|Click to read Tim Burton's rejection from Disney.|
For any of you who know my tale of rejection, I suffered through nearly 200 rejections to get my first middle-grade novel published. All writers start at the bottom. It doesn't matter how good, bad, or ugly your writing is, we all start on a level playing field. That said, I wanted to list some beloved and very famous writers' rejection numbers. I think it will make everyone who's struggling to get published feel a bit better. The road to publishing is tough and unforgiving, but equally as rewarding, so keep moving forward no matter what.
William Saroyan: William Saroyan, a Pulitzer Prize winner, received a whopping 7,000 rejections before selling his first short story. 7,000!!!!
Kenneth Grahame: The Wind in the Willows was not intended to be published, and was rejected in America before appearing in England. It has since sold 25 million copies worldwide.
Louisa May Alcott: Louisa May Alcott was told by a publisher to stick to teaching. Little Women subsequently went on to sell in the millions. The publisher, however, is no longer in business.
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen: Chicken Soup for the Soul received 134 rejections. Over 125 million copies of the novel have sold.
Beatrix Potter: The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was rejected over and again, until Potter herself decided to self-publish 250 copies. It has now sold 45 million copies and counting.
J.K. Rowling: J.K. Rowling submitted Harry Potter to 12 publishing houses, all of which rejected it. Twelve rejections is not very many, but don't you think those publishers are kicking themselves just a little?
Meg Cabot: After racking up three years of rejection letters Meg Cabot finally sells The Princess Diaries, which went on to sell 15 million copies. She keeps all those rejection letters to this day.
In other words, KEEP MOVING FORWARD!