Friday, 4 January 2008

Rejected author has last laugh

My thanks to my friend and fellow writer John Trelawny for drawing my attention to this story from yesterday's Times Online. It concerns Catherine O’Flynn, whose mystery story What Was Lost won the First Novel prize at this week's Costa Book Awards despite having been rejected by 20 agents and publishers:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article3123455.ece

According to the article, of 85,933 new books published last year, as many as 58,325 sold an average of just 18 copies.

As John says, it's both an encouraging story (for optimists) and a discouraging one (for the others). John optimistically points out that his book Islanders sold way, way more than the average!

4 comments:

Mary Witzl said...

Being a multiple rejectee, I pretty much live for this sort of news. Before I go to sleep at night, I comfort myself with thoughts of all the agents and publishers who turned down JKR's first only a decade ago. I know this is rather petty, but it's not really nasty or vindictive, and it can't hurt them as much as voodoo, say. And it almost always cheers me up and keeps me from crying myself to sleep.

Paul said...

I have a quote from Churchill pinned to the wall above my desk: "Successs is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm". If JKR had given up after the first rejection (or the last one!) we would never have heard of her and the boy Potter . . .

Kanani said...

The first teacher I ever had, told us on the first day that the first story she ever had published was rejected 77 times!

I think this was a pretty good thing for her to tell us. It really made us focus on writing and not being famous!

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