Sally’s Café and Bookstore

My dear friend Sally Cronin is coming in out of the rain today to sit by the fire and tell me about « Sally’s Café and Bookstore » so I’d better make some fresh coffee.

Dig in to those patisseries, Sally, my friend Pierre, the mad baker, gave them to me for nothing when I said I had a famous writer friend visiting.

Ailsa you have a wonderful way of making us feel very special and Lily has the same gift although somehow I feel that might be to do with the fact that I am eating her favourite almond croissant. Excuse me while I take a bit and let Lily have some too..

Tell us about the Café & Bookstore in your blog. What is it ?

Since starting the blog in 2013, I have wanted to promote authors and their books as creatively as possible. I ended up with several series with that in mind. In the middle of last year I realised that I needed something a little more permanent to use as a platform going forward. With the creation of the virtual cafe and bookstore, an author can be promoted and then put on the shelves for as long as they wish to be there.

All authors go through their own promotion called New on the Shelves, where their most recent book is featured plus their previous work, a bio and contact links. They then move onto the shelves.

Not only are they now visible to any visitors to the bookstore, but they can also take advantage of the twice weekly Cafe and Bookstore update to showcase any new books or a great new review.

Recently I introduced another Cafe promotion which is based on book signings. Book Reading at the Cafe focuses on the author more with some set questions and then some personalised ones. The guest also selects an excerpt from their latest book to share with the readers. The difference with this interview format is that it is interactive, giving the readers and opportunity to ask their questions in the comments to be answered by the author over the next couple of days.

How did you come up with the

Sally’s latest book

idea ?

I would love to have a real cafe and bookstore and I have worked out how to do book readings and face to face interviews with authors from around the world should that happen. Combined with good coffee and tea with sandwiches and cakes available, and computer access to Amazon to buy books would make for an interesting venture. I would also have selected print copies available on the real shelves.

Just a quick break to drink this delicious coffee before it gets cold and where did the rest of my almond croissant go… Lily…and where is Lily?

Oh dear – she’s helped herself. Never mind, here’s a top up on your coffee and ta daaaaah another bag of pastries!

Why are you so wonderfully altruistic to give air-time to other writers ? I know I do but so many bloggers only bang on about their own work.

I wish I could claim to be earning a living with my writing but I am not. But in every other sense of the word this is my job. I have worked since I was 14 doing weekends and holidays along the seafront in Southsea and all my jobs, of which there are quite a few, have been customer facing. I love working with people and just because I am in my office now, sat in front of computer does not mean that I do not still need that personal contact with others. It is a two way thing. By promoting other authors I have found amazing support when I publish by own books. It also provides great content for my blog and over the last three years a very positive and caring community has evolved around it.

I am saddened that there are those authors who feel that they cannot share their blog space with others and only talk about their own work. I think that they are missing out on a great deal by not being an active member of the online community. And over a relatively short period of time readers tend to fall off as they don’t receive any feedback.

We are all in this together and if we can give one author and their work a boost this week, then 9 times out of 10 it is reciprocated down the line.

Houra! Couldn’t agree more!

Who have you adored having in the café ?

To be honest Ailsa everyone who is on the shelves of the bookstore is special and very welcome. Any author who puts themselves through the process of research, making notes, writing thousands of words, editing, formatting, cover design and then taking on the role of marketing, deserves all the support they can get. The price of Ebooks these days does not reflect the amount of work that authors put into their work, so delighted and privileged to have them on the shelves where they might encourage a few more readers to buy their books..

And I am delighted that you have been a member of the Cafe and Bookstore since the beginning and are in fact the first author that visitors to the Cafe meet.

I’m going to be doing my own book reading at the Cafe soon – should I bring anything with me ? I’m sure Pierre would contribute if asked !

I am so looking forward to your book reading on 19th April Ailsa and yes please ask Pierre if he could contribute some of the almond croissants and an assortment of his other pastries, as I am sure that the cafe will be packed for your visit and we will run out of our own. Especially if Lily comes with you!

Thanks so much for inviting me over again to your lovely home.. Please give Pierre my best regards and thanks for the pastries. And look forward to seeing you in a few weeks in the Cafe.

Link to the Cafe and the Promotions.


After working in a number of industries for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to pursue a completely different career, one that I had always been fascinated with. I began studying Nutrition and the human body twenty years ago and I opened my first diet advisory centre in Ireland in 1998. Over the last 18 years I have practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as written columns, articles and radio programmes on health and nutrition. I published my first book with a Canadian self-publisher in the late 90s and since then have republished that book and released nine others as part of our own self-publishing company. Apart from health I also enjoy writing fiction in the form of novels and short stories.


Amazon author Page:

14 thoughts on “Sally’s Café and Bookstore

  1. Dear Otter.. you are wonderful thank you and delighted to have visited you and Lily, even if my waistband is a little tighter.. look forward to having you over on the 19th April and will search around and see if I can find a crazy Irish baker to compete with Pierre.. love and hugs ♥

  2. Great to see Sally here and to read more about the new format of the Café and Bookstore. Perhaps all of us who want to have a bookstore will get together some day and make it so… Thanks, Ailsa!

  3. I so agree with your philosophy about interacting with other writers! I look forward to the smorgasbord everyday. Oh and the pastries were delicious. I snuck a few while you were chatting. Lily helped me.

  4. Hi again- and after sneaking the pastries I bought Sally’s book- Size Matters. I have always “been on a diet” so I am eager to read your success story about healthy living

  5. Those croissants sound delish – I’m a sucker for anything containing almonds. Loved the interview. Sally is incredibly generous and so right in what she says about interacting with other authors. One for all and all for one!

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