As an aspiring self-publishing author, knowing that even the most famous authors nowadays have received rejection letters from publishers may give you courage. If you are indeed a self-publishing writer, then brace yourself to encounter at least one rejection in your writing career. Here is a list of those critically acclaimed authors and their rejections.


Everyone knows at least one or two characters from Dr. Seuss’ novels. There’s the Lorax and the Grinch who stole Christmas. However, before Dr. Suess became the best-selling author that he is now, he has received several rejection letters too. But he didn’t get discouraged and continued writing.


Marcel Proust is also one of the currently successful authors who got rejected by publishers in the past. His bestselling book, Remembrance of Things Past, has been dismissed by a French editor.


Several publishers rejected Rudyard Kipling’s work, The Jungle Book. One publisher even said that Rudyard Kipling doesn’t know how to use the English language. Now, The Jungle Book has become one of the bestselling children’s novels and even has a Disney adaptation to boot. At the age of 42, the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to him naming him the first English-language writer and is the youngest laureate forĀ Nobel Prize in Literature to date.


Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is a classic! However, did you know that Alcott received a dismissive response to her manuscript before? Luckily, Alcott persevered. Little Women finally managed to get on print in 1868.


The Great Gatsby tells the story of a man who, after getting drawn to the lifestyle of millionaire Jay Gatsby, decides to search for his American dream. This enthralling story was initially rejected because of the Gatsby character. Eventually, the novel got picked up and published in 1925.


Currently, Stephen King is enjoying success for his numerous bestsellers. However, he too has received several rejection letters from book publishers in the past. One of his books that got rejected is The Running Man, which he eventually had published under his nom de plume Richard Bachman.

#7. Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is a well-known mystery novel author. Reading her works will eventually become an obsession for every book lover out there. Thus, it can be quite a shock to know that Christie was rejected in the past as well. It took four years before Christie was able to publish her first work.


With countless legal thrillers published in the market nowadays, it is also surprising that John Grisham’s work is among those literary masterpieces that got rejected. After getting turned down by several literary agents and book publishers, John Grisham was able to have his book, A Time to Kill, published.


Most teens fell in love with The Princess Diaries. Do you know though that this book penned by Meg Cabot got turned down by most publishing houses? Upon landing a publisher, the book made history by selling millions of copies. The book also got a film adaptation.


Before hitting success with the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling was living off benefits together with her daughter. It doesn’t help that her manuscripts always get rejected too. However, once Harry Potter got the recognition it deserved, Rowling is set off on the path of riches and glory as an author.

Receiving repeated rejections, it is a wonder how these popular authors still dare to continue writing. But it is a relief that they did so. After all, we won’t be able to enjoy their masterpieces if they stopped at the first letter of rejection. If you are an aspiring author, take inspiration from these authors and continue writing. Sooner or later, your efforts will undoubtedly be paid off.