Monday, January 7, 2013

“You have no business being a writer and should give up.”

Zane Grey ignored this advice. There are believed to be over 250 million copies of his books in print.

“The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.” With an additional 15 rejections, The Diary of Anne Frank was eventually acquired by Doubleday, who brought the translation to the world. 25 million copies have been sold.

“We feel that we don’t know the central character well enough.” Following this comment in a rejection, J.D. Salinger re-wrote The Catcher in the Rye, which has seen sales in excess of 65 million copies.

“Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.” An excerpt from a rejection letter sent to Dr. Seuss, who became the 9th best-selling fiction author of all time.

“I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years.” Shunned by major publishers, Vladimir Nabokov landed a deal with Olympia Press for his novel, Lolita. The first 5,000 copies sold quickly and the book has now seen estimated sales of 50 million.

My plan? Keep writing. Edit, edit, edit. And never give up!

How about you?

By Janet Fogg
Janet is the author of Soliloquy, an award-winning historical romance, and co-author of the military history best seller, Fogg in the Cockpit.


Anonymous said...

From rejection to super success-- nothing better to remind us to keep our chins up and believe in our work. Thanks for the inspiration as we head into 2013.

Candy Williams said...

Wonderful advice! Persistence can mean everything!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Excellent advice, Janet, especially that part about edit, edit, edit.

Dean K Miller said...

The inspirational, never say die stories are awesome. The flip side, there are gazillions of writers who don't even sniff publication.

But the choice to stop writing, whether from the words of others or some different reason, is always up the the writer.

There is no one else to blame, no other reason except that the author decided she was done.

I chose to continue, until I don't.