Well, for the first book, I was rejected a lot. Hang on, I can be more specific.
I sent it out to various agents and publishers to begin with and was very picky. I didn't want just ANY publisher. I wanted a GREAT publisher -- clearly, I'd written the NEXT BIG THING.
Then I got rejected a lot, so I sent it out to 27 agents/publishers a week for a year. I know, arbitrary number, but that was what I did. That comes out to about 1,404 rejections in that one year alone, although some of them never did get back to me.
Since then, I've gotten rejected here or there (never that many times on one story again, though) so...
Yes, I've been rejected lots and lots of times.
The person was asking me the question, by the way, because they've gotten five rejections and wanted to know if this was evidence that they should just give up. They thought five rejections meant they weren't good enough and never would be.
In my opinion -- and I openly admit I could be wrong -- writing is like everything else in life. When you were learning to walk, you fell. You fell a LOT before you got the knack of the thing.
Everything else you learned to do took much practice and quite a lot of failures.
Writing novels? No, you're probably not great when you start. How can you be? You've never done it before. But you'll never get good at it if you say, "Clearly a failure. Time for something new," the first time you skin your knee... or pride in the case of writing. Or the fifth. Or the 1,405th.
Random Personal Note -- Here's my first digital (I sent many copies out in paper before I tried emailing copies of my book...) rejection letter:
We’d like to apologize for the impersonal nature of this standard rejection letter. Rest assured that we do read every query letter carefully and, unfortunately, this project is not right for us. Because this business is so subjective and opinions vary widely, we recommend that you pursue other agents. After all, it just takes one "yes" to find the right match. Good luck with all your publishing endeavors.
This was for the original version of Odd Stuff and it was dated 5/1/2007.