Or do you consider it a four-letter word, not to be uttered?

This led me to Google. I wanted to see what other, more popular published authors had to say about rejection.Check out what I found.

"For two years I received nothing but rejections." ~ Judy Blume

"I sent out around fifteen queries." ~ Stephenie Meyer

"In the end, I received 60 rejections for The Help. But letter number 61 was the one that accepted me. After my five years of writing and three and a half years of rejection, an agent named Susan Ramer took pity on me." ~ Kathryn Stockett  

"The agency sent Rowling’s 200-page script to 12 publishers, all of whom, to their eternal regret, turned down the book." ~  The J.K. Rowling Story by Stephen McGinty

"I started sending novels out and it took years of rejection but I had nothing to lose. It went on for about three years until I got an agent and she managed to sell something...I have a giant U.S. postal bag with rejection letters in my New York apartment, under the bed. I can't even lift it. There's certain editors who are still in town whose names are in it. It's not like I am ever going to refuse to work with them again but I like to remember who they are. Some of them were really, really mean -- unnecessarily." ~ Meg Cabot 

"When my first short story was out, it was six years and 40 rejections before it sold." ~ Mary Higgins Clark

 Do these quotes give you hope or a sense of frustration? If you're a published author, how many rejections did you receive before the phone call?


  1. I'm still going through the process of querying, and so far I have a handful of rejections, but nothing compared to some of these quotes. It's a little scary to think these people got so many, but it also lets me know it's just part of the business. It's to be expected.

    I just hope that it gets easier after the first emotionally-invested one... which I've already had. I have to put together a new list to query myself! Good luck to you and me both!

  2. Yes, I totally know what you mean about the first emotionally-invested rejection. I cried on mine.

    Now, when I see in my inbox that it's a reply to my query, my heart jumps for maybe a millisecond before my head reminds me of this thing called reality. That's when I assume the reply is a form rejection letter. I don't know, maybe I'm just a little psychic because my assumptions in that area are usually right. ;)

  3. As the song says "Don't stop believing!" It does take some rejections to get to that published status, but I haven't let it dull my determination yet. My only solace so far is that I'm convinced I just haven't found the 'right' agent yet. If I did, I know it'd be just a matter of time til my book's on the shelves.

    Believe in your book, make your book sound great to agents, get your queries the best they can be, and who's to say what might happen?

  4. They typically give me hope. You have to find the person who understands your story. You've got a great attitude about it all, and I think your story sounds fabulous! You're right; rarely are the women the kickass main vampires.

  5. Interesting! They give me hope because I haven't sent out nearly as many as 60 yet.

  6. Hi Rachel, this gives me hope too. Still waiting for that phone call on my YA fantasy novel. I have also written a picture book long ago. It took 4 years of trying, reworking it, trying again and about 35 rejections to get it published. It will be out at the beginning of next year. A research of a hundred fifty publishers and agents narrowing it down to 30, narrowing it down to this 1.