Rejected Manuscripts

Martin writes "In the summer of 1950, Alfred A. Knopf turned down the English-language rights to a Dutch manuscript after receiving a particularly harsh reader's report. The work was "very dull," the reader insisted, "a dreary record of typical family bickering, petty annoyances and adolescent emotions." Knopf wasn't alone. The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank, was rejected by 15 others before Doubleday published it in 1952.

This interesting nugget is tucked away in the massive Knopf archive housed in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas. Other surprising editorial blunders are also entombed here, including decisions to turn down Pearl Buck's The Good Earth on the grounds that Americans were "not interested in anything on China," and George Orwell's Animal Farm because it was "impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.A."
Here's The NYTimes"


Consider too, the publishing history of Tom Clancy's Hunt for Red October or A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Two very different books that became mammoth sellers, both turned down by numerous publishers. And if memory serves, J.K. Rowling had some difficulty getting Harry into print.