Today in the Indie Spotlight I am joined by Maximilian Sam.
Maximilian Sam is the award-winning author of “It’s A Stray Dog’s Life”. The second book in the series is out now.
Max has had a long career in PR that has taken him around the World. He has lived in 10 countries from the UK to Indonesia, with many stops in between.
There can’t be many people who’ve been able to make a last-minute dash for a weekend away on both the Isle Of Wight and Bali.
Max currently lives on the west coast of Turkiye, where he looks after a small army of stray dogs and cats.
Max can be contacted at:
Welcome to the Indie Spotlight, Max!
What made you decide to publish your books independently? What was your path to publication?
I’d spent the pandemic writing a library of potential books. Getting them to market has been a journey with a massive learning curve.
I went through the usual few months of submitting to agents and publishers, before realising a debut children’s book was highly unlikely to be snapped up. I had no experience of the industry and a grand total of 23 followers on Twitter. It was about the limit of my social media presence. It made me look towards ‘hybrid’ publishing as a solution. It would get the first book published and give me the experience to independently publish future books. The ‘hybrid’ concept is good on paper, but I’m not convinced it isn’t being abused by people trying to make a quick buck. There needs to be more transparency and teamwork if the concept is to succeed and a further valid option given to authors.
We are customers, after all.
I was fortunate, as the experience worked reasonably well because I knew what I wanted from the process. The up-front payment was far lower than it would have cost to self-publish at that point, so I put the investment down to on-the-job-training.
It made the decision to independently publish “it’s A Stray Dog’s Life 2” very easy. I did a lot of research into what I’d need and am grateful to KDP for answering so many questions. Nothing ever seemed too much trouble. I received help, but still had full control. The perfect world. Using KDP was easy, once I’d resolved the cover sizing correctly, and has even got me writing more book, as I enjoyed the process so much.
What made you decide to write in the specific genre rather than other genres? Have you ever written in other genres?
Fate. I’d been working on something completely different when there was a knock on the door. I was told the stray who lived with us had been hit by a car and killed. I wandered down to the beach and wrote a long letter to her which, through various twists and turns, became the first book. The good news was she hadn’t been killed and stayed with us for another 4 years before she sadly passed away this summer at the ripe old age of 17. Not too shabby for a stray.
I don’t have children, so writing a kids’ book felt a little strange. I think the approach of wanting the parents to enjoy it as much as the kids helped. It’s the only reason I can think of that allowed it to win Best Comedy Book at the Feed My Reads Awards.
A career in PR means I have to change my writing style several times a day depending on the client anyway, so switching genres feels almost natural. It certainly gives me a head-start.
Do you only read the genres you write?
Not at all. I was lucky as a child we had a room in the house filled with books. To this day, I’ll read anything and everything I can lay my hands on. It’s cost me a small fortune over the years shipping books with me around the world.
What are you currently reading? Watching on TV? Listening to?
Reading wise, I’m really enjoying David Perlmutter’s books. It shows you can find your next read on social media.
I’m going to jump in with one of the best films I’ve seen in years that I’ve already watched 3 times in a week! “To Leslie” is a cracking independent film with some incredible acting. It’s a genuine must see.
With TV, I’m currently hooked on Pennyworth, Ghosts and eagerly awaiting the next series of Ted Lasso. I’m also screamingly angry Mock The Week has ended.
Musically, I used to be a DJ (a terrible one) so have a bizarre collection of music. I get stuck on Rolling Stones, Queen, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams and American Outlaws, with a touch of Guns and Roses thrown in. Much to the annoyance of my neighbours. I can be a little like Spinal Tap. My stereo goes up to 11.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Read as much as you can. It will help to see different story construction. Also, ask other authors about their experience. I did. Even best-selling authors took time to answer questions. Peter James even has some wonderful tools on his website to help.
I’m a great believer in authors supporting each other. If we can get someone into a bookshop, then they might buy both of our books!
What are you working on right now? What can we look forward to seeing from you next?
The next book moves away from children’s literature. It’s a series of short stories from a random array of genres. We’re working on the cover at the moment, so it should be ready to go by Easter 2023.
The children’s books will continue in 2023 too, but I don’t want to give too much away, as there will be a few surprises. After that there’s several WIPs in the pipeline, including the original one that made way for “It’s A Stray Dog’s Life”.
Thank you very much for joining me in the Spotlight today, Max. Congratulations on your awards and good luck with your books!
“It’s A Stray Dog’s Life”
Have you ever wondered what dogs are thinking when you look at them? Now you can find out as Princess, Buster and Snowy share their adventures as stray dogs. You’ll soon realise being a stray dog is much more fun than you thought as you meet their friends, both doggy and human, and spend some time living their lives. You never know, you might make three new friends along the way.
Available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and other retailers or from www.maximiliansam.com/books
“It’s A Stray Dog’s Life 2”
The stray dogs are back to share more of their lives and adventures.
This time you’ll meet Mumsy as she tries to control her two puppies, Pitch and Putt, despite the best efforts of Snowy to lead them astray. There’s Jasper, who learns being a friendly dog can lead to good things happening as he discovers, with his forever family, a new home in the city of Izmir.
Finally, you can investigate crimes alongside the master detective, Toby. Be careful, though. He might not be as clever as he thinks he is. Princess, Buster, and some of the other stray animals you met before all make an appearance as the family of strays grows and the adventures continue.
Available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and other retailers or from www.maximiliansam.com
You can also find Maximilian Sam on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22204253.Maximilian_Sam
7 thoughts on “Indie Spotlight – Maximilian Sam”
Aw, as a dedicated dogmother, I love the look of your books and the stories sound so heartwarming.
Congratulations on your award – that is a stellar performance for your first book!
I too am a great believer in authors supporting authors – I would love to feature your books on the Christmas gift guide of my doggie travel blog. Drop me a line if you’re up for it.
I am also devastated at the loss of Mock the Week! It was one of the best things on TV. What is Aunty Beeb thinking?
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Ha ha – I’m missing Mock The Week too
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I know! What were they thinking taking it off air? I hope they don’t remove HIGNFY and The News Quiz, Dead Ringers and The Now Show on Radio 4. It’s the only way I can bear to get the news!
Hi I’ve sent you an email (I hope). I’d love to be involved. Thank you also for the kind words. It means a huge amount.
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No worries – I’ve received your email and dropped you a reply! Best of luck with your book.
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We are all dog lovers at out house. This sounds excellent
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