“Rejected?! So What.” – Bestsellers That Almost Didn’t Make It.

Sometimes, as we strive to share our remarkable ideas with the world, we have to deal with criticism and often times, rejection. But that is ok.

Criticism and rejection can be used constructively to help you become a better creator. The key is to understand that everyone is always going to have his or her own opinion. But just because someone disagrees with your outlook or your way of being creative doesn’t make you or them wrong. It is important to stay positive and diligent with your work and to always always try. You owe it to yourself for the hard work you’ve accomplished.

With all that in mind, I thought I would share with you a list of bestselling books that were each highly criticized and rejected many times before they finally made their mark on the world. Some of them will probably surprise you.

Take a look and realize that each of these authors was in the same boat as any new author starting out at one point or another. The difference being they didn’t have a cool tool like Lulu.com at the time to give them complete creative control over their work or the freedom to instantly sell their books all over the globe. These authors stuck to it, and you can too. And Lulu is here to help.

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  1. I remember when I was twenty.I was an aspiring writer and biologist.I read DUNe my favorite book in the field at the time. Noone shared my admiration for the author or his work;yet now,that I’ve begun to write my own college ecology texts (see Gross Production and Evolution.)by James W. Farr;I still emulate the Dune trilogy.It is not what you make as an author,it is what you write. Thank you for your comments and help on http://www.lulu.com.James Farr

  2. Great post. I feel better. The only one I knew before your list was Tom Clancy.

  3. Nice topic! I’ve over eight titles on Lulu but not a single one have been sold. Could all have been rejected?

    I got loads of friends / authors here in Nigeria I want to introduce to Lulu. But the question is, “show us your prove and we would join you”!

    And truly, I got nothing to show! But I’m still hoping.

  4. I love those inspirational authors that made it bigtime even if other people are pulling them down..

  5. doctor mario

    Rejection and criticism can make you a better creator, except that currently, we live on a planet of poorly educated, ‘insta-critic’, crybabies, screaming around the internet, passing off opinion as critique. It’s becoming very hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. I believe nothing anyone has to say about anything anymore. 🙂

  6. AJ

    doctor mario,

    I couldn’t agree more that the Internet has removed the filter for a lot people who feel like they can just hop on any given blog, forum, or comment section and start letting the negativity fly. Many times it isn’t constructive or helpful and proper netiquette (Lulu did a post on that topic http://www.lulu.com/blog/2010/06/02/netiquette-the-art-of-poise-online/) is something we could all brush up on from time to time. While it can definitely be hard to separate the quality comments from the rest from people just saying something for the sake of saying something, I haven’t entirely given up. Every so often you’ll find a gem in the rough and it can make all the difference. Thanks for the comment on what I feel is a very important topic.

  7. A agreed based in your article, think of it when it comes in criticism and rejection, they just want you to be the best that’s why they criticized you, appreciated those kind of people..

  8. If they criticized you, just give them a simple or a big smile then after that say this word “Thank you”.

  9. If they criticized you, just hug them..

  10. that’s was a very inspiring article..

  11. Rejected..hhmm let’s say they criticized you to make you a better person..

  12. A really encouraging post. How many stories are there about superstar celebrities, musicians, sportspeople or writers who were turned down or told they’d never amount to anything. I genuinely think that the publishing industry is under-going the same kind of change the the music industry did a few years ago – when the Arctic Monkeys missed out the middle man and got no.1’s by promoting their work themselves using social media.

    Lulu is no different. It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve been turned down by the big publishing houses, if our story or content is good enough – it will find it’s own audience and the publishers will be calling us soon enough. I think over the next few years we’ll notice a shift in the publishers realising the need good authors, more than good authors chasing the publishers.

    Also – why make $2 per book with a traditional publisher when you can bypass them and make $8 per book instead?

    For anyone interesting in reading more, there’s an amazing book by Seth Godin called The Dip. It’s only about $9 and you can read it in a few hours, but it talks about facing failure or rejection – but pushing through on your way to success.

  13. AJ


    I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for the comment.

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