When we think of authors, some of the names that come to mind are often: James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, and Steven King. In short, we think of multi-million dollar success stories. However, these folks frequently did not become successful overnight.
In fact, many of these authors faced rejection multiple times before hitting the road to riches and being subsequently recognized for their craft. James Patterson's first book, The Thomas Berryman Number, received a record 31 rejections from publishers. Since then, he has become one of the most successful and prolific thriller writers of all time. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series was turned down by every major publishing house in the UK. (Legend has it that it made it into the slush pile until one of the publishers handed it to his young daughter, and she immediately read it and demanded the sequel.) Today, her work has launched multiple billion-dollar industries, spanning film and amusement parks. John Grisham's debut, A Time to Kill, was rejected by 16 publishers before finding an agent who rejected him as well. Today, he is one of the most recognizable names in legal thrillers. Steven King, now the master of horror and suspense, submitted Carrie which received 30 rejections before launching a wildly successful and equally prolific career.
Failing is inevitable along the journey to achieving your goals. If publishing were so easy, everyone would be a multi-millionaire and best-selling author. Only those with endurance make it in the end.
OVERNIGHT SUCCESS IS A MYTH
Frequently, 'overnight success' takes hard work and luck. Without the backing of a strong marketing network, it can be very difficult to get visibility to your book. Even if you have written a really quality piece of work, you need people to know about it in order to buy it. Often times, new authors and independent writers discover its hard to have your audience find you.
Common to all of these authors is that they persevere despite obstacles. Like all entrepreneurs, they don't let rejection deflate them. Instead, they find another avenue for success. Taking feedback from their rejection letters, they try new tactics. They hone their craft and perfect their work.