J.K. Rowling did something pretty cool on Twitter today—she shared two rejection letters sent by publishers who didn’t like her first Robert Galbraith novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling. (Yes, she was somehow rejected for books she published after Harry Potter…but to be fair, she submitted under the pseudonym, so they didn’t know they were dealing Rowling.) The impetus for the post was a request from a fan, and as Rowling noted, she erased the name of the rejecting editor since this was meant to inspire, not get revenge. Check it out:
Granted, it's sort of unfair to nail these publishers for their “advice” when we understand what they didn't—this was J.K. freakin' Rowling!—but it's still funny to read some of their helpful tips. Telling one of the world's bestselling authors to “check in a bookshop” to find out who might be publishing her type of genre fiction, and then to advise her to take a writing course, is pretty rich. “I regret that we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we could not publish it with commercial success,” said the publishing house, Constable & Robinson, who were actually very nice, and who also have the most British-sounding publishing house in world history.
The meanest rejection, which Rowling unfortunately didn't publish, came via email from the same publisher who rejected Harry Potter. Whoever they are, they are really, really missing the mark. But the Twitter exchange ended on a happy note, when a fan asked Rowling how a writer could find the courage to persevere through rejection: