Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Overcoming Rejected Manuscripts
For hundreds of years a handful of print publishers held the lives, fortunes and careers of authors in the palms of their hands. Back then printing was a slow, painstaking and expensive business and publishers wanted to be sure their money, time and effort was expended on a book that would sell many copies.
Times changed but the publishing industry didn’t. Printing became much much faster and cheaper but still a handful of gatekeepers held rigidly to choosing only the few books they were convinced would sell many copies. They also insisted on restricting authors to releasing only one or at the absolute most two books per year, even though the editing, printing and publication no longer took anything like six months to complete.
Even the arrival of digital publishing didn’t change their stance. They insisted digital books weren’t “real” books and it wasn’t until epublishing was a multimillion dollar business that they finally began accepting that it was here to stay.
In the meantime thousands of authors had been published with small digital-first publishing houses, and a significant number of them were making a much better living than mid-list print authors. Not only did digital publishers pay authors every three months instead of perhaps only once a year, but prolific authors were able to release four or even six books a year instead of one. As an author’s backlist grew, readers discovered digital books never went out of print, and began buying the entire backlist of new authors they discovered and loved.
The advent of self publishing has added another range of choices and many print authors have released their own out of print backlists as self published digital works.
But some authors still crave the recognition of a “big” New York publisher. So for those who continue to receive rejection slips, and don’t wish to choose the digital-first method of publishing, here is a list of famous, but rejected authors.
C.S. Lewis was turned down eight hundred times before selling a single piece of writing. Then there was the San Francisco “Examiner’s” response to Rudyard Kipling. “I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.”
For a list of other now famous rejected authors see: http://writerscircle.com/manuscript-completed-a-young-british-writer-dashed-off-his-first-novel-for-review-by-a-publishing-housethe-premise-of-his-b/
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