Heinlein’s Rules #5: Keep It in the Mail Until it Sells

R. Jean Mathieu's Innerspace

Remember last week when I talked about the 98% rejection rate?

Yeah, get used to that.

Frank Herbert famously tried to get his weird desert-planet novel published at every publishing house that then existed. He started with the usual science fiction publishers, like Ace, and moved up to other publishers, like Random House, after each genre publisher turned him down. Even conventional publishers didn’t want anything to do with it and its freaky mysticism and drugs and sex and ecology crap. Finally, he sent the manuscript to Chilton, whom you may know better for printing automotive manuals.

Chilton decided to go with it, which is how we got Dune.

PICTURED: Not an automotive manual. PICTURED: Not an automotive manual.

“The Remedy,” as I mentioned, was rejected by Asimov’s (and two other markets) before I submitted it to the Ray Bradbury Contest and won  third. “Gods of War” garnered six rejections before it won awards and…

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