Author Topic: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”  (Read 4210 times)

Offline Skip Slocum

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Here's an article that kinda make you want to fight, gives one hope, and warns us what we could be facing when we submit our books for publishing.


-- “You have no business being a writer and should give up.” Zane Grey ignores the advice. There are believed to be over 250 million copies of his books in print. --

http://www.literaryrejections.com/best-sellers-initially-rejected/
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 12:58:23 PM by Skip Slocum »

Offline bri h

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 01:44:10 PM »
Thanks for the link Skip. That was interesting but at the same time, startling. Cheers.  B
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 02:10:00 PM »
As I read through the list of rejections I found myself being amazed by many of the novels rejected so many times before being published. Why? Because I have read and enjoyed so many of them over the years.

Thank goodness the authors persisted else I and many others would have missed some wonderful reads. 
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Offline Gyppo

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 02:12:13 PM »
It's not just publishers readers and agents who try to cut people down before they get moving.

"Your son will never succeed at anything worthwhile.  The best he can hope for is to be a dustman.""  Headmaster at my Junior School one Parent's Evening when I was about ten.  Then, perhaps seeing a 'certain look' in Dad's eyes, he back tracked a little.  "Not that there's anything wrong with being a dustman.  Salt of the earth some of them."

When they got home Mum was pretty near incandescent, but Dad was just quietly murderous.

"Son, I've no idea what you're going to do with your life.  But promise me you'll never be a dustman."

It's been an easy enough promise to keep.  The attention deficient little daydreamer from the the caravan site has never felt any desire to become a dustman.
 
There are countless other things which have made me what I am, and I refuse to give his statement any credit for my successes such as they are.  But one day, before I die, I will go and piss on the old headmaster's grave.  I owe him that.

I'll tell you something else.  Amongst the rejections you'll find a handful of messages which can kick you into overdrive if you let yourself believe them.  They may be few and far between when you start out, but they'll be there if you have any talent at all.

"This is totally unsuited for our list, but you have a definite way with words.  I'm sure you will do well with another publisher.  Don't give up."  Editors aren't in the habit of dishing out 'consolation prizes'.  If they say something like that, especially if it's a handwritten addition to a 'form rejection', they mean it.  Hug it to yourself and press on.

Gyppo






 
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2013, 02:29:43 PM »
I was amazed how heartless some of the responses were. Holy crap, let's not just reject this poor soul, lets grind his self-worth into the ashes.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 02:43:47 PM »
You have to bear in mind that some of these were probably not only opinions but deeply felt personal responses.

I dare say the editor who suggested Nabokov's Lolita should be buried under a stone for a thousand years was responding from the depths of a shocked soul.  If he's seen some saw some 'modern' books back then then he'd probably have curled up and died.

And just because a book goes on to sell millions for one publisher doesn't mean it would have fitted into another's list.

Beginner writers tend to fit their books into broad categories.  Thriller, romance, historical, etc.  Most publishers work in a fairly narrow niche within that wide group.  They specialise in what they know well.  Anything which doesn't make an easy fit is rejected.

Hands up those of you who've had a rejection, either from a publisher or a magazine, saying, "Sorry, this is close, but not quite what we want."   They're worth thinking about too, because they indicate you've only slightly misread the market."

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline blue_rose

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 04:56:52 PM »
Every time I talk about my writing being no good, my boyfriend reminds me that J.K. Rowling got a LOT of rejection before her Harry Potter novels were published. He says the publishers who rejected her work in the past are probably kicking themselves hard now.

Offline Matt Walker

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2013, 04:59:02 PM »
The fact is rejection means next to nothing. It's just that no one can really tell whether a book will sell well or not, and agents/publishers are no exception.
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Offline 2par

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2013, 07:45:50 PM »
very interesting. Writing is so subjective.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2013, 09:42:44 AM »
We must always try to remember it is the book, article, short story or whatever which is being rejected, not us personally.  Unless we've written a covering letter which clearly brands us as a total dork or a prickly egotist.

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline The Skald

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2013, 07:27:17 AM »
"“It is so badly written.” The author tries Doubleday instead and his little book makes an impression. The Da Vinci Code sells 80 million."

The bad part is I agree with this one. It's really, really not a good book. Though what I think is a bit strange is that this was his fourth solo book (after Digital Fortress, Angels & Demons and Deception Point), plus he'd written two humor books with his wife before this. Why, then, was DaVinci Code so hard to publish? And why did he have to use a different publisher?

Offline Svader

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2013, 12:46:41 PM »
I haven't even finished my first wip but the link made me feel lie no mater what there is hope.  Thanks for sharing!
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Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2013, 01:55:41 PM »
 ;D

Offline La Mouquette

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2013, 06:12:50 PM »
 
Quote
Hands up those of you who've had a rejection, either from a publisher or a magazine, saying, "Sorry, this is close, but not quite what we want."   They're worth thinking about too, because they indicate you've only slightly misread the market."

Gyppo
 

My hand's up  ::)  I've had a dozen or so rejections - something along the lines of 'this does not quite fit into the current market.' In truth,I was probably rejected because I still had a lot to learn.  

But if you're passionate about your writing , rejections will just make you work harder - until hopefully you achieve your dream.

Prove them wrong  :D

Don't let anyone put you off ever, stay focused and keep learning your chosen craft.

 

La M /Ali   ;D
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 10:04:07 AM by La Mouquette »
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Offline Dean

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Re: “You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2013, 10:02:12 PM »
"The Da Vinci Code" IS horrific though.  ;D

Doesn't surprise me about "Catch-22". I've always maintained that it's a book most people won't connect with, but the ones who do will love it.