Thursday, October 25, 2012


In these days of economic stress getting published if increasingly difficult. But perseverance pays off. Note the following and never  give up hope:

• "We do not think it would be at all suitable for the Juvenile Market"(Moby Dick, Melville)

• "The work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples" (Virginia Woolf, then
 editor of the Hogarth Press, rejecting Joyce'sUlysses).                                                  

• "No reader interest" (W.H. Allen & Company's reason for rejecting Frederick Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal, which would go on to sell over ten million copies).

• J.R.R. Tolkien's manuscript of The Lord of the Rings was refused by three 
publishers; in 1954, only 3,500 copies of it were published.

• One Hundred Years of Solitude by García Márquez was rejected by Seix 
Barral in Barcelona and impolitely returned to him initialled by "an obscure official".

• The first Sherlock Holmes book, as Conan Doyle recalled, "returned with the regularity of a homing pigeon".

The world would be a poorer place without the above titles. I interviewed Frederick Forsythh when he was living in Ireland and if I remember rightly he had about 18 rejections before finally hitting the jackpot!

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