Interview with Edward Marnier, author of Brief Encounters
Born March 1949, Fordingbridge England. Brought up New Forest and West of Ireland. Educated state and private schools. First job cinema projectionist. Worked at BFI, before various jobs in the film industry and becoming a film editor, winning a BAFTA award 1984. Worked in Europe and USA, where wrote two short film scripts. Now an oriental carpet dealer and sometime short story writer.
What made you choose a self-publishing service, rather than going it alone or pitching to a mainstream publisher?
Realism … I realised I was not technically confident to self publish and equally my material was not ‘up to’ showing to a mainstream publisher.
How did you choose your provider and what tipped the balance?
I started looking through self-publishing sites … and what they offered. I didn’t look for the cheapest – although it is interesting the different terms and descriptions of what is part of the service for such and such a fee … and what is extra. I was keen to find a site which seemed to have an understanding of the technical difficulties, formats, formatting etc.
In the end, the Matador/Troubador’s site was so much clearer and more straightforward. They provided information that allowed you the author – to make a decision as to which parts of their service you wanted, or needed. Other sites seemed to relish the fact that one might not be able to understand technically how to self publish; Matador seem to go out of their way to let you understand the options available and the costs involved.
What services did they provide?
Everything for an eBook to be available in various formats and various countries. Very switched on group of people. Good artwork for the cover. Excellent telephone and email contact. One never felt awkward about phoning and asking your representative questions. Just a really good experience.
And which were the most valuable elements for you?
Technical, grammar and spelling. Plus nice messages.
Were there any areas you felt could have been improved?
If you are as illiterate as me, it is quite hard for all the necessary suggestions and corrections to be highlighted against your page of script – but I am not sure there is any way around that – unless I learn some English.
What advice would you offer other authors in the position of being ready to publish?
Go with these guys … Matador/Troubador.
During the small bit of education I received – one of the few things I was good at was composition (as it was called). Compressing a chapter of some book into a single page, without losing the meaning or excitement of the story. And as I used to edit films, there seems to be something in me that loves the ‘cut to the chase’.
Where’s the best place to read your stories?
In bed with a friend … then at least you can have some fun reading awful lines aloud to each other – and sex and laughter can be pretty good?
Thanks to Edward for sharing his experiences.
Now a note of warning from me, JJ Marsh: Piranhas and Sharks
Authors seeking a self-publishing service – beware. Recently, a whole range of companies sprouted, helping authors get to market. Many charge a premium price and deliver poor results. How to be sure a provider is useful/reasonable/?
- Check out the two biggest Watchdog sites: Writer Beware and Preditors & Editors
- Ask for recommendations from other writers
- Read Choosing a Self-Publishing Service, compiled by The Alliance of Independent Authors
- Don’t be dazzled by the name. Major publishing houses, agents and other organisations offer a ‘safe pair of hands’. Sadly, far too many of these favour the service providers, not the author. Read today’s post by ALLi’s Orna Ross