Printed Page Bookshop
August 2021

Multiple publishers turned down these books,
but collectors would love to turn some up
We have come frighteningly close to missing some of the most popular books ever published.  Many books that we regard as classics are available to us now because of the dogged persistence of the authors, who refused to take "no" from multiple publishers.
It will come as no news to the authors of books that it is difficult to persuade a publisher to publish them.  But it may come as a surprise to you.  A few examples of books that almost weren't are below, plus current prices for what those books are going for now -- because in addition to the publishers who regret publishing these books, collectors have regrets, too!
"The Thomas Berryman Affair" was James Patterson's first novel.  Publishers rejected it 31 times before #32 said "yes."  It is estimated now that one in every six books sold in the world has James Patterson as its author, and now a first edition will cost you around $1000.
"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."  The book that launched the veritable empire that is Harry Potter was rejected more than 10 times by a variety of publishing houses.  It was only after one agent's daugher nagged him into green-lighting the book that it saw the light of day and became an international sensation.  $2500.
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."  L. Frank Baum was rejected for publication so many times that he kept a journal called "A Record of Failure," made up of all the rejection letters he received.  Now available for around $60,000.
"Gone with the Wind."  Margaret Mitchell's manuscript was rejected by nearly 40 publishers before it finally hit the shelves.  It later won a Pulitzer Prize.  $85,000.
"Dune."  Frank Herbert went through more than 20 publishers until the book was finally accepted.  The novel was later adapted into a variety of media, including a miniseries and film, and also won a Hugo and Nebula award. $11,000.
"A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle was rejected 25 times.  It became the first book of a successful series, an international bestseller, and inspiration for a film adaptation.  It also won a Newberry Medal. $9,000.
Here are a few more:  Dr. Seuss's "And To Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street" 27 rejections, $400..."Catch 22" 22 rejections (appropriately), $4000...Stephen King's "Carrie" 30 rejections, $3000 and our winner, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" 121 rejections, $1700, proving once again that hindsight is 20/20.


This Month's Puzzler
On August 5, 1886, this man was born in Robbins, Tennessee. A 1907
graduate of Amherst College, he was the co-founder of BBDO, one of
America's most successful advertising agencies (his surname is reflected
in the second letter). A legend in the advertising industry, he created
the character of Betty Crocker, established the Gillette razor brand, and
came up with names for General Electric and General Motors.

He wrote many articles and books on achieving business success, including
"The Man Nobody Knows," a 1925 book that reframed the life of Jesus,
portraying him as a brilliant adman and salesman, and a role model for
successful businesspeople. He is also credited with one of my all-time
favorite quotations:
If you can give your son or daughter only one gift, let it be Enthusiasm."

Who is this man?   (Answer below)

Visit us Friday and Saturday at the Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair -- Colorado Springs limited edition!
The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair is August 6-7 at the Colorado Springs Event Center, 3960 Palmer Park Blvd. This is a change from our usual venue -- the Denver Mart -- which is being torn down.
Printed Page will be in Colorado Springs, though, along with at least 60 other booksellers.  You can join us, and we'll make sure you get in free.  Just let us know you want a pass.  You can pick up one at the store, or call Dan (303-880-1217) or John (720-979-3878) to make other arrangements.  As a bonus, when you visit our booth, we'll give you one of our "Ask your doctor if BOOKS may be right for you" posters.  But be quick about it.  Supplies are limited!
The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair will return to the Denver metro area next year.

...and come help us celebrate our 12th birthday August 12!
Twelve years ago this month, Printed Page opened its doors.  On Thursday, August 12, we're keeping them open longer -- from 5:30 to 8 pm -- to celebrate our birthday.  There'll be food and drink and 10% off all purchases!  Space is limited, so please let us know if you plan to attend by dropping us a note at

Puzzler answer

Bruce Barton.  If you like our Puzzler, find more on our Facebook page.  We often have Sunday contests where you can win fabulous prizes (books).
Thanks to Dr. Mardy Grothe for the use of his puzzler.  Visit him at

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