famous books that were rejected by publishers

Five amazing books that were rejected by publishers

Budding author – but had your manuscript turned away by an agency or a publishing house? Or simply lacking the nerve to start writing that best-seller that’s been rocketing around your mind for the last few months?

Get inspired by these five authors who initially heard ‘no’ when they presented their book to a publisher – only to then go on to get printed to enduring global acclaim. If at first you don’t succeed…

#1 Lord Of The Flies – William Golding

Golding’s school boy story of island survival was turned away twenty times before it was published. Golding was later awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

#2 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

Mitchell’s Civil War epic was turned away 38 times before it was picked up by Macmillan – and it later won the Pulitzer prize.

#3 The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling

In a rejection letter sent following receipt of Kipling’s jungle tale, a publisher wrote: “I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.” Kipling was later awarded the Nobel prize for literature.

#4 Animal Farm – George Orwell

Orwell’s dystopian farmyard tale was originally rejected. The reason? Because ‘there is no market for animal stories in the US.’ In 2008, a list compiled by The Times placed Orwell as the second greatest British writer since 1945.

#5 Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling

The first in Rowling’s Harry Potter series was turned away 12 times, with one agency telling her ‘not to give up the day job’. As of July 2013, the seven-book series has sold around 450million copies.


2 thoughts on “Five amazing books that were rejected by publishers”

  1. Gone with the Wind was never rejected. This is a myth. It was given to Harold Latham of MacMillan (under duress) while he was touring Georgia on the hunt for some Southern authors, and he snapped it up. Mitchell had never submitted it.

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