It doesn't specify whether he went through with the self publishing. But since he submitted for Kirkus Indie Review perhaps it's implied. Otherwise they would have mentioned a so and so big publisher who took on his book. I didn't notice that. Just the movie mentions.
What it shows is that the industry is changing and that outfits like Kirkus can become a new conduit for reaching the film and book industry. As to all the other issues brought up, sure the odds are super long (they always were) and it's better to try to get paid up front through a commercial publisher than to ignore that avenue at the outset. But not making a connection there needn't be a sentence to permanent also-ran status or worse. You are absolutely right!I didn't really mean to be as negative as my post turned out. But there were some real questions that the Kirkus piece raised...especially considering that the entire thing was really only an advertisement promoting its Indie Review Service. So I had no choice but to take it with a little grain of salt.More, it does not foster the "old wives tale" that publishers and/or agents are uninterested in discovering new talent.When the article says that "...like so many novels by unknown writers, it couldn’t find a home with a publishing house" I think it does indeed encourage that idea. If they had left out the phrase "unknown writers" it would have been less bothersome.This erroneous notion is so prevalent, and I have heard it so many times in these forums, that I kept a thread going for some time that mentioned new books by first-time authors when they get reviewed nationally. And scarcely a week goes by without seeing one.For instance, just this past week, The Farm, by Joanne Ramos, a debut novelist, has been garnering rave notices from the NY Times and other respected reviewers (including a starred review from Kirkus).As I have said many times in the past, every single published author, including every best-selling writer, had to have had a first book. If anything, the issue is that it is hard to make that connection unless you happen to be writing something (or have written something) that fits what those who are currently on the scout for new talent/material happen to be looking for at that particular time.The notion that publishers/agents have some sort of limited focus on what they are on the lookout for is not entirely accurate. Books that break new ground are being published all the time. Think of, oh, I don't know, The Life of Pi for instance. Sure, if vampires or zombies are a hot topic publishers might be interested in seeing a novel about them---but by the same token they are also aware that a market can be saturated and that there is often a downside to jumping on bandwagons. They will not only be looking for the next zombie novel but also the next book that may start an entirely new trend.The Farm, mentioned above, is an example of where an author filled a niche by coming up with an original concept."If anything, the issue is that it is hard to make that connection unless you happen to be writing something (or have written something) that fits what those who are currently on the scout for new talent/material happen to be looking for at that particular time."This remains true whether the book is presented directly to a publisher/agent or through Kirkus. If it is not considered to be marketable if it comes through one channel, that will probably not change if the book came through a different one. As I said, it will have to stand or fall on its own merits. I strongly suspect that Neuvel's book was not optioned by a film studio nor was he offered a contract by Del Rey solely on the basis of a Kirkus review. The article says that Del Rey "wanted to publish the book" but it is inconceivable that they carried through with that without having seen the complete MS. Which, to repeat myself, had to stand on its own two feet. If it was in fact not very good it would have gone no further.Of course, that being said, there appears to be little question (if I take Kirkus' article at face value) that doing something like what Neuvel did might be well worthwhile taking a shot at. If, of course, you are willing and able to pay the minimum $475 fee that Kirkus charges. And remember: there is no guarantee that your review will be a positive one. But "If you receive a negative review," Kirkus explains, "you can choose NOT to publish your review and it will never see the light of day."(By the way, one of my own books once received a Kirkus starred review.)Let me tell you a story similar to Neuvel's. A very old friend of mine spent all of her spare time many years ago writing a science fiction novel. (She had never in her life had anything published outside of fanzines.) When she had finished the book she sent it cold to Baen Books (one of the top SF publishers in the country). She not only got a contract in the return mail, she got a contract for her next five books. She now has more than thirty books in print.