*An editor called Kurt Vonnegut's account of the WWII Dresden bombing "not compelling enough". That account became the foundation for his novel Slaughterhouse Five.
*An editor commented on The Diary of Anne Frank: "The girl does not, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling, which would lift that book above the curiosity level."
*D. H. Lawrence, author of Lady Chatterley's Lover, was advised: "For your own sake, do not publish this book."
*The Spy Who Came in from the Cold author was warned: "You're welcome to Le Carre -- he hasn't got any future."
*Stephen King was told bluntly: "We are not interested in negative utopias. They do not sell." Carrie became a bestseller.
*Zane Grey, author of The Lone Star Ranger and many other westerns, was advised: "You have no business being a writer and should give up."
*"It is so badly written" was the comment received by the author of the Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown.
*Lolita author Vladimir Nabokov was told "I recommend that it be buried under a stone for 1000 years."
*"Undisciplined, rambling and thoroughly amateurish writing" was the comment Jacqueline Susann received for The Valley of the Dolls.
*J. K. Rowling's manuscript for the original Harry Potter was warned it was "far too long for a children's book". Her six sequels were even longer.