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Can You Believe This?
 
Jerzy Kosinski

Eight years after his novel Steps won the National Book Award, Jerzy Kosinski permitted a writer to change his name and the title and send a manuscript of the novel to thirteen agents and fourteen publishers to test the plight of new writers. They all rejected it, including Random House, which had published it.

 
Mary Higgins Clark

Mary Higgins Clark was rejected forty times before selling her first story. One editor wrote: "Your story is light, slight, and trite." More than 30 million copies of her books are now in print.

Before he wrote Roots, Alex Haley had received 200 rejections.

Robert Persig's classic, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, couldn't get started at 121 houses.

 
John Grisham

John Grisham's first novel, A Time to Kill, was declined by fifteen publishers and some thirty agents. His novels have more than 60 million copies in print.

The Baltimore Sun hailed Naked in Deccan as "a classic" after it had been rejected over seven years by 375 publishers.

Louis L'Amour received 200 rejections before he sold his first novel. During the last forty years, Bantam has shipped nearly 200 million of his 112 books, making him their biggest selling author.

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