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For authors, rejections are a part of the book business.  Many famous writers had their efforts rejected several times before finding a publisher who was willing to take a chance on their work. Here is a list of fifteen famous authors and the times at bat it took before they had a hit:

  1. 18 publishers thought a book about a seagull was ridiculous before Jonathan Livingston Seagull was first picked up.
  2. Before reaching print, Frank Herbert’s Dune was rejected over 20 times.
  3. Gertrude Stein submitted poems for 22 years before having one accepted.
  4. J. K. Rowling submitted Harry Potter to 12 publishing houses, all of which rejected it.
  5. John Grisham’s A Time to Kill was rejected by 16 publishers before finding an agent who eventually rejected him as well.
  6. Laurence Peter had 22 rejections before finding success with The Peter Principles.
  7. Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, was told by an editor to stick to teaching.
  8. Margaret Mitchell faced rejection 38 times before Gone With the Wind was printed.
  9. Richard Adams’s two daughters encouraged him to publish Watership Down as a book, but 13 publishers didn’t agree.
  10. Several publishers thought Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki was not interesting enough.
  11. Speakers Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen first edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul received 134 rejections.
  12. The book that inspired the film and TV show M*A*S*H* was denied by 21 publishers.
  13. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies was rejected 20 times before becoming published.
  14. William Saroyan received an astonishing 7,000 rejection slips before selling his first short story.
  15. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance faced an amazing 121 rejections before becoming beloved by millions of readers.

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