Encouragement for Writers

Often writers need a little bit of encouragement. Rejection letters and resorting to self-publishing can at times deflate a writers ego... This list is meant as some encouragement for those who have received or fear the dreaded 'rejection letter' or who are considering self-publishing - we are in my opinion in some great company...

During his entire lifetime, Herman Melville's timeless classic, Moby Dick, sold only 3,715 copies.

Alex Haley - before Roots - 200 rejections
Alexandre Dumas - Camille Self-Published
Anne Frank The Diary of Anne Frank 15 publishers rejected
Beatrix Potter The Adventures of Peter Rabbit, by Self-Published
Benjamin Franklin Self-Published
Bernard Shaw Self-Published

Carl Sandburg Self-Published
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen - Chicken Soup for the Soul - 33 times
David Chilton The Wealthy Barber, by Self-Published
Dr. Seuss - Rejected by Publishers 24 times
e.e. Cummings Self-Published
Edgar Allen Poe Self-Published

Edgar Rice Burroughs Self-Published
George Orwell Animal Farm, was Rejected by Publishers
Henry David Thoreau Self-Published
J.K. Rowling 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s' (later Sorceror’s) Stone was Rejected by Publishers
Jack London - 600 Rejection before his first story
John Creasy - 774 rejections before selling his first story. He went on to write 564 books, using fourteen names.

John Grisham - A Time to Kill - 15 publishers and 30 agents Rejected (he ended up Self-Publishing)
John le Carré The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Rejected by Publishers
Joseph Heller Catch-22: Rejected by Publishers
Louis L'Amour - 200 Rejections
Marcel Proust Remembrance of things Past, Self-Published
Mark Twain Self-Published

Mary Higgins Clark - first short story - Rejected by Publishers 40 times
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead - Rejected by Publishers12 times
Patrick Dennis- Auntie Mame - Rejected by Publishers 15 times
Pearl S. Buck - The Good Earth - Rejected by Publishers 14 times
Richard Bach - Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Rejected by Publishers 20 times
Rudyard Kipling Self-Published

Stephen Crane Self-Published
Stephen King’s first four novels were Rejected.
The Bridges of Madison County Self-Published
The Joy of Cooking Self-Published
Thomas Paine Self-Published
Tom Peters In Search of Excellence by Self-Published

Tony Hillerman now famous for his Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels, Rejected by Publishers
Ulysses, by James Joyce Self-Published
Virginia Wolff Self-Published
Walt Whitman Self-Published
William Faulkner, Sanctuary: Rejected by Publishers
William Golding Lord of the Flies Rejected by Publishers

William Strunk, Jr. The Elements of Style Self-Published
Zane Grey Self-Published

You may not know these Authors but I do:
Jack Wellman - Self-Published 3 books
Pamela Ferris-Olson "Living in the Heartland: Three Extraordinary Women's Stories"- Self-Published