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If at first you don’t succeed
Stephen King’s first published novel, “Carrie” came close to being scrapped. After 30 rejections from different publishers for his first three novels, King threw the initial manuscript into the bin stating that he wasn’t good enough at writing female characters. His wife, Tabitha retrieved it and urged him on to try again. Today of course he’s one of the most successful authors of all time having sold over 350 million books.
King isn’t the only writer to be rejected multiple times, indeed he doesn’t make the top 10 according to LitHub:
Dick Wimmer, Irish Wine: 162 rejections.
Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup for the Soul: 144 rejections.
Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: 121 rejections.
James Lee Burke, The Lost Get-Back Boogie: 111 rejections.
Lisa Genova, Still Alice: about 100 rejections
Sergio de la Pava, A Naked Singularity: 88 rejections
Elmore Leonard, The Big Bounce: 84 rejections
William Kowalski, Eddie’s Bastard: 79 rejections
Marlon James, John Crow’s Devil: 78 rejections
Steven Goldberg, The Inevitability of Patriarchy: 69 rejections
I’m reminded of Robert the Bruce’s rallying cry (that he apparently learned from a spider) – “If at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again.”
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