He had an "agent" once, some twerp who sent his book* to Baen, and a year later, of course my friend still hadn't heard anything. Later, he self-published another of his books, and while it's a really good book even without a professional editor, a pass from someone experienced in doctoring stories would have made it amazing. That book in particular has a heavy romance angle, and with romances making up 60% or more of book sales worldwide, it couldn't have hurt to market it for a few years before going the route of self-publishing.
I've since barraged him with publishing information and invitations to go to writing events, but so far he hasn't responded even once, not even with a, "Leave me alone, I can do this myself." To me, this means continue to harass him. :D haha I don't think my motivational tone is getting through, though.
Any advice? I know you can't make the horse drink, but perhaps you know more sparkly ways to lead one to water?
(For all I know he's going to shank me for opening my big fat mouth. But I think he's scared of the process, of being judged by professionals and found wanting, of having to talk to strangers about something important to him--not to mention afraid of actually succeeding and being expected to continue to produce. It's frustrating because he's a good writer! His work stands up to anything I've critiqued from other amateurs, and he's easily in the safe zone according to the "slushkiller.")
* Maybe I'm overstepping my area of expertise, but I don't think that was really the right market for gay epic fantasy.