Wrangling shelf space in a bookstore is hard and competitive, even if you’ve been traditionally published; but that’s not to say it’s totally impossible as an independent author.
Last week I attended a book launch for For Foxes’ Sake – a much needed guidebook for teens living in the Snapchat era, written by Row Murray. She’s an author with marketing smarts who also happens to be a shining example of independent publishing.
Row self-published her book in October 2015, across print and digital, totally foregoing the process of pitching to publishers. In fact, self-publishing was always her plan! (Find out why by reading on.)
Using some old-school tactics that involve the post office and door-knocking, she scored a deal with a distributor to get her book into school libraries across Australia, as well as a couple of bookstores, which is no mean feat.
We chatted about her writing process, the benefits and challenges of independent publishing, the best ways to get your book out there and in front of readers, how Tablo can help authors, and why sex education for young people is so so important today.
But first, if you want to read Row's book...
...and you really should – it's great! I scored myself a copy and within 5 minutes I had laughed, cried, and learned something new. Yes, sex-ed for teenagers is still relevant to adults!
In print: forfoxessake.com.au
About the book:
Everyone needs a sex fairy godmother. That person who you can talk to about sex, drugs, rock n roll and how to find the perfect shade of red lipstick. She’s loved, she’s lived, and she knows what she’s talking about. She may not always be popular with parents but she’s always there for her girls. She’s got your welfare in mind and gives darn smart advice.
With practical advice and guidance on topics as diverse as BDSM, anal sex, consent, body confidence, making home porn and being a digitally savvy girl, this is the book that every girl - and their parents - should read.
Warm, funny, honest and accurate, this book cracks open the fabulous weirdness of sex. We know what girls are facing today, so let’s rock savvy self-confidence, digital smarts and self-respect.
From the foxes' mouth herself:
For Foxes’ Sake is a book about love, sex and relationships that balances facts & data with real-life advice that you won’t find in any text book. I’ve been brutally honest and gone into areas, like sex injuries and what happens when you get jizz in your contact lenses, because love and sex is awesome, messy and fabulous and a little advice can go a long way.
This book is different to most sex ed resources because it tackles topics like social media, sexting, peer pressure, porn and and all the other sex and relationship stuff that we’re still taking about way out of our teenage years. I wrote For Foxes’ Sake from the heart and I hope you love it as much as I loved writing it.
"For Foxes Sake is the best, unfiltered, comprehensive sex-ed book out there. It's agenda is to empower a girl to have enough information to make 'good choices' for her."
Jo Bainbridge, Talking Teens
"This is a really great book by an Australian author that dishes up terrific advice about sex and your body. Highly recommend."
Rebecca Sparrow, Author & Mamamia Blogger
Image used on the book cover credit: Prue Aja Steedman
Can you tell me a little about what inspired your book?
It all came about when I owned an online sex toy store as a side business. I would be on live chats with my customers a lot late at night. A lot of these women had married young and gotten divorced in their 50s or 60s. They were getting back out there [into the dating world] and weren’t sure what to do.
The book was initially going to be for these older women reentering the dating world – and I probably will still write that book a little later on – but the more research I did, the more it came up that teenagers are in a bit of a crisis at the moment. There’s so much poor information out there about sexual education, so I thought I’d start right at the beginning, with young people.