Rejected Bestsellers on the Rebound

If you ever feel like you've made a wrong decision in life, just think about the 12 publishers who rejected Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone before finally the 8-year-old daughter of Bloomsbury's editor demanded to read the rest of the manuscript her father had shown her. Nevertheless, JK Rowling was advised to get a day job because the editor thought she had no future writing children's literature, not to mention that she was also asked to use her initials instead of full name because apparently the male readers would not read a female author's book. Look how the tables have turned.

It's miraculous how bestselling authors were initially demotivated by the harshest rejection letters, yet fought to get their works published. I shudder to think what children's literature would look like had Agatha Christie chosen to give up after struggling for five years to publish her first book; after William Shakespeare, she's the bestselling author of all time. Millions of children's lives would be infinitely less magical with CS Lewis having given up on The Chronicles of Narnia after being rejected for years. Stephen King's Carrie was rejected no less than 30 times before being published. I'm sure the man often has a good laugh about that as he enjoys winter vacations at his huge waterfront mansion in Mexico. 

Leonardo DiCaprio wouldn't be raising wine glasses as Jay Gatsby at pool parties if F. Scott Fitzgerald agreed with publishers that The Great Gatsby was "An absurd story as romance, melodrama or record of New York high life."  HG Wells' The War of the Worlds hasn't been off print ever since it came out in 1898 and the joke's on the publisher who said, "An endless nightmare. I think the verdict would be 'Oh don't read that horrid book.'" I have no clue how my life would've turned out if I'd never read Anne of Green Gables, if LM Montgomery had given up on her brilliant debut novel which touched uncountable lives just as mine. 

The stories of rejection are only sweet as long as they turn into success stories. JM Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan once said, "We are all failures – at least the best of us are." None of us would find our true calling if we never even try. Certainly William Golding felt down as The Lord of the Flies was rejected as "An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull." But as his book landed on the list of the bestselling books of all time, who's having the last laugh? Not the misguided critic, of course. The charm of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz still thrives in literature and on the silver screen because he chose to reject the rejection letters. 

So dear writers [reading this], bring out that carefully hidden manuscript you've put so much effort into. Get on to the battlefield. As JK Rowling puts it, "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default."  

Your work may be the next bestseller I'll be using as an example. 

Anupoma Joyeeta Joyee is a perpetually sleepy Law student who emotionally identifies with ducks and occasionally sets out on writing sprees. Find more of her needless banters on


১৮ মিনিট আগে|রাজনীতি

সরকার ঋণ করে ঘি খাচ্ছে, বাজেট প্রতিক্রিয়ায় আমীর খসরু

বড় বড় অবকাঠামোর মধ্যে বড় বড় চুরি-ডাকাতি ছাড়া তো আমরা কিছু দেখছি না