Writing Tips: Top Story Rejections


Writing is about persistence and the right chance. Many unpublished writers still try and get an publisher the old way through literary agents. For those of you that keep getting rejected by an agent or publisher, keep your head up. Below are some of the more famous author rejections and how many books they sold.

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum – Sold over 15,000,000 copies

The Color Purple by Alice Walker – Sold over 10,000,000 copies

Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling – Sold  over 600,000,000 copies

Dune by Frank Herbert – Sold over 12,000,000 copies

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – Sold over 100,000,000 copies

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – Sold over 65,000,000 copies

The Godfather by Mario Puzo – Sold over 30,000,000 copies

A Time to Kill by John Grisham – Sold over 1,500,000 copies

Animal Farm by George Orwell – Sold over 20,000,000 copies

The Da Vinchi Code by Dan Brown – Sold over 80,000,000 copies

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – Sold over 8,000,000 copies

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – Sold over 7,000,000 copies

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann – Sold over 30,000,000 copies

Jaws by Peter Benchley – Sold over 20,000,000 copies

Lord of the Flies by William Golding – Sold over 15,000,000 copies

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – Sold over 50,000,000

The Diary of Ann Frank – Sold over over 30,000,000 copies

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller – Sold over 10,000,000 copies

Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen – Sold over 125,000,000 copies

Ann of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery – Sold over 50,000,000 copies

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter – Sold over 45,000,000 copies


Book Reviews: Dune by Frank Herbert


This is my single favorite novel of all time. It involves sandworms, drug induced psychic pre-mature babies, marrying the wife of those you kill, the hoarding of water, intergalactic rivalry of Great Houses, an ancient genetics project, and spice. Frank Herbert wrote it over a span of six years (based on research of the Oregon Dunes), and even after publishing a short story version of it, couldn’t find a publisher. According to wikipedia, 20 publishers rejected it. Only Chilton Books, an auto repair manual publisher agreed to print it.

Years later, it remains as one of the greatest Sci-Fi story of all time. It is hard to pinpoint why it became so popular. Experts believed it was too long, too confusing, had too much ecology, too much religion, and too much damn head hopping (a no-no in the literary world). I mean, how dare he call his hero some weird name like Muad’Dib.

For me, the journey of Paul Atreides and his fish-out-of-water search for a new beginning isn’t new. It was the rich detail and decisive story arc and deep characters and history that sets it apart.There have been many “chosen ones” in fiction. This story has the world building, politics, religion, ecology, and economics so well thought out, and all for a tight ending that it stands the test of time. I have read Dune five times. I have read Dune Messiah once. There is a reason for this, but I’ll leave it for another blog post to what went wrong with the books that followed (Some of the other books by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert are better thought out).

My favorite scene in the story is the end, when Paul wins, controlling the spice, winning the hand of the daughter of the Emperor while getting to keep his Fremen wives.

For Dune fans disappointed by the screen adapapations, check out Jodorowsky’s Dune documentary, and imagine what could have been. Although it would have changed my favorite scene in the movie, I think overall it would have been a stronger film than the David Lynch version. Frank Herbert might have even liked it.

Book Rating: 10/10