Afternoon Tea at Sammi Loves Books (Author Interviews)

If you read my Bookish Reflections – January 2019 post, you will recall that I’m hoping to start a new feature on the site…Afternoon Tea at Sammi Loves Books, otherwise known as Author Interviews.  It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a few years now, but I’ve never really had the time to dedicate to it.  However, with the implementation of my new schedule, that time has been found.  As you may have noticed, Mondays has become my set day for posting book reviews, whilst on Fridays I’ve been posting other book-related posts.  This means that (unless there is a serious amount of interest and it requires its own day), these Afternoon Tea posts will also be posted on Fridays alternating with the other book-related features.

I’ve tried to break down all the relevant information below.  If you have any other questions, ask and I will do my best to answer…

A random photo…

~ FAQs ~

What sort of questions will be asked?

There is a set list of ten questions (some have multiple parts) and they cover writing, reading, and of course, afternoon tea – all the important things.  It shouldn’t take too long to answer them.

I’m only published on my blog.  Will you interview me?

These interviews are aimed at writers and poets, at whatever stage of their writing journey, and published in each and every way – traditionally published, self-published, published via a small press, on a blog, website or social media, in short story or poetry anthologies, or via a writing platform such as Wattpad or Sweek. As long as it is possible to direct readers to somewhere they can read your work, I will happily interview you.

I would like to be interviewed.  What do I need to do?

Send an email to On receipt of your email, I’ll send you the list of questions and outline what else you might wish to send (social media links, book cover images, etc).

Your responses can be returned to me in the body of an email, in a Word document / .rtf / PDF.  Whatever is easier for you.

My book is being released soon / I’m putting together a blog tour…

I’ll happy schedule an interview (and other related posts if required) to help you with your book launch or blog tour.  Just get in touch at the above email address and I’ll do all I can to support you.

What if I decide I don’t like the interview?

If once the interview has been posted on this site, you decide you don’t like it or no longer want it on the site, for whatever reason, just let me know and I will take it down as soon as I am able.

Or, if once the interview has been posted, you decide there are some changes you would like to make to your answers, I will happily make them for you.  All you need do is get in touch.

You’ve already interviewed me.  Can I be interviewed again?

Of course! There is now a second set of afternoon tea interview questions put together for this very purpose. So if you’ve something you wish to share, such as a new book release, and more than six months has passed since I posted the first interview, please feel free to get in touch.

~ Index of Interviews ~




Self-Publishing Options

Following on from last week’s publishing post, A Question of Publishing Routes, I thought I would continue by looking at some of the self-publishing options out there that I am considering or that have caught my attention…In the first part I shall focus on ebooks…(and don’t for a minute think I am an expert, these are only a few random thoughts 🙂 )

First off, I don’t the like idea of paying someone an upfront fee for publishing my work, either digitally or in print.  The way I see it (at the moment, at least) is either my work will be published on its own merit, or I will publish it myself, meaning that although I will have to do all the hard work, and there is a lot of it to do, if it pays off, I will get all the rewards too.  It just seems a little cheeky to me to be expected to pay someone else to publish my book, and on top of that, give them a cut of the money it makes as well; one or other is fine, but both?  No, that makes me a little uneasy.

I already use the Smashwords platform as an eBook distributor.  Granted both of the ebooks I have available through them are free books.  Having looked into selling ebooks through them I found out that US tax law requires Smashwords to retain a certain amount of money made through sales, until you supply them with a certificate from the UK’s tax department (because I am based in the UK).  This sounded rather complex and convulted, which made me seek out some of the alternatives available out there and I came across…

XinXii, a European-based ebook-publishing platform who don’t require non-EU writers to provide any tax documentation (obviously wouldn’t apply to me anyway).  The returns would be more or less the same as Smashwords without providing the previously-mentioned paperwork.  However, XinXii doesn’t seem to have the international marketing and sizeable audience that Smashwords has.  Out of the indie authors that I have so far come across through blogging, etc,  I have never seen any that use XinXii.  Most use Smashwords or…

KDP, that is Kindle Direct Publishing.  Of course, the Kindle and Amazon platform is huge, but I must admit that I have heard that some find the publishing procedure complicated, and with a certain option (the KDP Select) you can only offer your book exclusively through them and nowhere else digitally.  However, the fact is that many authors do use KDP and do so successfully.

There are other options out there, including print publishers who include ebook publishing with the services that they offer, such as Lulu, who I shall discuss in the next part of this publishing series.

I think, if I am honest, I will stick with Smashwords.  Both my attempts at publishing with them were easy; I had no issues whatsoever with formatting and made it into the premium catalogue with my first attempts (fingers crossed, that run of luck will continue!).  The bonus of getting the ebooks into the premium catalogue is that the ebooks are then able to be distributed elsewhere, including Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Apple’s iBooks.   KDP doesn’t appeal to me; it sounds too complicated, and I like the idea of being able to offer my book where I like (of course, I reserve the right to change my opinion on this at a later date 🙂 ).  I liked the sound of XinXii but it doesn’t really seem to offer a reach as big as Smashwords.  I know that success with Smashwords is only really possible if you are willing to really put the effort into your marketing, but isn’t that the case with all the self-publishing options?

Are you an indie author?  Who do you publish your ebooks with?  How would you describe the experience or your success?  Any words of warning or advice?  Please feel free to share any thoughts you might have below…