Lo­cal au­thor’s suc­cess

Alpine Observer - - Front Page - BY TATE SPI­TERI

MYRTLE­FORD au­thor Sally McNa­mara (Lewis) con­tin­ues to be sur­prised by the suc­cess of her books.

The ex­pe­ri­enced pae­di­atric oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist is well known around the North East but she is quickly gain­ing a rep­u­ta­tion much fur­ther afield due to her in­struc­tional books.

Her two books ‘The Mo­tor Skill Flip-Book Pro­gram’ (re­leased 2015) and ‘The Sen­sory Sup­port Flip-Book Guide’ (2017) have be­come pop­u­lar among par­ents, teach­ers and ther­a­pists alike in both Aus­tralia and over­seas, due to their easy to fol­low and en­gag­ing style that ad­dresses im­por­tant pae­di­atric needs.

The flip-books ex­plore how to aid chil­dren in ar­eas such as core strength, shoul­der sta­bil­ity, mo­tor de­vel­op­ment, fine mo­tor co­or­di­na­tion and pen­cil con­trol with a fo­cus on work­ing on mo­tor skills as a whole and not in iso­la­tion.

Ms McNa­mara be­gan writ­ing the in­struc­tional books with­out any grand plans but rather to as­sist her work at a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion school.

The books have been par­tic­u­larly well re­ceived in schools and peo­ple have con­tin­ued to find them so help­ful that they have kept de­mand­ing them.

“It just be­came pop­u­lar with peo­ple through word of mouth so I ended up self-pub­lish­ing them,” she said.

“I kept print­ing and they kept sell­ing and sell­ing.”

Ms McNa­mara now has seven na­tional stock­ers and has sold the books to as far as North Queens­land and Perth along with Syd­ney and Mel­bourne.

How­ever, it was when she re­ceived con­tact from over­seas that she re­alised the kind of reach her books were hav­ing.

“It was (the con­tact) from this school in the United Arab Emi­rates,” she said.

“They had an oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist and she con­tacted me.

“It’s crazy I don’t know how they find it, peo­ple must google these things…it’s amaz­ing.”

Ms McNa­mara has also landed sales in New Zealand and as re­cently as last week had a re­quest from Fin­land to have the book trans­lated into Fin­nish.

The busy mother of two young chil­dren trav­els to Wodonga to print the book be­fore dis­patch­ing them to the var­i­ous lo­ca­tions.

“I didn’t want to go down the pub­lisher sort of route be­cause I felt like I was do­ing okay by my­self,” she said.

Ms McNa­mara be­lieves the topic of her se­cond book, sen­sory needs in chil­dren is an area that peo­ple are be­com­ing more and more aware of.

“In the past, peo­ple had a brief idea of it but not to the de­gree that we need to sup­port kids,” she said.

“I think peo­ple are re­ally catch­ing on to sen­sory pro­cess­ing, and it’s crit­i­cal to a child’s learn­ing and ed­u­ca­tion.”

Ms McNa­mara sold around 1,000 books last year and be­lieves she is on track to dou­ble that fig­ure in 2018.

PHOTO: Tate Spi­teri

SUR­PRISE: Sally McNa­mara could not be­lieve it when her book be­gan catch­ing in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion.

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