Rejection as a whole is not a great reason to run out and self-publish. I mean, think about it: “Everyone else hates it, so why not punish readers with it? To the Resentmentmobile!” But — but! — sometimes, the overall pattern of rejection does indicate value in self-publishing. Getting a lot of those “it’s good, but I can’t do anything with it” rejections tells you that the risk-averse industry isn’t willing to, duh, take a risk. So, you can absorb the risk and self-publish.


Recommended Posts


  1. “it’s good, but I can’t do anything with it”

    If I had a dollar for every time I heard that. One of the most frustrating things to hear from an editor…

  2. as long as it is good and not arrogance

  3. Last week I read an article on Yahoo ( about an author who self published an ebook this past summer, offering it at a price of 99 cents. She’s sold over 400,000 copies so far and made the best seller lists. She said that she had shopped her story around and a dozen publishers and over 100 literary agents rejected it, saying it was “too much of a risk”.

    Obviously not your average results of self publishing, but certainly an example that industry “experts” don’t know everything. Really, there’s no point in not taking the chance when it comes to self publishing.

  4. Back in 1993 I had an appointment at WW Norton to show a portfolio of my “Hardley-Dangerous” series of biker photos that had been exhibited in a couple galleries with the goal of a coffee table book.

    Everyone up there who saw it loved my photos until the National Sales Manager was called in and all he said, “really nice photos but I don’t think these people buy books.” and walked out.

    After that all the art people suggested I publish it myself and “sell it out of your saddlebags.”

    WW Norton’s mistake because after ’93 there was explosive in the motorcycle industry.

    Sadly I still haven’t self-published the book. Maybe now is the time…

Comments are closed for this article!