Local author’s success
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.
SURPRISE: Sally McNamara could not believe it when her book began catching international attention.