How 'Music, Media & Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica' made the List for CAPE, Sociology

How 'Music, Media & Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica' made the List for CAPE, Sociology

Marcia Forbes PhD

Written by Marcia A. Forbes, Ph.D.
July 9, 2011

The Journey
The journey started long before July, 2011 and it did get me into trouble and a falling out with the University Press, partly it seems for insisting on CAPE students as a key market.  But, as mi Grandmother used to say, “if yuh waan good yuh nose haffi run!”  Music, Media & Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica is a case study in dogged determination!! She also taught me that “is not everything good fe eat good fe talk” so I have nothing more to say about the UWI Press and this book.

From the time I started writing Music, Media & Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica (the title was different then) I knew that getting it into the hands of older teenagers was very important to me.  After all so many of them has taken the time to talk with me, answer my questions and help me to understand what they made of television images and sounds,  in particular those they saw and heard in music videos.  My motivation was to share with them what they had shared with me and to expand and elaborate on this in a way that would open their eyes and ears to a deeper, richer understanding of media messages.

During 2009 as I wrote Music, Media & Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica (MMASJ) I studied the CXC syllabi for the three subjects (sociology, communication and Caribbean studies) which I felt could benefit from it.  Fast track to November 2010, the book is launched and I am overwhelmed with marketing and distribution that I never dreamt would become mine to take on.  Having learnt a tremendous amount about the book industry over the eleven months since I consigned the book to a publisher in January 2010, by November I knew that getting a book in hand is but one baby step toward getting it to the reader.

The publisher had delivered my book and that’s where it ended.  The rest was up to me.  There was so much to do to get this book distributed that I became a one woman team.  The latter part of 2010 and early 2011 was devoted mainly to the Universities but always with CXC, CAPE also top of mind.  Up to date syllabi for the respective subjects mentioned earlier were again purchased and reviewed in early 2011 to access for changes.   Even as I prepared for the presentation of MMASJ to the University community at the book launch hosted by the Caribbean Studies Association in Curacao, I set up to meet with CXC to discuss its use for CAPE subjects. 

Meeting CXC
The meeting with CXC took place in early May, 2011.  It went ‘swimmingly’ well.  Using current slang expression from the viral YouTube hit, ‘Nobody Canna Cross it’ (courtesy of Clifton Brown, TVJ and DJ Powa), ‘the book can swim’ and ‘MMASJ can cross it’.  A large number of persons marvel at my success in getting Music, Media & Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica accepted by CXC.  As a way of helping others to see the approach used, I decided to make a series of Facebook postings.  Kellie Magnus saw these postings and invited me to write this blog for wider circulation and the benefit of the book industry.  Below are the Facebook postings (www.Facebook/MarciaAForbes) which were automatically sent to my twitter stream (

Facebook Postings
Posting # 1 “I knew no one at CXC so how did I get my book taken up by them for use in CAPE, Sociology? Let me share the steps involved. 1) In writing this book the primary target readers were a) University Stds. b) CAPE Stds. c) Older adolescents and parents. So from the very beginning I was clear on who Music, Media & Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica was intended for (cont.).”
Posting # 2 “Step 2 Know what CXC want. In fact this was a key part of Step 1 as I had gone through the CAPE syllabi for sociology & communication studies while I was writing the book MMASJ.”
Posting # 3 “Step 3 I studied the syllabi & made detailed notes re the various modules from Communication/Caribbean Studies and Sociology) for which my book was relevant.
Step 4 Prepare written proposal (cont.)”
Posting # 4 “Step 4 In writing the proposal for CXC I excerpted relevant sections from the various CAPE syllabi, included a key statement from Prof. Barry Chevannes' Foreword to MMASJ along with excerpts from reviewers - Professor Elsa Leo-Rhynie, Prof. Patricia Mohammed & Dr. Beth Wright.”
Posting # 5 “Writing the proposal took deep concentration & time to make it succinct, relevant & interesting. Similar to TV, I knew this was my pitch. It had to grab attention within the 1st few seconds. Remember I knew no one at CXC to 'put in a word for me'!”
Posting # 6 “Step 5 Schedule Meeting with CXC. This was actually done before step 4.”
Posting # 7 “Step 6 Meeting with CXC -- I prepared meticulously for this! Copy of book for CXC, copy of proposal - always leave something for client to peruse after the pitch. Dress, hair -- due consideration to looking professional but not overdone.”
Posting # 8 “Step 7 - The meeting went extremely well. The timing was perfect as the Sociology Syllabus was under review. I executed my pitch & noted requests for certain follow-up activities.”
Posting # 9 “Dogged determination, hard work & serendipitous timing led to CXC taking MMASJ for CAPE Sociology. I had no CXC connections; no one intervened to help me. I did the work & it paid off. These posts are intended to help others better appreciate what they need to do. I am told that the syllabus for each subject is reviewed every 3 years. If your book comes right after this period then you may have a 3 year wait.”

You Too Can Succeed with CXC
I trust those with books they believe would be useful for CXC use will gain something from this blog.  It makes me really happy and vindicated that CXC has placed Music, Media & Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica on its list for CAPE, Sociology.  Now to work on CAPE, Caribbean/Communication Studies!! Praises be as well that UWI, Gender Studies has included this book on its reading list.