When a Good Idea Doesn’t Sell
The international best-selling book The Help by Kathryn Stockett is now a movie with a lot of media buzz, yet it was rejected 60 times before gaining acceptance.
his latest literary piece about the civil rights era and the lives of black maids and their employers in the southernUnited Statesis only one of many successful works that have faced tremendous challenges in reaching the marketplace.
The best-selling book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, racked up more than 120 rejections before publication, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Jack London received 600 rejection slips before he sold his first story.
And before landing a contract, Agatha Christie was rejected 500 times.
Dr. Julianne Malveaux, a scholar with a Ph.D. in economics from MIT, is a nationally syndicated author, and the president of a woman’s college, but 15 publishers turned down her proposal for a book on the history of Black economics. Dr. Malveaux produced the project through her own production company.
In the literary industry, there are several strategies that authors use when rejections seem insurmountable. One is to self-publish, or two, switch genres, as authors like Mary Higgins Clark or Dan Mezrich of the Accidental Billionaire did. Others simply refuse to change course.
Lesson: Set a timeframe for desired results and have a plan B and plan C in place.