In eight years, the Liverpool 8 writer received 2,672 rejections.
A Liverpool author faced a remarkable 2,672 rejections before ultimately getting his children’s book published.
Vince Cleghorne, a writer for TV and cinema screenplays who lives in Liverpool 8, went home from the 2012 Cannes Film Festival with the idea to write and illustrate children’s picture books.
“How difficult could it be?” Vince wondered. A maximum word limit of 600 words and a few simple images – done!”
A baker from Liverpool has won eight awards at the British Pie Awards.
Vince’s book, however, took eight years and 2,672 rejections before it was finally published.
“It was early 2020, and the world was in the throes of a pandemic,” Vince explained. I’d only sold a few books at that point. I’d been turned down by nearly every children’s literary agent on the planet.
“I was unable to get an agent or a publisher. Why? Was it because I was black that I was singled out? Is it possible that I lived in a less-than-desirable zip code? Or were my books simply not up to par?”
Vince gave one last attempt in 2020 to find a publisher, deciding that if he was turned down, he would return to writing for television and movies.
He was, nevertheless, successful, and his picture book Bug Soup was commissioned in March 2020, selling over 92,000 copies in the first six months.
“The 2,673rd letter was a hallelujah moment,” Vince added. An American publisher offered me a deal (Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream).
“My children’s books have sold over 140,000 copies in the last year, which is incredible.”
“Although my novels sell all over the world, the United States is the one that keeps clamoring for more,” he remarked. I believe seeing Disney cartoons as a kid made me aspire to be successful in America. That’s why a lot of my works are written for and marketed in the United States.”
Vince was motivated to write when his mother gave him an Edward Lear Nonsense Book when he was five years old. “It introduced me to Lear’s humorous limericks and great stories,” he explained.
“My mother always encouraged my creativity and, as the best illustrator I’ve ever known, she also influenced me as an artist.
“Later on, my son Kyle was the one who inspired me.”
“The summary comes to an end.”