Monday, 23 July 2007

Jane Austen rejected

Well, if Jane Austen can't get published these days, is there much hope for the rest of us? David Lassman the director of the Jane Austen festival in Bath thought up a great way to get publicity for his event. He sent of barely disguised opening chapters and synopses to 18 British publishers of some of her best known and loved works. Without exception, they were all rejected and only one, Jonathan Cape, who recognised Pride and Prejudice. This was sent out as First Impressions, an early name Jane used herself (Which was also rejected at first 'by return of post')

Similarly in the US, a book called Steps by Jerzy Kosinski (I must admit I haven't heard of it) was sent out and similarly rejected. This book won the National Book Prize, the equivalent of the Booker, and sold over 400,00 copies. All the publishers and agents rejected it, including publishers of Kosinski's work. The publishing house Houghton Mifflin commented that it was reminiscent of Kosinski "but not in his league."

Here's an interesting post on the subject.

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