Author Topic: Finding the diamond in a slush pile of unpublishable books  (Read 5616 times)

Joe Carillo

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Finding the diamond in a slush pile of unpublishable books
« on: November 27, 2010, 04:46:29 PM »
The list of publishers’ book rejects that ultimately became phenomenal bestsellers is growing—notable among them are Rudyard Kipling’s first short stories, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, James Joyce’s Dubliners, Stephen King’s Carrie, and, more recently, JK Rowling’s The Philosopher’s Stone—so, understandably, not a few publishers lie awake at night fearful that they might have missed out on a gem of a book from among the scores of titles submitted to them for publication.



Adam Bielenberg takes up this theme in “I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language,” an article he wrote for the November 19, 2010 issue of the Irish Independent.

In the case of Rowling’s manuscript for The Philosopher’s Stone, Bielenberg relates, it took a persistent eight-year-old girl to convince her father, Bloomsbury Publishing chief-executive Nigel Newton, that it held great promise, saying “Dad, this is so much better than anything else.” That book, retitled as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, proved to be one of the most successful investments in publishing history, spawning several sequels that have sold over 400 million copies and several box-office-hit films to date.

And to think that before that, Rowling—a divorced, single mother—had been told by several publishing houses that The Philosopher’s Stone was too lengthy to be a successful children’s book!

“The publishing executives who turned their noses up at JK Rowling can at least console themselves that they were not alone,” writes Bielenberg. “Gems are routinely lost in the vast amount of verbiage that comes their way.”

Read Adam Bielenberg’s “I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language” in the Irish Independent now!

RELATED READING:
In an interview by Heather Riccio in the Hillary Career website, JK Rowling talks about how she wrote the Harry Potter series and how she got it published.

Read Heather Riccio’s interview with JK Rowling at the Hillary Career website now! THIS SITE WITH THE INTERVIEW IS NO LONGER ACCESSIBLE ON THE WEB
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 07:14:43 PM by Joe Carillo »