1. StoryWeaver
    Offline

    StoryWeaver Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    The Frozen Frontier

    Rejection (query letters)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by StoryWeaver, Oct 14, 2013.

    I came across this the other day while looking up Stephanie Meyers (Twilight series of novels) on Wikipedia: She did not think she could be a writer but she gave it a go. After she wrote her first novel Twilight, she sent out 15 queries; five went unanswered, nine brought rejections, and the last query was a positive response from Jodi Reamer of Writers House. The rest is history. She is listed on the Forbes list of the top 100 powerful celebrities, and she makes $50M a year. I just found it amazing how negative the response was to her queries in light of the success of her novel(s); if as a noob novelist (at that time) she had that level of negativity starting out, on even a blockbuster novel, why should noob wannabe novelists (myself included) expect any less response when sending out queries.
     
  2. TessaT
    Offline

    TessaT Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Stephen King essentially got the same feedback on a lot of his work. Oh sure, he got a couple small pieces published in magazines, but the books weren't selling. Until finally, someone decided 'Carrie' was winner, winner, chicken dinner and let the moola fly.

    You can read his book 'On Writing', which talks a lot about his rejections as a writer. I found it to be quite inspiring that someone who is now so famous and well known... was once a rejected nobody too. :D
     
  3. Poziga
    Offline

    Poziga Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    274
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Yes, I've also read "On writing". If I remember correctly he sent quite a lot of short stories to different magazines and when he received a negative response, he just pinned it on the wall. In time this collection got bigger but he didn't quit.

    Eventually, he managed to get some of his short stories published, but the big breakthrough was Carrie as Tessa mentioned. Fun fact: he threw unfinished Carrie in trash, but his wife found it and told him to continue. He then finished it and sold the papercover rights for 200.000$. So yea, don't give up:D

    Another example is of course J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter was rejected dozen times and at last she sold the first book for 1500£. You probably know the rest;)
     
    TessaT likes this.
  4. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,535
    I think The Help was rejected for something like 5 years as well.
     
  5. Dresden260
    Offline

    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Sitting by a Fountain, Watching the world go by.
    I want to hang rejection letters on my wall. Spell a sentence with them then if I do get a positive response I'll make it the period.
     
    TessaT likes this.
  6. StoryWeaver
    Offline

    StoryWeaver Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    The Frozen Frontier
    And if I dare stray from pure prose, into the realm of screenplays-- Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark, Dances with Wolves, E.T., and many other blockbuster hit films were initially rejected by all the studios.
     
    Mckk likes this.
  7. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,685
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I remember reading years ago that someone once typed out Jerzy Kosinski's Steps and submitted it to several publishers as a new work and was roundly rejected (apparently, no one recognized it). It just goes to show that the process by which publishers pick works to publish is very much a matter of having the right work at the right time in the right place, and very much a matter of personal tastes.
     
    minstrel and Mckk like this.
  8. stevesh
    Offline

    stevesh Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan USA
    My favorite rejection story from James Lee Burke's website:

    "His novel The Lost Get-Back Boogie was rejected 111 times over a period of nine years, and upon publication by Louisiana State University press was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize."
     
    Mckk likes this.

Share This Page