It is impossible to discourage real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write.
- Sinclair Lewis -
Prime Directive of Criticism: No matter what anyone says about anything you write, it is saying more about that person than it is saying about your work.
Consider these publishers' opinions…
Is it history, is it romance? 38 rejections from publishers for Gone With The Wind.
“An absurd story as romance, melodrama or record of New York high life.” -- The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
Color in the lines, please!
“Too radical of a departure from traditional juvenile literature.” L. Frank Baum hears of The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz
Rejected because it is narrated by a dog-- Garth Stein’s The Art Of Racing In The Rain. (Black Beauty and Animal Farm before that)
Not what readers want...
“The American public is not interested in China.” Pearl S Buck The Good Earth
140 rejections stating “Anthologies don’t sell.” The Chicken Soup for the Soul series sells 125 million copies.
“We don’t know the central character well enough.” --The Catcher In The Rye
lose the Indians?
Good mystery. But... “We suggest you get rid of all that Indian stuff.” Publisher to Tony Hillerman, on his best-selling Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels.
“The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.” --The Diary of Anne Frank
26 publishers reject A Wrinkle in Time.
“It was rejected 60 times.” Kathryn Stockett on The Help.
Louis Lamour received 200 rejections before becoming the publisher who said YES’s most best selling author (330 million in sales)