Writer with His Own Bookstore
by Kevin Coolidge
Hobo Finds A Home - self published cover
A writer with his own bookstore proves his book has appeal.
Hobo Did Indeed Find a Home.
I love books, and I don't remember not being able to read. So, I guess it's natural that I started a bookstore. I love matching the right person to the right book, and I always thought it'd be great if my book was one of them.
I read in my local paper about a class on how to write a children's book. I thought it would be fun, and so I jumped at the chance.
The story came naturally. It was about my cat and how my cat came to adopt me. I've always been an animal person, but I grew up with dogs and was never a cat person.
I ended up feeding a stray kitten who was getting chased away by skunks and possums and the fat, neighborhood cat. I would bring him inside to make sure he was fed, and he ended up moving in with me.
I would tell this story to my nephews. They would laugh at Hobo's adventures and how he came to live with me, and basically the book wrote itself.
It was a cute story, but I wasn't going to publish it. There are so many new books every year. But my girlfriend loved the book, and a friend of ours, Susan M. Gage, wanted to illustrate the book, so we went ahead with the project.
Bookstore owner writes book
I chose Booklocker because a friend had used them for a children's book and thought well of them. They told me what to expect, and they fit my need for the book at the time.
Hobo Finds a Home went on to be more popular than I expected. People loved the story and the childlike illustrations. We sold almost 700 copies in a year, out of a small bookstore in a rural town.
The book was popular enough that a small press out of Ohio picked it up. The new press, called Edgecliff Kids, wanted new, brighter illustrations and that's what they got.
I took the old edition out of print, but I still have some copies left. I display the older edition and the new edition right next to each other. Some customers prefer the older, out of print edition, and several reading teachers have commented how they find it easier for beginning readers.
Though I love both editions, I do feel a certain sense of fulfillment that many people prefer the "self-published" version as opposed to the new published version.
So, if you are thinking of writing that children's book, or that novel, don't let anyone talk you out of it. You probably aren't going to be the next James Patterson or Stephen King, but you might just write a book that someone falls in love with, and sometimes that's enough.
Visit a writer's bookstore (online at least).