A recent rejection I received mentioned how one author, Malorie Blackman, received over 80 rejections before getting her big break. It reminded me that despite feeling like I’ve had a lot of rejections, I really haven’t. Do a quick Google search. It’s common for people to get rejected hundreds of times before getting accepted.

But how many rejections have I had exactly? While I have a spreadsheet of every submission I’ve ever made, I’ve never tallied up how many rejections I’ve received for each body of work. Until now.

Not published:

  • Book 1 (46 rejections)
  • Book 2 (not submitted)
  • Book 3 (46 rejections)
  • Book 4 (not finished)
  • Short story (25 rejections)


  • A Sobering Adventure (8 rejections)
  • The First Wormhole (20 rejections)

Total rejections: 145

For clarity my first book did get accepted, though ultimately it didn’t pan out with the agent so I’ve still classed it as a rejection.

It’s a curious coincidence that of the two books I submitted I stopped after 46 rejections. Maybe that’s the magic number where I conclude there’s no traction and move onto another project. Or maybe I’ve not persevered as much as I should have done.

For my next book I think I will set a starting target of something like 100 submissions and go all in on it before even contemplating stopping.

I may also do a follow-up in a year or two to see how these figures have changed (hopefully I can add a couple more projects to the published list).