The World's Thickest Skins: Records and Anecdotes On Rejection


Rejection. The bane of our profession. Those slips of paper which discourage writers, make them question why they bother, and may even cause them to abandon their dreams. Some don’t even get this far. Sometimes people are so reluctant to risk rejection that they don’t send their stories out, or even allow another person to read them. When I’m interested in something, it very often turns into an obsession. Also, I tend to dwell on the facts, the actual statistics. Therefore, when I decided to discuss rejections, it got me to thinking: What was the highest number of rejections a particular unpublished story received, or an eventually published book, or the most by one author for multiple submissions? Obviously, determining the number of rejections isn’t as objective as something like a major league player’s home runs, or an element’s atomic weight, or how many number one hit records a musician had. Presumably, an author could save every rejection letter, and produce them if necessary, but basically I’m relying on their honesty (and the honesty of the websites that reported most of these). Also, I didn’t spend months researching this, so it’s entirely possible that I may have missed some. In addition, some authors, especially under or unpublished ones, might not broadcast their totals out of embarrassment, so there’s that, too. Without further qualification, here’s what I came up with. (Clearly, with a few exceptions, these were all fantastically successful books/authors. Some totals include agents’ rejection along with publishers.)

Read the entire article in the May 2015 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

Subscriptions are free!

Just sign up on our home page. Once you do, an e-mail validation notice will be sent directly to you. Just open and click the link and you're in - forever!  Each month the magazine will be delivered directly to your inbox to downlad and read!

If you prefer reading the magazine from this website, you can just click on the magazine image on the left hand side of our home page to open and enjoy!