In the new issue of MORE magazine, Kathryn Stockett, author of the uber best-seller and soon to be major motion picture "The Help" said that 60 agents turned her down with comments like "this will never sell" "no one will want to read this" "tiresome writing" and so on. Agent 61 took her on, sold the book in three weeks and the rest is NYTimes best-selling history. http://www.more.com/kathryn-stockett-help-best-seller
I wish I had read that article before I attended a seminar led by an author who was traditionally published by a big house where the agents and editors there were crapping all over digital publishing. The claim was that we writers should "believe in the traditional publishing system" because the the deals will be better and our books will be better for it. They were setting themselves up for keeping the "bad" books (books written by people who "think" they're writers) from cluttering up the shelves.
These are the know-it-alls who were willing to keep "The Help" off shelves. Clearly the seminar was a way to keep people from creating their own eBooks in some desperate attempt to keep their jobs and keep writers at their mercy.
How many Kathryn Socketts are out there who give up after rejection 60 (or 50 or 40 or 10) because they don't have it in them to send out query 61?
I hope her story not only inspires writers, but embarrasses the publishing industry to re-examine who've they've got reviewing the books, especially the ones in the slush pile.
Causes Lorraine Merkl Supports
The Legal Aid Society
The Inner-City Scholarship Fund