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Most Embarrassing Publisher Rejections of All Time

Updated: Jun 1

Every author has been rejected a time or two hundred, but what were the all time worst calls publishers have made...

We do not pretend that being a publisher is an easy job, having to know your trends and how much risk your company must take to bring on a new author, but here are a few blunders that are cringe worthy.


JK Rowling


Constable & Robinson and Creme De La Crime(now apart of Seven House Publishers) are two of the twelve publishers that past on the billion dollar book.

Does the Harry Potter series need an introduction. Probably not, are we going to try anyway-you bet. Selling an estimated 500 million copies worldwide and still climbing, the wand wielding wizards have stolen the number 1 spot as the best selling book of all time. The series as of April 2019 has brought in a staggering 7.7 billion dollars totals(all revenue streams). Constable & Robinson in their made famous rejection letter shared by JK herself to the twitter universe, told the hopeful writer to take writing lessons, while Creme De La Crime was not accepting submissions, we are guessing that they were just too busy to make billions of dollars- priorities am I right?


Tim Burton

You remember the Nightmare Before Christmas, well for Tim it was probably a nightmare until his first acceptance letter. He was famously shot down by none other than Walt Disney. In the rejection letter it stated that the work was to derivative of Dr Seuss.


Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson


Chicken Soup for the Soul was written by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson. The title was rejected by an earth shattering 144 publishers before the manuscript was accepted.

Canfield wrote "If we had given up after 100 publishers, I likely would not be where I am now," With so many publishers that shot down the work, take your pick and you will probably get it right.


We will be sharing another post that focuses on number of rejections, simply for research sake. [Source]:google-monetary reporting/twitter-for copies of the rejection letters

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