Mr. X, a fictional character (or maybe not), and his foray into the publishing world make for some solid do’s and don’ts about doing just that: entering the intriguing, if not intimidating, writing world.
As a non-editor and non-researcher, Mr. X’s fiction writing leans towards the flat. The ideas are sound; the execution not so much. The gent has never seen any reason to edit his work or engage someone to do it, listen to opinions, or take advice. Confidence is a very good thing; egoism probably not so much.
Not understanding why he couldn’t attract a traditional publisher or agent, Mr. X figured he go the self-publishing route—i.e. use a vanity (or subsidy) press. Wouldn’t you know it? He picked a press that has one of the worst reputations out there (we’ll be kind and keep it nameless). As a non-researcher, he’d simply gone with whoever tickled his fancy. (As an FYI, it took a good decade for him to discover his “publisher” had received a copious amount of bad press and wasn’t respected by legitimate publishers and agents. Better late than never, as the saying goes.)
The point? Do your due diligence. And do it well.
Kudos to Mr. X, though, for strength of conviction. He determined that his first book was so good, it should be made into a movie. So, while penning a few more novels, he started chasing producers and directors, and agents. Standard we’re-reviewing-your-submission replies were accepted as we’re-really-excited-to-have-your-amazing-stuff responses. Humbleness is a good thing; arrogance maybe not so much.
In the [very] rare instance that someone requested more information or documentation, he complied . . . and advised where the requester could purchase his book(s). This almost certainly is not a good thing, my friends. When someone expresses interest, absorb the cost (consider it an investment) and provide a free copy or two.
Alas, another factor not in his favor: Mr. X didn’t (still doesn’t) care for social media. As far as he’s concerned, it serves little merit as a promotion or marketing tool. He’s certain he’ll succeed when “the time is right”. This may be true, but after nearly 15 years, it seems evident that “the time has passed”. He’s still not known and has no deals. Playing ostrich by sticking your head in the sand and avoiding what’s out there—maybe because the truth is daunting or the amount of work/effort is overwhelming—is absolutely fine. Keep believing you’ll “luck in”. And, perhaps, you just may.
More conceivable? You’ll experience success because you made it happen.
Do your due diligence. And do it well. We all love a tale with a happy [successful] ending.