‘The book is so endlessly complicated by details of reference and information, the interim legends become so much of a nuisance despite their relevance, that the very action of the story seems to be to become hopelessly bogged down and the book, eventually, unreadable. The whole is so dry and airless, so lacking in pace, that whatever drama and excitement the novel might have had is entirely dissipated by what does seem, a great deal of the time, to be extraneous material. My thanks nonetheless for having thought of us. The manuscript of The Left Hand of Darkness is returned herewith.’
Tag Archives: Jasper FForde
Publishers are only human and often the ‘gate keeper’ is a young person just out of UNI having done a Lit Degree. The submissions mount up and things get rejected …
Frank Herbert’s Dune was rejected 20 times before becoming one of the most beloved science fiction novels of all time. It has since sold over 12 million copies.
JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected by a dozen publishers until Bloomsbury bought it, on the recommendation of the CEO’s eight year old daughter. I wonder if she is working for him now.
Would you believe Jasper Fforde recived 76 rejections before his first book, The Eyre Affair was accepted. I saw him at the Brisbane Writers Festival and he said, somewhat plaintively, ‘Puns used to be considered the highest form of wit.’ This will make you smile if you’ve read his books.
A publisher rejected Wind in the Willows because, as they told Kenneth Grahame, it was ‘an irresponsible holiday story’.
Who had to read Lord of the Flies for high school English? William Golding’s book was rejected by 20 publishers. One described it as ‘an absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull’. This book has since sold more than 25 million copies in English alone. (Many of which were bought by students who had to study it. I suspect it is wasted on teenagers. You don’t get the true horror of it until you are much older).
And then there is the wonderful Ursula K Le Guin. Her book The Left hand of Darkness won both a Hugo and the Nebula. One publisher said:
So there you have it. What would have happened if these authors had let rejection stop them? Take heart. Many books that are publishable will be rejected. Some of my children’s books have been rejected 5 times before being accepted. It is simply a matter of rewriting and resubmitting until you hit the Right Editor, with the Right Book at the Right Time.