Quite some time ago, before I had started writing these blogs, I came across an article on-line that summed up something I felt was relevant to all the authors I had met, and was still to meet.

The article, which appeared in The Guardian in October 2015, wrote about the winner of the Man Booker prize from that same year. Jamaican author, Marlon James, was so distraught with his lack of success in finding a publisher willing to get his book out there, that he actually considered giving up writing.

It turns out that his first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was rejected 78 times before it was picked up by a publisher. And just as well as it did, because his book, A Brief History of Seven Killings, was announced as the winner of a £50,000 prize and described by Man Booker judges as “an extraordinary book”.

Need I say it, but it is so necessary to be patient. It’s hard. It’s difficult. But, if the work is truly great, as I always say, it’s just a matter of time before it sees the light of day.

Kurt Wilkesmann

Literary agent for foreign markets

One of my favourite stories, and one that I find myself telling authors time and time again, comes from one of my favourite authors, Tim Ferriss.

For those of you who know me reasonably well, you will have heard me talk about Tim, or indeed his first book, The Four Hour Work Week.

Having spent more than four years on the prestigious New York Times best seller list, having been translated into 35 languages and having sold more than 1,350,000 copies worldwide, you can’t deny that it is a story of success.

So, what’s with the title of this blog, then?

Well, what is not so well known, is that Tim was rejected 25 times, before he was offered a book contract. 25 times. That had to be tough to swallow. But, he soldiered on, and made it.

Tim, today, is a huge success, and aside from his other entrepreneurial exploits, is a very successful author. Other titles of his to have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists are: The Four Hour Body, The Four Hour Chef, Tools of Titans, and Tribe of Mentors.

The message here is clear, and one that I find myself telling my authors over and over again. Be patient. Good things come to those that wait. It’s about finding the right publishing house, at the right time. Having a bit of luck also helps. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we have our hearts set on getting a contract from a prestigious publishing house, seeing it as the answer to our dreams. But, we shouldn’t overlook the possibility that very special things can come our way, not only from these large organisations, but also from much, much smaller ones. And good things can follow from that. Just like they did for Tim.

Kurt Wilkesmann