Nine famous books that almost never made it to print

The world of publishing can be a daunting one for aspiring authors, with numerous rejections often being part of the journey to success.

Let’s look at nine famous books that faced numerous rejections before achieving literary acclaim.

Dune. The bestselling science fiction novel of all time was rejected at least 20 times before being adapted into different mediums and winning a Hugo and a Nebula Award.

Moby Dick. Who doesn’t know Moby Dick these days? Sadly, during the author’s lifetime, the very few copies printed sold even less.

The Giving Tree. The author of one of the best-known children’s books of all time was told that it would never sell. The well-loved book has now been translated into numerous languages.

A Wrinkle in Time. This work was rejected over 25 times before becoming an international bestseller. It has a film adaptation and has won numerous awards, including the Newberry Medal.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. One of the best known-American stories, this has been translated into multiple languages and adapted into films, musicals, and miniseries. It was rejected so many times that Baum kept „A Record of Failure“, bearing all the rejection letters he received.

Instant hits

Gone with the Wind. Before enjoying instant success, the manuscript was rejected by close to 40 publishers. The Pulitzer Prize winning novel is the second most popular book in America.

Lolita. This masterpiece went through so many publishers before becoming the instant bestseller that it was. It is fourth on Modern Library’s „100 Best Novels“.

Twilight became No. 5 on New York Time’s Bestseller after only a month of publication. 14 literary agents rejected it before it became outrageously successful.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Thanks to a nagging daughter, an agent greenlighted this book after over 10 rejections. It easily became an international sensation.

Overcoming rejection can be challenging, but the rewards of perseverance are well worth it.

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