“A book about joy:” the publishing of Tom Broadbent’s At Home With the Furries

by Patch O'Furr

“At Home With The Furries” is at US-based Amazon sellers now.

Sent by Tom via Furplanet

In early 2018 I wrote about a Kickstarter for a book of Tom Broadbent’s furry photography. These aren’t your usual convention photos. He stages them with characters in their homes like storybook pages. As soon as I saw what he was up to, I knew this would make extra special art. One publisher he approached was someone I knew, who I had already tipped that someone should do a furry photo art book. My copy sits on my desk where I write up crazy happenings in the fandom. Let’s hear from Tom how things went. – Patch

Hi Patch,

The book was officially published on 30th September last year. At the time I thought the Kickstarter was hard in terms of raising the backing. Producing the book was a whole different story, I could not be prouder of the finished product but it took a lot out of me. Essentially with the Kickstarter reaching its target I buried myself last year into producing the book to the absolute highest standard I could do. Not only because I felt a deep responsibility to the backers, but also the furries themselves, the furry community and ultimately myself. It’s only going to be published once after all, and it’s out there forever, sitting on people’s bookshelves, in bookshops, museums and a variety of National libraries (some of which I’ll come to shortly.)

The reaction from the backers and the buyers has really made the journey worthwhile.

Being on press in Turkey (which is where the book was printed) was in turns a wonderful and then extremely stressful experience. Not because of where it was printed — the printers MAS were very supportive and understanding and went all out to produce a fantastic book. It was mostly because it was my first time printing a book. It’s a complicated process, and it certainly was with my book. There are two different types of paper stock and a very special furry cover.

Here’s the moment of sending it to print.

I tweeted at the time that “The great thing about self publishing is you make all the decisions, the bad thing about self publishing is you make all the decisions.”

I essentially ran myself into the ground producing the highest quality book I could, and then I didn’t really have the energy to promote the book possibly with the energy and effort I could have.

Having said all that, the feedback and responses I’ve received from the backers and subsequent buyers of the book has been really great and it has been featured in quite a few places. It’s also been an extremely helpful learning experience, the lessons of which I’ll take into the next book I produce.

I did say at the time of the book coming out, that it’s now your story to tell. A book exists to capture the imagination and it certainly seems to have done that.

One anecdote which really sticks in my mind is giving a talk in December at Falmouth University. One of the teachers had backed the Kickstarter and relayed a tale of how his young son reacted to the book. It was the only book out of his Dad’s vast collection of photo books that he kept coming back to and really enjoyed. “It’s a book about joy,” he remarked.

I received a lot of messages on twitter and instagram, which were lovely. Quite a few Instagram stories as well.

Getting the book into some major museums was a coup and a half. The Tate Modern bookshop stocked it, along with The Photographers Gallery in London. I met up with both buyers and they were extremely impressed with the production quality, which was lovely to hear. It’s also stocked at Home in Manchester.

From the print run of 750, 400 have sold so there’s plenty left before we sell out.

Having one of the images in the 250th edition of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition was a massive boost and three buyers of the print edition also bought a copy of the book. It also helped with book sales as a number of people ordered books on the back of seeing the exhibition.

The book is now carried by six of the major libraries in the UK and Ireland, it’s a nice feeling that it’ll be there for future generations. The libraries are:

  • The British Library
  • The Bodleian at the University of Oxford
  • Cambridge University Library
  • National Library of Scotland
  • National Library of Wales
  • Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

The I paper ran a feature on it in their book section.

Photo Archive News: Photo Book: Tom Broadbent – At Home With The Furries

Camera Books instagram

Camera Snaps, run by the photographer and teacher, Zak Waters did a Youtube review. I was really pleased that he really understood my reasonings behind the book and the approach with the photography. “It’s serious, but not serious at the same time”

Shadow Raccoon (Instagram) featured the book on his Youtube channel, I met him at a Londonfurs event and we hit it off.

Catto Gallery, Photofusion Salon 18 Exhibition, Snoecks 2019 Magazine

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Snoecks | Ken jij dit jaarboek geheel gewijd aan fotografie en literatuur en dat al sinds 1923 bestaat? Ik kende dit nog niet! 500 pagina’s met allerlei verschillende, uiteenlopende fotoreportages met achtergronden bij de kunstenaar en de werken. Gaaf om de veelzijdigheid van fotografen van deze tijd en hun verhaal te kunnen zien en lezen! De series die mij het meest aanspraken? Het werk van: Tim Flach, Tom Broadbent, Reine Paradis, Denis Rouvre en Nick Hannes. . . . . #snoecks #snoecks2019 #jaarboek #almanak #fotografie #photography #kunstkijken #kunst #artphotography #artstagram #artoftheday #timflach #tombroadbent #reineparadis #denisrouvre #nickhannes #portrait #majatopcagic #newtalent #wildlife #leestip #kunstencultuur #cultuursnuiven #bookstagram #yellowwall #instabook #bookcover #dailyphoto @howaboutabook @snoecks4ever

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With the Londonfurs

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Tomorrow is the 300th meeting of the Londonfurs, I first met them in 2008 shortly after I had photographed a furry event called RBW for Bizarre magazine. This is when I met my first fursuiter, a six foot wolf wandering across a hotel lobby, I thought there’s an amazing project here. I wonder what would happen if I could convince a furry to let me photograph them at home in their outfit doing a hobby, a chore or something they liked to do at home. It took about a year of going to furmeets in London and Manchester before I gained the trust that is so important. Smirnoff, a husky wolf hybrid let me into his home and we did some low key portraits. As with everything it starts with one idea and 10 years later at their 299th meet, I’m holding a copy of my book, At Home With The Furries surrounded by the fantastic furries of @londonfurs. Thanks fur the pawsome memories! Book available through my website and @tatemodernbooks Photo: @nohakitsune #myfirstlfm #LFM300 #fursuit #furries #photography #publishing #fursuitfriday

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Buying the book

You can get hold of the book through a number of avenues, when sales come through to me I can sign copies if required.

What am I working on now?

I have started on a new project about mermaids and mermen, untitled at the moment. I started it last summer and the pictures are really special so far, I’m very excited to develop the project over this year.

Of course I’ll be promoting At Home With The Furries as well throughout the year until its sold out (then we’ll do another edition…well maybe.. 🙂

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