Well, isn’t this something. Their “overnight success” is only “overnight” to those of us who haven’t slogged alongside them for the past decade or two.
[B]y the end of high school she estimates she had written 50 short stories and started countless novels. The first that she actually completed, Dreams I Can’t Remember, was written when she was 17. She was very excited by the accomplishment, and printed it out for friends and family, as well as sending it to several publishers.
“I got rejection letters back from all of them. I don’t blame them – it wasn’t very good,” Hocking says.
Hocking went on to develop an intimate relationship with rejection letters. She has somewhere in her new house a shoebox full of them.
Yet she would not give up. She wrote unpublished book after unpublished book. “Sometimes I’d say: ‘I’m done, I’m never going to write another book,’ but then a couple of months later I’d have another idea and I’d start again. This time it was bound to work.”
And here’s Mr. Konrath himself, he-who-has-made-$3500-per-DAY this January via Kindle sales. He starts with stuff like this:
I wrote 9 novels and collected over 500 rejections during a 10 year period before I made a dime in this business. I sold my tenth novel in a three book deal for $110,000 back in 2002.
My publisher refused to tour me for my first book. They also refused to let me do any official book signings because they would have had to pay coop. So I began doing bookstore drop-ins and handselling my books. I’d stay anywhere from four to eight hours in bookstores. Have you ever sold one hundred $25 hardcovers in one place? I have. It’s hell.
And sums up the whole thing a bit later with this:
I got my first rejection letter in 1988. I’ve worked hard for 24 years, waiting for this kind of success.
I’ve got two novels pubbed and am working now to finalize a third. And it seems sometimes like it’s taking a long time for my books to get any traction. I sometimes start to feel a bit discouraged.
So finding those two stories this morning came at a good time.
I’m going to keep pushing . . .