I was reading articles online the other day and spotted one about the author of the book that was recently made into a movie called The Help. It was an article that stated how she'd gone through 60 rejections before finally getting someone who wanted her book. 60 rejections and 5 years. That's a LOT.
I've also heard stories about John Gresham and how he was rejected several times before he was accepted. I decided to look it up. You see, in Authors Incognito, we kind of have a rejection club. Whoever gets the most rejections for the year wins. It's kind of a way to encourage getting your work out there and also help not get depressed. I thought I'd see who else would be in that club. The list is amazing.
According to a site I found, several known authors had issues getting published. Did you know Zane Gray self published his first book? I'm thinking that's crazy! He was one of my dad's favorite writers, and has several of his books on his shelves. And that was at a time when self publishing was just not done...getting it into the stores must have been an adventure.
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen had over 130 rejections for their first Chicken Soup for the Soul book. I think they win the contest, don't you?
James Patterson was rejected more than a dozen times before he was finally published. John Gresham's number was 16, and then the agent who decided to represent him also dumped him later. Judy Bloom was rejected for two years before finally finding someone to publish her. Apparently she can't look at the Highlights Magazine without wincing.
One of my favorite writers, Madeline L'Engle was rejected 26 times for a Wrinkle in Time before it was published and won the Newberry Medal. That should be encouraging! Frank Herbert's Dune was rejected 20 times, and even Margaret Mitchel had Gone With the Wind rejected 38 times. Of course we've all heard about J.K.Rowling and the Harry Potter series...it was rejected 12 times before someone picked it up.
So, my fellow writers, where do you stand with this crowd? Have you send in your manuscripts and received your rejection letters? Are you collecting them and keeping track? I remember one writer told us at the LDStorymaker's conference that she'd taped her letters together and made a large scroll out of them. I admit, I haven't received enough to do that, I just have a small file so far. Of course, I don't recommend mentioning this to your husband if he thinks you haven't been submitting (like mine...) because he'll just look at you with a raised eyebrow and repeat your statement with a tone of voice that indicates you could be published before that number...sigh.
Anyway, I'd be interested to know where you are in the rejection contest, let us know.