The Rejected Bestsellers

The bestsellers which shaped the literature world were rejected by the publishers as some of them felt it either funny or disturbing. What a publishing blunder!

The Rejected Intellectual Bestsellers
The Rejected Bestsellers

Even though today we consider them a literary genius or an intellectual par our imagination, their works have to kiss the dust numerous times. They are considered classics, masterpiece, bestsellers and with each adjective which can signify their staggering success but there was a time when they were rejected continuously. If they would have been just rejected, it would have not a big deal. They were advised, criticized, scolded, abused and a hell lot more according to the editor’s state of mind.

Have a look at these seven rejection letters which were the biggest blunders of the publishing industry.

  John Updike

The “Rabbit Series” which made John Updike to stand in the exclusive list of the three authors who won Pulitzer Prize more than once was said by the Random House editor that it will be never published in the near future.





R.R. Tolkein

Considered as the “Father of Modern Fantasy Literature” got his Lord of The Rings rejected as the Random House editor felt that the impact of book undermined due to most of the novel being in quotes. The Lord of The Rings sold more than 150 million




John Steinbeck

The Nobel Prize awarded author’s work was rejected as Penguin Books didn’t find it suitable for themselves. Grapes of Wrath went to win Pulitzer Prize in 1940.





Alice Walker

The masterpiece “The Color Purple” was rejected by the Viking Press as they felt it jarring as every sentence ended with an exclamation. The Color Purple won Pulitzer Prize in 1983.





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William Faulkner

One of the most celebrated author; Nobel Prize laureate William Faulkner was rejected by Harcourt, Brace and Company as they felt “The Sound and the Fury” was fade up with multiple reference to a particular character. The Sound and the Fury was sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.



Kurt Vonnegut

Hailed as one of the best satires “Slaughterhouse-Five” was simply said “Fuck” by the Farrar Strauss Giroux. The masterpiece was one of The New York Times Best Seller list.





Gertrude Stein

The famous novelist was warned by the Arthur C Fifiled Publisher that her poetries would not sell even a single copy.  She is considered one of the pillars of American poetry.