It’s easy to get discouraged by publishers’ rejections so Writing Magazine addressed the problem in a recent issue. A member of ninevoices responded with the following letter about how one of the greatest novellas of the last century fared:
The year was 1944 and a respected author and journalist was trying to find a publisher for his 30,000-word ‘fairy story/political allegory’. After several rejections, he tried Jonathan Cape who looked set to take it on, then changed his mind, citing advice from an ‘important official’ in the Ministry of Information. That official was later uncovered as a Communist spy – who evidently didn’t want to upset his boss (and Britain’s wartime ally) Joseph Stalin. Thankfully, his influence didn’t extend to Fredric Warburg – who, after a few hold-ups, published the book in August 1945. The initial print run of 4,500 sold out within days.
And Orwell’s Animal Farm just keeps on selling.